What is the best recovery food for your young athlete?
It is NOT chocolate milk! For the purpose of keeping this blog short and sassy, I will say only a few things about milk in general.
Milk, does not do a body good. We need cow’s milk, as much as we need dog’s milk, cat’s milk, and a hole in our head. We do in fact need one mammals milk, and that is the milk of the mother that carried us for 9 months, and labored for 20 hours to give us life. That is nature’s perfect food for humans.
Ironically, in America, if I choose not to nurse my own infant, no one bats a eyelash. But if I choose not to hook my toddler up to the udder of a cow, people think I am nuts. People gasp, in shock and awe, wondering where my children will get their calcium, and fat for their developing brains.
Speaking of brains….cough….washing. We have been bamboozled.
Not your mom, not your milk. It really is that simple. The only thing that complicates this notion are the lies we have been told for eons.
If I may quote Yoda, ” we must unlearn, what we have learned.” Smart little dude that Yoda.
Although I could go on, and on, about the IGF-1 growth hormone naturally occurring in milk that helps a 60 lb calf grow to about 600 lbs in 1 year, I will save that for another day.
Back to chocolate milk, and more importantly, why we are being told it is the perfect post workout drink for our athletes.
Funny enough, there is a very simple answer to that question, and it has nothing to do with your child, recovery or nutrition. You see the “experts” that tell you that this is a powerful post workout elixir, have been “educated” (I use that word loosely) by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Formerly known as the American Dietetic Association.
The Academy has a monopoly over nutrition advice in this country and “educates” most of our dietitians and nutritionists (who then team up with our coaches, Personal Trainers etc). That is all well and good, until you read the hieroglyphics on their website and realize that the Academy has some serious credibility issues because of conflicts of interest with corporate sponsorship like this.
Did you click? You better click! That page requires a treasure map to find.
Who did you see? Come on! Tell me!
The National Dairy Council holds the PREMIER sponsorship spot this year! Yay NDC!! They defeated Coca Cola, and overtook the top spot. Poor Coke. On top of that blow, Diet Coke sales dropped 5%. I assume that drop had something to do with the fact that people are realizing that artificial sweeteners should be labeled with a skull and crossbones.
When you give big sponsorship money to the Academy you get your bum smooched! You get to host continuing education seminars for their dietitians and nutritionists. And that may look a little like this. And of course, you get to sit on their board when they are making nutrition policy decisions for the American public.
After a meeting of the bedfellows on policy, they may conclude something as insane as pizza is a vegetable or chocolate milk is a nutritionally perfect after workout drink, and we literally eat it up. True stories, both of them.
Are you feeling an awakening? Is your blood boiling a little bit? Good. Because it pisses me off too, and I can’t change the system alone.
So now lets talk about some real recovery and fueling options.
The human body is made up of mostly water. Water supports every function in the body: detoxifies, flushes waste, provides energy, stabilizes moods, allows for more focus and clarity. It transports and regulates nutrients to cells, and balances electrolytes. So water is extremely important to your child’s success in EVERYTHING.
Electrolytes are vital minerals that carry an electrical charge that regulates thought and motion. The main electrolytes are sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium, and they work synergistically.
Foods with these vital minerals are virtually all fruits, veggies, beans, nuts, seeds. Fruits and veggies have the added benefit of high water content.
Before I list some food ideas, I have to ask. You know that Gatorade is garbage, right?
Sports drinks are basically water, with a pile of GMO sugar, a pile of salt, and a splash of food coloring. If it is a G2, replace the pile of GMO sugar with a pile of Sucralose (aka poison).
If you feel your child needs electrolyte replacement, the best possible drink you can give them is 12 ounces of water, 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan Sea Salt, and 1/2 juice of a lemon or orange. Followed by another 8-12 ounces of water. Now that is a mineral elixir! Check out the benefits of Himalayan Sea Salt here. There are 84 minerals in this unprocessed salt!
When your child has sore muscles plop them in that large bathtub you never use, with some warm water and Epsom salts. Epsom salts are magnesium, and magnesium will be absorbed by the skin.
Some good ideas for pre or post game snacks.
