15 push ups
20 squats with weight (50 pound child)
Before we dive into Macronutrients, and break those down...I want to list off my top foods for athletes and why. So, into today's post, I will highlight my favorite foods for athletes.
1. Bone In Skin On Chicken
Sure there are plenty of meats that can also be consumed...red meat is always a good choice for red blood cell producing nutrients. By cooking and eating chicken with the skin and bone you are accessing all the nutrients of these bits, as well as the bones themselves.
The skin and cartilage and full of collagen and hyaluronic acid for the health of your own cartilage and joints.
The meat is full of protein and b vitamins.
The bones can be reused to make super nutrient dense bone broth. Use this broth not only in making soups, but add it to your savory dishes for extra nutrition and flavor
2. Cooked Greens
I tried to pick one green as the best, but I couldn't...and nor should you. Variety is the spice of life, and with your greens it's key to balancing all the nutrition they have to offer.
Cooking your greens unlocks the minerals found within, and allows them to be digested and absorbed. Make it a goal to have something green, even a smidge, at each meal. This way you are making sure you are getting enough and you are getting a variety.
Some of my favorite greens are: Spinach, Arugula, Kale, Chard, Beet Greens, Collards, Parsley (yes this counts, and it's the highest in Vitamin K), Basil, Cilantro, and Oregano
I've already mentioned Quinoa a couple of times. Just to reiterate, Quinoa is a seed, not a grain (grains are grass seeds only). Because it is an actual seed, it is higher in fats and proteins than grass grains. This makes it more balanced for athletes, who need carbohydrates, but also need higher amounts of protein and fat.
Quinoa is a great substitute for grains as a starchy side, and there are many recipes out there.
Looking for good starter Quinoa recipe (or one to become a new favorite), try my Quinoa Tabbouleh Recipe (Click here for recipe). Which combines several of the top 10...pair it with some Whole Chicken, like my Oregano Chicken Thighs, (Click here for recipe) for a complete meal.
Most any nut will work. Try them all! Kind of like the greens above, there are so many great options that offer so much nutrition, but it is hard to pick just one. If I had to choose, it would be Almonds.
They are versatile and can be used as Nut Butter, Flour Substitutes, Milk (make your own please), or just eaten Raw or Roasted.
Almonds pack some excellent fats and proteins, Vitamin E (for joint inflammation reduction), Magnesium, Zinc, Phosphorus, and B Vitamins. Almonds also contain phytonutrients that regulate sugar and carbohydrate metabolism.
I use this in my "PB & J" sandwiches, most of the time. I like to alternative and will use Peanut Butter (super high in Vitamin E), or Cashew, or Pecan...They are all delicious. If you are new to baking or cooking with Almond Flour and want to try it out...I have an awesome recipes for you...
For an easy, nutrient dense breakfast or snack, try my Almond Blondies (Click here for recipe)
5. Grass Fed butter
Grass fed butter is significantly different than conventional butter. I had a friend asking me in joking once, "how do they feed the butter grass?" Haha, funny, funny.
The cattle that produce this nutrient dense butter, are pasture and grass raised, meaning they eat grass...all day, every day. This is what cattle are suppose to eat, and the milk they produce is high quality.
You can tell just by looking at the color. Conventional butter is white...butter should not be white. Grass Fed Butter is orange...that's nutrition!!!
Grass Fed butter is rich in tons of essential fat soluble vitamins, like A (retinol form), D, E and K. It is also rich in good fats, like Omega 3's. It is also an awesome source of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), which we will discuss later.
Don't be afraid of potatoes. Yes they are high in starches and carbohydrates, but these are things that athletes need.
Potatoes contain the right types of starches to be supply hyaluronic acid, which we NEED for the smooth movements of our joints. The carbohydrates are also immediate energy for cells.
They are also a great source of important nutrients like B Vitamins (specifically B6, which is important for athletes, more later), Potassium, Vitamin C, and Fiber. Just eat the skin! They also contain phytonutrients that are antioxidants.
Pick potatoes that are colorful...purple potatoes, red potatoes, gold, sweet.
One of the few grains with adequate protein. Because of this balance of complex carbohydrates and protein the energy produced is sustained, not quick. This is great for those who are endurance athletes.
Oats are an excellent source of fiber, B Vitamins (no B12), Magnesium, Phosphorus, Chromium, Zinc, Iron, and Copper.
Traditionally Oatmeal packaging instructions included a soaking process. We have lost this, sadly. In order to make the most of your oats, get steel cut, or whole, and soak them overnight. Sprouted would be best. If you do use rolled outs, the soaking process (with a drop of whey, or the liquid off of yogurt), with ferment the grains a bit and breakdown the chemical bonds that hold the minerals within the grain, making it more nutritious.
