October is Sports Nutrition Month at MomsTEAM. We invited some old friends and some new ones to share their wisdom about nutrition and offer always on-the-go sports parents fresh ideas and choices for healthy, easy-to-make breakfasts, lunches, dinners and between-meal snacks for your active children.
Today we hear from sports dietitian Tracy Bowman:
MomsTEAM: Tell us a little about yourself and why you wanted to get into sports nutrition?
Bowman: I remember changing into my running clothes and getting ready for yet another track practice when my high school coach told us that a dietitian was coming to speak to us. This was something new to me, especially given the small rural Pennsylvania town where I lived.
I really didn’t even know what a dietitian was; I assumed that the only time someone would see one is if they were sick or in the hospital. So I wondered what she would talk about to a group of healthy young athletes.
Well, I was pleasantly surprised! I had no idea that nutrition could help enhance my athletic performance so much. The dietitian spoke to us about proper hydration, pre- and post-game meal ideas, proper snacking and how a balanced diet would increase our performance. At the time I didn’t realize that I wasn’t eating and hydrating correctly and this was the main reason I kept getting migraines and felt so tired all of the time!
After that, becoming a dietitian seemed to be a natural course to pursue, as it combined all of my interests into one career. I loved learning about health and wellness, and I l enjoyed leading a healthy, active lifestyle. My ultimate goal was to one day educate athletes just like the dietitian had done for me.
Well, to make a long story short, that one day happened! After graduating from college and becoming a Registered Dietitian and a Personal Trainer, I embarked on a most challenging and rewarding career, beginning with working full time with the United States Marines.
Again, I bet you are wondering why they would need a dietitian, since they are healthy to begin with. My job mainly consisted of educating active duty Marines on the benefits of proper nutrition through unit lectures, meal planning, cooking classes and grocery store tours. I also got to perform bone density, resting metabolic rate measurements, body composition and blood pressure screenings for all active duty, retirees, reservist and Department of Defense employees.
MomsTEAM: What do recommend sports-active kids eat for breakfast?
Bowman: I'm sure every one heard the saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I certainly couldn't agree more. The problem with everyone today is time. We live in such a fast-paced environment that it's hard to eat breakfast at all, let alone a healthy one.
Here are a few quick and easy breakfast ideas :
- Whole wheat waffles with a dab of natural peanut butter
- Banana with a cup of 1% milk
- Greek yogurt with fresh berries or low fat vanilla yogurt with fresh, frozen or canned fruit with crunchy whole grain cereal.
- Whole Grain cereal with 1% milk and fresh fruit
- Whole wheat bagel with Nutella or Natural Peanut butter
- Kashi or Nature Valley Granola Bar with 4 oz 100% orange juice
- 2 scrambled eggs and a fresh piece of fruit
- Peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat bread
- Breakfast pizza
- Homemade Smoothie made with fresh fruit, cup of steeled oats, skim milk and a sprinkle of vanilla
MomsTEAM: What are your top five foods for sports nutrition?
Bowman: This is a great question and one that deserves quite a bit of attention. A lot of the time supplement companies will try to target our youth in an effort to sell expensive and unnecessary supplements. As long as an athlete eats within the proper time frame pre and post exercise food is just as effective as any other supplement.
My top five foods for sports nutrition are:
- Natural peanut butter and jelly on 100% whole wheat bread
- 1 cup of 1% Chocolate Milk
- Tuna with lettuce and tomato on 100% whole wheat bread
- Greek yogurt with fresh berries and granola
- Apple slices dipped in natural peanut butter.
Tracy Bowman is the founder and owner of Performance Nutrition and Wellness, LLC, a nutrition consulting firm in Johnstown, Pennsylvania specializing in adult weight management and sports nutrition. Tracy holds a B.S. in Dietetics and an M.S. in Food and Nutrition from Indiana University of Pennsylvan. She is a Registered Dietitian with the American Dietic Association, and holds Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD) and Certified Adult Weight Management Specialists certificates from the ADA. Tracy is also a Personal Trainer with American College on Exercise. In addition to her business, she works full time as a Health Coach at Seton Hill University, she teaches nutrition courses at a local college, runs marathons and loves to bike, swim, snowboard, ice skate and spend time with her husband and baby boy. To find out more about Tracy and her company, you can become a Facebook fan of Performance Nutrition and Wellness, LLC to receive your daily tip of the day or visit her website.