Bulldogs in the Kitchen

A nice thought, University of California at Fresno dietetic students have partnered with student-athletes in a popular program. The idea came from a professor in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition. Dr. Lisa Herzig, a PhD, is also the Director of the Dietetics and Food Administration program. What she found is that student-athletes, as indeed is no doubt true of most college students, had poor eating habits, and were useless (she didn’t say useless, but I think we’re not taking liberties; perhaps ‘strangers’ would be better) in the kitchen.

Baste Bulldogs Baste! Blanch Bulldogs Blanch!

Baste Bulldogs Baste! Blanch Bulldogs Blanch!

Andy Bennett, the school’s director of strength and conditioning, concurrently wondered whether a lack of nutritional understanding was costing his athletes in performance and stamina. Two parallel universes joined. One result: the “Bulldogs in the Kitchen” Sports Nutrition Playbook. Now that cooking has entered the televised competitive arena, perhaps the favor can be returned – a football “sled” for building sous chef stamina and toughness? Maybe interval training elements integrated with dicing and plating. Just a thought. I’ll be here all week. (Anyone who has read accounts of the major culinary schools will know the comparisons are not far-fetched.)

The article appears in the November edition of Training & Conditioning (training-conditioning.com). A few tips on “Healthy Snacking” right out of the old sports nutrition playbook appear below. Sauté Bulldogs Sauté!

Snacks on the Go

  • Fruit-flavored, low-fat Green yogurt with low-fat granola.
  • Whole grain pita bread triangles with flavored hummus.
  • Fresh fruit paired with peanut butter or nuts.
  • Hard-boiled egg paired with a handful of cherry tomatoes

 Quick picks from the vending machine or convenience store

  • Packages of baby carrots, broccoli florets or celery sticks
  • Pudding cups
  • Cereal bars or nutrition bars
  • Low-fat or fat-free regular or flavored milks
  • 100 percent fruit or vegetable juices

 Survival stashes

  • Oatmeal packets with nuts or peanut butter
  • Light mircrowave popcorn
  • Raisins, dried apricots, and single-serve fruit cups packed in 100 percent fruit juice.
  • Shelf-stable protein drinks