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,

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 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


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!!