You just finished a tournament, you’re hungry, and home is a few hours away. Or you’re out of town for a two-day swim meet and need to grab some food in the middle of the day. Or maybe it’s a weeknight, and you’re hungry after practice but you know the fridge at home is empty.
While eating food from home can be ideal, dining out becomes necessary sometimes.
Many chain restaurants have created menu items that are similar to what you’d make at home, if only you had the time. There are plenty of healthy meal and snack options out there that will keep any athlete well fueled. Take time to look at the nutrition facts online before you go so that you have a game plan, and you don’t fall prey to the Big Meal Deals that may be a bargain financially, but won’t serve you well as an athlete.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Corner Bakery has some yummy breakfast options that may be perfect before the volleyball tournament. The Swiss Oatmeal or the Fresh Berry & Yogurt Parfait are great if you need something on the lighter side. If you need more protein, try the Chicken Apple Sausage Power Flatbread or the Avocado & Spinach Power Flatbread.
With a Starbuck’s on practically every corner, this may be a smart place to grab a pick-me-up in the middle of a swim meet. The Spinach & Feta Wrap is a light meal that supplies a decent amount of carbohydrates, protein and fat. If you need a little more than that, add some oatmeal or a banana or a latte. The Protein Bistro Box and the Zesty Chicken & Black Bean Salad Bowl are also flavorful options.
In the mood for Mexican food? At Chipotle, your meals are custom-made for you. There are plenty of options that supply great carbohydrates and protein. If you need more calories, add a second tortilla to your burrito, or get an extra serving of beans, or pile on the guacamole. If you want to keep it lighter, go for a salad or burrito bowl or even a kid’s meal. Try the Carnitas Tacos with beans, lettuce and salsa, or for a heartier meal, have a Chicken Burrito Bowl with brown rice, black beans, fajita vegetables, lettuce and corn salsa. Chipotle can provide a delicious recovery meal on the way home from a hard practice.
Whether you need a power breakfast, a quick mid-day snack, or a substantial dinner, there are plenty more nutritious options available at these restaurants and others. Look at the nutrition facts on each restaurant’s website and put together a list for yourself.
Maximize your performance by seeking out personalized advice from Nutrition Coach Jill Daniels, MS, RD, CSSD, Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics. www.JillDanielsRD.com