This blog is my attempt to document our busy but BLESSED lives raising and educating our children for His glory. A child of God, wife to one, and mom to 6 fabulous kids. We are in our 15th year of homeschooling using a Classical ~ Literature based approach.

Come along for the good, the bad & the ugly.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

5 Days of Raising a Competitive Athlete ~ day 4, nourshing the body, part 2

competathletics-1 Feeding these athletes of mine is a full time job! If the girls are not eating properly, their bodies will not perform to their full potential. Young, developing athletes require high quality fuel at the right time and in the right amounts. Everywhere we look we are bombarded with frozen, fried, fast, and processed junk! I made a decision early in the girls Level 4 training to cut out these kinds of foods and move towards whole foods.  You know, the kinds of food that your Grandmother ate…the good stuff.  Now do not get me wrong, I do buy the girls PopTarts and potato chips every once in a while…but I tend to stick to nourishing, filling food choices.

We eat on schedule but I do allow snacks if they have been especially active but usually the girls have 3 square meals , a morning snack, afternoon snack (pre-practice), and mid-practice snack. I am going to admit right here and now that I have a serious aversion to grocery shopping.  Now, it is getting better but I seriously really dislike the whole process. When I do go I make sure to stock up so I do not have to go back very often but for quick runs for fresh fruit. Here is a breakdown of what I aim to do when feeding my athletes.

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Healthy breakfast~ you know the saying that “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”, well it is! My athletes wake up hungry! Breakfast sets the stage for the physical energy levels the girls have for the entire day. A healthy breakfast delivers much needed nutrients to the waking brain and aids in better mental focus, attention, reaction time, and muscle contraction for later in the day.

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Fruits and veggies ~ along with that healthy start at breakfast I aim to include 7-10 servings of fruits and veggies a day. While it is more of a challenge during the winter months,  I still aim to get as many into them a day as possible. Eating a range of colorful fruits and veggies provides the necessary fiber, antioxidants, plus vitamins and minerals needed without taking vitamins. I learned this from my Aunt Janice, while she was working with a Natural Health doctor. I personally shy away from vitamins for our family, but sometimes in the winter months if I feel we are not meeting our fruit/veggie expectations I will supplement those in.

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Hydration ~ Water, water, and more water!  That is my mantra, especially now that the weather is getting warmer and my girls are sweating a lot! Proper hydration is so important, I can not stress that enough.  Dehydration sets in very quickly and can cause muscle fatigue and cramps and effect performance.  The girls got new  water bottles for Christmas last year and I push water from the moment they awake until bedtime. I aim for the girls to drink at least one full 27 oz bottle by the time we leave for practice. During practice the girls bring our homemade sports drink. For our family it is more cost effect to make our own rather than purchase the leading brands, plus it is just 3 simple ingredients, 100% juice, salt, and water! 

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Carbs ~ my athletes need lots of complex carbohydrates  to supply their bodies with the necessary supply of glucose (blood sugar) for energy. I on the other hand, do not need as many carbs and try to manage my carb intake. We eat a lot of whole wheat pasta, whole grain cereal for snacks, potatoes, fruits and veggies, and white  rice.  While we do not enjoy brown rice, I know it is a healthier option than white and I am trying to make the switch, gradually. All the extra glucose is stored in the muscles and liver as glycogen and is made ready by the body when needed.

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Protein ~ is needed to build and repair muscles, along with preventing muscle fatigue. I boil between 12-18 eggs a week for the girls to snack on or for egg salad sandwiches.  While, I know some may be worried about cholesterol, I am not concerned with that at this stage. I had a very informative conversation with an Endocrinologist when McKenzie had trouble gaining weight. He informed me that because of the girls activity level and our whole food diet, I should have no concern over them consuming so much cholesterol. 

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Things we leave out~ SODA, SUGAR, CANDY, and ENERGY DRINKS. Again, we will have special treats every now and then but I tend to shy away from even having these items in the house. Because this post is already super long, I am going to end it here and come back with part 3 tomorrow and wrap up nutrition. Don’t forget to check out the other 64 Crewmates 5 days of…there are some really good ones out there!

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