Wednesday, February 25, 2015

How to Put a Nutritious Smoothie Together

      Image result for smoothie
       Smoothies are a good way of consuming two or more different food groups if you are in a hurry. Many different foods can be put into a smoothie, making the possibilities endless. They can be consumed to fuel your body after a workout by adding protein, to increase your intake of vegetables without knowing they are in your smoothie, and to increase your dairy intake. There are four main ingredients to a nutritious smoothie: a base, fruits and/or vegetables, protein, and any extras you would like to add.

Base: The base is the most important part of the smoothie. It must have some kind of liquid so that the smoothie is smooth, hint smoothie, and easy to drink. Milk, soymilk, almond milk, yogurt, and water are just a few liquids that can be used as a base in a smoothie. Adding dairy such as milk and yogurt contribute to your daily intake of dairy, which is important since most people do not consume their recommended dairy intake per day. Try to stray away from fruit juices as a base because they are high in sugar and calories.

Fruits/Vegetables: The large variety of fruits and vegetables that can be blended into a smoothie is what makes them so nutritious. Fruits add sweetness, texture, fiber, and other important nutrients to the smoothie. If you use frozen fruit, the fruit will be sweeter, but also, the smoothie will have a thick, frosty consistency. Fruits are a good source of fiber because of the pectin, which makes the smoothie creamy. Vegetables also add many important nutrients to your smoothie. I know, you’re thinking, “vegetables?! That doesn’t sound good at all.” However, fruits and the base mask the taste of the vegetables. By putting vegetables in your smoothie, you are consuming the food group that most people do not consume enough of without even tasting it! Vegetables like kale, carrots, spinach, avocado, and cucumber add nutritious value to a smoothie.

Protein: Many athletes add protein to their smoothies to fuel their bodies after a workout and to increase their muscle gain. You can also add protein to a smoothie to consume as a meal replacement. Most people add protein powder like whey and casein to increase the protein content in the smoothie; however, there are other options if you are wanting to obtain your protein needs through food rather than supplements. Tofu, peanut butter, or other nut butters can be added to a smoothie to increase the protein content.

Extras: Once these three ingredients have been added to the smoothie, you can still add anything extra to increase the taste or the nutrient density. Flax, chia, or hemp seed can be added to the smoothie to increase the fiber, protein, and omega-3 fatty acid content. Cocoa powder is also good for nutrient and taste value. Yes, you heard me right. It contains flavanols, the compound that makes chocolate good for you, and it is low in calories, sugar free, and fat free. Anything extra can really amp up the nutrient content and make your smoothie even more delicious.

       Smoothies can be very nutritious and good for you as long as you watch and control what you put in them. Since the flavor combinations are endless, you most likely will never get tired of them. You can experiment with flavors and the nutrient intake, they can replace a meal if you are in a hurry and do not have time to make a one, and they can help you consume your recommended intake of certain food groups like vegetables and dairy. As long as you watch the amount of calories you are putting into the smoothie, they are one of the most nutritious foods to consume!

Contributed by: Brenna Breaux, LSU Undergraduate Sports Nutrition Intern

Monday, February 16, 2015

Can Meditation and Yoga Really Elevate My Game?

Photo from Elite Daily- link below

“That stuff’s for “granola girls”.
“How can that make me strong?”
“I’d rather be weight lifting.”
These are all familiar comments that we hear after suggesting to add yoga and meditation into our elite athletes' training regimen. Yet after they try it, the appreciation begins. The experience is humbling…and who doesn’t need some humble pie? As the practice of adding core work, flexibility and concentration becomes more common place for elite athletes, the likelihood that athletes will be better prepared for competition improve. Read the Elite Daily article on how the Seattle Seahawks utilize this form of training to better their game.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Go Nuts!

Nuts often times receive a bad rap because they are high in calories. However, nuts are energy and nutrient dense and provide numerous health benefits.  Consumption of nuts has been associated with a decrease in Body Mass Index (BMI) and Coronary Heart Disease. Nuts contain protein which can help you stay fuller longer, fiber that promotes healthy bowel function, and unsaturated fats that help to prevent hardening of the arteries. They also lower LDL Cholesterol (the bad cholesterol). Omega -3 fatty acids, which are also known as the “healthy fats”, are found in nuts and have many benefits such as controlling blood clotting. Nuts also contain magnesium which is required for the body to produce energy, copper which is required to make collagen, folic acid and vitamin E.

