This post was originally written in 2015, just after a visit to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs! It was fun to meet and learn from the USOC dietitians.
Olympic athletes struggle with finding quick, easy and nutritious foods to fuel their activities just like the rest of us. Yesterday the Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs opened their kitchen to other RDNs attending the SCAN (Sports, Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutrition) conference. We had 15 minutes working together to prepare some athlete friendly snacks.
What do the Olympic RDN’s look for when helping athletes create recipes? Ease of preparation is key. “Hungry athletes want to eat food, not prepare food,” says Susie Parker Simmons, sports dietitian at the USOC. She looks for recipes that contain nutrients such as calcium or fiber. Some of the recipes are so simple that they could be prepared in a hotel room, important for athletes traveling for competitions.
In the test kitchen yesterday we made homemade energy bars, several nutrient packed dips and skewers of cut up fruits. Here is the recipe for “No Bake Energy Bites”:
1 cup dry oatmeal (dry old-fashioned oats)
2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes
½ cup peanut butter
½ cup ground flax seed
½ cup chocolate chips or cacao nibs
1/3 cup honey or agave nectar
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed Roll into balls of whatever size you would like. Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.
© 2017 Kathleen Searles, MS, RDN, CSSD, LDN
Nutrition expert and snow enthusiast! Follow this blog for news and info to help move your skiing/boarding forward with good nutrition.
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Kathy advised me in my role as Headmaster of Carrabassett Valley Academy, a high level competitive ski academy located at Sugarloaf, Maine. Kathy worked with the CVA coaching and kitchen staffs to help design a more nutritious menu for adolescent snow sport athletes. She very wisely directed how coaches could encourage good eating habits of athletes when traveling on the road. Kathy is always expanding her scope of service and is innovative in designing cutting-edge nutrition programs. – John Ritzo, Maine Ski Hall of Fame