Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Dessert Amaretti Peaches

Hey everybody,


So I had this major sweet tooth yesterday and wanted to try to make a different dessert. I came across this recipe for Amaretti Peaches and decided to try it because it was pretty low calorie for a dessert. Let me tell you, it tasted so good! Let me share this recipe with you. It is pretty simple and only takes 20 minutes to throw together.




Ingredients:


1/4 cup crushed amaretti cookies (about 4 cookies)


1 T brown sugar


2 large ripe peaches, halved and pitted


cooking spray


4 t butter


1 ounce bitter sweet chocolate, shaved




Directions:


1. Preheat broiler


2. combine cookie crumbs and sugar in a small bowl


3. Hollow the center of peach halves. Arrange peaches, cut sides up, in an 8-inch square metal baking pan coated with cooking spray.


4. broil for 2 minutes. Remove pan from oven.


5. Carefully fill each peach half with one rounded tablespoon cookie crumb mixture.


6. Place 1 t butter on top of each filled half.


7. Broil another 2 minutes until butter melts. Sprinkle evenly with chocolate and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.




Nutrition:


Calories= 130, Fat = 7.4g, Protein= 1.6g, Carb= 19g

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving stuffing

Hey guys,
Being that it is Thanksgiving this thursday, today I am going to give yall a whole grain stuffing with sausage recipe that you can think about making for thanksgiving dinner. Here is the recipe:
Ingredients:
2 tsp canola oil
1 lg onion, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
3 lg ribs celery, chopped (about 2 c)
3 Tbsp thinly sliced fresh sage leaves or 1 Tbsp dried
2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
1 1/2 tsp whole fennel seeds (optional)
1 1/2 c fat-free milk "plus" (we used Over the Moon)
1/2 c reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 sliced bakery loaf 100% whole wheat bread (about 1 lb), cut into bite-size cubes (about 10 c)
8 oz fully cooked smoked turkey or chicken sausage, chopped
Directions:
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat 11" x 7" baking dish with oil or cooking spray.
2. Put oil in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion turns golden, about 25 minutes.
3. Add celery, sage, garlic, and fennel seeds, if using, and cook 5 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and add milk, broth, bread, and sausage. Stir well, season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and put in prepared baking dish.
5. Coat top of stuffing lightly with more oil or cooking spray, cover dish with foil, and bake 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until top is brown and crisp, about 40 minutes.
This recipe serves 8 people. There is 243 cal per serving, 11 g protein per serving, 35 g carbohydrate per serving, 4 g fiber per serving, 7 g fat per serving, 1.5 g sat fat per serving, 619 mg sodium per serving.
I hope ya'll have a great Thanksgiving Holiday. Enjoy your families.
Until next time,
Jennifer Klinkert

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Roasted Pepper and Grilled Chicken Sandwich

The Sandwich is probably the easiest thing anyone can make, especially for those culinary-impaired athletes. There are so many different combinations you can come up with! This is another food-obsession I have: coming up with a different sandwich other than the plain jane ham and turkey 'wich everytime I make.  Who doesn't love a little food challenge, right? Its easy to make ahead, portable, cheap, and will satisfy my hunger any time of day whether its breakfast, lunch or dinner.

So today, as I stated above, I made a great roasted pepper and grilled chicken sandwich.

Ingredients:
2 slices of whole grain bread
1/2 cup of sliced peppers--I use frozen peppers just cause they are cheaper than fresh,come in a mix of red and green, and won't go bad on me.
3 oz chicken breast--pre cooked is always good too
1 slice of low fat cheese

Instructions:
1.Spray a non stick pan and  cook chicken breast, until slight browned on top on medium heat. If you slightly cut the breast in the  middle, you can see if its slightly pink or not to make sure it is cooked through.

2. In another pan, cook the sliced peppers, until cooked.

3. Toast bread in toaster.

4. Assemble sandwich with the cooked chicken and peppers. Top with cheese and enjoy! yay!

Have a delicious weekend everyone! Go Coogs!
--Starla Garcia

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

pico de gallo chicken

Hey everybody!
Hope everybody has been doing well lately. Only a week until we are off for Thanksgiving and home with our families! So excited for that. I am sure everyone is in need of a little break from workouts, practice and especially school work right? And for those who are getting ready to kick off their season I am sure ya'll are excited for that and ready to get to work. Anyway, today I am going to tell ya'll about this super simple, quick, and tasty pico de gallo chicken. The only preparation required is chopping up the tomatoes, onions and jalapeno to make the pico de gallo, the rest is a cake walk. I find that this recipe is one that I turn to often when I know I want to cook at home but feel like I don't want to have this huge mess of a kitchen and get stuck preparing and cooking all night. Here are the ingredients and directions.

Ingredients
1 cup chopped tomato
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 jalapeno pepper
2 1/2 T canola oil, divided
1/2 t salt
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/4 t black pepper
*Note that this recipe makes 4 servings, 1 chicken breast and 1/3 cup pico de gallo per serving.

