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03-10 five fixable food errors!

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Remember what you eat, when you eat it and how much varies from person to person and it does make an impact on health and performance!

Five Fixable Food Errors
by Dawn Weatherwax, RD, CSSD, LD, LAT, ATC, CSCS

Many Active Individuals and Athletes do not realize how great an impact the right foods, in the right amounts, at the right time, have on sports performance. It can actually affect performance up to 15 percent! Below are the top five common mistakes we all make along with simple tips on how to resolve them.

Mistake #1: Skipping Breakfast
If you go 12 hours without eating the body will start to break down precious muscle as an energy source. And that is the last thing anyone wants to happen. Not eating breakfast usually means we will not eat for well over 12 hours and coffee does not count as a breakfast! The number one reason why many people skip breakfast is because they "don't have time." Here are some ideas to counter that excuse:

  • As you run out the door, grab a meal replacement bar. Look for those that have 16-30g of protein and at least 250-450 calories.
  • Egg sandwiches can be quick and easy. Combine 1 egg and two egg whites and cook them in the microwave for two minutes. Place the cooked eggs on a sliced whole wheat bagel, put a slice of cheese on top, and you've got a very wholesome breakfast in no time. You can even make this sandwich the night before-or make several of them-and put one in the microwave in the morning to heat it up.
  • Smoothies that are made from yogurt and a milk/soy/rice based products are wonderful. Again, you can make a big batch, recycle old fluid bottles, and put the smoothie mixture in the bottles.

    Berry Banana Blitz 1 banana 8 oz yogurt (plain or flavored) 40-60g of vanilla protein powder/or tofu 1pkg 10 oz frozen strawberries, unsweetened ¼ cup orange juice 1 Tablespoon honey (optional)

    Cut banana into chunks. Place into blender with all other ingredients. Cover and blend until smooth. Makes three servings. (Source: The Official Snack Guide for Beleaguered Sports Parents)

Mistake #2: Eating Infrequently
Everyone’s sweat rate is different, so it’s important for athletes to monitor their own hydration status. An easy method is to have athletes check their urine each morning after they awaken. If the color of their urine is pale like lemonade, that’s a sign of proper hydration. If the color of their urine is dark like apple juice, they should consume more fluids during the day. No need to overdo it: usually an extra quart of fluid is sufficient.

In order to have consistent energy levels and maximize performance, you must spread your calories and fluids evenly throughout the day. That means eating something every three to four hours. When you fail to do so, performance suffers. Not being fueled leads to quicker fatigue, mental mistakes, and more soreness from the previous day, all of which prevents from performing at high levels.

The best ways to meet steady energy demands are to start packing. Along with eating breakfast and lunch, a mid morning and mid afternoon snack is essential. Quick and easy snack ideas include:

  • Trail mixes with soy nuts and without the candy.
  • Peanut/Almond butter and jelly preserve sandwiches.
  • Hard Boiled Eggs. One Whole, the rest egg whites and baby carrots . 2 oz high protein cereal (9g of protein per ounce). Many types are delicious even without milk.
  • Greek Yogurt, fresh fruit and 1oz almonds
  • Premade smoothies or shakes. (Prefer the ones with 20-30g of protein)
  • Protein bars (aim for 20-30g of protein and low in saturated fats)ie. Clif Protein Bars, Powerbar Protein Bars
  • Vitalicious®Muffin Tops
  • Low fat string cheese with whole wheat crackers/Triscuits
  • Need Ideas for snacks---New web app!

Mistake #3: Not drinking enough
Having an optimal amount of fluid promotes protein building, fat breakdown and has a positive impact on power, strength, speed and concentration. The first goal is to get at least half of your weight in fluid ounces a day. For example, 120 lb person needs at least 60 oz of water.

Being thirsty is not a great indicator of dehydration. In fact, if you are thirsty you are already 2-4 percent dehydrated.

The goal is to aim for drinking at least one half your weight in fluid ounces a day, NOT including what you drink during activity. Milk, unsweetened tea, sports drinks, and flavored waters all count towards this number. Some quick ideas:

  • Carry around a water bottle throughout the day.
  • Drink 12-20oz of fluid at breakfast, lunch, after school, and at dinner.
  • Need flavor? Add fresh orange slices to spruce it up. Green tea or flavored unsweetened teas are another healthy alternative. Crystal Light and Propel packets are easy to add as well.

Mistake #4: Too many Freebies!
Freebies at SN2Go are foods you should have in moderation. These are foods that are high in sugar and/or unhealthy fat (saturated/trans), such as candy, soda, fried foods, and sweets. Things like donuts, nachos, and Buffalo wings are just a few of many low nutrient dense examples. A lethal combination when the body cannot use these nutrients to build muscle, burn fat and create sustained energy! Also for my alcohol drinkers--- a 12oz beer, 1.5oz of hard liquor and 4-5oz glass of wine are also considered a freebie!!!!

The rule I suggest is to keep consumption to one freebie a day, or seven a week! Trying to eliminate these foods completely is unrealistic, but putting a limit on them is something everyone can work with.

