By Chris Rosenbloom, PhD, RD, CSSD
If you haven’t already made your holiday gift list, consider asking Santa (or mom or dad) for some gifts that can help improve your eating habits for the 2013 swimming season.
1. A blender (like a Magic Bullet or Ninja) to make your own shakes or fruit smoothies. Making your own shakes or smoothies is fun and can be tailored to your tastes. Whether you like chocolate, strawberry or mango flavored drinks, there are hundreds of recipes to suit your taste buds. By using low-fat milk, yogurt, skim milk powder, or kefir you can get high-quality, good-tasting, protein-rich drinks for a fraction of the cost of commercial products and without the risk of getting a banned substance in your drink. Add your favorite fruit (fresh or frozen fruit works well), peanut butter, or almond milk…whatever you like to make a fresh, healthy drink.
2. A George Foreman grill can let you be an indoor grill master all year long. These grilling machines are perfect for a quick snack or meal. Learn to cook in 2013 with this easy kitchen appliance. From cheese quesadillas to turkey burgers, this grill will serve up healthy, quick meals or snacks. Some other great kitchen gadget ideas can be found on the website Appetite for Health. The website, written by registered dietitians, contains great tips for athletes, timely nutrition articles and great recipes.
3. A subscription to a nutrition and health magazine. My all-time favorite is Cooking Light Magazine (and you can get a tablet edition); it is full of great recipes and also contains good, science-based articles on food and nutrition. I think 80% of the recipes in my kitchen are from Cooking Light. If you aspire to be a world-class foodie, try Eating Well Magazine. A food and nutrition newsletter is also a good idea for the whole family: Environmental Nutrition (http://www.environmentalnutrition.com/) claims to “open your eyes to what you put in your mouth.” Another good newsletter is Nutrition Action Healthletter from the Center for Science in the Public Interest; I love their reviews of food categories that help you to select the “best bites” in just about every food category.
4. An eco-friendly water bottle. Instead of buying bottled water get a great looking stainless steel or aluminum water bottle to cut down on plastic waste.
5. Lastly, if you are still looking for a gift your mom or dad, consider giving them a pre-order of USA Swimming nutrition expert Jill Castle’s new book (to be published in April). Jill’s book is “Fearless Feeding: How to Raise Healthy Eaters from High Chair to High School” is available for pre-order on Amazon…I’ve already pre-ordered my copy!
Chris Rosenbloom is the sports dietitian for Georgia State University Athletics and is the editor of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Sports Nutrition Manual, 5th edition, 2012. She welcomes questions from swimmers, parents and coaches. Email her at email@example.com.