Directions
combine the chopped onion, chopped tomato, and diced jalapeno pepper. Add 2 T canola oil and 1/4 t salt.
Use the remaining 1/4 t salt and 1/4 t pepper to sprinkle both sides of the chicken breast.
Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat with remaining 1 1/2 t oil. Sautee chicken 6 minutes on each side or until done. Serve the chicken with pico de gallo over it.

Tips and Nutrtion
Some tips to help make this dish even easier to make is to buy pre-chopped tomato and onion and buy the canned diced jalapeno peppers.
This pico de gallo chicken provides 275 calories, 12.8 g fat, 35 g protien, 4 g carbohydrate.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Female athlete triad

As of late, I have been thinking extensively about what else I could contribute to this blog other than provide recipes and ideas to fuel or re-nourish our bodies. So other than talk about certain food, I want to address something that can can happen to women if there are imbalances in our lifestyle.

I would have to admit that being a female is psychologically exhausting with the need to always to be perfect and just plainly better than our best girlfriend. Now bring in athletics and school, and our world becomes even more intense.  Sometimes this need to be perfect in all aspects in our lives can lead to us neglecting our bodies with the right psychological and physical nourishment.

The female athlete triad, is a risk that more girls are falling within. It is a combination of 3 conditions: disordered eating, amenorrhea, and osteoporosis.  Some can have all 3, or just one or two, but the consequences of the either one can impair a person's quality of life.

1. disordered eating:
Just as any girl can critcize their "looks," a girl that has the female athlete triad will use athletic performance as a way to justify sudden weight loss. Disordered eating goes hand-in-hand with avoiding foods that they think are "bad" like high-fat foods, cutting carbs, or sugar more than a normal person would, or only eating at certain times of day, measuring all foods obsessively, etc. Sometimes this disordered eating can lead to an even more destructive eating disorder like anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa.

2. Amonorrhea:
 When not enough calories are being eaten and exercise is intense for athletes, a decrease in estrogen causes a girl's menses to become irregular or stop. At times this normal,  so if this happens it does not mean that you have amenorrhea, but if it happens for 3 months or more, talk to your doctor. There may be a possibility of pregnancy . The decrease in estrogen happens because of low body fat and body weight. To check if you are at a healthy body weight for your height you can calculate your body mass index. There is a link to calculate at the bottom of the page

3. Osteoporosis:
Since estrogen levels are low and there is poor nutrition involved, low calcium intake is probably happening as well. Low calcium can cause osteoporosis, which is the weakening of bones in loss of bone density and bone formation. Basically your bones become porous like a sponge, and increase your chances of stress fractures, which can stall or ruin your athletic career. 

This information on the female athlete triad is not meant to scare you, but to INFORM you about what can happen if proper nutrition is not thought about logically in attempts to lose weight or increase athleticism.  Please find healthier ways to achieve your goals and talk to a registered dietian, coach, or counselor if you you feel something is wrong.

Until next time,
Starla Garcia
for more info:go here
for BMI calculator  click here

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

quick and easy pasta recipe

Hey ya'll,
So I have this pasta with basil tomato sauce recipe. Pasta meals are a great way to re-load on Carbs after a tough workout, which is highly important to all of us athletes. This particular recipe is very tasty and actually not too heavy of a meal either. For 1 1/2 cups of pasta it is about 350 calories. The only downfall to this recipe is that it has very little protein. As athletes it is important to get some protien with our meals, so to make it a little better and geared more toward an athlete's diet you could add some grilled chicken to this recipe and it would complete your meal. Adding the grilled chicken would bump the calories up to between 500 and 600 calories which is a perfectly healthy meal. Here is the recipe:

1 package fresh fettuccine
2 T olive oil
3 t minced garlic
4 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 t salt
1 cup fresh torn basil leaves
1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
2 ounces parmigiano-reggiano cheese, about half a cup

Directions:
1. Cook the pasta according to package directions
2. heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic to pan and cook 1 minute. Add tomatoes and salt, cover and cook 4 minutes.
3. remove from heat and stir in basil and pepper.
4. Add the tomato mixture and the pasta together, tossing well to combine. Then just top with some cheese.
5. Add grilled chicken to the recipe to get some more protein

This recipe only takes 15-20 minutes to make so it should be fairly quick and simple for a dinner after practice or class. If you need something that is easy to fit into your busy schedule you should definitly try this recipe out. It is always a good idea to over produce your recipes and save the extras to put in tupperware and have for lunch during the week or on nights that you get home too late to be able to cook. Hope ya'll have a great rest of the week.

Jenn

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Importance of Sleep

Written by Katie Kissane, U of H Dietetic Intern.

