Just because sporting events can bring out our worst eating habits doesn’t mean you have to blow your diet while cheering on your favorite team. Leave the planning to us with this full spread of healthier-for-you dishes themed by region of the Final Four teams. And just in case you don’t know who this year’s top four are, the Kansas Jayhawks are facing off with the Ohio State Buckeyes, and the Louisville Cardinals are going head-to-head with the Kentucky Wildcats. Let the (healthy) games begin!
New York is hosting the National Yoga Asana Championships sponsored by USA Yoga, an organization that wants to see yoga become an Olympic Sport. Rajashree Choudhury, cousin of the creator of Bikram Yoga and founder of the yoga pose competition, said the poses to be judged show “how someone can have perfect strength, balance, flexibility in the body.”
Aside from raising eyebrows as another unconventional “sport” pursuing induction into the Olympic games, the thought of performing yoga poses for competitive reasons is creating quite a stir among spiritual purists. Many believe the roots of yoga steer clear of the need to judge and the purpose of practicing is about acceptance, inclusion and non-dualism.
USA Yoga believes that an increased awareness of the sport on an Olympic level will encourage more people to want to practice yoga, and enable a larger population of people to be happier and healthier as a result. Not everyone agrees with this concept, however. Roseanne Harvey, a blog writer and avid yoga practitioner from Canada says that in most yoga classes, “what we’re trying to do is encourage students not to compete.”
Many were wondering if there would even be an NBA season this year. The player’s lockout lasted longer than expected, but the now shortened season is underway and fans couldn’t be happier. While the lockout was frustrating, it looks like one player took advantage of his extra off time to drop weight and get in the best shape of his life. Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love returned to the court nearly 25 pounds lighter this season.
Love played for UCLA in college and was drafted in 2008 to the NBA. Coming in a 6’ 10”, Love has always been one of the biggest players on the court. This summer Love decided to make some changes to his size for his performance’s sake. He admits he never felt he needed to lose weight, he just wanted to be a better conditioned athlete.
Part of that conditioning included changing his diet. Love relied on ZEN Foods to provide him with the calories and nutrients he needed during his intense conditioning. ZEN Foods is a meal delivery service. They provide tailored and calorie controlled meals for each individual. Love had each day’s food delivered at night so he could wake with a nutritious breakfast. Love explained how this took the guess work out of nutrition and he was able to fuel his workouts with high quality and nutritious foods.
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Sporting events generally aren’t places where you count on finding healthy snacks readily available. Lucas Oil Stadium does have some “real food” (I don’t know if healthy really applies) beyond nachos and hot dogs, so I was hopeful for real options when the Super Bowl came to Indianapolis. While there was not much variety within the Super Bowl Village itself, you will not have to wander far to find something that feels more like a meal than a snack.
The Super Bowl Village, stretching from the Indiana Convention Center to the Bankers Life Fieldhouse (formerly the Conseco Fieldhouse) has plenty of concession stands offering chicken tenders, steak burgers, hot dogs, french fries, soft pretzels, Sweeties gourmet treats, Frito Lay chips, candy, hot cider, coffee, hot chocolate, cappuccino, Gatorade, water, and Pepsi products.
Inside the Indiana Convention Center, which houses the NFL Experience, additional options include Lipton tea, fruit juice, popcorn, whole fresh fruit, Lay’s Potato Chips, Snickers, M&M’s, yogurt, turkey caesar sandwiches, Italian grinder sandwiches, roast beef sandwiches, grilled veggie sandwiches, chicken caesar salad, tossed garden salad. burgers, BBQ pork sandwiches, and tenderloin sandwiches.
Deeper in the NFL Experience, near the memorabilia show and autograph stage, Pepsi Max and Doritos each has an exhibit with free samples, contests, and games. Considering the long lines seen in the NFL Play 60 Game Zone, attendees could have very positive feelings about these exhibits.
Luckily, not far from there in the maze of the NFL Experience, the “Sandwich Zone” offers carved turkey and carved beef for sandwiches with several topping options. They also have candy, soda, water, Gatorade, and Lipton Tea.
Tim Tebow, quarterback of the Denver Broncos, is one of the most talked-about NFL players this season. While sports commentators have questioned Tebow’s abilities as a quarterback, others have wondered exactly what it takes to stay in peak shape as a professional football player. For many professional athletes, including Tebow, maintaining an athletic physique is not something that comes naturally but is a result of years of dedication to strength training, cardiovascular exercise and maintaining a healthy balanced diet.
Though Tebow’s autobiography Through My Eyes states that he was raised on “Coke and Popsicles” at his uncle’s farm, it is unlikely that he maintains a high-sugar diet today.
“Every athlete will have different needs, but typically you’d like your athlete to eat cleanly all year long,” said New York-based performance coach Chris Matsui, who has worked with high-level athletes including the Carolina Panthers. ”A football player’s diet shouldn’t change drastically in the week before a game, but what they specifically eat is dependent on their individual needs and food allergies or intolerances.”
For most of his clients, Matsui recommends fueling with plenty of lean meat (fish and chicken), healthy fats (avocado and nuts), fruit (blueberries and strawberries), vegetables (kale, broccoli and spinach) and complex carbohydrates (quinoa or brown rice).