**The information below is nutritional ADVICE. Not a nutritionist prescribed plan. These are basic guidelines on healthier eating options for anyone, especially a HS Athlete. Take from this what you want… there is no shortcut for nutrition, we all must make the time to prepare food to consume or pay the money to have it done for us. Everyone is different though... meaning, not one thing works for everyone except so find what makes you feel the best and follow that! The aim is for all of us to have a balanced diet! Making sure that you hydrated everyday is vital! Fill a ½ gallon (at least) or gallon jug of water everyday and drink it throughout school, that will give your body what it needs as far as hydration goes.**

Nutrition 101

Nutrition 101


Minerals are critical to normal body function; they are not produced in the body and must be obtained through the food we eat and by proper supplementation.  The BIG 4 includes calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium.  Calcium and magnesium help build healthy bones, especially important for stress prevention (such as stress fractures).  Sodium and potassium are important in maintaining proper fluid balance (electrolytes) and muscle functioning.  Good sources of these nutrients include dairy products, green leafy vegetables, beans/lentils, fish, nuts/seeds, whole grains, bananas, potatoes, beets, oranges, and peppers.


Carbohydrates provide our main source of energy (they are the body’s preferred source of energy) and are found in unrefined whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables.  They are also good sources of fiber (the indigestible portion of our diet that helps with the absorption of nutrients into the body), vitamins and minerals, and are essential for optimal health.

Nature provides many sources of good carbohydrates:

      Organic fruits and vegetables

      Beans and lentils (also known as legumes)

      Unrefined whole grains (some examples include 100% whole grain bread, brown rice, unprocessed oatmeal such as steel-cut oats, and barley).

Foods that are high in refined (highly processed) carbohydrates or sugars should be avoided, as they do not provide the body with optimal nutrition and over time can lead to excess fat storage, low energy levels, muscle loss, and increased risk of chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease as you age.  These foods include the following:

      Sodas (both sweetened and diet)


      Baked goods (cakes, cookies, etc.) made with white flour

      White bread

      Sugary breakfast cereals (including instant oatmeal)

      White rice and pasta

      Junk food

      French fries and potato chips

Strive to increase your daily intake of fruits and vegetables (eating twice as many vegetables as fruits daily is recommended), whole grains and legumes, which will give your body the energy it needs for optimal health and athletic performance.


Protein is a key component of muscle, skin, hair, and other tissues of the body.  You also need protein to manufacture the enzymes and hormones that are involved in digestion, metabolism (how your body produces energy from the food you eat), tissue growth and repair, which is why protein should be added to every meal.  Good sources of protein include:

      Lean meats (beef, chicken, pork, lamb, and fish)


      Organic dairy products (such as cheese and plain yogurt)

      Raw nuts (avoid peanuts)

      Natural nut butter (peanut and almond butter)

      Fermented soy products (such as miso, tamari, and tempeh)

      Legumes (beans, peas and lentils)


Vitamins play an important role in our overall health and nutritional status as well and must be obtained through the food we eat and proper supplementation.  There are two types—fat-soluble (which are stored in the body) and water-soluble (which cannot be stored and need to be replenished often).  Good vitamin sources include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, meats, nuts, dairy products and plant oils.


Fats are needed for your body to function properly.  Besides being an energy source, fat is used in the protection of cell membranes and helps regulate blood pressure, heart rate, blood clotting, and the nervous system (especially important with proper brain functioning).  Fats also help maintain healthy hair and nails and carry fat-soluble vitamins from the food you eat into your body.  There are two types of healthy fats:  Saturated (usually from animal fats such as butter and cheese) and Unsaturated (from raw nuts, seeds, fish, and plant oils).  Look for foods low in saturated fats and avoid bad fats (trans fats or hydrogenated fats that are chemically processed), found in fried foods, junk food, and some cooking oils.  Good sources of healthy fats include avocados, cold-water fish (tuna, salmon, and mackerel), raw nuts (except peanuts), nut butter, seeds, and cooking oils (Coconut, Olive, Safflower and Sesame Oil).



● Fresh fruit — whole fruit like apples, banana, oranges, clementines, pears, nectarines

and peaches are easy to grab and go

● Frozen fruit — keep a bag or two in your freezer to use in smoothies or to mix with a light yogurt

● Canned fruit — try individual­ized cups of mandarin oranges, peaches or fruit cocktail (canned in juice, not syrup)

● Dried fruit — raisins, dried cranberries, etc. are great in oatmeal or mixed with nuts

Whole Grains

● Quick oats — in single ­serving packs or a bulk container (quick oats can be ready in less than 2 minutes)

● 100% whole wheat bread or English muffins

● Unsweetened whole grain or bran cereal


● Unsalted nuts — try dry roasted walnuts, pecans, almonds, peanuts or a mix

● Peanut butter and/or almond butter will keep you feeling full, from the combination of protein and fat

Eggs & Dairy

● Eggs or egg substitute — they cook quickly and can be ready in a matter of minutes

