Recipe: Black Bean Soup

21 01 2011

(Yield:  6 servings)
Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

1 tsp olive oil
¼ cup chopped onion (I use frozen)
¼ cup chopped green peppers (I use frozen)
1 cup frozen corn
2 cans black beans
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup salsa
2 tsp cumin
1/4 cup lime juice

For an extra kick:
1 TBSP chili powder
¼ tsp ground cayenne pepper

1. Sauté the onions and peppers in the oil.
2. Set one can of black beans and corn to the side.
3. Combine the remaining ingredients in a blender and puree.
4. Pour the puree into the pot with the onions and peppers.
5. Add remaining can of black beans and corn, and heat through.

Nutritional information per Serving:
Calories   255 | Carbohydrates   45 g | Fiber   14 g | Protein   15 g | Fat 2 g | Sat. Fat   0 g

© Randy Bird, MS, RD, CSSD, CSCS, 2011.

Steroids found in products sold on

19 01 2011

It has been a little over a year since the FDA raided for selling products with steroids.  Last month, they issued a warning letter to manufacturers regarding the sale of supplements that contain pharmaceutical ingredients and steroids.  The number of these products are decreasing, but they are still available.  This post is to serve as a reminder to athletes to be careful what they buy.

The Washington Post reported today that products sold on were found to contain steroids.  Two of the steroids found were methasterone and maldol (desoxymethlytestosterone).  Maldol was one of the designer steroids discovered during the BALCO doping scandal.  Products like these have been tied to health complications such as liver failure.

Two of the products named were Competitive Edge Labs M-Drol & Competitive Edge Labs P-Plex.

Bottom Line: Know what you are putting into your body.  Discuss supplement use with a Sports Dietitian and look for products that are tested by a third party, such as NSF, BSCG, or Informed Choice.

© Randy Bird, MS, RD, CSSD, CSCS

Cranberries: Not Just for the Holidays

15 12 2010

Cranberries have compounds called phytonutrients that impart antimicrobial benefits. The six main phytonutrients in cranberries are proanthocyanidin, tocotrienols, quercetin, anthocyanin, flavonoids, and phenolic acids. These phytonutrients are what give cranberries the ability to help protect against urinary tract infections. However, these nutrients do so much more. They are all powerful antioxidants that help protect the body free radicals. In addition to that, studies have found these phytonutrients:
1. Improve heart health.
2. May protect against some forms of cancer.
3. Act as a natural anti-histamine.
4. Act as a natural anti-inflammatory agent.
5. Strengthen our immune system.
6. Increase endurance capacity.

Bottom Line: There are multiple reasons to eat cranberries throughout the year.

© Randy Bird, MS, RD, CSSD, CSCS


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



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


  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)


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


  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)


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


  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.