Getting enough sleep can be hard to do for most college athletes who have to balance school, practice, and social lives. Sleep deprivation can have a negative impact on cognitive function, mood, and reaction time. As an athlete, sleep deprivation can also have an impact on performance. Serotonin and growth hormone are released into the body while you sleep, both enhance mood and facilitate tissue repair. We all know that sleep is important, but sometimes it is hard to get the 7-9 hours a night recommended for most athletes. In addition, there is recent evidence that suggests getting extra sleep over an extended period of time improves athletic performance, mood, and alertness. Aside from prioritizing sleep and taking steps to ensure you get a restful sleep there are some things to consider changing in your diet to help with sleep as well.

What does food have to do with sleep?
Have you ever noticed feeling lethargic and tired after eating a large meal like thanksgiving dinner? There are several reasons for this including the action of the amino acid tryptophan. Foods that contain tryptophan cause sleepiness. Or maybe you have noticed after eating a food or beverage high in carbohydrate that you get a feeling of energy followed by a crash. High carbohydrate containing foods are rapidly digested and send a rush of sugar into the blood stream which the body responds to by increasing the release of insulin and subsequently causing the cells of the body to respond by pulling the sugar from the blood. This causes a crash in blood sugar and subsequent feeling of lethargy and sleepiness.
  • ·         Tryptophan is an amino acids that is converted to melatonin. Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that regulates sleepiness. Tryptophan is found in foods like turkey, honey, milk, nuts, and eggs.
  • ·         A large meal at lunch can cause a post-lunch dip
  • ·         Caffeine is a stimulant that works by blocking the action of hormones in the brain that makes us feel sleepy. A strong dose of caffeine can stimulate the mind for a short time, and then cause a crash in alertness as the effect wears off. Be careful to consume caffeine too close to bedtime as its effect may persist for several hours. Cut out all caffeine from the diet about 4-6 hours before bedtime.
  • ·         Energy drinks contain caffeine, some amino acids, and a ton of sugar. These ingredients will give you an initial short-lived feeling of alertness followed by a crash.
  • ·         Alcohol can cause drowsiness and help you relax in the short term, but can disrupt sleep later in the night. It also keeps you from entering the deeper stages of sleep, which may cause you to wake up still feeling tired even with the 7-9 hours of recommended sleep. 
What to eat before bed to help you snooze?
A little food in your stomach might help you sleep. Try a bowl of cereal and milk, yogurt and granola, peanut butter and a banana or cheese and crackers. Remember to keep the snack small. Stay away from high-fat foods, research shows that people who often eat high-fat food before bedtime experience a disruption in sleep cycles. A heavy meal also activated digestion causing nighttime trips to the bathroom. Spicy foods may lead to heartburn. Avoid the less obvious sources of caffeine before bed such as chocolate, tea, and cola.


Warm milk with cinnamon and nutmeg
8fl oz 1 cup of whole or semi-skim (low fat) milk
10ml / 2 teaspoons clear Honey
pinch or ¼ tsp grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon of cinnamon

Heat milk gently in a sauce pan, to just below the boiling point.  Do not boil or scald the milk.
Remove from the heat and whisk (beat) until frothy.
Stir in the Honey
Pour milk into a large mug and grate a light dusting of cinnamon and nutmeg over the milk.
Pair this with a piece of toast or some whole grain crackers and you have a soothing bedtime snack full of sleep enhancing ingredients.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Before and After Races

This past Monday, was CUSA Cross Country Championships, aka my last conference race. Having already been racing for what feels like half of my life, I have gotten a grasp of what works for my body before and after races. For some runners, however, knowing what their body needs pre and post race is still a little foreign to them.
I know some runners, that are too nervous pre-race to eat end up bonking during the race due to lack of energy. Others, eat too much or not the right thing before, and end up too full or having some GI issues (aka bladder problems) once the gun goes off. I have been a victim to each of these, but throughout the years I have experimented with different types of foods and textures that work well for me. Practice is not just for running workouts, use it as a time to also try out what works  so that you can perform well on race-day.

First off, it is important to at least try to eat before hard workouts or races, because if you reflect about when you last ate, it was probably dinner. So, in reality your body was in a fasting state. Eating a snack before or a small breakfast can wake up your metabolism and provide energy before your run.Another thing to consider is what time your race is at. If its early you could probably get away with a small snack, but for late morning, I would recommend eating a moderate sized breakfast. Make sure to eat at least 2 hours before your race, or you may end up still feeling full and hear some "sloshing" in  your stomach. Foods that are high carb keep you energized and low fiber to not upset your stomach are best. Also keeping a minimal amount of fat/protein, because too much can have the same effects as fiber on your stomach.

here are some ideas: a piece of fruit, a powerbar or granola bar, 1/2 bagel with peanut butter, gatorade or orange juice

 Another big thing is recovery. Refueling within 30-60 minutes after a hard workout or race will affect how you do the next time you have to push your body, or even how you feel throughout the next couple hours. Within in the hour after, your body is like a sponge, and will utilize what you give it the best.
When your body has already used up the carbohydrates you ate before, it will start to eat away at glycogen stored in your muscles. This leads to muscle breakdown=poor recovery. To make sure that this does NOT happen make sure to eat simple and easily digestive carbohydrates or liquids, to replace your glycogen. Protein is also a major component to recovery and helps repair tissue breakdown or damage.

some more ideas: 1 cup of chocolate milk, sports drink, recovery bar, low fat yogurt or ice cream. oatmeal with almonds, handful of  trail mix, fruit, 


After knowing all of this, here is what I did on Monday:

pre race breakfast:2 whole grain waffles with peanut butter, 1 banana, 1/2 a Luna bar

post race: 3/4 bottle of sports drink and water (eating right after makes me queasy)
post race lunch: turkey sandwich, apple, chocolate coconut water (yum!)