● Skim or 1% milk — soymilk or almond milk (PERSONAL FAV) are also good options, especially for those with a lactose intolerance

● Light/non­fat yogurt (regular or Greek) — plain is best, flavored varieties will have more carbohydrate

● Cottage cheese — try 1% or 2% low­fat cottage cheese to cut back on the calories


● Frozen peppers and onions — you can add these to egg sandwiches, wraps or omelets

● Fresh tomatoes — these also go well with egg sandwiches or cut them up cottage cheese


  1. In a microwave ­safe bowl, crack an egg and whisk with 1 tablespoon of milk. Sprinkle

in some garlic powder and ground pepper. Cook mixture in the microwave for about one minute or until eggs are cooked through. Top with 1 tablespoon of salsa and sprinkle with a tablespoon of reduced­ fat cheese. Have with a slice of whole-grain toast topped with trans­-free margarine and/or a small piece of fruit

  1. Use the microwave method above to scramble an egg. When done, wrap the egg in a whole wheat tortilla with some sliced bell peppers and tomatoes. Top with a dash of hot sauce, wrap in foil and bring with you on ­the go.
  2. Breakfast can be as simple as peanut butter and toast. Toast a slice of 100% whole

wheat bread or an English muffin. Top with 1­2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter or almond butter. You could also top with some apple or banana slices if it works with your meal plan.

  1. Don't want to fuss with the blender? Make a yogurt parfait instead. In a dish, layer 1⁄2

cup non­fat yogurt, 1⁄2 cup berries , and some chopped pecans.

  1. Portion out 1⁄2 cup of cottage cheese and mix in 1⁄2 cup canned peaches. If you don't like peaches, try another fruit like pineapple, raspberries, blueberries. Add a small handful of nuts on the side if desired.


There may be days when fast food is your only option in the morning. Luckily, many restaurants now offer healthier choices. Here are some good options to look for:

● Oatmeal is a popular item on breakfast menus now. Order it and mix in some fresh or dried fruit and nuts.

● Try an egg and cheese breakfast sandwich or wrap. Add extra veggies if possible and skip the bacon and sausage.

With the breakfast ideas think this: More Fruit and Veggies less meat. Believe me... I know how hard it can be to skip the breakfast sausage or bacon BUT we have more important goals to achieve.




● Fresh vegetables – baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, snap peas and precut vegetables are quick to pack

● You can also buy whole vegetables like broccoli, bell peppers and celery; chop them up when you get home to use throughout the week on sandwiches, wraps or salads

● Fresh mixed greens or spinach – pile onto sandwiches, wraps or use in salads

● Frozen vegetables – try those you can steam in the package; a great idea if you've got a microwave available to you during the day


● Whole fruit like apples, bananas, oranges, clementines, pears, nectarines, grapes or

peaches – these are easy to grab and go

● Canned fruit (canned in juice, not syrup) ­ try individual serving cups or cans of mandarin oranges, peaches or fruit cocktail

Whole Grains

● 100% whole wheat bread, pitas, and/or wraps – if you're trying to cut back on carbohydrate, consider a low ­carb version

● Quinoa or quick ­cooking barley

Protein Foods

● Canned tuna

● Reduced­ sodium canned beans

● Reduced­ sodium lean deli meat – try roasted turkey, chicken or roast beef

● Rotisserie chicken – buy a whole chicken and use it throughout the week

● Eggs – hard boil these ahead of time

● Unsalted nuts/nut mix


● Skim or 1% milk – soymilk or almond milk are also good options, especially for those

with a lactose intolerance

● Light yogurt or non­fat Greek yogurt ­ plain is best, flavored varieties will have more carbohydrate

● Cottage cheese – try 1% or 2% low­fat cottage cheese to cut back on the calories

Some Extras for Flavor

● Hummus

● Light salad dressing

● Mustard

● Salsa

● Olive oil/Balsamic vinegar

● Lime and/or lemon juice

Quick Lunch Ideas

  1. Try 4-5 hard ­boiled eggs with a piece of fruit, string cheese and 5-10 whole wheat crackers.

You could also add some carrots, celery sticks and peanut butter.

  1. Try a quick yogurt parfait with non­fat plain Greek yogurt, diced pineapple, peaches

and a handful of pecans on the side.

  1. Make a tuna salad with canned tuna, light mayo, diced celery, lemon juice and freshly

ground pepper.

  1. Fill a whole wheat tortilla wrap with rotisserie chicken. Add a side of fruit if it fits with your plan.


EAT WHAT YOUR PARENTS COOK!!! Here are some ideas IF you have to cook for yourself or just want to help your folks out every once in a while! They’ll appreciate you wanting to help…


● Frozen vegetables – keep a few of your favorites in the freezer

● Fresh vegetables – keep some basic salad ingredients like greens, a few tomatoes, a cucumber, and a bell pepper

● Reduced­ sodium canned tomatoes are great for adding to pasta, casseroles, and more

● Other canned vegetables that you like such as artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, etc.

