Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook

How much should I eat on a rest day?

How much should I eat on a rest day?

Nancy,

When we met for our nutrition appointment, you said that I need about 2,400 calories a day — including exercise — to maintain my weight. If I burn off about 400 calories a day with exercise, does that mean I should eat 2,000 calories on days I do not exercise? Continue Reading

Recipe for No-Bake Peanut Butter Bites

Recipe for No-Bake Peanut Butter Bites

Here’s a tasty treat that’s easy to make — and popular with athletes who don’t like to cook. These no-bake peanut butter bites fit nicely into an afternoon snack. They are perfect for hungry kids coming home from school, or hungry athletes after a workout. I’ll bet you can’t eat just one! This recipe is just one of many family favorites in my Sports Nutrition Guidebook.

1/2 cup (130 g) chunky peanut butter

1/3 cup (30 g) powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup granola cereal

1/4 cup (30 g) graham cracker crumbs (1 sheet of graham cracker, crushed

Optional: 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

  1. In a medium bowl, using a spoon, combine the peanut butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Mix well.
  2. Stir in the granola (and chocolate chips).
  3. Shape into a large ball. Pinch off pieces and shape into 15 balls, about 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter.
  4. Crush graham crackers and place the crumbs in a shallow bowl. Lightly coat the balls (and discard any remaining crumbs).
  5. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Yield: 15 peanut butter bites

Nutrition information: 1,125 total calories; 75 calories per peanut butter bite; 6 g carbohydrate; 2 g protein; 5 g fat

Developed by Smart Balance, this recipe is one of many at http://www.smartbalance.com. Reprinted with permission from Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook.

Do you feel too tired, too often?

Do you feel too tired, too often?

If you feel too tired, too often, you might want to learn from this case study. Tom, a 45-year-old hard-core gym-rat met with me because he wanted to have more energy, eat better, and ideally lose a few pounds of excess body fat. Here is his spreadsheet for a typical day of food and exercise:

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What about the Paleo Diet…?

Q. Nancy, should I go on the Paleo Diet? I’m an avid fitness exerciser who wants to eat healthfully and take good care of my body.

A. I am sure many readers will think that I am “old school” by not jumping on the Paleo and anti-carb bandwagons, but I do pay close attention to the science regarding how to best fuel your muscles and your mind. The Paleo Diet, in my opinion, is unbalanced, unsustainable for more than a few years, and may well trigger binges on cookies and treats. The Paleo Diet is not the best food plan for active people.

I am a bigger advocate of eating a balanced variety of wholesome grains, lean meats, protein-rich beans and legumes, fresh fruits and veggies, and lowfat dairy. I teach my clients how to choose a winning variety of foods (and nutrients) from all food groups in a pattern they want to maintain for the rest of their lives. Paleo dieters, in comparison, have to “cheat” and “blow their diets” if they want to eat something yummy like pasta, bagels, birthday cake or holiday treats. Not a good plan or mindset. My clients learn how to incorporate some treats into an overall well balanced diet.

Many folks go on the Paleo Diet as a way to eliminate junk food and “bad carbs.” The hype about “bad carbs” should actually be targeted to overfat, underfit majority of Americans. Because you are athletic, you should get at least half of your calories from fruits, veggies and grains – the wholesome, quality carbs that fuel your muscles and invest in your good health. With well-fueled muscles, you can then train hard, lift heavy weights, and feel great.

Your food plan can also include some sweets and treats. Your overall diet should be 85-90% “quality calories” and 10-15% “whatever”. Some days “whatever” is blueberries, and other days “whatever” is blueberry pie with ice cream. No need to feel guilty for having a little dessert from time to time as long as you routinely eat a foundation of wholesome meals.

For more information on how to choose a sustainable, high quality sports diet:

Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook

The Athlete’s Omelet: Not for breakfast only!

Given that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, your chances of eating breakfast improve when you plan a meal that is both yummy and offers nutrients that will help you perform well.  Continue Reading

Super Foods vs Standard Foods: Is one better?

Do you ever get tired of reading yet-another headline about The 10 Best Super Sports Foods, only be instructed to buy exotic fruits, ancient grains, and other unusual items?

Do you really need to spend a lot of money on chia, spelt, and quinoa?

Is anything wrong with old-fashioned peanut butter, broccoli and brown rice?

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If you eat tons of protein, will you gain muscle?

True or False: College athletes who want to bulk up during the summer should eat slabs of roast beef and drink large protein shakes?

False.  Because the body can utilize only about 20 to 25 grams of protein at one dose, you won’t build bigger muscles by eating a slab of beef for dinner or by downing a hefty protein shake for breakfast. Continue Reading

What about high fructose corn syrup…???

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a double molecule comprised of 45% glucose, 55% fructose—the same as honey and similar to white sugar (50% glucose, 50% fructose).

Although HFCS is deemed evil and fattening, it is less evil and less fattening than portrayed by the media (1). Ninety percent of 567 media reports on HFCS since 2004 replaced science with opinion and were biased to the erroneous (2).

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Book Review: Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook, 5th Edition (2014)

Book Review: Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook, 5th Edition (2014)

This book review was written by Linda Caley RD

An invaluable resource for active people and a classic reference for nutrition professionals.

Revised and updated, Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook, Fifth Edition, provides answers to the many questions asked by active people who are confused about what, how and when to eat for optimal health and peak athletic performance. Nancy clears up that confusion by offering sound, sustainable nutrition advice that works! Her book is easy to read, well organized, and has a great index, so you can easily look up a topic and quickly find an answer. The information is invaluable on a broad spectrum, from fitness exercisers to competitive athletes.

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