Happy Thursday everyone,
Starla Garcia

















Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tasti d lite - A healthier dessert option

Hey guys,
So I have always been a sucker for any type of ice cream or frozen yogurt. It is definitely my weakness when it comes to nutrition. A friend of mine a while back introduced me to a frozen dessert place called tasti d lite. When I went there I saw that this place was all about nutritional content and making a frozen treat that was not so bad for you. That place has now become one of my favorite places to go. Tasti d lite is not ice cream, and it is not frozen yogurt. Instead tasti d lite is a frozen treat made without the butter fat that is used to make ice cream and it has half the carbs and sugar compared to ice creams and frozen yogurts. There are over 100 different flavors at this place and they all range from 70-100 calories for an 8 oz serving, not too bad for a dessert right? My teammates that are reading this are probably cracking up right now because I am that places biggest fan, I talk about it all the time. If anyone wants to try it out sometime it is located off of 610 and westheimer in the same parking lot as RA sushi. Hope ya'll can try it and that ya'll like it!
-Jenn

Monday, October 31, 2011

Packing Your Lunch

Written by Katie Kissane, U of H Dietetic Intern.


As college athletes it can be difficult to find the time to eat during the day between practice, class, and studying. We all know the importance of eating breakfast but eating lunch is just as important, especially if you have an afternoon practice. It is easy to grab something on the go during the day, but this can be expensive and nutritious options may not be available. Packing a lunch can save both time and money. It does involve a little preparation, which can be done the night before. Here are some things to remember when packing a lunch:
1)      Include more whole foods and less processed foods
2)      Be creative: think beyond the peanut butter and jelly sandwich
3)      Keep it cold by using a reusable ice pack or freeze a small water bottle
4)      Keep it fun: try new ingredients and experiment with new and easy recipes


Brown Bag Lunch Ideas:
-Wraps: Use a multigrain tortilla and add ingredients such as rotisserie chicken, hummus, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes

-Salad: Start with lettuce or spinach and add ingredients such as chicken, tuna, beans, tomatoes, cheese, fruit, and nuts
                Spinach salad with strawberries, walnuts and feta cheese
                Mexican salad with black beans, cheese, salsa, and olives

-Sandwich: Start with whole grain bread and add fillings such as tuna, hummus, BBQ chicken, roast beef, turkey, cheese or low fat cream cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, and spinach.

-Pita stuffed with ingredients such as hummus, lettuce, tomato, feta cheese and black olives for a Mediterranean taste or refried beans, salsa, lettuce, and shredded cheese for a Mexican flavor.

-Cold pasta salad using leftover pasta and add fresh ingredients such as onion, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, and low-fat Italian-style salad dressing. Add a little protein and include ingredients such as feta cheese, chicken, tuna, and garbanzo beans.

-Leftovers always work well for lunch. Try cooking in bulk and freeze the leftovers in individual containers that are easy to grab and take with you. Chili, soup, and rice and beans are all examples of things that are easy to freeze and reheat.

For a well rounded lunch add items such as:
-Nuts with dried fruit or make a trail mix
-Cheese stick
-Fat free yogurt
-Fruit such as an apple, banana, orange, or grapes or a fruit cup with no sugar added
-Raw veggies such as baby carrots, celery, or snap peas
-Bring peanut butter and apple slices or celery sticks

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

This week I was tired of having the same dinners on rotation, and didn't have much time to look up a new recipe or think of something, so one of my teammates on the track team, Karley King, helped me out! She had told  me of this super easy casserole dish she had made the night before, and sent it to me via email. I made it the other night, and  was such a delish change :)

So enough small talk, here you go friends:
ingredients:
-1 pound chicken breast (without skin), about 3-4 chicken breast
-1 package of frozen broccoli or other veggie
- 1 can of Healthy Request Campbells cream of mushroom soup (cream of chicken would work too)
-3 tablespoons of fat-free mayo
-1 cup of reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese

What to do:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Boil chicken breast until done and drain.
2. When cool, cut chicken into 1 inch pieces.
3. In a casserole dish, mix mayo and soup.
4. Add broccoli and chicken to the dish, and mix all ingredients together.
5. Sprinkle cheese over the mixture.
6. Bake for 20 min. Serves 4.

As a side dish, brown rice  or a simple baked potato like in my last post would be great  to add for a more rounded and balanced meal.  Thanks Karley for the recipe.