PeanutsThe most popular nut in the United States is the peanut. Peanuts and peanut butter make up 67% of all nut consumption. A serving of peanuts (about 28 peanuts) contains 161 calories, 7 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber. Peanuts also include good amounts of niacin, potassium, phosphorus and folate.

PecansOut of all the nuts, pecans take first place with the highest antioxidant capacity. In one serving of pecans (about 19 halves), there are 196 calories, 10% of the recommended fiber intake, no sodium or cholesterol, and 17 grams of unsaturated fats. Pecans also contain calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.

AlmondsAlmonds are high in monounsaturated fats, fiber and protein. They are cholesterol free and low in sugar. Almonds are also a good source of vitamin E and magnesium. One serving of almonds is 1oz (about 23 almonds), and contains 164 calories, 4 grams of fiber, the highest of all the nuts, and 6 grams of protein.

WalnutsIn a serving of walnuts (about 14 halves), there are 185 calories, 4 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber. They contain the highest amount of omega-3s compared to other nuts. Walnuts are a good source of magnesium and phosphorous.

Studies show that people who eat nuts a minimum of two times a week are less likely to gain weight compared to those who never eat nuts. Nuts can be easily added to any meal or snack. Add them to your oatmeal in the morning, swap them in for a protein source in your salad at lunch, or use them on top of your salmon at dinner time. Nuts are an excellent school snack packed with protein and fiber to hold you over until the next meal. Mixing nuts with dried fruit makes a delicious combination for those with a sweet tooth.

 Although nuts contain all of these great benefits, it is easy to over consume nuts, which can drastically increase your calorie consumption. Remember that one serving of nuts equals one ounce, which is about a handful. 

Contributed by Rachel Pfister:
Healthy Tiger Undergraduate Sports Nutrition Intern 
& Graduate of LSU Dietetics Program

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Athletes, Drugs, and Entitlement

As Division III officials prepare to reduce the penalty for athletes who test positive for non-performance enhancing drugs Saturday, new data released here Wednesday showed that use of marijuana and other drugs is highest among athletes in that competitive level.

The data, presented by National Collegiate Athletic Association researchers here at the group's annual convention, are a preview of findings from two quadrennial surveys of 21,000 athletes on their drug use and social environments.

The surveys also found that many athletes are not comfortable outside their athletic social circles, and feel entitled to more flexibility and special treatment from professors.

Read more:
Inside Higher Ed

Shrimp Marguery

Ingredients: . 2 lb. Shrimp (peeled) . Extra Virgin Olive Oil . 1 Stick Butter, divided . 3 cups Diced Yellow Onion . 1 cup Diced Green Bell pepper . 1 cup Diced Celery . 4 Cloves Diced Garlic . 2 10-oz cans Rotel Tomatoes . 6 Slices Bread (dampened with water) . 2 cans Cream of Mushroom Soup . 6 cups Cooked Rice . 1 cup Chopped Parsley . 1 cup Diced green Onion . Italian Seasoned Panko Breadcrumbs Directions: Cook rice. Using 4 Tbsp butter and EVOO, sauté first 4 veggies in a deep pot. Add shrimp and Rotel and cook on med-high until shrimp are cooked. Add soup and stir. Remove from heat. Add bread by tearing and squeezing into dish. Add rice, parsley & Green Onion and pour all into a baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray. Cover lightly with breadcrumbs and dot with remaining butter. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

Monday, December 2, 2013

What it takes to have a HEALTHY TIGER HOLIDAY


Well, it’s official. Another holiday season is upon us, and we all know what that means- food, food, and more delicious food. Whether it’s with old friends or at your grandma’s house with the family, everything over the holidays seems to revolve around eating. And what great food it is, too! All of the casseroles, pies, and cookies taste amazing, but by December 31st we are all mentally preparing ourselves to start that new years weight loss resolution by way of eating very little and moving around a whole lot. The question is WHY does it have to be this way every year!? It would be so nice to be able to eat everything and not have to jump up and down to get in your jeans by the time the new year rolls around, but unfortunately for most people that isn’t the way the cookie crumbles. So what is the answer to keeping those holidays pounds off while still enjoying the treats and of course the company of your friends and family? Here are a few tips for a Healthy Tiger Holiday:


