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:
-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!

Courtesy thanks to for recipe and photo

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

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
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).


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


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!!


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.