Eggs are superfood. They contain most every nutrient you need. The whites are excellent sources protein and minerals, and yolks are full of healthy fats and nutrients. PLEASE DON'T DO EGG WHITES ONLY! This is such a horrible fad, and left many people nutritionally and fat deficient.
Eggs are another source of CLA, but it's connected to fats (more on this later). They also contain Branched Chain Amino Acids, which are necessary for muscle growth (more on this later as well)
9. Melons & Squash
So, this is also another category that I couldn't pick a real favorite. They are all AWESOME, and need a place on your plate. In general melons and squashes are electrolyte and hydration superfoods. Watermelon and Cucumber take center stage on their ability to increase cellular hydration because of their water and electrolyte content.
Other squashes, such as pumpkin, are rich in Potassium, Zinc, and Magnesium. It also contains high sources of Vitamin A and E, B Vitamins, and Vitamin C. Pumpkin phytonutrients are antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and regulate blood sugar levels.
10. Organ Meat
I put this one at the bottom so I didn't scare anyone. Organ meat shouldn't be scary. It's not as bad as you think and their are some sneaky ways to incorporate it into a weekly meal routine, without sitting down to a plate of Liver and Onions (although, I do enjoy this).
Liver is an oxygenation superfood. It contains all the nutrients needed for red blood cell formation. It is also a rare food source of certain, hard to find nutrients: methylated B12, K2, D, Retinol. As well as other nutrients like Choline.
Heart is a family favorite (my children will fight you for the last piece!). For anyone who has never eaten heart, it is like a thin sliced filet mignon. It is the cream of the crop of meats, in my opinion. It is where we get our best source of CoEnzyme Q10 (which is also found in Liver and other organ meats).
TIP #1: I often add organs to my bones when making broth. After straining I will puree the organs in a small amount of broth and add it back into to the pot. By doing this I am emulsifying these little nutrient nuggets back in, and no one knows better.
TIP #2: I will often buy good quality Liver, cook it, puree it, and freeze it into little ice cube sized squares. I can add this to anything I am cooking that is slow cooked ground beef, and boost the nutrient content without changing the flavor. Think Marinara, Chili, Sloppy Joes, etc...
Breakfast: Carnitas Frittata
Frittatas are my way of using leftovers. You can make any savory combination...in this one, I use some leftover of Crockpot Carnitas, spinach, bell pepper, green onion and avocado.
Lunch: Tempeh Sandwich; Iced Tea
If you don't know what tempeh is, you should learn! It is going to sound weird when I explain it, but I swear it isn't and you're going to love it!
Tempeh is a traditional food from Indonesia. It is made by naturally fermenting/culturing soybeans and rolling them into a cake (some forms also contain sprouted and cultured grains). It has an earthy flavor that is better as it ages. It is an excellent source of protein, and several very difficult to find vitamins. The fermentation process makes the soy edible. (don't do raw soy - soy milk/cheese, always have it cultured).
It is very high in B Vitamins (and a great source of vegetarian B12, which is difficult to find), and Minerals (especially Magnesium, Phosphorus, Iron, Calcium and Zinc). It is also one of the only vegetarian source of vitamin K2, and D3. Between the K2, D3, and minerals, tempeh is great for supporting the health of your muscles and strengthening your bones.
It also contains several phytonutrients that work as antioxidants. As well as a good bacteria (probiotics) to help support the gut and immune system.
I marinated and baked the Tempeh with some Dijon Mustard, Apple Cider Vinegar and Maple Syrup (small amount).
Road Snack: Kombucha
Between Tempeh and Kombucha, I am getting some awesome probiotics and B Vitamins today.
I was headed to a school function...and left dinner for the family...late dinner for me and was starving...it was the first thing I saw and grabbed...not super filling, but it got me through the meeting.
Dinner: Whatever was left (Ha); Beet Fries and Pork Chop
Well, after getting home from the late meeting...I came home to NO DINNER! The kids ate all of it! I literally had to pick uneaten pork off of their plates and put together a quick makeshift meal. Better luck tomorrow.
Total Water Today: 7 cups
Grand Canyon Rim to Rim 30 Day Crunch - Day 1: Intro
Grand Canyon Rim to Rim 30 Day Crunch - Day 2: Electrolytes
Grand Canyon Rim to Rim 30 Day Crunch - Day 3: Trace Minerals
Grand Canyon Rim to Rim 30 Day Crunch - Day 4: Hydration
Grand Canyon Rim to Rim 30 Day Crunch - Day 5: Hyaluronic Acid
Grand Canyon Rim to Rim 30 Day Crunch - Day 6: Coenzyme Q10
Grand Canyon Rim to Rim 30 Day Crunch - Day 7: Top 10
Grand Canyon Rim to Rim 30 Day Crunch - Day 8: B Vitamins
Grand Canyon Rim to Rim 30 Day Crunch - Day 9: Kreb's Cycle
Grand Canyon Rim to Rim 30 Day Crunch - Day 10: Calories
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