Nutrition info:
per serving= 273 calories, total fat 6 g, 36g protein, 3 g fiber, 16g total carbs



Have a great weekend everyone!
--Starla

Courtesy thanks to Sparkrecipes.com for recipe and photo
(http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=59319)


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fresh Garden Salad

Hey ya'll,
hope you all are having a great week of workouts/competition. It is softballs one week off for the semester so I am definitely enjoying it. This past weekend I made a simple salad as a side dish to my dinner. It is so simple and easy to make that I thought ya'll might be interested in trying it. Here is what you need:
1/2 of a small zuchinni cut into thin slices
1/2 of a small yellow summer squash cut into thin slices
1/2 of a small red bell pepper cut into thin strips
1 thin slice sweet onion, quartered
1/4 cup of poppy seed salad dressing
All you do is cut up the vegetables, drizzle them with the salad dressing and toss them to coat.
Pretty quick and easy right?
On a side note, I am in this class this semester called commercial food production. We prepare meals for the general public every friday between 11:30-1:00. This friday I am one of the cooks preparing the food. My responsibility will be the creole chicken over rice. If you are interested in eating some good food for a cheap price ya'll should come try it out. We serve a 3 course meal for just $7. You will have to buy a ticket in either the cameron building or garrison 104. We are located in the Cameron building and called shasta's culinary workshop. We also have the option of delivering your meal to any location on campus. This weeks menu for friday will be Creole onion soup, Creole chicken over rice, and bread pudding. It is going to be delicious so come try it out.
Until next time,
Jennifer Klinkert

Thursday, October 13, 2011

End-of-a-long-week Lasagna

I hope everyone is in good spirits this Thursday! If you are a having a rough day, just keep in mind that we are less than 24hrs from Friday and the weekend!

I feel like this week has flown by, and it is making me wish I could go back to last Thursday. Maybe it was because I got spend the weekend in Houston and not traveling, or maybe I am wishing I could re-live the lasagna I made  :-P I initially made it as a pre-race dinner and had enough leftovers to enjoy for several meals after.

Here is what you need to make the best end-of-the-week lasagna dinner:
2.5 cups of low-fat cottage cheese
1.5 cups of shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 jar of marinara pasta sauce (any kind, but I used a meat kind)
1 box of oven-ready lasagna noodles
1 bag of frozen or fresh spinach
2 tablespoons of olive or canola oil
garlic salt
9x13 inch pan

Directions
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
2. Heat skillet with olive oil at medium heat, add spinach and stir around occasionally. Make sure to cook spinach all the way through for about 10 minutes. Add garlic salt to taste. Remove from heat or leave at very low heat.
3. Add pasta sauce to sauce pan at medium heat to heat through. About 5 minutes. Meanwhile, mix together the low-fat cottage cheese and shredded mozzarella.
4. After sauce is heated up it is time to start layering!
5.Add a thin layer of pasta sauce to bottom of pan.
6. Place lasagna sheets length wise across pan, over the sauce, until it is covered.
7. Add about 1/2 spinach to cover lasagna sheets.
8. Spread cheese mixture on top of spinach. Then you can pour 1/2 of pasta sauce.
9. Add another layer of lasagna sheets just like before.
10. Then place the rest of ingredients in this order one more time: spinach, cheeses, and rest of pasta sauce.
11 Before baking place foil over. 
12. Bake at 350 for 45min.- 1 hour.
Enjoy friends!
 
As a side dish, some veggies or simple salad would be great as well.
This dish is great as leftovers, as I said before, and is good re-heated in the microwave for 1 minutes. Also cutting out some portions the night before is a time-saver too.

Until next time,
Starla G.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Alcohol and Performance

Written by Erica Melling, U of H dietetic intern.

As athletes, you work incredibly hard during the week. So, I completely understand the need to have fun on the weekends! However, the competitive mindset that most athletes have can be dangerous. Athletes often have an all-or-nothing attitude, thinking that—to quote Will Farrell—“If you’re not first, your last.” Name that movie! But, getting back on track, this belief that things have to be taken to the furthest degree can lead to binge drinking on weekends. You spend hours in the weight room and buy special performance supplements just to get the slightest edge on the competition, and yet every weekend you put substances that do the exact opposite into your body. You are all adults, but you should know how alcohol affects your athletic performance so that you can make an informed decision for yourself. Alcohol intake:
  • Dehydrates your body causing poor performance, fatigue, and muscle cramps
  • Suppresses fat use as a fuel during activity
  •  Increases risk for nutrient deficiencies by interfering with absorption of vitamins and minerals
  •  Adds empty calories that often lead to weight gain
  •  Interferes with sleep patterns by reducing time and quality of sleep
I was a college student not too long ago, and I realize that many of you are going to choose to drink, BUT if you do drink, do so moderately. Leave your all-or-nothing mindset on the field. All I ask is that you have 1-2 drinks instead of 6 or 7. The effects mentioned above will be much more manageable if you do.
Have fun by all means; just have the willpower to control yourself when it comes to drinking. And don’t say that drinking is the only fun thing to do on the weekends in Houston! I just moved here and already I have found more things I want to do than I will probably ever have time for. Here are some ideas of fun things to do on weekends:
1.      Go to a concert at House of Blues
2.      Play mini-golf at Discovery Green on a course created by Houston artists
3.      Rent a pedal boat, ride the train, or go for a hike at Hermann Park.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Easy Blackened tilapia

