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Fuel up for fitness

  • Wednesday, January 15, 2014

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Family Features – Sports nutrition isn’t just the domain of professional athletes — for a good workout and quick recovery, everyday athletes need the right diet, too.

“A good workout is draining and can lead to fatigue and sore muscles,” said Michele Macedonio, R.D., C.S.S.D., L.D., a veteran sports nutritionist and team dietitian for the Cincinnati Reds. “The right combination of foods helps restore energy and nutrients used during exercise, and prepares your body for the next workout.”

Dishes such as these from CanolaInfo provide complex carbohydrates, fiber and protein with nutrition-packed ingredients including whole grains, beans, nuts, fruits and plenty of vegetables.

Each delicious recipe contains less than 300 calories per serving and is prepared with heart-smart canola oil to supply healthy unsaturated fats, including monounsaturated and omega-3 fats. For more great recipes, visit www.canolainfo.org.

Know the score

Make friends with fat: Fat is an important energy source for athletes, but it’s important to choose healthy fats. Canola oil, for example, provides a valuable source of unsaturated fats, including monounsaturated and omega-3 fats.

Pump up protein: Maximize muscle growth with a snack that contains carbohydrates plus 10 to 20 grams of protein consumed within 15 to 30 minutes after a workout, when muscle is most receptive to growing.

Don’t ignore complex carbs: Athletes need healthy carbohydrates, the preferred source of energy for active muscles. Whole grains, beans, vegetables and fruit are good sources.

Feed the furnace: Running on empty? Your body needs consistent fuel to function. A small pre-workout snack may improve your workout performance. Liquid foods such as smoothies digest more quickly than solids, which makes them ideal pre- or post-workout for energy, hydration and restoring nutrients.

Skillet Quinoa with Black Beans, Cilantro and Feta

Yield: 6 servings

Serving size: 1 cup

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 cup onions, diced

2 cups red bell pepper, diced

1 1/2 cups water

3/4 cup quinoa, uncooked

1 can (15 ounces) reduced sodium black beans, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

2 teaspoons chili powder

1/3 cup crumbled, reduced-fat feta cheese*

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1 medium garlic clove, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

In large, non-stick skillet, heat canola oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and pepper. Sauté 5 minutes or until onions begin to brown on edges, stirring occasionally. Add water and quinoa. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat, cover and cook on medium-low for 12 minutes or until water is absorbed.

Remove from heat, stir in beans, walnuts, chili powder, feta, cilantro, garlic and salt. Cover and let stand 2 minutes to heat through and absorb flavors.

*Vegetarian option: Replace feta with vegan cheese or tofu.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 230 calories; 8 g total fat (1.5 g saturated fat); 10 mg cholesterol; 31 g carbohydrates; 7 g fiber; 3 g sugars; 10 g protein; 360 mg sodium; 445 mg potassium

Powerhouse Green Smoothie

Yield: 1 serving

Serving size: 1 2/3 cups

3/4 cup seedless green grapes

1/2 cup ripe banana slices

1/4 cup chopped kale

2/3 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt

1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil

1/2 cup ice cubes

In blender, combine all ingredients. Blend for about 30 seconds to 1 minute or until desired smoothness is achieved.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 290 calories; 7 g total fat (0.5 g saturated fat); 0 mg cholesterol; 42 g carbohydrates; 3 g fiber; 31 g sugars; 17 g protein; 75 mg sodium; 502 mg potassium

Chunky Chicken,

Vegetable and Rosemary Stew

Yield: 6 servings

Serving size: 1 cup

2 tablespoons canola oil, divided

12 ounces boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 medium onion, cut in 8 wedges

3 medium carrots, quartered lengthwise and cut into thirds

1 medium celery stalk, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 cups water

2 dried bay leaves

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 can (15 ounces) reduced-sodium navy beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered

1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

3/4 teaspoon salt

In Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon canola oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook about 3 minutes per side or until it begins to brown (center will still be slightly pink). Remove from oven and set aside.

Add remaining canola oil, onion, carrot and celery. Sauté, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until vegetables just begin to lightly brown on edges. Add water, bay leaves and pepper flakes. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer covered for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Stir in chicken, beans, tomatoes, Italian parsley, rosemary and salt. Cover and cook 5 minutes or until tomatoes are tender and chicken is cooked. Serve immediately or let stew stand 30 minutes to develop flavors and texture.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 220 calories; 7 g total fat (1 g saturated fat); 50 mg cholesterol; 17 g carbohydrates; 6 g fiber; 3 g sugars; 22 g protein; 380 mg sodium; 532 mg potassium

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