There is a reason why you see bananas at the end of marathons, triathlons, and obstacle races.  Simply put, you can’t go wrong with eating bananas.  Bananas are concentrated nutrition delivered direct from one raw food, fueling you up with approximate 100 calories, 3 grams of fiber, and 422 mg of potassium.   Muscle cramping has long been documented as being related to low potassium levels.  Anyone who has had their legs lock up at the end of a long race can appreciate this, and should consider grabbing one whenever they are around.

Bananas are easy to eat and digest for the most part. They are easily chewed up and swallowed, even if one is running at 90% intensity.  While everyone manages solid food while exercising differently, the banana seems pretty universally accepted as easy to digest while exercising.

In fact, they are easy on your stomach.

Bananas have long been recognized for their antacid effects that protect against stomach ulcers and ulcer damage. In one study, a simple mixture of banana and milk significantly reduced acid secretion. In addition, bananas also help activate the cells that compose your stomach lining, producing a thicker protective mucus barrier against stomach acids.

So, when reaching for your coffee in the morning, reach for a banana, too.  When you are heading to workout, grab a banana to go with you for either before, during, or after your workout.  Simply put, you never know when you might need an extra dose of quality raw food calories and potassium.

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by Corinne Kohlen, Spartan Pro Team and Registered Dietitian

Summer’s here, your outside enjoying nature and being active! Keeping your bodies healthy and hydrated during the summer is very important. With fruits and vegetables ripe and in season, with BBQing being a great way to spend time with friends and family, and with a few ideas from your friendly dietitian you’ll be on your way to some tasty summer treats.

Summer is a great time to visit your local farmers market. Some fruits that may be in season include apricots, avocado, tomato, cantaloupe, corn, cucumbers, grapes, mangos, and zucchini. Fresh fruit can be served cut up in a fruit salad or grilled on the BBQ for some extra zest. Children can help cut, or peel fruit, or put fruit on kabob sticks for the grill or to eat fresh.

Grilled Veggies

Here are some ideas for summer meals and snacks:
Fruit kabobs – grill or eat fresh.
Balsamic grilled vegetables
Fresh salsa – try adding peaches or pineapple for color and flavor
Guacamole – makes a great dip for flaxseed tortilla chips or fresh veggies
Homemade Fruit pops – blend fresh fruit and freeze in ice trays or popsicle trays. Try mixing in mint for color and variety
Greek yogurt topped with seasonal berries – adding blueberries, strawberries, raspberries can add natural sweetness to this protein filled snack
Edamame – or soybeans – these are a great fiber and protein filled snack served hot or cold
Grilled pineapple and peaches – add a little cool whip or eat plain
Fresh Apple slices, celery sticks, or banana medallions with peanut butter dipping sauce
100 calories of nuts – 13 almonds, 11 cashews, or 7 walnuts. Eat plain or add to a salad or casserole
Watermelon, mint and peach smoothies – blend these three ingredients with ice for a great hydrating drink
Hummus with fresh carrot sticks, broccoli trees, or cut bell pepper slices

For more food ideas, sign up for the FREE Spartan Food of the day (FOD). Sign up HERE.

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FOD – Bear Meat

High in fat, protein.  No carbs.  Gamey.  Use this during stregnth