Hey Coogs!
Ok so I used to never like any types of fish and honestly had no clue how to cook fish. However, a few years ago a friend of mine got me totally hooked on tilapia. Now I usually try to eat fish at least once a week just to try and mix up my dinners. I usually will eat my tilapia dinner on days where I am looking for a lighter dinner or sometimes I will cook it ahead of time and bring it for lunch in a tupperware. Here is the recipe ingredients:
to make 2 tilapia fillets:
1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
pinch ground black pepper
Directions:
1) preheat broiler
2) rub olive oil evenly over fish. Combine cumin, salt, garlic powder, peppers, and sprinkle over fish. Coat a broiler pan with cooking spray and broil fish for 5 minutes or until it flakes easily when tested with a fork.
EASY!! You can make this meal with a side of rice and vegetables or pasta. The major benefit to tilapia is that it is really quick and easy to make. What I have done in the past is tripled all the ingredients in this recipe and saved the seasoning so that the next time I made tilapia it was just sprinkle seasoning over the fish and throw it in the oven. Tilapia is also a high protien, low calorie, low fat meal. It contains approximately:
26 grams of protien
5 grams of fat
160 calories
Try it out next time you are looking for a light, healthy and tasty dinner.
Until next time,
- Jenn

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Breakfast-11 Great Ways to Start Your Day :)

As student-athletes, I'm sure we can all agree that mornings are super busy. I can just imagine the majority of us scurrying around getting our things together at home, then jetting off to practice or school, to finally realize we completely forgot to eat breakfast.UH-OH! Breakfast, as much of us may know, is the most important meal of the day.

Here are some reasons why you should  kick-start your day with a meal:

-To kick start your metabolism
-You just fasted for maybe 10 or more hours, depending on when you ate dinner
- Helps you focus when you are training and doing school work
- a small snack or 1/2 of your normal breakfast can help you have more energy before morning workouts
-Allows you to balance your daily energy needs and blood sugar more effectively:

Here are some Breakfast ideas that may help curve your hunger:

1.Instant oatmeal and banana  (other fruits can be used too like peaches or any type of berries)

2. Fruit parfait: layer yogurt and fresh fruit then top with dry cereal or 1/4c of granola

3.English muffin + with 1 or 2 eggs+ slice of cheese and pair with low fat yogurt or fresh fruit as a side.

4. 2 whole grain waffles with peanut butter (or my fave--yogurt) and top with fresh fruit and cinnamon

5. Breakfast taco: whole grain tortilla + 2 eggs+2 strips of turkey bacon+1/4 cup of spinach or tomatoes +1/4 cup or 1 slice of low-fat cheese. ((For less mess, try microwaving the eggs. Crack and beat eggs in microwavable dish, and cook for 2 minutes.))

6. Bagel with peanut butter or low-fat cream cheese spread + orange juice or an actual orange +1 cup of milk

7. Peanut butter and apple sandwich: spread PB on whole grain bread and thinly slice 1/2 apple to place in between bread slices. You can eat the other half of the apple too as a side! PB and Banana is also very good too.

8. Instead of cereal with milk, maybe low fat yogurt with cereal

9. Granola or power bar with yogurt and an orange as a side

10.  Fruit smoothies: 1/2 cup of ice + 1/2 cup of yogurt or milk+ 1 cup of fruit. For an extra boost, maybe a scoop of protein mix or for more substance 1/2 cup of dry oats.

11. Carnation Instant Breakfast mix and a banana

There are so many ways to make a breakfast that is easy and portable to take with you for after practice or before class.  It can sometimes take some planning the night before, but keep in mind that  eating a nutrient packed breakfast will help you have more energy throughout your day and while you are at practice.

Start your day the smart way!
--Starla G.









Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Chicken avocado tostadas

Hey guys! So anyone who knows me knows that I love to cook!! However, being a student athlete does not always allow enough time for me to be chef Jenn in the kitchen. So lately I have been cooking some very tasty meals that take a short amount of time to prepare. One of my favorites has become these chicken avocado tostadas. It only takes 25 minutes to make. It does require a lot of ingredients but all the ingredients are common and easy to find. This recipe is basically homemade guacamole, shredded chicken, homemade pico de gallo all piled onto a tostada shell. Here are the ingredients necessary to make this delicious meal for four people (2 tostadas each).




