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Priority Health Wellness Blog

31 pieces of advice for busy athletes

by Lisa McDowell / Team Sports Nutritionist, Detroit Red Wings

Bite-sized sports nutrition tips

With elite athletes, I never have to convince them that nutrition is important for optimal performance. Instead, the challenge is often the limited amount of time I have to share information with them. So when I do consult with athletes, I try to make sure the following basics are well covered first:

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Priority Health Wellness Blog

What's in Your Shopping Cart?

by Lisa McDowell / Team Sports Nutritionist, Detroit Red Wings

Planning meals for elite athletes is so much easier when they understand how to navigate the grocery store aisles. The items selected at the store ultimately end up fueling an athlete's game. This is a major detail with incredible impact on success. Planning may not be very glamorous but planning yields results. It is another tool in the toolbox of success. These purposeful decisions help build great athletes by supporting what the body requires for peak performance. 

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Priority Health Wellness Blog

Get out the forks and knives - It's Bowl Season!

by Lisa McDowell / Team Sports Nutritionist, Detroit Red Wings

Bowl season, for most, means studying the 40-game college football spreadsheet and picking the winning teams. For me, though, it meant putting together recipes for full-meal bowls that are nutritious and delicious.

Bowls are becoming more popular. Restaurants like Greenspace Cafe and Sweetgreen offer bowls with choices ranging from quinoa and veggies to savory mushroom broths with the ancient grain, faro. This trend is being driven by a couple factors: bowls are convenient, easy to prepare and offer a visibly-pleasing display of food choices.

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Avoiding the pitfalls of performance

by Lisa McDowell / Team Sports Nutritionist, Detroit Red Wings

Have you ever known a new driver who didn't realize that different fuels at the gas station were for different cars? And perhaps this driver filled up her non-diesel car with diesel fuel. Needless to say, when she woke up the next morning, her car would not start.

We can look at our bodies in a similar way. For strong performance, you need a strong diet. For athletes, here are some ways to avoid using the wrong fuel:

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Priority Health Wellness Blog

Ten things I learned teaching young hockey prospects how to cook…and how these lessons are universal

by Lisa McDowell / Team Sports Nutritionist, Detroit Red Wings

Every year, I look forward to my contributions at Detroit Red Wings prospect camp. Much of the structure of the week-long event is focused on teaching. Teaching the players how to train, how to recover and how to carry themselves like professionals in every aspect of their life.

As the team dietitian, I spend my time discussing a wide variety of topics like pre-game and post-game meals, electrolyte and fluid repletion, optimal blood values for performance and safe supplementation, if needed. I concentrate on teaching the prospects how to actually build the ideal plate to fuel their bodies for optimal performance. I quickly learned that these guys do not think in terms of glycogen stores or ATP (energy) production. They think in terms of breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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How to Fuel for Focus – performance nutrition for the mind

by Lisa McDowell / Detroit Red Wings

As a sports dietitian, I concentrate much of my work on how to fuel the demands of an elite athlete's body. However, a less obvious component of my job involves fueling the mind. Using only science-based evidence, and avoiding experimentation, nutritious and delicious meal plans are developed to support the brain for optimum focus, mental sharpness and even improved reaction time. Scientific research has provided a strong foundation to help us connect the dots between lifestyle and cognitive brain function. The foods we eat can also impact how we think and feel. And though our head only weighs around three pounds (which is 2-3% of your total body weight), the brain consumes a remarkable 20-30% of the calories we eat. If you do not feed your brain well, you will not reach your full performance potential.

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