Starchy Foods

● Reduced­ sodium canned beans – choose from black, kidney, navy, garbanzo and more

● Quinoa, quick ­cooking whole barley, whole grain pasta, whole-wheat couscous

● Pre­cooked brown rice – all you need to do is heat it up in the microwave

● Whole wheat tortillas or corn tortillas

Protein Foods

● Rotisserie chicken – use it throughout the week in salads, pasta, sandwiches, or tacos

● Frozen fish filets

● Frozen chicken breasts

● Eggs


● Fresh fruit makes a good side at dinner or even a dessert

● Keep some berries or grapes around which are easy to wash and serve in a bowl

● Canned fruit – choose varieties canned in juice, not syrup

● Lemons and limes – juice from these citrus fruits makes a great flavoring for vegetables, fish or chicken


● Skim or 1% milk – unsweetened soymilk or almond milk are also options, especially for

lactose intolerance

● Light/non­fat yogurt (regular or Greek) – note that flavored varieties will have more carbohydrate than plain

Some Extras

● Trans ­free margarine

● Olive oil/Balsamic vinegar

● Various spices and dried herbs/Minced garlic (jarred)

● Light salad dressing and Salsa

● Salt and pepper/

● Nuts – add to salads and other vegetable dishes


  1. Defrost frozen fish filet in the fridge the night before you plan to use them. Brush the fish lightly with olive oil and season with freshly ground pepper and other dried herbs. Bake the fish in the oven until done and serve with 1⁄2 cup of pre­cooked brown rice and steamed green beans.
  2. Make a salad for your entrée. Chop up your favorite non­ starchy vegetables and serve them over a bed of greens. Add some rotisserie chicken breast, cottage cheese, or another reduced­ fat cheese. Have your salad with a side of whole wheat garlic bread or some fresh fruit.
  3. Try chicken tacos. Use rotisserie chicken or defrost and roast up some frozen chicken.

Fill corn or whole wheat tortilla with shredded chicken, tomatoes, lettuce, fresh cilantro, and black beans. If you want, top it all with a spoonful of salsa and some non­fat plain Greek yogurt.

  1. Stir fry is another easy option! Keep a frozen vegetable stir ­fry medley in your freezer. Sauté on the stove with vegetable oil. Add some frozen shrimp or heated chicken and serve over brown rice, quinoa, or whole farro.
  2. In the morning, toss some canned beans, canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, and frozen corn in a crockpot with some cumin, chili powder, and garlic. Cover and cook on low for 6­8 hours to make a chili that will be ready when you get home. You can also add other vegetables that you have on hand like diced onions, bell pepper, or carrots.
  3. Try pasta primavera (vegetables with pasta). Add frozen vegetables to pasta during the last 3 minutes of cooking. Drain the water and then toss with two tablespoons of light salad dressing and cooked diced chicken. Or, toss in pasta sauce if you prefer a red sauce.


Water is also essential to proper body function.  It helps regulate and maintain body temperature, transports nutrients and oxygen to the bloodstream, removes waste products (toxins), and helps maintain proper fluid balance and muscle functioning, especially crucial during times of strenuous activity such as sporting events.  It’s important to drink water throughout the day, but especially before, during, and after periods of extended physical activity to avoid dehydration, which can zap strength, energy, and coordination, and lead to other health problems and injuries.  Experts recommend that young athletes drink approximately 1 cup (240 milliliters) of water for every 20-30 minutes of physical activity.  Shorter competitions may not require drinking during the activity, but it’s important to drink afterward to restore fluid loss through sweat.  Although many sports drinks are available, plain water is usually enough to hydrate the body.  Gatorade and other sports drinks available have added sugar, which should be avoided.

The food you eat supplies much more than just fuel for your body to function properly.  It provides the raw materials from which your skin, hair, muscle, bone, and all other tissues are made.  Your diet provides nutrients that are necessary to manufacture hormones and enzymes that control the function of every cell in your body.  Your body also uses these nutrients to make neurotransmitters that regulate how you think and feel.  Therefore, ensuring a proper balance of nutrients (protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals) is essential to your overall health, muscle development and performance.  You really are what you eat, and that’s why a balanced diet is SO important.

Eating three meals daily (starting with a hearty breakfast, as breakfast sets your metabolism for the day), and 2-3 snacks daily is the best way to keep you properly energized and satisfied.  Eating or not eating affects hormone levels that can cause muscle loss as well, so it is extremely important NOT to skip meals.  Healthy snacking, especially before practices or games, is also important.  This will provide the energy you need for optimal performance, and more importantly will help guard against injuries and help with recovery time.  You should develop good, consistent eating habits, even during the off-season, as this will provide a solid foundation during times of competition.  Remember, the best fueled athlete is the better athlete…

The quality and quantity of the food you consume is important.  The metabolic requirements for active teens can be as high as 3,500 calories a day, for example, which means your body requires this number of calories to function properly.  Also, the less processed the food, the more nutritious it is.