The food we put into our bodies is information, not just nutrition says Lisa Caldwell, private chef and nutritionist at Tufts Medical Center. During a recent "Delicious Demo" at 660 Washington Street she shared her secrets as chef and athlete. Lisa interest is sports nutrition began out of her own self-interest to perform better at the gym or when out climbing with her friends.

The challenge of the evening event was all about using 6 ingredients to in different ways as possible. The black beans from the tacos one nights could also be used to make bean burgers on another night of the week. We learned simple tips about how to bed handle knives and how long leftovers can be kept in the freezer. 

If you’re looking to improve your athletic performance, then your nutrition is always a part of that equation.

“What’s the most important meal for an athlete?”

Whatever meal is happening right after your workout. When you work out your energy stores get depleted and the food immediately following is what fills the tank for the next workout. Lisa says that your next workout is only as good as your previous meal. So take the time to craft nutrient dense foods that will nourish and help your body thrive.  Lisa recommends having a serving 6-8oz of animal protein after a workout over a protein shake. She says that science just can’t make a protein as well as mother nature.

“What dietary would recommend for an endurance athlete?”

You want to eat diet that’s high is plant material and avoid simple carbohydrates that are going to store energy for later. The more simple carbs we consume, then the more our body releases insulin. The more frequently we release insulin the more food is being converted into long term storage. As endurance athletes we are looking to utilize our energy storage relatively in short term cycles.

Be sure that your proteins sources are lean and animal based if possible. If you have access to wild fish and game then that would be preferable, these animals are naturally fast. As compared to feedlot beef and poultry that tend to be filled with hormones and fillers.

Here's a great recipe for athletes from Lisa's website, where you can find a huge selection of recipes. 

Strawberry Chia Pudding

Yields4 Cups
Note: Fantastic dessert or midday snack

INGREDIENTS

•      4 oz Chia Seeds – Hydrated in 1.5 cups of lukewarm water for 20 minutes

•      3 cups Coconut Milk

•      1 cup Almond Milk

•      2 -4 Tbsp Honey

•      1-2 Tbsp Vanilla Extract

•      1 lb.  Strawberries, diced(substitute other fruits, mango, pineapple or raspberry)

•      1.5 cups Strawberry Puree(adjust to desired flavor profile)

DIRECTIONS

1      Combine hydrated chia seeds with the milks, honey, vanilla extract and puree.  

2      Allow to sit for 2 hours or overnight. Add diced fruit and puree,  mix together. 

Adjust to taste and to desired consistency with milk or water.