Every few years the time comes when athletes from all over the world parade their muscle tone and superpower skills.  Many times this leaves the rest of us to believe that they eat only salads, nuts, and berries, but this is not entirely true!  Many athletes eat upwards of 12,000 calories a day compared to the suggested 2,000 for the average adult, consuming everything from pizza to Ben & Jerry’s pints.  Athletes can eat this way because their intense workouts burn 4,000 – 6,000 calories a day.  Here are a few real menu ideas to help us keep up with them, without crashing our every day diets.

Salmon

In recent years, salmon has become a protein superstar.  Salmon is a perfect source of protein, as it is high in omega-3’s, the heart-healthy fats.  Salmon can also provide joint support, control joint inflammation, and has the high content of amino acids.  It really is a perfect food.  When buying salmon it is best to choose wild caught salmon as mercury levels are lower and color is not added.  Salmon is simple to make at home–try a Blackened Salmon or a Lemon Salmon.  To help celebrate the London Olympic games try substituting Salmon in place of white fish for Salmon Fish and Chips!

Bananas

Our primate friends are on to something with their portable yellow treat.  Bananas are high in calories, B6 vitamins, fiber, and potassium.  Bananas can help with almost anything from eyesight to kidney health.  Have an easy berry and banana smoothie for breakfast, try getting out of your comfort zone by adding bananas to a Caprese salad (yes, this is really good!), or a Tanzanian Curried Chicken Banana Soup.

Honey

Honey has a reputation as being nature’s sweetener with many uses from salad dressings, marinades, and desserts; it is easy to make any dish a little sweeter with a touch of honey.  Honey is an excellent source of phytonutrients, natural health boosters, and antioxidants. Honey promotes better blood sugar control, which is ideal for exercise.  Use honey in place of sugar, drizzle on fruit (even bananas!), or branch out to try honey in a BBQ sauce or dipping extra pizza crusts for a built in dessert.  Honey is one sweet treat that should come without the guilt!

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