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Dietitian Ellen

  • On-The-Go Snacks

    by Dietitian Ellen

    On The Go SnacksPicture this: You are in between a bike test and a meeting with the boss in 45 minutes. The bike test has left you famished, and the probability of passing out (or a less dramatic hunger growl) during the meeting is great. What do you do?

    At this point it might seem impossible to resist the golden arches on your way into the office, because it is quick and easy and that is all you have time for. This is where you need a back-up plan at all times. I hate to say it, but if you fail to plan, you can plan to fail. Of course, there are endless amounts of sports nutrition products available, but here are a few more natural food options to add variety, not junk, to your repertoire. Throw these items in a purse, murse, or gym bag and always be prepared.

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  • Whole Wheat Bread vs White Bread

    by Dietitian Ellen

    Whole Wheat BreadThere is a great debate taking place at the world headquarters of Discount Tri Supply in Ankeny, Iowa. Any guesses as to the topic of discussion?

    Maybe we’re debating the optimal head/neck angle to achieve the most aerodynamic position for a 70.3 race?

    Or possibly the most favorable brand of goggles to allow for the best peripheral vision to check out the guy in the lane next to you at the YMCA, without having to make it obvious that you’re staring at him?

    Wrong and definitely wrong (but we probably have the goggles you are looking for, if this interests you).

    The somewhat unsuspecting debate is also a long standing debate in the nutrition world. What is the difference between white and whole wheat bread? Is one really that much better for you, nutritionally, than the other? Read on, my friend, and find out.

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  • Salmon: Super Food for Athletes #10

    by Dietitian Ellen

    Super Food Salmon FiletsFishy, fishy!

    I’m going to be honest, I have a love/hate relationship with seafood. There are times I cannot get enough of it, and other times… well, the smell can ruin my appetite. Fortunately, though, I have not met a salmon filet I do not like. Salmon is packed with nutritional properties that qualify it for the bragging rights associated with our 10th and final spot on our list of super foods for athletes.

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  • Aronia Berries: Super Food for Athletes #9

    by Dietitian Ellen

    Aronia BerriesGet your tissues out… We are nearing the end of this series of super foods for athletes. Sad, I know. Try to hold back your tears. (Don’t worry there will be more articles on other topics!)

    Up until now we have talked about fairly well-known foods. Okay, chia seeds and quinoa may have been new to some, but this week may be a new experience for many readers. Our athlete super food focus for this week is aronia berries.

    Have you ever heard of aronia berries? What about chokeberries? If you haven’t, don’t feel bad. I didn’t learn about these blueberry look-a-like, antioxidant-powerhouse berries until I started my career as a Hy-Vee dietitian.

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  • Sweet Potatoes: Super Food for Athletes #8

    By Dietitian Ellen

    Sweet Potatoes are an athlete's super foodYou know Rihanna’s song, “Where Have You Been”? The one with this chorus: “Where have you been, all my life?” (Don’t make me sing it for you, you don’t deserve that punishment. I do not sing well.)

    This is the chorus I associate with my relationship with sweet potatoes. Where have they been all my life? Why did it take me so long to meet them? Well, I’m pretty sure the reason is that my parents strongly dislike sweet potatoes and we never, ever, had them in the house growing up. (Actually, my sister and I still have to smuggle them in during holiday celebrations at my parent’s house. Such rebels we are!) It took me until college to fully understand what a positive effect sweet potatoes can have on one’s overall happiness.

    Not only are sweet potatoes delicious, they are incredibly nutritious. Why else would they have made our top 10 list of super foods for athletes?

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  • Blueberries: Super Food for Athletes #7

    by Dietitian Ellen

    Blueberries are a super food for athletesRemember when you were young, it was the middle of summer and you were wearing your brand new pressed white shirt to the family picnic? Your mom politely, yet sternly, warned, “Do not get anything on your shirt.” As you made your way through the food line you could not resist adding the fruit pizza studded with rows of blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries to your plate. Then remember when the big and juicy blueberry jumped off your plate and landed several inches above your belly button... and proceeded to blaze a bluish purple trail all the way down your shirt until it stopped at your shorts pocket... just as your mom glanced your way to ensure the shirt was still clean and acceptable for the family photo?

    No? You don’t remember that? Well, maybe that's just a memory that haunts me. I didn’t touch another blueberry for years, for fear that just touching the thing would somehow result in a stain on my shirt.

    When I began studying to be a dietitian and learning about the health benefits of blueberries, I figured it was time to face my fears. After all, blueberries are a great source of antioxidants, fiber, beneficial vitamins and minerals for brain health, and water, making them a top contender in our list of super foods for athletes.

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