- Real oatmeal or steel cut oats. Add raisins, banana, nuts and/or seeds, cinnamon, real maple syrup or a little brown sugar.
- Smoothies – water based, baby spinach, 1/2 frozen banana, frozen mango, 2 T chia seeds. Add peanut butter or almond butter (or a handful of raw almonds) for protein. Really any combo of fruits and green will work, and it is very good to change it up. Another favorite in my house is about 1.5 cups water, spinach/kale, 1/2 frozen banana, 1 T peanut butter, 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, 2T chia seeds.
- Peanut or almond butter on a banana
- Whole grain toast with nut butter, or whole grain raisin muffin with coconut butter and cinnamon
- Kind Bars are great on the go
- The bar recipe attached to this blog below.
- Nekter has great bowls, smoothies and juices.
Notice no mention of the ubiquitous, expensive, and highly advertised protein powders? Let me make one thing clear, finding a protein deficient American, is as rare as finding a Patriots fan that thinks Tom Brady cheated. In fact our prevalence of kidney disease and kidney stones points to protein OVERLOAD.
Trust me when I say, American’s are deficient in the vitamins, minerals, and the fiber that comes from plants. That is why we have such high disease rates. That is why so many adults and children struggle to adequately perform even the most primal of bodily functions like pooping.
If your body cannot eliminate waste like it should, how do we expect your immune system to fight disease? After all, your gut wall is the home of 70 percent of the cells that make up your immune system.
Consider every malfunction in your body to be your body’s way of communicating something important to you. The solution to constipation is not Miralax or Metamucil. Your body is begging and pleading with you for fiber and water. End of story, yet again.
Here I am about to end this thing, and I realized that I forgot to tell you about the chia seeds. This blog may go on forever…
The Aztecs called chia seeds “Running Food.” Chia is a good source of fiber and omega 3 fats which are highly concentrated in the brain. Omega 3’s are known to protect against brain trauma (concussions – more below). Chia seeds are high in soluble fiber that is hydropholic- which means it can absorb 10-12 times its own weight in water.
This means chia seeds protect against dehydration. They also help retain electrolytes, and aid endurance and recovery. Obviously, you should consume chia seeds with lots of water.
One last thing, this is super important. If your child plays a sport where s/he is required to slam their head into other children or a wall, you should consider researching the benefits of a high quality fish oil supplement. Fish oil has been known to support optimal brain functioning. It also plays a role in prevention. It has performed miracles actually.
Okay, I keep going off on tangents. So much for the short blog. I think I hit the sassy mark though.
I hope you can tell that I speak a different language when it comes to food and health. I want you to choose health for yourself and your family.
I know it is hard. I know it’s confusing. I know it is overwhelming. Which is why I am here for you.
Learning how to eat is about learning how to live. Consciously, energetically, spiritually and intentionally. Being healthy in America is truly a revolutionary act.
Rebelling against this tyrannical culture of diets, drugs, disease, and death by lifestyle is the most liberating and fulfilling thing I have ever done in my life.
If you are interested in taking your life to another level, check out my simple do-it-yourself online learning/coaching program designed to serve anyone, anywhere. It is called the Mind/Body Reset Academy because let’s be honest, it is time to reset our minds with the truth and our bodies with health. You can see all details here.
I am happy to provide you with a free 30 minute consultation in person or on the phone any time.
And for those of you who are local to Southlake, that are interested in learning more about my popular Healthy Life Club, click here. My next group is starting very soon!
For now, please prioritize the health of your beautiful kids. There is NOTHING more important.
If you found this information valuable, please comment and share with your friends! Below please find my scrumptious easy to make bar recipe that your kids will love! Thank you for reading my blog!
Excellent. And many thanks for the bar recipe. Making… And for the reminder on epsom salts. Funny how we forget something because it seems old, or old fashioned.
ALL the answers to our health, are simple. It is the lies we have been told that make it complicated!
Great article, Cindy. Thanks for your commitment and for sharing!
Thank you Jan! Hope you are well. It has been a long time!
Love everything about this article…the writing, information, and the sassiness!! You are so talented Cindy!! 🙂
Love you Gina! Thanks!