1.     Take Control! Don’t “save up” the day before holiday get-togethers by skipping meals. Doing this will most likely make you binge eat and consume way more calories than are needed on a daily basis. The best thing to do the day of a party or get-together is to make sure to eat breakfast and snack on healthier things throughout the day to keep from being starving by the time you get there. Once you are ready to eat, try to choose more foods that are grilled or baked than those that are fried, full of cheese, sauce, or butter. Try to make 1/2 of your plate vegetables/fruit, 1/4 starch, and 1/4 protein. 


2.     Watch those portions! Feel free to take a little bit of everything - get a taste of all the holiday foods you know and love, but don’t stuff yourself with them! When faced with the option between fruit salad or pecan pie, try to taking a big scoop of the fruit and a little sliver of pie. Also, listen to your body. Fix one plate and see how full you feel after it. If your stomach, not eyes and heart, are saying you’re still hungry, take a little bit more.


3.     Get to moving! Exercising every day can help you keep those holiday pounds off, so go jog and listen to Christmas music, hike or bike with the family, or if you’d rather stay inside, do some squats and crunches during the commercial breaks when you’re watching Christmas Vacation or The Grinch!


4.     Lose the Booze! Okay, well maybe not all of it, unless you have the will power to! Let’s be honest, the majority of holiday parties are going to have some type of alcohol, and you will likely be tempted to drink it. Try to keep this at a minimum if at all possible! Drinking can have negative effects on your body up to 72 hours after consumption PLUS, there is little to no nutritional value in alcoholic beverages, so though it is enticing and sometimes fun to drink, try to abstain or at least limit your consumption!


5.     Don’t Deprive! Finally, make sure you don’t deprive yourself completely from what you want to eat, but also don’t gorge on everything in sight that looks good. Try to strike a balance between the two extremes and you can have a happy and healthy holiday season without the unnecessary weight gain or feeling like you are missing out on the foods you enjoy.

Most importantly, spend as much time as you can with the people you love and have a wonderful holiday season!
Contributed by: Lauren Silvio, RD

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Early Morning Eats

When athletes are waking up early in the morning to go to a workout, many of them aren’t hungry so they don’t eat anything before leaving their home. The problem with this is the body needs fuel to help push the athlete through the workout and help them perform at their highest level. Eating carbohydrates before an early morning workout helps to raise blood sugar to keep the athlete from feeling sluggish or tired and also will fuel the muscles so they can last through a lift or run. Adding protein to the pre-workout snack has also been shown boost performance and help muscles better recover post-workout. However, adding protein to a pre-workout snack may seem too heavy for someone who is not as hungry right when they wake up.

Here are some ideas of what an athlete can eat on the go before the workout that won’t make them feel overly full or upset their stomach:

·         ½ Banana + 1Tbsp peanut butter

·         Slice of Whole Wheat Toast or small tortilla with 2 slices turkey

·         1/2c Granola

·         1c Cereal (milk optional, depends on if it causes stomach pain)

·         ½ bagel  + 1 Tbsp. light cream cheese or peanut butter

·         Whole Wheat English Muffin + 1 Tbsp. peanut butter

·         Granola bar

·         A handful or ~ ¼ cup of nuts and dried fruit: pistachios, walnuts, almonds, pecans, peanuts, dried apricots, dried blueberries, raisins, Craisins, dried mango, etc.

·         Low fat yogurt topped with ¼ cup of whole grain cereal and/or fruit

·         Small bowl of oatmeal

·         Applesauce

·         Sports drink such as PowerAde

The key to pre-workout fuel is to experiment with various foods and decide which ones give you the most sustained energy without upsetting your stomach. A small pre-workout snack should be consumed at least 30 minutes before the workout. The larger the meal or snack gets, increase the amount of time from consumption to workout. Now, wake up and get to fueling!
Contributed by Lauren Silvio, RD