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The last thing I want to do
today is to write about football. So,
I'm going to write about something else that I enjoy but at times can be
extremely hazardous to me...food. You
can probably imagine my surprise when I discovered that my usual diet of
All-You-Can-Eat Chinese buffets, frozen pizza, soda, delicious Hostess products,
and fast food turned out not to be good for me.
This all started before the
Over at Rattler
Radio, I put up a post the linked to a Wall Street Journal article dealing with food in major league
healthy eating in baseball in about the way that you would expect the Wall Street Journal to cover healthy eating in baseball:
Baseball's War Against Hamburgers
As Players Get Health Conscious, Teams Banish Clubhouse Junk Food; Edamame
doughnuts, fried chicken and candy bars that have long populated baseball's
clubhouses-where players eat the majority of their meals-are being banished.
Dodgers will ship their players to
next week for a six-day health-food boot camp. The
Royals are planning to put up posters in the clubhouse offering nutritional
advice. And the
Rays both say they're experimenting with the idea of preparing foods for the
players that are rich in antioxidant grains like quinoa, teff and spelt.
At baseball's just-concluded winter meetings in Indianapolis, major and minor
league strength and conditioning coaches devoted 12 hours on Saturday-about
half of their total meeting time-to discussing matters such as including
edamame and snow peas in the postgame buffet to whether teams should order
"fun size" candy bars rather than the odious regular-sized variety.
"There's nothing wrong with a Reese's peanut butter cup every now and
then," says Perry Castellano, the
Twins' strength and conditioning coordinator. "The issue is when somebody
eats eight at a time."
This may seem like another case of paternalistic owners and team executives
trying to maximize their multimillion-dollar payrolls. But in many cases, it's
the players who are demanding healthier options: This past season, six members
Angels approached the team's dietician, without prompting, to ask her to write
them "food plans" to improve their diets. Heath Bell, a relief pitcher
for the San Diego Padres, says he gets irritated on the road when teams set out
buckets of cookies in the clubhouse while leaving the fruit and vegetables
tucked away in refrigerators in side rooms. When teams do put fruit out, he
says, they often don't even bother to clean or cut it. "If the fruit is out
and set up well, I'll eat it," Mr. Bell says. "But if the cookies are
there, I'm taking them. That's my downfall."
Then, there was
a post by Garrett
Broshuis, a minor leaguer in the
organization, on his blog
that had the following information:
before that it's difficult to eat healthy in the minor leagues. Minor
leaguers are constantly on the road, fighting a losing battle with Domino's and
KFC (oh, but it's grilled now--with the
help of beef fat). Players only receive $20 per day for meal money (over
half of which goes to clubhouse dues sometimes), and frankly, some players are
just idiots when it comes to food.
teams are beginning to take steps towards changing things for the better. While
at the Winter Meetings, I heard one official claim that an increase in minor
league per diem was being discussed. I almost took off my shirt and ran around
Indy half-naked, but I've been unable to confirm this (other people I spoke with
said they hadn't heard a darn word about it). I'm hoping it was at least
informally introduced. I'll keep working on it.
thing that seems more concrete comes via Blue Jays' GM Alex Anthopoulos. In a fan
chat, he recently talked specifically about minor league per diem:
improving the nutrition at the big league level last year and I've talked to our
Minor League trainers and strength coaches about doing so in the Minor Leagues.
MLB rules dictate that club pay their players $20 a day for meal money, we've
already instituted a policy to increase that to $25 a day in addition to having
our strength coaches work with clubhouse people to provide nutritional and
healthier options for our players.
Now, if you are like me, you
stopped reading after 'increase in minor league per diem'.
I'll be honest. I receive a per diem on the road and I am -
paraphrasing Mr. Boshuis above - just an idiot when it comes to food.
If I had an extra couple of bucks a day on the road, the vending machines
in the hotels on the road would be virtually empty instead of practically empty.
But, if you are like loyal
reader - and Brew
Crew Ball head blogger -- Kyle, you send the following e-mail to a guy
who might actually be in a position to give you the information: I
know you touched on the subject briefly, but I'd love to hear your thoughts on
this in a more extended form, or perhaps a guest post from the guys that put
food together for your players.
Kyle must not have received an
answer from that guy, so he sent me the same e-mail later that same day if I
make my guess correctly.
Now that you have more
background than any other Mehring Monday
ever before...To the column!
There is a weight room at Time
Warner Cable Field. Wisconsin Timber
Rattlers Strength & Conditioning Coach Jake Marx has a desk in there.
He also has a bulletin board on the wall behind his desk.
Tacked to that bulletin board are 10 sheets of paper.
