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Boston Celtics stalwart Paul Pierce has a foundation, The Truth on Health, which is dedicated to empowering young people to lead healthy, active lifestyles. As young athletes, you don’t need to be told to be active, but if you’re not eating properly, it will take a toll on your ability to perform optimally.
Below are some easy fueling tips from Pierce. Keep them in mind throughout the day—for at home and eating out.
Be Aware of Preparation
Basic preparation is better. Paul recommends asking for your meat or fish to be grilled instead of fried or seared, and for veggies to be steamed instead of roasted or sauteed. He also suggests ordering sauce on the side, allowing you to control the amount you pour on your salad or entree.
Brown Instead of White
Whole grains, such as brown rice, provide complex carbohydrates, are more nutrient dense and fill you up better than their white counterparts. Whenever you have the option to substitute whole grains for white bread or rice, make the easy switch.
Fruit for Dessert
Opt for fresh fruit or sorbet for dessert. Fruit is a great option—nutritious, full of fiber and, with its natural sugars, satisfying to your sweet tooth.
For a pre-game meal, Pierce fuels up with grilled salmon, baked potato and broccoli. Packing your plate with veggies keeps the calorie count under control and provides important nutrients that empower performance.
Quiz time: should your pre-game plate look more like A or B?
The correct answer is B. Notice how the vegetables fill about half the plate. The other half is divided into two equal portions, one with a lean protein, the other with a whole-grain or starchy vegetable.
Source: Truthonhealth.org, eatingwell.com