Jena DeMoss: The starting 5: on and off the court

Published 5:46 pm Tuesday, March 21, 2023

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It’s that time of year: The basketball games are plentiful, and the game day snacks are enticing! Proper nutrition is important to athletes across every sport, but basketball and the food we eat share another common similarity. Five players face the court at tip-off, just like there are five food groups you need to fuel yourself throughout the day. Without one player on the court, or an entire food group nixed from the diet, performance suffers.

So this month, while you’re working on your brackets, why not update your game plan in regard to winning meal ideas, strategic ways to increase more veggies, and defensive plays to overcome the munchies.

Meet Your Hy-Vee Dietitian’s Starting 5 Lineup:

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Dunk it with Dairy: Dairy products include a nutrition label that scores a three-point play: calcium, vitamin D and protein. Calcium and vitamin D play a vital role in bone health and may reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Aim for three servings a day. One cup of milk or yogurt counts as one serving of dairy.

Play hard with Protein: The most notable role protein plays is in the maintenance and repair of muscles. Keep in mind: Protein is best absorbed if spread out over the course of the day.

Guard your Grains: Opt for whole grains verse their white counterparts for extra fiber, which has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. Carbohydrates are necessary to fuel your body and keep you feeling energized. Aim to make half your grains whole grains daily.

Fans go wild for Fruit: Naturally lower in fat, sodium and calories, fruit is the best form of defense for a sweet-tooth craving. By pairing a fruit with a protein for a mid-morning or afternoon snack, it can be the perfect pick-me-up rather than any chocolate bar.

A Vegetable victory: Vegetables should give you a boost of color at every meal, just like the player that boosts your morale during the final stretch of the game. Rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber — fill up without feeling guilty. Aim for five combined servings of fruits and vegetables a day.

Ready to execute your new game day strategy? Check out > Dietitians for more help!

Breakfast Scrambles

Serves 2

All you need

• 4 Hy-Vee large eggs, beaten

• 1/3 cup chopped fully cooked ham

• ¾ cup Hy-Vee shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

• ½ cup chopped arugula, plus additional for garnish

• ¼ cup chopped yellow onion

• ¼ cup chopped Hy-Vee Short Cuts tricolor bell peppers

• ¼ cup halved cherry tomatoes, plus additional for garnish

• ½ tsp salt-free garlic-and-herb seasoning blend

• 1 tsp Hy-Vee unsalted butter, divided

All do you

1. Stir together eggs, ham, cheese, ½ cup arugula, onion, bell peppers, ¼ cup cherry tomatoes and seasoning blend in a medium bowl.

2. Divide egg mixture between 2 (12-oz.) microwave-safe bowls. Add ½ tsp. butter to each bowl.

3. Loosely cover the bowls with a paper towel; microwave on HIGH at 1 minute intervals until eggs are set but still moist, stirring each time. Garnish with additional arugula and cherry tomatoes.