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robmadden1
05-09-2009, 02:02 AM
A recent Friday afternoon found Reds pitcher Micah Owings palming a spaghetti squash instead of a baseball, and getting notes on nutrition rather than taking notes on his game.

Michele Macedonio, the team dietitian for the Reds and the Bengals, plans the meal selections for breakfast, lunch and dinner at the clubhouse, makes recommendations to other ball clubs when the team is on the road and, when a player requests it, gives a one-on-one grocery tour of what to eat to maximize performance during games and increase energy every day.

"My job is to teach them why to like these things," says Macedonio, who also owns Nutrition Strategies in Loveland. "Micah has been one of the few players who has asked me lots of questions right from the start."

Owings says it's easier to stay on target when dining at the Great American Ball Park - where the food service staff, clubhouse manager Rick Stowe and the team's trainers have worked with Macedonio to serve up healthy, energy-rich choices - than it is when he's on his own or back home in Atlanta.

"She has helped me a lot in my off-season. When I go back home to Mom's cooking," Owings trails off, shaking his head at the thought of Southern cooking.

But Macedonio's "food first" approach to sports nutrition - that food is all that's needed to power through a workout and get the most out of it, no high-priced supplements or protein powder required - can benefit anyone who breaks a sweat.

Recipes from Michele Macedonio

For the fifth and final feature of the Enquirer's "Workout with the Reds" series, here's what Macedonio serves up to the pros.

Pre- and post-workout snacks: Building muscle requires materials just like building a house, Macedonio says, and you can sabotage your own workout if you don't adequately load up on calories, carbohydrates, fluids and protein, and then restore them post-workout.

"It supplies the materials your body needs to build muscle. To get the greatest gain, you need all four," Macedonio says.
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About an hour before exercising, she recommends a carbohydrate-rich snack with a small amount of protein, like: a banana with a light coat of peanut butter and 8 ounces of skim milk; low-fat or fat-free yogurt with a fruit cup; or a low-fat granola bar plus a handful of a cereal trail mix and a glass of water.

Within 15-30 minutes after exercising, Macedonio recommends having a similar snack that includes, as a general number, about 10 grams of protein. Eight to 16 ounces of kefir - a thick fermented milk drink with a yogurt-like taste - plus a banana is a good choice for those who don't feel like eating after exercising.

Other choices include: low-fat or fat-free chocolate milk and an energy bar with 15-20 grams of protein; string cheese, whole grain crackers and a sports drink; turkey, lettuce and tomato on whole grain bread plus skim milk; or peanut butter and honey on crackers with skim milk.

Sports drinks: Drinking enough water before, during and after exercise is essential. But when you sweat, you also lose electrolytes, including sodium.

If you work out for an hour or more, a low-calorie sports drink such as Powerade Zero or Gatorade's G2 is a good way to replenish the minerals and fluids lost, Macedonio says.

If you sweat heavily or lose a lot of sodium, as evidenced by a white residue on your workout clothes, you may need a sports drink even if you're exercising for only 30 minutes, Macedonio says.

Antioxidants: Strawberries, blueberries and raspberries are a constant snack at the Reds clubhouse, Macedonio says.

That's because berries, like other brightly colored fruits and vegetables such as peppers, eggplant, kale and leafy greens, are high in antioxidants, which protect cells against oxidative stress that can occur from intense exercise.

"When you exercise intensely or frequently, this is an important part of recovery nutrition," Macedonio says.
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Breakfast: Whether exercising or not, a breakfast of complex carbohydrates and protein is key to energy. Pair skim milk and fruit with Thomas' Light Multigrain English muffins with extra fiber - topped with honey and peanut butter, or with an oat cereal or oatmeal that contain protein and 3-8 grams of fiber per serving.
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For those who aren't fans of conventional breakfast food, Macedonio recommends a fat-free yogurt, granola and fruit parfait - a clubhouse favorite - or an English muffin pizza made with tomato sauce, string cheese, pineapple and deli ham, placed in the toaster oven.

'Complete' proteins: Meat, fish, chicken and eggs are considered "complete" proteins because each contains all the essential amino acids that must come from food and are needed for energy, muscle-building and overall healthy functioning. But combining incomplete protein sources adds up to a complete package, Macedonio says. Combine beans and rice or beans and corn, for example. At home, if Macedonio serves a pasta meal without meat, she uses a multigrain spaghetti with additional protein and omega 3 fatty acids.

Breakfast: Whether exercising or not, a breakfast of complex carbohydrates and protein is key to energy. Pair skim milk and fruit with Thomas' Light Multigrain English muffins with extra fiber - topped with honey and peanut butter, or with an oat cereal or oatmeal that contain protein and 3-8 grams of fiber per serving.
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For those who aren't fans of conventional breakfast food, Macedonio recommends a fat-free yogurt, granola and fruit parfait - a clubhouse favorite - or an English muffin pizza made with tomato sauce, string cheese, pineapple and deli ham, placed in the toaster oven.

'Complete' proteins: Meat, fish, chicken and eggs are considered "complete" proteins because each contains all the essential amino acids that must come from food and are needed for energy, muscle-building and overall healthy functioning. But combining incomplete protein sources adds up to a complete package, Macedonio says. Combine beans and rice or beans and corn, for example. At home, if Macedonio serves a pasta meal without meat, she uses a multigrain spaghetti with additional protein and omega 3 fatty acids.

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20090505/LIFE07/905060325/1042/Reds+dietitian+pitches+meals