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New Book: The Athlete's Plate

Endurance athletes are notorious convenience eaters, consuming pre-packaged products and expensive prepared foods that offer a quick fix for their ravenous appetites. Unfortunately, many of these products leave athletes undernourished, delaying recovery and preventing them from achieving their highest performance. In the new book, The Athlete’s Plate, professional chef and three-time Ironman finisher Adam Kelinson guides athletes from the grocery store to the kitchen, showing them time-saving shopping and cooking strategies to make preparing nutrition meals a pleasure. He recently spoke with CorePerformance.com.

Core Performance: What inspired you to write this book?

Adam Kelinson: I was in Henderson, Nevada, preparing for the Silverman Triathlon, which is a full Iron-distance event. I was out there a week in advance, shopping at Whole Foods and Wild Oats and I noticed over the course of the week I didn’t see any other triathletes there. They’re pretty recognizable when you get to the full-distance level. Toward the end of the week, I bumped into Dave Scott, the six-time Ironman world champion and we got to talking about why nobody else was there. I realized there’s a disconnect between what athletes are eating and where they’re shopping and the foods they are sourcing.

CP: In the book, you write about a childhood experience that scarred you for life regarding fast food.

AK: I was working in a fast food restaurant and saw one of the biggest rats you could imagine. Rats aren’t too discriminatory about what they eat and in a lot of ways athletes aren’t as well. It set the course of my life in terms of the type of foods I wanted to eat from that point on.

CP: Athletes are very busy people, with little time to prepare meals. How can they meet all of the demands on their time and still eat right?

AK: A lot of my recipes are based on leftovers. If you’ve prepared a base ingredient the night before, you can just add components from around the house. It’s also based on minimal processing and cooking. The less you cook, the fewer nutrients you lose and the quicker it is to prepare. It’s a simple formula, but the key is you have to be a participant in your food intake and nutrition. As a society, we tend to outsource our food to industry. That should be our responsibility. We need to take it back to ourselves and eat the foods that support the lifestyle we want to live.

CP: You’re a big fan of farmers markets. What do you recommend beyond fruits and veggies there?

AK: These days farmers markets are one-stop shopping. You can find chicken and fish there as well, as local as possible. This way you can support the members of your community and those that are making this country work as far as farming. If you can’t find chicken and fish there, go to your local health food stores. They tend to have good quality fish and meats there. If not, talk to the manager. The consumer speaks.

CP: How practical is it to obtain food only from local sources, as opposed to food that has traveled many miles to get to you?

AK: Maybe not all the time, but you can usually find foods that came from down the road from where you live. Try to source your foods within a shorter amount of distance. Even here in New York City, you can find foods that have traveled no more than 100 miles and it’s great to know you’re not only supporting farmers not far from New York but also getting healthier, more nutritious food as well.

About The Author

Pete Williams – Pete Williams is a contributing writer for CorePerformance.com and the co-author of the Core Performance book series.

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Tags: Triathlon, Energy, Cooking, Cycling, Running, Food