Roanna Martin

"make [food] simple and let things taste of what they are." {Curnonsky}


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Green and Gold

I needed a ray of sunshine tonight. Just a bit. It was dreary and drippy and my shoes got wet walking home from my rotation.

 Please don’t get me wrong- I was thankful for my raincoat, and my umbrella, and my warm home to dry off in. But my spirits needed an extra boost. In addition to exercise, nutrient-dense fruits and veggies are a great way to stave off the winter blues.

Every Wednesday night I gather together with a group of friends for dinner, and tonight I was asked to bring a vegetable side dish. I didn’t want to spend a long time cooking, and I was ready for something fresh and raw. 

I pulled a handful of carrots out of my mega-bag that I have been chowing down on the past few weeks.

I scoured the outsides well with a vegetable scrub brush. I don’t bother to peel my carrots- I buy organic carrots- because that way I get to keep a bit of the extra fiber and nutrients, and there isn’t as much waste.

Speaking of food waste, I just happened across this article about using carrot peels (byproducts of the ready-to-eat vegetable industry: aka baby carrots) to create an antioxidant high dietary fiber powder. Cool! But, I’d rather just buy whole carrots, and eat the entire thing, rather than buy pre-cut ready-to-eat baby carrots that create a lot of waste. That being said, if you want convenience food, baby carrots are still a MUCH better snack than a bag of chips!

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I haven’t costed it out, but I am nearly certain that it is cheaper per ounce to purchase whole organic carrots than pre-cut conventionally grown. And considering that I took me only 5 minutes to transform  the above pile into a full bowl of short, easy to munch on carrot sticks, this is a worthwhile way to pinch your pennies at the grocery store.
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To accompany my little Vitamin-A rich spears, I decided to make Green Surprise Dip. I first made this with my supervisor from Joshua Farm when we were giving a demonstration on fresh veggies to a group of moms at a local pre-school. 

It’s super easy.

I steamed and drained a handful of kale, and measured out plain yogurt, chickpeas, a bit of mayo, some garlic, onion, lemon juice, and  a of salt.

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Then I threw them in my handy-dandy food processor, and voila, I had a delicious dip.

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I modified the recipe slightly from the original. My onions and garlic were really strong (they’ve been stored for a while!), and I wanted to keep the concentrated green color so I actually reduced the amount of those three ingredients.

Here’s the recipe:

Green Surprise Dip

1 cup steamed kale, Swiss chard, or spinach

3/4 cup plain yogurt

1 cup cooked chickpeas

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 clove garlic

1/3 cup onion, chopped

1 Tablespoon lemon juice, or to taste

1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste

The dip didn’t quite get RAVE reviews like an herb veggie dip that I’ve made before, but I really like this one. A bit more salt, and more experimentation with spices would perk it up a bit, but I was on a time crunch.

It only took 15 minutes from when I started cutting the carrots to when I had this dish assembled. But then I had to clean up- and that was another 12 minutes. With a few tunes playing and some dancing around my kitchen, it was a pleasure.

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Healthy Snacks

First off, my apologies to Emily  since this post is very similar to hers. But I figured that not everyone who reads my blog is also reading hers, although I highly recommend you take time to read her blog as well!

Today over lunchtime we got to set up shop in the dining hall, complete with a white table cloth.

We were surrounded by a variety of examples of snacks- some healthy, and some NOT so healthy. 

Armed with a stack of beautiful brochures that Emily designed, and a “MyPlate” wheel for quickly calculating calorie needs and servings from each food group, we set up to educate the student population about healthy snacking.

The station generated some interesting conversations, and it was fun to make ourselves available to anyone who had an interest in stopping by. 

Here are a few examples of the snacks that we had:

Celery with Peanut Butter

 

and an apple…

 

and a not so healthy snack of nachos and nacho cheese…

Although, it wouldn’t be hard to turn those unhealthy chips and cheese into a healthy snack, by swapping in whole grain tortilla chips, and a 1/4 cup salsa instead of the cheese!

Happy Snacking!

 


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Pre-Workout Snack and Post-Workout Breakfast: Swimmers Version

A few weeks ago, I talked about food as fuel for performance. This afternoon I was able to share some of those tips with a group of male and female swimmers, poolside.

They jumped out of the water, filed onto the bleachers, and gave me their attention as I spoke about the importance of early morning nutrition. My fellow intern Emily spoke about the importance of hydration. We managed not to fall into the pool as we spoke to the team, despite the slippery pool deck 🙂

Since their AM practice begins at 5:30, this group of athletes is up early. I was pleasantly surprised to see by a show of hands that most of them do eat something before they go to practice. There were a handful who didn’t- and most of them just couldn’t stomach the thought of eating something solid that early in the morning. I suggested that they try something like a fruit smoothie, or even a meal replacement drink to get some early AM nutrition.

After a meal, there are typically only 40 calories’ worth of glucose circulating in the bloodstream, and about 1900 calories’ worth of glycogen stored in your liver and muscles. Add to that a night of “fasting” (prior to breakfast), and there’s not much fuel for athletes to pull from for a morning workout. Eating a small snack will place some glucose in the bloodstream, and give the body something to pull from without dipping into muscle glycogen stores, which would be counter-productive (pulling energy from muscles to build muscle). Granted, metabolic pathways are MUCH more complex than that, but that’s a simple explanation that gets the main point across.

The point is that you need to EAT.

It is recommended that athletes consume a pre-workout snack 30 minutes-1 hour before a workout. It doesn’t have to be much- a half a granola bar, a handful of trail mix, a piece of toast with a bit of honey. Anything that is high in carb, moderate in protein, and low in fat and fiber (to avoid gastrointestinal discomfort) will suffice.

After the early morning workout, swimmers should try to eat as soon as possible- some sources suggest 15 minutes post-workout. Thirty minutes post-workout will do. Approximately 75 g of carb for a 150 lb athlete is a pretty good goal, and then they should eat another 75 g carb again 2 hours later.

For the athletes who eat in the dining hall, I suggested that they have a piece of fruit or granola bar (or half of either if their calorie needs are smaller) right after their workout, and then head to the dining hall as soon as they can, where they should fuel up on nutrient dense foods. 

The post-workout meal should be high in low to moderate glycemic carbohydrate and lean protein, and low in fiber and fat. 

Some recommended breakfast include:

1 1/2 c raisin bran cereal with 1 cup skim milk and 1 cup of berries

2 pancakes, 3 Tbsp syrup, 1/2 c fresh fruit, 1 c skim milk

6 oz yogurt, 1 medium banana, 1/2 c granola

Athletes should continue to eat and hydrate frequently throughout the day- every 2 hours is recommended. That doesn’t mean that they should consume a huge meal every 2 hours- small snacks are excellent and effective in keeping energy levels stable and preventing fatigue.

Keep hydrating. Keep eating. Keep swimming.