Summer Smoothies

Summer is almost here!  We need 7-13 fruits and vegetables a day to decrease our risk of reduced immune function, cancer, and disease!!  Here are some great smoothie recipes

**Remember to keep frozen fruit in your freezer:
#1 it’s cheaper
#2 it won’t go bad on you, it is frozen so quickly that it often has more nutrients that fresh fruit, and that goes for frozen veggies too!
#3 it allows you to mix up fruits more often and get lots of antioxidants for increased immune health and recovery from physical activity

Smoothie #1
·         ice (add ice to your required texture)
·         1 banana
·         2 cups peach yogurt
·         1 cup frozen strawberries
·         1 cup orange juice

Place the ice, yogurt, strawberries, banana, and orange juice in the jar of a blender. Puree until smooth and frothy.

Smoothie #2
·         3 large ripe bananas, peeled and sliced
·         1 cup washed strawberries
·         2 peeled and sliced kiwi
·         1 cup plain yogurt
·         1 1/4 cups orange juice
·         1/4 cup honey
·         1/4 cup crushed ice
Place all of the ingredients in the blender and process on high speed until smooth, about 30 to 45 seconds.

Smoothie #3
·         4 ounces plain, low-fat soy milk or regular cows milk
·         4 ounces acai, grape, or pomegranate juice
·         4 ounces frozen banana
·         4 ounces frozen strawberries
·         4 ounces frozen blueberries
·         4 ounces frozen peaches
Combine the soy milk, juice, banana, strawberries, blueberries, and the peaches in the carafe of a blender. Cover and refrigerate overnight or up to 8 hours.
In the morning, or when the fruit is partially thawed, put the carafe on the base of the blender, start at the lowest speed and slowly accelerate to medium, until you achieve a vortex. Blend on medium for 1 minute. Increase the speed to high and blend for an additional minute. Serve immediately.

**And don’t forget, you can always mix up the flavor of the yogurt (a favorite to use is vanilla), and mix it up with fruits you enjoy.  You can substitute in and out strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cherries, peaches, kiwi, mango, pineapple, etc.

Jennifer Brunelli
Research Assistant to Dr. Sangita Sharma
University of North Carolina Nutrition Research Assistant
Kannapolis, NC

Dinner for Athlete

Dinner for the Athlete in Training

Feeding an athlete dinner, especially a swimmer, is challenging.  I have heard questions from parents and athletes alike, how much food, what time to eat it, what are my options? Most age group athletes have a practice after school.  So if they get out of school at 3PM and have practice at 5 or 6PM there definitely needs to be a substantial meal consumed between 3 and 5PM.  They probably haven’t eaten for at least 3 hours!  Is that meal dinner? Do they eat a full meal after practice around 8 or 9PM?!  The answer to these questions is YES!!  We can think about it as 2 dinners.  They need to fuel up after school to have energy for their workout and then they need to refuel after that workout for the next day, even if it is 9PM. The 3-5PM meal needs to be more than a granola bar or one piece of fruit.  They need a mixture of carbs (50%), protein (25%), and fat (25%).  A peanut butter and banana sandwich on whole wheat bread, fresh fruit smoothie and trail mix, pasta with chicken and veggies, rice and beans (recipe below), etc.  The 9PM meal needs to be enough to ensure that the athlete is not hungry when going to sleep.  If they go to bed hungry the following day they will experience fatigue, lack of energy, and probably overeat.  These athletes should be consuming 5-6 meals per day, basically every 3 hours.  This will keep them nourished and energized but stop them from getting hungry and overeating at any one given meal.  Have them carry a snack and water bottle with them at all times.

This recipe can be made in about 15 minutes and will fill up even the hungriest person!!  It serves 3-4 people and is a great source of protein!  If you like spicy food then add extra chili or red pepper flakes ;)  Enjoy!!
o    1 tablespoon olive oil
o    1 small onion, diced (1 cup)
o    2 cloves garlic, minced
o    3 teaspoons fresh chopped oregano or 2 teaspoon dried
o    1 stalk celery, finely diced
o    1 large carrot, finely diced
o    1 tablespoon ground cumin
o    1/2 teaspoon dried chili flakes
o    1 (15.5 ounce) can low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
o    2 teaspoons finely chopped parsley leaves
o    1 box of whole wheat/whole grain rice (buy one that you can make in 5 minutes! you can also use couscous)
Cook rice according to package instructions.  Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, celery, carrot, cumin and chili flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots are tender but not mushy, about 6 minutes. Stir in black beans and cook until just warmed through, about 1-2 minutes.  Combine onion-black bean mixture and hot rice in a serving bowl and toss to combine. Garnish with parsley.

Jennifer Brunelli
Research Assistant to Dr. Sangita Sharma
University of North Carolina Nutrition Research Assistant
Kannapolis, NC

“To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.”