Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Make School Snacks a Cinch: Here's How!

This week, enjoy a guest post from my intern, Danielle. This is a great piggy-pack onto last week's post about school lunches. Now you have no excuse to not be ready to feed those student-athletes!

Be Extraordinary,

This school year, prioritizing the nutrition of your children could make it the best year yet for your family’s health. In light of the new “hangry” phenomenon, where hunger causes one to become angry, the inclusion of small, healthy snacks mid-morning and after school could keep “hangry” moods from occurring. If you find that you or your kids become grouchy or tired during the work or school day, it could be that hunger is the culprit. Bringing simple, healthy snacks to school or work may help to combat the side effects of being hungry. Snacking can maintain your mood, keep your energy up, and help you to stay focused. Especially when students are heading off to sports practice after school, consuming a snack during the school day as well as after school will keep their energy up so they can play their best.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

How to Conquer School Lunches This Year

We are almost mid-way through August, which means school is right around the corner. For many athletes or parents of athletes, planning for lunch at school is a dreaded part of the back-to-school routine. While many complain of poor choices offered in the cafeteria, an equally common complaint is lack of time to pack a sack lunch. Yet, "brown bagging it" doesn't have to take up a huge amount of time or energy. Here are some tips, tricks, and sample lunches to fuel the athlete in you or in your family....

When planning for sack lunches, remember the key components that should be included in each lunch. Make your list before you head to the store.
-Carbohydrates: Preferably whole grain/whole wheat (gluten-free whole grains vs. processed if this is applicable)
-Protein: Preferably low-fat (this includes dairy or soy)
-Fat: A little bit of fat keeps young bellies full and helps with muscle recovery
-Fruit: Fresh is easiest, but canned is okay too
-Vegetables: Think fresh "ready-to-munch" veggies such as baby carrots or cherry tomatoes

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What every running, pregnant momma should own (from my experience)

As a sports dietitian at 28 weeks pregnant with her second child, I have had plenty of time to practice running with a baby on board. While slightly intimidating at first, I actually found it to be an easier feat than expected. While not every woman's body cooperates with continued running into pregnancy, there are a few key items that make the process SIGNIFICANTLY easier. Assuming you have the okay from your doctor to run while pregnant, these must-haves are a few of my favorites:

1. A belly support band
I could not do any type of exercise in mid to late pregnancy without this miracle (running or otherwise). There are lots of brands out there to choose from. I personally chose one that had 3 separate Velcro adjustments so I can easily make it fit best as my belly grows (here it is). Toward the end of my first pregnancy, I started wearing the band all the time (not just during exercise) to decrease lower back pain; I anticipate I will do this again.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

5 Critical Nutrition Solutions for High School Athletes

High school athletes are one of my favorite type of athlete to work with. They are typically highly motivated with big dreams of college play. However, it comes with the territory that they are also busy and often stressed. When working with high school athletes, here are some key nutrition things I emphasize to improve performance and reach future goals.

1. Change the when before you change the what
Instead of starting right away with eat this-not that, I start with timing of intake. Timing of intake makes a huge difference with respect to any performance goal. Plus, it is easier for a high school student to focus on eating a few more times during the day before worrying about what that food consists of.

2. Lets discuss your schedule
Knowing the athlete's school, practice, and competition schedule is critical to developing an eating plan that works. Every athlete's schedule is slightly different, so my understanding of their time restrictions makes a huge difference to their level of success with my eating program.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The #1 Myth of a Dancer's Diet

This week, enjoy a guest post from my intern, Danielle. She comes from an extensive background and dance, so was the perfect fit to provide an article about a dancer's diet.

Be Extraordinary,


Along with gymnasts and figure skaters, dancers tend to be body conscious athletes because they are often assessed by if their body is aesthetically pleasing verses solely how well they perform. Although not always treated as an athlete, dancers must put their bodies through great stress during conditioning, rehearsals, and dance classes. It is important that dancers fuel the body with an ample amount of energy just as any other athlete. This sometimes does not occur due to the lack of knowledge of fueling requirements. Instead of consuming the sufficient amount of calories each day to support the high level of performance and refuel the tank for the next rehearsal, some dancers restrict because they believe this to be a good way to protect their figure. In doing so, they do not eat enough food to support the amount of energy they are utilizing, which starves the muscles of the nutrients needed to give a standing ovation performance...and leaves the dancer drained.

The Myth: Eating one, low calorie meal per day is a good way to maintain my body size.

The Truth: Skipping meals will likely force the body to use muscle mass for energy. This prevents the body from burning off any excess body fat that might be present. It also can make the dancer tired, emotionally unstable and unable to focus, which all affect performance. In addition, under-eating deprives the body of many key nutrients, which may cause deficiencies and a lowered immune function, making the dancer more susceptible to injury and illness.

The Solution: Dancers should attempt to eat several small meals (or “mini” meals) throughout the day full of nutrient dense items such as whole wheat grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and lean proteins (i.e. nuts, yogurts and chicken). This pattern of eating will keep energy on-board so dancers can continue working hard. Consuming healthy foods throughout the day will also better support a lean figure.

When dancers eat better, they feel better physically and emotionally. That is sure to bring the crowd to its feet.


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