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Skiing and Snowboarding : Nutrition

The Next Energy Bar Revolution: Real Meat

It powered Shackleton, Mallory, and Amundsen, and now dehydrated meats are being pressed into energy bars. They’re just as easy to stash in a pack or pocket for a long run or hike, and they’re usually higher in protein. The only bone of con-tention: the taste. You’ll either love it or hate it.

Epic: A mix of meat, nuts, and dried fruit—and that’s about it. This Paleo-inspired snack has something most trail foods lack: omega-3 fatty acids. Available in bison, beef, and turkey. ($8.50 for three bars)

Omnibar: According to Brent Ruby, the physiologist behind Omni, the bars are designed with the precise nutritional balance of complex carbohydrates and protein for optimal energy synthesis. Made from Montana-raised beef, they’re intended for sustained activity—four hours or more. Comes in four flavors, including roasted peanut and mango curry. ($3)

Tanka Bar: A sweeter, softer take on beef jerky. Think organic bison plus cranberries—a recipe based on the Lakota food wasna, a type of pemmican. ($3)

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The U.S. Ski Team's Favorite Meal

As staff nutritionist for the U.S. Ski Team, Allen Tran has cooked hundreds of meals for America’s best and boldest downhill and cross-country skiers. During the summer, at the team’s off-season training center in Park City, Utah, he oversees everything from breakfast to the recovery station, stocked with chocolate milk and homemade granola. In the winter, he’s tasked with cooking the athletes’ favorite recipes while traveling to some 15 events around the world.

His philosophy is simple: flavorful foods, quality ingredients. In the morning, he serves carbohydrates and a small amount of protein, like oatmeal with nuts, to fuel the skiers all day. At night, he turns to ingredients that are high in protein and iron, like lamb and garbanzo beans, to speed athletes’ recovery. “When I plan a menu,” says Tran, “I look for a lean, high-quality protein, slow-burning carbohydrates, and a green vegetable or fruit that’s high in antioxidants.”

At the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, Tran will prepare standbys like flank steak fajitas and “brinner”—breakfast for dinner. Also on the menu: his popular Jamaican jerk chicken with plantains. “Our athletes love big flavors,” says Tran, “and this dish has them.”

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Ingredients:

3 green onions, chopped
1 habanero chile pepper
3 garlic cloves
1/2 inch fresh ginger root
2 teaspoons honey or dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground allspice
2 teaspoons ground black pepper

2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup tamari or soy sauce
2 tablespoons canola oil
4 boneless chicken breasts

Directions:

1. Combine the first ten ingredients in a food processor and blend to a coarse marinade.

2. With the machine running, add the vinegar, tamari or soy, and oil, and mix thoroughly.

3. Coat the chicken breasts in the marinade and refrigerate overnight.

4. Before cooking, bring the chicken to room temperature (about one hour).

5. Heat grill or oven to medium-high (400 degrees) and cook chicken until browned and cooked through, about 30 minutes, turning- occasionally. Serve with roasted plantains.

Roasted Plantains

Ingredients:
4 plantains, completely black and soft to the touch

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 450 degrees.

2. Slice the pointed ends off each unpeeled plantain.

3. Cut in half lengthwise, then lay flesh side up on a baking sheet.

4. Roast until soft and the exposed flesh is golden brown, about 20 minutes.

5. Peel and serve!

More Meals from Top Athletes

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