Cold Rx: Chicken Noodle Soup

13 12 2010

Winter is officially here, bringing with it cold and dry air. Cold viruses thrive in dry conditions. This is one reason colds are more common in the winter. I was reading a newsletter from the Mayo Clinic about cold remedies and it discussed why chicken noodle soup works. Chicken noodle soup has been used for decades to treat sick children. Now scientists have found two ways that it may work to relieve cold and flu symptoms. First, researchers at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, found that the soup acts as an anti-inflammatory specifically affecting immune system cells. Second, it helps maintain hydration. This will speed up the movement of mucus; possibly relieving congestion and limiting the amount of time viruses are in contact with the nose lining.

Bottom Line: Your mother was right. Chicken soup can make you feel better.





Recipe: Pumpkin Oatmeal

18 10 2010

To continue the Fall recipes, here is a delicious recipe to mix up your normal breakfast routine.

(Yield:  2 servings)

Total Time:  5 minutes

 

Ingredients:

1 cup Rolled Oats, quick cooking

¾ cup Skim Milk

½ cup Canned Pumpkin

¼ tsp Ground Cinnamon

Dash Ground Nutmeg

Dash Ground Allspice

½ tsp Brown Sugar

Directions:

  1. Mix together the oats and milk in a microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Cook on high for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Stir in pumpkin, spices, and sugar.  Mix well.
  4. Cook for another 30 seconds or until desired temperature is reached.
  5. Add milk if consistency is too thick.

Nutritional information per Serving:

Calories:  215  /  Carbohydrates: 38 g  / Protein:  9 g  /  Fat:  3 g  /  Sat. Fat:  0.5 g

© Randy Bird, MS, RD, CSSD, CSCS and Randy Bird Sports Nutrition, 2010.





Recipe: Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

8 10 2010

(Yield:  1 serving)

Ingredients

½ cup Skim Milk 

½ cup Vanilla Greek Yogurt (I like Oikos)

1/3 cup Canned Pumpkin

1 TBSP Brown Sugar

¼ tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice

Optional:  1sheet (4 squares) graham cracker

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in blender.
  2. Blend on high speed until smooth.

Nutritional information per Serving:
Calories 180  | Carbohydrates 30 g  | Protein 16 g | Fat 0 g | Sat. Fat 0 g

Nutritional information per Serving (with Graham Cracker):

Calories 240  | Carbohydrates 43 g  | Protein 17 g | Fat 1 g | Sat. Fat 0 g

© Randy Bird, MS, RD, CSSD, CSCS and Randy Bird Sports Nutrition, 2010.





Easy Baked Ziti

1 10 2010

Try this fast and easy pasta dish.  It’s simple to prepare, making it perfect for a weeknight meal.  If you want more protein, add some precooked diced chicken.  Add a green salad loaded with tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers and your favorite vinaigrette.

(Yield: 8 servings)

Ingredients:

1 lb. Ziti

1 – 26 oz jar of Marinara Sauce

½ cup Reduced Fat Ricotta Cheese

¼ tsp Crushed Red Pepper

3 TBSP Grated Parmesan Cheese

Cooking Spray

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta according to directions on package.
  2. While pasta is cooking, combine 1 ½ cup marinara sauce with ricotta cheese and crushed red pepper in a blender, blending until smooth (about 1 minute).
  3. Preheat oven to broil and spray a 13-by-9 inch baking dish with PAM.
  4. Drain pasta and add to the baking dish.
  5. Add ricotta mixture to baking dish and mix well.
  6. Add the remaining marinara sauce on top and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  7. Broil for 10 minutes, until heated through, with oven door slightly open.
  8. Periodically check to ensure top layer does not blacken.

Nutritional information per Serving:
Calories 308  | Carbohydrates 46 g  | Protein 13 g | Fat 8 g | Sat. Fat 2 g

© Randy Bird, MS, RD, CSSD, CSCS and Randy Bird Sports Nutrition, 2010.





