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Sep 24

Ten Healthy Snacks to Get You Through Practice

Photo by elana's pantry http://www.flickr.com/photos/elanaspantry/

I feel pretty strongly that if you are going to perform at
your best, for your own sake, as well as the rest of your team’s, you need to
keep yourself in the best condition you can. That involves a lot of different
things, including getting a good amount of rest, keeping up on other
responsibilities in your life to maintain balance, exercising, and, you may
have guessed from the title of this post, eating right.

Do your team, and most importantly, yourself a favor, and
give your body good and sufficient fuel for all you put it through.

Here are ten easy to grab, healthy snacks, that you should
be able to throw in your bag, or a lunch bag with an ice pack, that will get
you through a practice with the fuel that you need.

  1. Tuna-to-go
    – I love this idea, and I’m seeing it more and more in supermarkets.
    Little individual plastic cups of tuna that you can scarf down with some
    crackers or celery sticks. This is a super easy way to get protein,
    without a really heavy feeling in your stomach!
  2. Dried
    fruit – Need a little sugar boost? Drop the candy bar, with its refined
    sugar, and add some vitamins to your diet while you throw down some dried
    mango or apple. Lots of supermarkets are carrying these now, and places like
    Trader Joe’s have a huge selection.
  3. Raw
    nuts – This is another great protein-rich snack that you can throw in a
    baggie and carry with you, without worrying about refrigeration, or the
    need for plastic ware. Go for the raw if you can, since these retain the
    most vitamins and good fats, and if you prefer roasted, definitely go for
    the unsalted. Too much sodium will dehydrate you and bloat you- not good
    things before a practice or performance.
  4. Pasta
    Salad – Super easy to make at home with some whole wheat pasta, and some
    veggies like artichoke hearts, olives, tomatoes, sliced bell peppers, or
    really anything you want! Add some olive oil and salt and pepper, make
    some Italian style dressing with your favorite recipe, or use a simple
    pesto. If you use whole wheat pasta, you are giving yourself complex
    carbohydrates for lasting energy, as well as some protein, but you could
    easily add some cubed chicken to this for some extra protein as well.
  5. Chicken
    and Rice – Grilled chicken and brown rice is a great, healthy dinner, and
    leftovers make a great, healthy snack! Admittedly, I prefer my rice warm,
    so I prefer this when I have access to a microwave, but if you can deal
    with your rice cold, this snack is a great source of good carbs and
    protein- big energy boosters.
  6. Peanut
    Butter and Fruit – Protein, natural sugars, hydrating juices, and
    yumminess, who could ask for more? There are a few peanut butter brands
    that make the little to-go cups, which make this super easy, but if you
    get some little reusable plastic ware cups, and a big jar of peanut
    butter, it makes it a little more wallet-friendly. My favorite with this
    is apples for dipping, but with a spoon, any sort of fruit will work!
  7. Hummus
    and Veggies – Sound a little fancy for you? It’s super easy, promise! There
    are some great hummus dips out there now, in almost every grocery store,
    but to control the amount of sodium and chemical preservatives, I like to
    make my own. Really, it’s easy, all you need is a food processor! You can
    look at different recipes online and pick your favorite, but the basics
    are chick peas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice and salt and pepper. Pair it
    with some celery, carrots, or some whole wheat pita, and you have a super
    dose of protein, plenty of vitamins and a full tummy!
  8. Tortilla
    Wraps – A whole wheat tortilla with some cheese and veggies is another
    good source of protein and complex carbohydrates. I personally like
    smearing some hummus on the tortilla, adding some sliced white cheddar or
    another kind of mild cheese, and then some lettuce and tomato. You could
    easily add some sliced turkey or chicken to this for some extra protein,
    and then throw it into a lunch bag with a cold pack.
  9. Yogurt,
    fruit and granola – So, this isn’t one that will sit in your backpack all
    day, in a hot room or with the sun beating on it, but for a couple of
    hours with a cold pack, or for a breakfast before an early practice, it’s
    a good source of all the stuff you need! You should be able to get some
    granola you enjoy from almost any supermarket, but I always have the best
    luck at health food focused stores that have a bulk section. When it’s
    time to snack, add the granola to some plain yogurt, and some fruit, like
    berries. Protein, good carbs, great vitamins- good fuel!
  10. Edamame
    – Soy beans that are picked just before they are ripe, you can get these
    in their pods or not, salted or not, dried or not, so many possibilities!
    These are a great source of protein, carbohydrates, dietary fiber, omega-3
    fatty acids- all kinds of good stuff! Great tasting, and great for you, do
    yourself a favor, and next time you think you want an energy bar, grab
    some of these are some dried fruit instead. You’ll feel better, and your
    body will thank you!

 

Keep in mind that the best way to maintain a healthy diet
and to get all of the nutrients you need is to keep it varied, so mix it up!
Avoid the processed stuff, plan ahead, and drink lots and lots of water!

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