Six of those sheets are part of a packet titled EATING
OUT GUIDELINES - HIGH PERFORMANCE CHOICES.
Two of the sheets are part of a handout titled TOP
10 for BASEBALL. The other two
sheets are part of another handout titled PERFORMANCE
ENHANCING EATING STRATEGIES.
I'll pull out the highlights
and comment (in italics) where
necessary on each of the handouts.
OUT GUIDELINES - HIGH PERFORMANCE CHOICES:
Good words to look for: Seared,
char broiled, blackened, grilled, steamed, baked, roasted, and broiled.
Watch out for: Large fries,
gravy, chimichangas, and Double Stuffed anything!
always watch out for those! To be
more accurate, I am always on the lookout for those!
Pizza: Try to limit to 3-4
slices so have a salad or soup with the pizza
it okay to save the other 4-5 slices for breakfast the next day if I have a
steak, egg, and cheese bagel to go along with them?
FOODS: WATCH OUT FOR THESE - If this is
where you go, then try to limit the amount you eat
Wings - each wing is 100-150
calories and no one eats just one. And the Blue cheese or ranch dressing adds
Alcohol: It will make you
will also make you funnier, smarter, stronger, and more attractive.
But, I can see the point.
you can have my post-game wings when you pry them out of my cold, dead,
ranch-dressing-and-barbecue-sauce-stained fingers...probably sooner rather than
later. But, still.
is also a list of good foods and a list of bad foods at certain chain
restaurants. But, I will leave that
for another time.
ENHANCING EATING STRATEGIES
20 ounces of fluid one hour
Something to eat one hour
before: Half a turkey sandwich, a wrap, Yogurt and fruit, a smoothie, a shake,
or a bar
As soon as games are done...I
want you to eat and/or drink something WITH calories: A sports drink, half of a
shake, a handful of trail mix.
it comes to a handful of trail mix - like wings - I cannot just eat one.
¼ of the plate should be
Eggs, Egg whites, Fish, Poultry, Veggie Burgers, Beans
, Fried Fish/Chicken, Prime Rib, Loads of Cheese
don't know if I want to live in a world with less bacon and less loads of
¼ of the plate should be
Wraps, Rice, Pasta, French Toast/Waffles/Pancakes
Pastries, Doughnuts, Alfredo Sauce, Fried Potatoes, Cookies
pancakes?!?! Why didn't you say
½ of the plate should be
fruits of vegetables:
Raw, Cooked, Salads, Salsa
Fried, Dressing on Salads
Does that count?
fat at each meal:
More: Nuts, peanut butter,
Less: Cream Cheese, Mayo, Sour
this...I have no problem with this.
And with each meal:
AT LEAST 20 ounces of fluid:
Less: Fruit punch, soda, energy
drinks, sweet tea.
that caffeinated water available? Is
that good for you?
I'm just going to share the TOP
10 for BASEBALL list without comment...well, with one comment.
See if you can spot it:
Timing is everything: Equip Your Body -
Fuel up 1 hour before (yogurt,
glass of chocolate milk, sports drink, or water and a granola or cereal bar)
Fuel during games: sports drink
Replace what you lose -
within 15 minutes of the end of the game (a bar, a shake, a handful of trail
mix, or ½ a peanut butter sandwich)
Fluids-enough and often
125 ounces per day
20 ounces one hour before
20-40 ounces per hour
24 ounces post-practice/games
for every pound you lose
Rice (white or brown)
Bread (whole wheat), wraps,
tortillas, pita, whole grain rolls
Whole grain cereals
Low Fat Dairy
Poultry, Fish, Lean Meat
Guacamole or avacados
Salty foods/beverage if you are a salty sweater
Tomato or V8 Juice
Adding salt to foods
Vitamin C containing foods
Green and yellow vegetables
or yellow? Really?)
Potassium containing foods
Omega-3 fatty acids: salmon,
tuna, sardines, ground flaxseed, walnuts, fish oil supplements (1-2 grams per
Vitamin C containing foods
Ginger - as ginger root,
pickled ginger, ginger capsules: 500 milligrams per day
Green Tea (as a beverage; hot
or iced - NOT as a supplement
Tart cherries: juice, dried
Selenium - in Brazil nuts,
tuna, salmon, turkey, pork, sunflower seeds
There you have it.
Everything you need to eat like a healthy ballplayer.
But, since these are just words on a computer screen, this topic may be
revisited during the season with Jake as a segment or three on Timber Rattlers Field Pass.
I will pass on putting together
a column that covers how to eat like a broadcaster.
H.P. Lovecraft wrote that
column in At
the Mountains of Madness.
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