Helpful hints:

  • Keep a cooler or food bag in the trunk of your car/bus with healthy foods. Fill with yogurts, pre-made smoothies, low fat crackers and low fat cheese, whole fruits, baby carrots, and protein bars.
  • Clean out the house/apartment. There's no reason to keep tons of freebies in the house. Replace them with great tasting healthy items, such as baked chips, healthy cereals, sandwich foods, and fruit. Eat leftovers from the night before. You will be surprised what you will eat when the freebies are eliminated from the cupboard.
  • If you eat out, keep orders simple and well rounded. Grilled/blackened chicken, broccoli and wild rice are good choices. If fast food is the only option, Subway's low fat menu option and Wendy's chili, plain baked potato, mandarin oranges and skim milk are what to choose. SN2G has a Restaurant Guide to help you make good choices! Ask about it!
  • Only select food establishments that provide healthy options. That way if the whole team is eating out at one time, this sets up the correct environment.
  • As coaches have the parents provide healthy options in the locker room and on the road. The average athlete gets in 5-10 freebies a day. They need more help making healthier choices. If the athlete still chooses an unhealthy option then that is their choice.

Mistake #5: Making Excuses
I have heard all of the excuses possible from the client, coach, parent and the athlete. These excuses include: Changing mine/their nutrition is too hard. I can't control what they eat. They're just picky eaters. However, excuses don't meet the end result. If sports performance or meeting your health goals ranks a seven or higher on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being the highest), then the excuses do not match up with the goal.

Gradually fix these top five mistakes, and watch yourself have more energy-and better work/sports performance--as a result!


"Dawn's nutrition program has taught me how to eat so I can compete at the highest level. I definitely have more energy than ever. Working with Dawn is one of the best decision's I have made!"

Nicole Castrale LPGA

Love Starts in the Kitchen!™

By: Rita Nader Heikenfeld, CCP, CMH Macy's Regional Culinary Professional, Syndicated Columnist Community Press, and Certified Modern Herbalist. You can blog her at or reach her through her website,

Love really does start in the kitchen when you prepare seafood for your family. Cold water fish, like salmon, has anti-inflammatory properties, contains Omega 3's, which can help reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. Fish is brain food, too, just like your Mom told you! The best fish to eat is wild salmon, since it feeds on krill, which gives the salmon a beautiful orange color. Farm raised salmon contain colorants. I love serving this with a side of spinach or other nutrient-dense leafy greens, which contain folate, vitamin B6, calcium and other nutrients.

Garlic, parsley and black pepper also have good anti-inflammatory properties.

To prevent sticking:

  • Start with perfectly dry fish.
  • Make sure fat (olive oil) is hot - test it by drizzling a drop or two of water in the pan - it should sizzle.
  • If fillets are skinless, begin with the bone side down in the pan first, since the skinned side may have some harmless discoloration, and you'll want the best side browned first. If they have skin, start with skin side down.
  • Shake pan when adding fish. Letting the fish move around the pan for a few seconds helps to prevent sticking.
  • Turn fish only once. This will lessen the possibility of it falling apart.
To start cooking:

Heat skillet over medium heat and add about 2 tablespoons olive oil and a large clove of garlic, sliced. Saute garlic until just browned and remove.

Add a bit more oil if needed, then add about a tablespoon or so of lemon juice. Turn heat to high. Add salmon and shake pan so fish doesn't stick. Cook until slightly browned and cooked through on each side. Don't overcook.

Pour pan juices over fish, adding a drizzle or two more of olive oil and lemon if necessary. Finish with a sprinkling freshly ground black pepper and fresh parsley.

Leave a bit of water clinging to spinach leaves after washing. Put in a big pot and cover. Turn heat on high. Spinach will wilt nicely after a couple of minutes. Another option is to cover a pan with olive oil and add a bit of chopped garlic and red or black pepper. Add washed spinach. Cook, stirring often, until spinach is slightly wilted.

Current News

• Sports Nutrition 2Go has launched a new web application on nutrient timing for pre and post activity! Please go to

• Abigail Lepolt, RD, LD, presented on Nutrition and Athletic Performance to CCHMC in Feb and March '10.

• Dawn Weatherwax is doing a three part nutrition series to one of the top law firms that are located in Cincinnati and Dayton in March and April '10.

• Dawn Weathewax wrote an article for Swimmer's World and is beginning to work with a swimmer from Canada.

• Dawn Weatherwax wrote an article for WBCA (Women's Basketball Coaches Association) and will be speaking at their national convention in April 2010 on "The Power of Nutrition for All Levels".

• Dawn Weatherwax spoke at the NCAA Showcase Feb 10'. Only three national speakers were featured to show how their services benefit collegiate athletics.

• Dawn Weatherwax contributed to the NCAA cooking demo (which is housed within the NCAA Sports Medicine Handbook - Guideline 2f)

• Dawn Weatherwax contributed to Mark Kovac's Tennis Recovery guide that was published by the USTA in 'Jan 10.

• Dawn Weatherwax has been quoted by Oxygen magazine for a summer issue on the fat's role in everyday nutrition.

• Dawn Weatherwax has been asked to write a baseball menu plan for the Spark magazine summer issue.

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The Power of Nutrition for All Golf Levels

• Great AUDIO presentation for all ages!!
• Learn how to improve your golf game through sports nutrition
• Learn proper hydration and nutrition techniques before, during and after you play
• Learn how body composition and metabolism plays apart in improving your score
• Learn about different sports nutrition programs we offer to groups and individuals


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