For athletes, Thanksgiving is a super day to take a day off from exercise, relax with family and friends, and to carbo-load. Your muscles will benefit from having time to refuel, recover, and heal. As we all know, rest is a very important part of a training schedule.
The traditional Thanksgiving dinner offers the perfect combination of sports foods: abundant carbs (to fuel the muscles) and protein (to build and repair the muscles). The goal is consume three times more carbs than protein. Here is the line-up:
Carbs; mashed potato sweet potato stuffing squash turnip peas cranberry sauce stuffing apple pie pumpkin pie
By fueling well on Thanksgiving, your muscles will be ready to exercise hard on Friday. And when your workout is over and you are ready to refuel, why not enjoy a turkey sandwich with stuffing and cranberry sauce, some fruit from the cornucopia, and leftover apple pie. Yum!
With best wishes for a pleasant time with family and friends,
Marathon excitement is in the air! If you are one of the nervous runners, here’s a basic nutrition tip to help you prepare for the 26.2-mile event:
Carbo-load, don't fat-load!
To their dismay, many runners confuse high fat foods and high carb foods. They fat load. Fat does not get stored in your muscles as glycogen (the fuel needed to prevent you from “hitting the wall”). Only carbs get stored in your muscles as glycogen.
Carbohydrate-rich foods include:
Hot and cold cereals
Fruits- bananas, grapes, raisins, and all fresh and dried fruits and juices
Breads, bagels, crackers – whole grain, so you don’t get constipated
Rice, noodles, stuffing
Pasta with tomato sauce (not cheese sauces)
Quinoa, lentils, beans – but be careful of getting too much fiber…
Baked or boiled (sweet) potatoes (without lots of butter)
Vegetables, particularly carrots, peas, beets, corn, and winter squash
Lower carbohydrate, high fat choices that may taste great,fill your stomach but leave your muscles unfueled include:
Here’s a recipe that’s sure to please the whole family. (Older kids might even enjoy helping you by filling the shells!) The recipe includes protein- and calcium-rich Greek yogurt. The yogurt adds a lighter texture to the ricotta filling, without any change in taste.
As with many pasta recipes, only one-third of the calories are from carbohydrates. Hence, if you are carbo-loading, be sure to round out the meal with crusty whole grain bread, steamed green beans, and fruit salad.
1 box (16 oz) jumbo pasta shells 2 C part-skim ricotta cheese 1 C Plain 0% fat Greek Yogurt 2 C shredded mozzarella 1/2 C grated Parmigiano-Reggiano 1 to 1.5 26-ounce jars spaghetti sauce (depending on how much you like) 1-2 tsp dried oregano
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add shells and cook according to directions. Drain the shells and cool on a baking sheet (so the shells so not stick together).
2. Combine the ricotta, Greek yogurt, 1 cup mozzarella, 1/4 cup Parmesan, and oregano in a bowl. Set aside.
3. Pour 1 cup sauce into bottom of shallow baking dish large enough to hold shells in single layer. Spoon cheese mixture into shells and arrange seam side up in baking dish.
4. Top shells with the remaining sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes or until cheese melts and sauce bubbles.