The social calendars are fairly full for many athletes and their families right now. There are parties for the kids, work functions, gatherings for families and friends, volunteer events, and holiday festivities to name a few of the things marked on the calendar. With a busy social schedule typically comes a lack of attention to quality nutrition, especially when you add holiday traditions of cookie exchanges and egg nog nips into the mix. And it’s okay to relax in the off-season and enjoy! But you also don’t have to let all the hard work you did the previous part of the year disappear.
A quick nutrition tip to keep in mind for an upcoming busy day or night that you know will involve large quantities of foods and beverages you may not normally consume (or partake in - more than just a nibble) is to plan to fit in the “other” foods beforehand or afterward. For example, if you have a dinner party at a friend’s house whom you know often serves creamy dips with every imaginable potato chip flavor possible, cheesy sauces and chicken wings, then plan to have lean proteins, vegetables, and fruits in your meals prior to the party. Then, you can relax a bit at the party knowing you have eaten quality foods already. Of course, you can also be proactive and bring your own wholesome side dish to contribute to the smorgasbord... and you just might turn someone else onto a new food!
Dina Griffin, MS, RD, CSSD