Beginning this semester, the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics is preparing meals for Billikens athletics. The meals, coordinated by Chef Instructor Dan Brewer and Department of Athletics dietitian and nutritionist Jenni Hamlin will provide athletes with the proper nutrition needed to perform their best.
Nutrition is a vital piece of the puzzle for optimum sports performance. Proper fueling before and during competition gives athletes the competitive advantage needed to succeed. Learning how to fuel their body correctly before and after workouts and throughout the day enhances an athlete’s body's ability to recover from training and maximize their physical development.
The meals have included both sit down dinners and boxed lunches. Recently, for the Cross Country and Track & Field teams, the meal consisted of White Balsamic Glazed Salmon with Creamy Polenta Cakes topped with Roasted Artichoke Hearts and Garlic Honey Spinach. Other menus have included such things as Asian Power Bowls and Curry Chicken Salad Wraps with Sweet Potato Skin Chips.
The menus are developed to meet specific macro nutrient needs of each team while focusing on the mission of Fresh Gatherings Café by using sustainable local products to create elevated food and education opportunities for students. Chef Brewer has even put together a specially-developed granola recipe for the athletes that is calorie dense, full of healthy fats, fiber and whole grains to be eaten over the course of a day for sustained energy.
“I am really excited to be working with Jenni on this project because she is an outstanding dietitian and I think it is a great example of university collaboration,” Chef Brewer said. “The project creates a unique platform for both of us by creating education opportunities for students.”
Hamlin, a 2013 graduate of the SLU Dietetic Internship, works directly with the athletes, helping them meet their physical and training goals to take their performance to the next level. Her purpose is to not only guide the athletes on what to eat, but also to explain why to eat it. Hamlin provides one-on-one counseling, sometimes developing individualized meal plans for all athletes based on their individual needs, training goals and competition fueling.