Ingredients:


1 ripe peeled avocado


1 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped tomato


3 tablespoons minced onion


3 tablespoons lime juice


1/2 tsp salt


1 tsp minced garlic


1 tablespoon chopped cilantro


1 tablespoon minced jalapeno


2 cups of shredded rotisserie chicken


1/4 tsp paprika


8 tostada shells




directions:


1) place peeled avocado in a small bowl and mash. Add 2 tablespoons tomato, 1 tablespoon onion, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1 tsp garlic




2) in a separate bowl, combine remaining 1 cup tomato, 2 tablespoons onion, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 1/4 tsp salt, cilantro and jalapeno.




3) In a third bowl, combine chicken, remaining 1 tablespoon lime juice, and paprika.




*In order to save a lot of time try to buy pre chopped onion and tomato and buy the canned minced jalapenos. You can buy a rotisserie chicken hot and ready at the store.




Once the homemade guacamole and pico are made and the chicken is ready to go all you do is take a tostada shell, spread some guacamole on it, add a layer of shredded chicken and top it off with pico de gallo. Yum!!




Nutrition:


This meal contains.....


345 calories for two tostadas.


15 grams of fat.


25 grams of protien.


27 grams of carbohydrate and


5 grams of fiber.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

quick dinners

Lately, I have been all about quick dinners, especially since my first wave of midterms have passed by this week I spend most of my extra time worrying about school than food. Early morning runs, school all day, and then afternoon practices leave barely any time for extra studying and even less time for preparing dinner. This past week, my days felt extra long and was lucky enough to have some quick microwave-friendly ingredients on hand to help me prepare my meal :D

My super quick baked potato:
 -1 potato (any size)
-1 4oz pre-cooked chicken breast
-1.5 cups of any frozen veggies
-1/4 cup of shredded cheese
-1/2cup of canned or fresh diced tomatoes
-salt, to your preference

What I did:
- Poked holes all around the potato with fork. Make sure to poke enough holes to help the microwave heat go through so it can cook. Then, I popped it in the microwave in a tupperware container for 10 min.
-When done I cut the potato across the middle and put the rest of the ingredients in altogether (or separate if you like) for another 3min 30 seconds.
-Top the the ingredients on the potato and add salt. Then time to enjoy!

I liked this cause it took like 15 min to prepare and it has nutritional punch to it.
~Potatoes- another great and simple form of carbohydrates, great substitute for pasta, and low in fat
~chicken breast- lean in protein!--look for pre-coked in the frozen food sections
~frozen veggies- this is always part of my dinner meals. You can never have too many veggies! & frozen vegetables retain most of their nutrients because they are picked right when they're ripe. 
~cheese!- who doesn't love cheese? a great calcium source, just be sure to try an choose low-fat varieties.
~tomatoes- another source of fiber. I used some from a low sodium can just because I had no more fresh ones :(. They are still great to use in this recipe anyway.

Have a great Thursday everyone!
Keep fueling right,
Starla 




























Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Calcium Needs

Written by Erica Melling, U of H dietetic intern.


Hear the word calcium and what do you think? A nutrient I need for healthy bones, right? Well that is true, but did you know that calcium is also a key nutrient for proper muscle function? I’ll spare you the boring details, but without enough calcium, your muscles cannot work properly and can even cramp up. So, as athletes who are always looking for ways to perform better in competition, take a second to evaluate if you are getting enough calcium in your diet.

How much calcium do I need?
Men and women aged 19-50 years old should aim for 1,000mg per day of calcium. Now, what does that really mean? A glass of milk has about 300mg or roughly 1/3 of your daily needs, so drinking 3 cups of milk each day (milk in cereal counts) is an easy way to ensure that you get enough calcium. However, few people have that much milk each day, so remember 1 cup milk = 1 oz cheese = 1 cup yogurt (all have 300mg per serving).

What are good sources of calcium and how do I include them in my day?
Calcium is mainly found in dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese, but it is in other foods like broccoli and spinach in lower amounts. It is also fortified in some foods like orange juice and breakfast cereals, so check the label. If you are lactose intolerant, you can also find soymilk and yogurt fortified with the same amount of calcium as regular milk products. Also, lactose intolerant people can often tolerate yogurt and cheese alright since the lactose is already partially broken down in these foods.
5 ways to meet your calcium needs in a day even if you don’t like drinking milk by itself:
1.                          Have 1 cup in your cereal in the morning (300mg)
2.                          Make a latte instead of regular coffee by adding ½ cup milk (150mg)
3.                          Have 1-2 of the following calcium-rich (300mg) snacks during the day: a yogurt, a reduced-fat string cheese, a slice of cheese with crackers, or half a turkey sandwich with cheese.
4.                          Add 1 cup veggies like broccoli or spinach to pasta, pizza, or just as a side (50-150mg)
5.                          Use 1 slice or ¼ cup grated low-fat cheese on crackers, sandwiches, pasta, pizza…c’mon do you really need ideas on how to eat cheese? (300mg)

For a grand total of…drum roll please…over 1,000mg! Not so hard right?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Tropical Walnut Smoothie


Hey guys, ok so I tried this new smoothie this weekend. It is a tropical walnut smoothie. The ingredients include:

