What you eat before you exercise is very important — especially when you’re a professional baseball player! After a season of cooking privately for several Philadelphia Phillies’ players, I’m serving as the team’s dietitian this season and providing healthy, delicious pregame meals (like the grilled chicken above!). Read on for more tips about the makeup of the perfect pre-exercise meal, and get the recipe for this barbecue-worthy chicken.
Every athlete’s needs are a bit different depending on their sport. In the case of the Phillies, Healthy Bites (my meal delivery service) plans pregame meals to provide low fat, easily digestible carbohydrates for energy and moderate amounts of lean protein to avoid sluggishness. I thought I would share a recipe for one of the pregame meals fit for a professional athlete, a recreational athlete or a tasty backyard barbecue. This simple, quick-to-create meal is packed with flavor and good-for-you nutrients. The bright orange sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, dietary fiber, vitamin B6, potassium and iron. Eat up!
Spice Grilled Chicken with Grilled Sweet Potatoes
For the chicken:
• 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
• 2 tablespoons soy sauce
• Juice and zest of two limes
• 1 tablespoon honey
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon ground coriander
• 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
• 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• Pepper to taste
In a medium sized mixing bowl, add the soy sauce through garlic. Season with salt and pepper and whisk to combine. Add the chicken to the marinade, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat your grill to medium high heat. Once hot, grill chicken for 5-6 minutes per side or until cooked through.
Nutrition Info: 210 calories, 5.2 grams fat, 1 gram sat fat
For the sweet potatoes:
• 1 pound sweet potatoes
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• Salt and pepper
Preheat grill. Clean sweet potatoes, cutting off any bad spots. Cut in half (lengthwise), then cut into quarters (lengthwise). Toss potato wedges with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place potatoes on medium hot grill and cook for about 8-10 minutes on one side. Turn potatoes and cook for another 8 minutes or until tender.
If your potatoes start to get crispy but are still hard in the middle you can place them on a sheet pan in the oven at 375 degrees for 5 or so minutes to finish the cooking process.
Nutrition Info: 85 calories, 2.4 grams total fat, .35 grams saturated fat