The 2016 Summer Olympics
The 2016 Summer Olympic Games have begun and many of us are watching Team USA’s efforts to bring home the gold! What a great opportunity the Olympics provide for family and friends to come together to watch our super elite athletes! Team USA has already started collecting gold medals! These super elite athletes inspire us to try harder and push farther to follow our own dreams!
Olympic Nutrition Requirements
Do you have any idea how many calories Olympians eat while competing? I was quite amazed when I recently read about the quantity of food as well as the specific foods that the super elite athletes eat in order to be in top form. Michael Phelps, Olympic swimmer who has already captured a gold medal in 2016, is reported to consume 12000 calories per day as his workouts can burn 4000-6000 calories per day! That’s a tremendous amount of food!
To stay in shape and maintain their energy during long workout sessions, these strong competitors need constant fuel. Protein is the key ingredient super elite athletes need in their diet. Their food needs to be nutrient dense, that is, to provide a variety of nutrients in large amounts as possible in the foods consumed.
Eating right allows athletes to delay fatigue, work harder and recover faster, possibly giving them the edge they need to set a personal record as well as winning a medal! Protein prevents muscle wasting during exercise and prevents the athletes from feeling hungry during exercise. In addition to protein, athletes need carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and plenty of fluids to be properly fueled for exercise.
One of the most popular sources of protein among Olympic athletes is peanut butter! One athlete has said that “peanut butter is the lifeblood of every athlete.” Peanut butter is often spread on bagels, toast or used in smoothies. Other popular foods enjoyed by the super elite athletes are turkey sandwiches, eggs, fish, grilled chicken, green vegetables, yogurt and fruit. Here’s a chart from the USDA National Nutrient Database listing some good sources of protein:
|Food||Serving Size||Protein (grams)|
|Greek yogurt, plain, nonfat||4 ounces||17|
|Kidney Beans||1 cup||15|
|Protein Snack Bars||1 bar||6.5 – 15|
|Low-fat Cottage Cheese||1/2 cup||12|
|Low-sodium Beef Jerky||1 ounce||9|
|Sim Milk||8 ounces||8|
|Cashew Butter||2 tablespoons||5|
Now let’s look at two recipes for dips to enjoy while we’re watching the Olympics!
Championship Bean Dip Recipe
While cheering and yelling for Team USA snacks and treats are in order to keep our energy levels up. Championship Bean Dip is a winner in its own right! Championship Bean Dip is an appetizing combination of refried beans, three cheeses, sour cream, picante sauce and spices heated on high in a slow cooker for two hours then served with chips, crackers, salsa or whatever you desire. In the unlikely event that there is leftover Championship Bean Dip, make some tasty Bean and Cheese Burritos the next day!
- 1 (16 ounce can) refried beans
- 1 cup picante sauce
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1 3-oz. package cream cheese, softened
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- Tortilla chips and salsa
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, mixing well, and transfer to a slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours or until heated through, stirring once or twice. Serve with tortilla chips and salsa.
- In the rare case there is any leftover bean dip, use it to make bean and cheese burritos!
Championship Bean Dip is a savory dip while Gold Medal Peanut Butter Dip is a sweet one! Peanut butter is combined with cream cheese, vanilla, and honey, brown sugar or maple syrup to create a dip that’s great with apple slices, celery sticks, pretzels, vanilla wafers and chunks of banana. After I made this I thought about making a sandwich with bananas as I love peanut butter and banana sandwiches!
Gold Medal Peanut Butter Dip
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup honey OR 1/4 cup brown sugar OR 1/4 cup maple syrup
- Combine all ingredients in a mixer bowl and mix until mixture is smooth.
- Refrigerate until chilled.
- Serve with pretzels, vanilla wafers, banana chunks, celery sticks, sliced apples or whatever you would like!
When the Olympics are over, the super elite athletes look forward to having the treats they give up during training to keep their performance at optimal levels. Their commitment to working out and eating right is hopefully rewarded with a winning performance! Enjoy the 2016 Olympic Games and try one or both of these winning dips while you’re watching the games!
Remember to Savor the Flavor!
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