1 cup of orange juice
1 cup of frozen chunks of mango
1/3 cup of tofu
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts

I know what some of ya'll are thinking, tofu? lol. Well yes, let me tell you I was a bit nervous about putting tofu in my smoothie. I have never really eaten tofu before, and honestly would not even know what to do with it. However, I was feeling in the mood to try it out.  Call me crazy but I went ahead and bought all the ingredients at the store and whipped up that smoothie. By the way, tofu is in the produce section for those of you who did not know like me, lol. Anyway, the smoothie ended up being pretty tasty. You definitely will have to have a love for the tangy orange juice and mango flavor to enjoy it but it was very yummy, and you could not even taste the tofu and there was no wierd texture or anything like that either. Here is a picture of the smoothie from the website I got the recipe on.
Ok, so here are some nutrition facts about this tropical smoothie. First off, it is a great choice for anyone who is lactose intolerant. This smoothie is a completely dairy free and therefore is a great option for anyone who can't have milk and dairy products. The recipe above will make 4 servings with each smoothie being 156 calories, with 16 carbs, 4 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber and 10 grams of fat. What a great little snack!!

The walnuts in the smoothie add some health benefits too. Walnuts are a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids which help lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol. They also have the antioxidant ellagic acid which helps with inflammation. In addition to the walnuts, you are recieving plenty of vitamin c from the orange juice and the mangos. The tofu adds just a little bit of protien to balance out this extremely tasty smoothie.

So if you are wondering where I found this recipe...I went to Virginia in the summer for my sister's wedding. We stopped at this grocery store called Giant to pick up some groceries. While I was there, I saw the coolest thing. There was this little kiosk at the end of one of the aisles. I went to check it out, and when I searched around on it I found that it had all these different categories for different recipes - recipes for heart health, recipes for athletes, recipes for diabetes, etc etc. Great Idea to put in a grocery store right? Well what made it even better is that once you picked a recipe, it would print out a little sheet of paper with the recipe, the nutrition facts on that recipe, the ingredients and what aisle you can find each ingredient on. I thought, WOW!! I wish we had these in our stores in Texas, lol. If you all have some time on your hands check out shoptocook.com. That is the website that basically powers those kiosks in the stores, and there are tons of great recipes there as well. Anyway, I hope ya'll have a chance to try out that smoothie sometime.

Until next time,
Jennifer Klinkert

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Yummy--Greek--yogurt

Anyone that knows me can tell you that I love all things dairy. Yogurt and milk have always been part of my breakfast routine, but since the start of the school and practices, I have been more adamant than ever about eating  my yogurt as soon as I can in the mornings.

After yesterday's total mileage of 15 miles: 11 in the morning for our long run and 4 in the evening as one of our extra runs. My legs and body were more heavy and achey than usual after the morning long run , and I was already not looking forward to going a whole day and evening run full of tired muscles.

So when I got back I quickly, I ate my Voskos greek yogurt, along with the rest of my breakfast, and actually had a fully energized day! My legs and body didn't ache and I felt lighter on my feet than morning run.

Now for some nutrition info:
Greek yogurt varieties have 2x the amount of protein as regular yogurt, less sugar, and has a thicker consistency than its counterpart. The extra grams of protein that my greek yogurt has was just what I needed to help my muscles regenerate themselves after an 11 mile long run.

This is what Voskos yogurt looks like for those of you interested:

I will definitely eat again and put it in the freezer like frozen yogurt, or even use it as a spread for toast and jam or pancakes in the morning. Another reason I really like this yogurt was because it had ACTUAL vanilla bean specks in it!

Other ways I like to eat my yogurt:
-paired with cereal (to get out of boring milk & cereal ruts)
-over toast/pancakes with jam
-mixed with berries (or other fruit)
-sprinkle granola over it
-in a smoothie
-as a substitue for sour cream on baked potatoes or tacos
-as a substitue for mayonaise or cream in recipes
-or mix 1/2 a small container with oatmeal

Other varieties of greek yogurt that are on rotation in my fridge include: Oikos, Greek Yoplait, Fage (pronounced fah-yeh), Eros, and now Voskos.

The only downside I would say to greek yogurt, is its cost, but for me the nutritional benefits definitely outweight the money I spend. I usually check their manufacturer website for coupons which really do help at the grocery store,  which hopefully will help keep some more  money in your pockets!

So next time you are about to skip the dairy aisle at your supermarket, remember to do as Greeks do: eat Greek yogurt. Yum!

Until  next time,
Starla Garcia

Monday, September 19, 2011

Hello Cougars

Hey Cougs. So we are starting this blog as a way to connect to everyone in the athletic department. Starla and I are both athletes here at UH and are both studying nutrition. This will be a way to post some healthy meal options and share some of the ways to cook quick and healthy meals. As we all know, it is important as athletes to fuel our bodies for optimal athletic performance. So we are excited to share some ways to stay on track and get the nutrition you need to perform at the highest level. Yall have a great week and work hard out there!!