Recipes

  • Why Protein for Endurance Athletes

    by Eric Bockelman, Dietitian

    Why Protein for Endurance AthletesWhether you are a swimmer, cyclist, or runner, endurance- and cardio-oriented athletes typically fuel their bodies with carbs and skip over one of the most important building blocks in an athlete’s diet: protein. Whether you are a bodybuilder or a marathoner, it is important to integrate adequate amounts of amino acids/protein into your diet. These nutrients are necessary not only for muscle formation but for muscle repair.

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  • Prevent Sports Anemia

    by Eric Bockelman, Dietitian

    Spinach has ironAs endurance athletes we constantly challenge our bodies through sport on a daily basis. These increased demands often can cause specific deficiencies that compromise our bodies' normal processes.

    One specific and very common level that is often compromised is iron. When this mineral is low it can lead to a condition known as anemia. This is when your body has a significant decrease in the number of red blood cells, more specifically a decrease in the hemoglobin concentration in the blood. Iron plays an important role in this process because it is what binds oxygen for transport in the body. A deficiency in iron can lead to a few symptoms.

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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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