June 24, 2013

Home Food Staples

Basic shopping list for any athlete

  First, let me explain that "diet" is not synonymous with "weight loss regime." When I say "diet," I mean eating habits, patterns, and styles; a diet is one's preferred way of eating, not a doomed sentence of carrot sticks and tuna for the rest of your athletic career, so turn that frown upside down! Just a heads up, I don't go back down to university until mid-August, so everything up until then is slightly influenced by me living in a house with a microwave, fridge, and oven all in one room, plus a vegetarian - my mummy dearest - so please bear with me.

  The main purpose of this blog is to document healthy, convenient, & cheap meals for SAs living with the restrictions of a typical dorm, not necessarily why each food is beneficial. If you want that info, you can ask your university's sports dietitian as I'm not a certified RD (yet...hehe) and don't wanna get sued or something crazy like that. If you have questions about meal prep or ingredients, though, feel free to ask me!

 Before we start making meals/snacks typical of a nutritious diet that fuel us for and help us recover from workouts, we need some basic ingredients - whole grains, fruits, veg, dairy, meat/protein, and healthy fats. It's sometimes hard to pick the right stuff in the grocery store when we're bombarded by colorful packaging, convenience foods, and red-sticker sales from every which way as soon as those shiny doors slide open, so here's a simple list of ingredients that are crucial to any athlete's diet & what I like to use them for. Once things get going, I'll make meals/snacks with some of these ingredients and post the processes & outcomes.

Whole Grains
L to R:
Old-fashioned rolled oats: 3-min. microwave oatmeal (one of my favorite post-workout recovery meals); overnight oatmeal (a chilled classic, great for summer); thickener in smoothies; grind up for oat flour in baking recipes
100% whole wheat bread: Toast (pre-workout snack & part of pre-race bfasts); French toast; sandwiches; homemade bread crumbs
Brown rice: Combine with stir-fried veggies & meat; substitute for pasta/couscous, depending on what I want or have
Whole wheat couscous: To be honest, I haven't actually made this that will be a fun future post!
Whole grain pasta: Hot pasta dishes; cold pasta salads
Quinoa (not shown): Bfast; salads; stir-fries

Berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries): Add to hot/cold oatmeal; freeze for smoothies; yogurt parfaits
Bananas: Hot/cold oatmeal; PB&B toast (one of my fave bfasts); smoothies; chocolate banana ice cream (one of my fave guiltless desserts); PB&B smudgies (ditto); yogurt parfaits; bfast banana splits; go-to portable post-workout recovery snack + choco milk
Oranges: Yogurt parfaits; on their own, cold
Apples: Dip in 2 Tbsp PB (peanut butter) for late-night snacks
Grapes (not shown): Freeze for snack

Carrots: Salad; snack + hummus
Cucumber: Salad; snack + hummus; sandwiches; homemade tzatziki sauce
Peppers: Omelets; stir-fries; salads; snack + hummus; sandwiches; stews; sometimes freeze to add in bigger meals
Avocado: Salads; guacamole; sandwiches
Beets: Salads
Lettuce: Salads; sandwiches
Spinach (not shown): Salads; omelets; often bought frozen & added to soups
Tomatoes: Salads; sandwiches

Frozen Produce
Mixed vegetables: Part of quick & easy back-up dinners; cooking (stir-fries, soups, etc.); added to baked potatoes/pasta/rice dishes
Mixed fruit: Smoothies (I absolutely LOVE banana-blueberry smoothies); hot/cold oatmeal; microwaved berry compote
Veggie "sausage" patties/Frozen chicken strips: Bfast, lunch, or dinner protein

Dried Fruit
Dates: Home-made energy bars
Dried cherries: Snack; yogurt parfait; hot/cold oatmeal; smoothies/banana ice cream
Raisins (not shown): Yogurt parfait; hot/cold oatmeal
Prunes (not shown): Snack

Vanilla soymilk/Skim & 1% milk (not shown): Hot/cold oatmeal; smoothies; drink on its own; cereal
Cheese: Omelets; snack; cheese on toast; sandwich; added to baked potato/grits
Eggs & egg whites: Scrambled; omelets; sandwiches; bfast burritos
Fage 2% Greek yogurt (plain): Substitute for sour cream in everything; topping on baked potatoes, tacos, rice bowls; yogurt parfaits; smoothies; overnight oatmeal; baking
Kefir (not shown): Smoothies; hot/cold oatmeal; drink on its own

Chicken breast in water: Chicken salad; normal salad topper; soups; sandwiches; protein in dinner meals
Black beans: Soups; stews; burritos; rice bowls; salads
Lentils: Soups; stews; seasoned side
Potatoes/Sweet potatoes (not shown): Nuked baked potato; oven-baked fries; mashed potato

Healthy Fats
Raw walnut pieces: Baking; hot/cold oatmeal
Natural almond butter: Spread on toast or apples 
Lightly salted & roasted almonds: Snack; salad topping; smoothies; hot/cold oatmeal; yogurt parfaits 
Natural peanut butter: PB&B toast; hot/cold oatmeal; smoothies & banana ice cream
Raw cashew pieces: Snack; salads; stir-fries; smoothies

Extra virgin olive oil: Light-heat sauteing; salad dressings
Canola oil: High-heat cooking/baking

Marinara sauce: Pasta; rice; vegetable topping
Roasted red pepper hummus/Mustard (not shown): Dip for veggie snacks; spread on sandwiches/burgers
Honey: Hot/cold oatmeal; yogurt parfaits; baking
Salt & Black pepper: Seasoning for any cooked meal
Cinnamon: Hot/cold oatmeal; smoothies; baking
Reduced-sugar fruit preserves: Toast; yogurt parfait; smoothies

Don't be scared to try new things - that's what college cooking is all about! You don't have to go out and get all of these things at once, either. Take it slow, and try one thing at a time. Thanks for reading, and if you have any q's, feel free to leave a comment!

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