08 May Set the Stage with Salads
I like to serve foods that provide for baseline nutrition needs and then can be easily modified to meet individual needs. If you’ve seen my Athletes’ Nutrition Pyramid, you will recognize this idea and can see how you can put it into action.
As we roll toward summer, salads offer a lighter option. I always try to take advantage of fresh, local, seasonal produce. As a bonus, eating more fruits and veggies can support hydration status, something that’s a big concern during warmer months. This is important to dancers, basketball players, and others who may spend a lot of their summer inside, but still are out in the heat walking between venues during summer camps and intensives. It can be hard to keep up with just water: sloshing is a real concern. Planning your meals can be an effective part of your overall hydration strategy.
Here’s an easy example of using a plant-food rich base, and filling in to meet specific needs. ? Greek Salad:
Need more protein?
✅ Add cubed turkey or chicken
✅ Stir in cubed or crumbled tofu
✅ Serve with gyro meat
Need more carbs?
✅ Stir in orzo pasta
✅ Serve in a pita
✅ Add mixed greens
Need more carbs and protein?
✅ Mix in leftover quinoa
✅ Add garbanzo beans
✅ Serve with tzatziki and pita
✅ Skip the feta
✅ Add some crumbled tofu for calcium and protein
✅ Toss in slivered almonds
✅ Add more olives
If this is going into a bento, consider packing the olives and feta separately. The salt in each can pull the water from your tomatoes and cucumbers, leaving them soft and soupy rather than fresh and crisp.