Recipe: Sautéed Chicken and Pepper Pitas

17 09 2010

For those in Lawrence, KS who were able to watch the episode of Jayni’s Kitchen titled “Rock Chalk Recipes”, this is the lunch item that I prepared with Toben.

(Yield:  4 servings)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

1 tbsp Olive oil

1 c red, green yellow, bell pepper, diced

1 small onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed

¼ cup shredded reduced fat mozzarella cheese

4 Pita pockets

Directions

  1. Cube chicken and dice vegetables and garlic
  2. Put olive oil in the skillet and heat on medium heat
  3. Sauté chicken with peppers, onion, and garlic in oil for about 10 minutes or until chicken is not pink.
  4. Sprinkle ¼ cup of cheese on mixture and let melt.
  5. Cut pita pocket open and fill with mixture.

Two shortcuts:

1.  Buy Tyson’s precooked grilled chicken strips

2.  Buy Kroger’s Recipe Beginnings: 3 pepper & onion blend (frozen)

Nutritional Information per serving

Calories   350 Carbohydrates   32g Fiber  6g Protein   36g Fat 9g Sat. Fat   2g

© Randy Bird, MS, RD, CSSD, CSCS and Randy Bird Sports Nutrition, 2010.





A Plan for Healthy Snacks

16 09 2010

College athletes have busy schedules.  To be properly fueled, athletes should eat every few hours.  Classes, workouts, and practices can interfere with this goal.  Because of their busy schedules, planning is necessary.  When it comes to eating healthily, I frequently use a modified quote of Benjamin Franklin:  “A failure to plan is a plan to fail.”  Athletes should strive to plan their food into their schedule.

Snacks are a vital part of an athletes food “plan”.  Snacks are meant to maintain blood glucose levels, stabilize hormones, maintain energy levels, and prevent overeating later.  What I look for in a snack are carbohydrates, protein, and occasionally some healthy fat (depending on calorie needs).  As stated in “Common Mistakes #4”, I like to see fruit or vegetables with every meal or snack.

Some good snack options are:

Whole wheat bread with peanut butter and a banana.

Chewy granola bars, string cheese, and an apple.

In a Ziploc bag, combine ¼ cup of Almonds with 2 tbsp Raisins.

Whole-wheat tortilla, 3oz of tuna with Dijon mustard and side of baby carrots.





Up and Running Again…

13 09 2010

Hopefully you have noticed that for the past several weeks there have been no new posts to Randy Bird Sports Nutrition.  The reason for the long hiatus is that during those weeks I accepted a new position at the University of Virginia and my family and I moved 1000 miles to Charlottesville!  I am honored to have been chosen as the Director of Sports Nutrition for the Virginia Cavaliers and have enjoyed my first few weeks getting to know the athletes and staff.  Now that life is getting back to normal, I plan on getting this blog “up and running again” with regular posts and recipes.  Upcoming topics include:  creatine supplementation, NSAID use, guidelines in choosing cereals, and easy lunches.  If you have a burning question concerning a different nutrition topic, please feel free to send me an e-mail.





Recipe: Honey Spice-Rubbed Grilled Pork Tenderloin

16 07 2010

(Yield:  4 servings)

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 – 30 minutes

Ingredients

1 Pork tenderloin (1 lb.)

2 TBSP Olive Oil

1 tsp. Chili powder

1 tsp.  Garlic powder

1 tsp. Dry mustard

1/2 tsp.  Paprika

1/4 tsp. Dried thyme leaves

1 TBSP  Honey

1 TBSP Olive Oil

Directions

  1. PreHeat grill.
  2. Brush meat with 2 TBSP of Olive Oil.
  3. Combine dry ingredients for the rub.
  4. Rub onto meat.
  5. Combine 1 TBSP of Honey and 1 TBSP of Olive Oil and set aside.
  6. Grill 20 minutes, turning the meat over after 10 minutes.
  7. Grill another 5 – 10 minutes, or until meat reaches 160°F, turning frequently and brushing with the honey-oil mixture.
  8. Remove from grill, cover with foil, and let stand for 5 minutes before slicing.

