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Jessica is our 2016 Olympic Hopeful and Sarah is our 2012 Olympian in Weightlifting. We're setting out to be "Pretty Strong" and we encourage you to do the same.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Poor Athlete Recipes

It's not easy being an elite athlete in an Olympic sport, especially a small one. We nickle and dime our way onto the medal stand. I have heard stories of Olympians living out of their cars. Most athletes have two practices a day, as well as strength training and conditioning work. If an athlete wants to really focus on their training, they need to be a full time athlete. This often means no jobs, no boyfriends/girlfriends, no partying, etc. They revolve every aspect of their lives around their training and competition schedules. If the athlete doesn't receive a lot or any money from their governing body, they need jobs or donations. The most important part of being a successful athlete is recovery. I've once heard, "There's no such thing as over training, only under recovery." Recover consists of massage, chiropractic care, sports psychology, stretching, sleeping, and eating.

Athletes need high quality food and supplements to help them recover. Nutrition varies from gender, weight, sport, and health conditions. We can easily spend $100+ dollars on supplements for a 1-2 month period. Month costs of food varies from person to person. It can get into the $300+ a month...for one person! Well, how can you fuel an athlete with that kind of nutritional need? It is very difficult. Speaking from experience.

Two important factors play into what and how much I can eat. How much money I get a month, and the fact that I have sever hypothyroidism. With my hypothyroidism, I need to be taking medication everyday a certain amount of time before I eat, and I have to really watch my carbohydrate and cholesterol intake because I don't metabolize things correctly and gain weight really easily. I don't work because I lift full time and the only supplemental income I get is from birthday/Christmas money, the occasional donation, and the seasonal coaching job I have with track. I am on food stamps. $17 a month and I try to budget the best I can after bills and other expenses are paid, for the rest of my grocery money. What on earth can I possibly get with that money?

Here are some places where you can get the most bang for your buck:

United Food Bank- for $16 you can get about two weeks of food. This includes various things like bread type items, some miscellaneous premade meal items, dairy products, frozen meat, canned/boxed goods, and some fruits/vegetables. They also have booths set up to help you with health care, food stamps applications, and maybe even some employment help. Every bank is a little bit different but the one I go to, serves food Friday mornings at 8 am

Angel Food Ministries- for $35 you can get about the same variety of food as the food banks, but about 1/2 as much food. Most of their food is frozen. Their menu stays pretty much the same every month. They also give you cards to help with prices of medications. You can get up to 50% off of the medications you need at certain pharmacies. You need to go online and order which box of food you want, and then pick it up at a later time.

Treasure Box- for $32 you can get pretty much the same thing as angel food ministries but their items are mostly premade and frozen. I have not actually ordered food from them yet, so I don't know what other services they offer. You need to go online and order which box of food you want, and then pick it up at a later time.

Most of the above organizations provide foods that are boxed, canned or frozen, and sometimes not the best quality and don't provide enough fruits, vegetables and fresh meats. So really enjoy going to swap meets and farmers market for fresh, cheap fruits and vegetables , and look for sales on meat.

I have a few dietary, financial, and patriotic goals in mind. I am challenging myself for at least one month, to consume only local, American grown or fair trade food products, eat more nutrient dense foods,watch my carbohydrate and cholesterol intake, and remain within my budget. I went home recently, and I have some canned foods and stuff from my mom to also work with. I hope once a week to share a recipe discussing prices and nutritional properties. I hope this helps some of you on your quest to becoming a healthy, elite person!

Broccoli Salad
I just kind of made this up in my head. This is actually very easy to make and made with natural ingredients. I ended up spending more than I wanted, but I ended up having lots of craisins, sunflower seeds, and dressing left over. I can save on other future meals/snacks. I would rather have had unsweetened cranberries, but they didn't have them at Albertsons. All of these ingredients were made in the USA!


craisins $3.29    
 Cranberries are a good source of Vitamin C, the juice helps prevent UTIs, and contain bioflavanoids
Pear Vinaigrette Dressing $3.99

kidney beans $2.49
 Beans contain Vitamins A and C and folate and are high in protein and iron.

Sun flower seeds $1.99   

Sunflower Seeds are a good source of Vitamin E

Brocolli $1.55

Excellent source of Vitamin C, beta carotene, and folate. Have significant amounts of protein, calcium, iron, and potassium. Low in calories, high in fiber.

  • Cut up 3 cups of broccoli into bite size pieces
  • Toss with 2/3 cup kidney beans, 1/3 cup sunflower seeds, 1/2 cup dressing, and 1/3 craisins
  • Chill
  • Eat!  


XRISTA said...

I love Broc salad! Thanks for the post, very insightful and enlightening. Good luck. Where do I send donations? Best to your training challenges.

Sarah and Jessica said...

All donations are tax deductible and can be sent to
Team Arizona Weightlifting Club
916 E Baseline rd. Ste. #130
Mesa Az 85204

In the memo, write "Sarah Robles" and the donation will go specifically toward me.