Nutritional Information per serving

Calories   190 Carbohydrates   4g Fiber  0g Protein   23g Fat 9g Sat. Fat   2g

© Randy Bird, MS, RD, CSSD, CSCS and Randy Bird Sports Nutrition, 2010.





Five Common Mistakes When Trying to Lose Weight

14 07 2010

Don’t sabotage yourself by making these weight loss blunders.  Read on to find out more about mistakes I often see clients make, and how to avoid them.

Skipping breakfast to save calories.

Research has shown that people who skip breakfast tend to eat more later in the day, cancelling out whatever calories they saved at breakfast.  Also, going long periods of time without eating can affect how your body handles the food you eat.  Those who eat more later in the day tend to store more body fat and have less muscle.

Not eating enough protein.

Eating protein throughout the day will help you maintain muscle as you lose weight.  Your goal should be fat loss, not just weight loss.  Protein also makes you feel full longer.  Simple protein foods to include are meat, fish, chicken, turkey, eggs, milk, yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese, nuts, or beans.

Eliminating entire categories of food (like carbohydrates).

Too many people believe they can’t eat carbohydrates.  The problem with this mindset is if you eliminate carbs then you don’t have enough energy to train optimally.  Exercising at a higher level will allow you to burn the necessary calories for fat loss.  The harder you train, the more carbohydrates you actually need.  High quality carbohydrate foods are fruits, whole grain breads, high-fiber cereals, & sweet potatoes.

Not paying attention to liquid calories.

As you are trying to lose fat, your hydration should mostly come from water.  Sports drinks are only intended to be consumed around workouts.  They should not be consumed all day long.  Juice is also very high in calories.  By avoiding these outside of exercise, you save yourself unnecessary calories.  In addition to these, alcoholic beverages add up quickly and can prevent your progress toward your fat loss goal.  Besides the extra calories, alcohol hurts weight loss in other manners.  It stimulates appetite and you mostly likely won’t choose healthy food when you are drinking.  Lastly, alcohol has a negative impact on your sleep and hydration, which in turn will make it more difficult for you to lose weight.

Trying to lose weight In-Season.

If you wait until the season starts to try to lose weight, you may be jeopardizing your performance.  By eating fewer calories than you burn, you may have less energy than necessary for workouts.  Therefore, it is best to plan ahead and make the necessary changes in the offseason.

© Randy Bird, MS, RD, CSSD, CSCS and Randy Bird Sports Nutrition, 2010.





Tainted Weight Loss Supplements

12 07 2010

Yet another weight loss supplement has been found to contain pharmaceutical drugs.  On March 20, 2009, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a nationwide alert about tainted weight loss products containing undeclared, active pharmaceutical ingredients. That alert listed more than 70 weight loss products that may be harmful.

This past Thursday, July 8, the FDA has added another supplement to that list.  Que She, advertised as “Slimming Factor Capsule” and as “an all-natural blend of Chinese herbs,” was found to contain the following pharmaceutical ingredients:

  • fenfluraminea stimulant drug withdrawn from the U.S. market in 1997 after studies demonstrated that it caused serious heart valve damage
  • sibutramine – a controlled substance and prescription weight loss drug, which has been associated with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke in patients who have a history of heart disease
  • ephedrinea stimulant (ephedra alkaloid) with potential side effects of irregular heartbeat, seizures, heart attack, stroke, or death
  • propranolol – a prescription beta blocker drug that is used to treat high blood pressure and irregular heartbeat.

Que She has been distributed locally at Sacred Journey in Lawrence, KS.  The website listed by the FDA is also run by Sacred Journey.  People who have purchased Que She should stop taking the product immediately and consult a health care professional.

If you are interested in getting further updates from the FDA, you can go to their consumer updates page:  http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/default.htm

As I always stress to clients, there is no such thing as a “magic pill” for weight loss.  You need to:

  1. Eat Right
  2. Exercise
  3. Get enough sleep

© Randy Bird, MS, RD, CSSD, CSCS and Randy Bird Sports Nutrition, 2010.