Turkey

Best For: Adding muscle mass

Turkey contains selenium, a nutrient that helps buffer damaging by-products of exercise. Via Shutterstock     Photo: SunnyS

Why it Works: Most people believe that a recovery meal after a lifting session needs to have a higher protein content because your muscles are so taxed. Not true. The same 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio applies. Glenn Lyman, a chef and nutritionist whose client list includes NFL Pro Bowl player Steve Smith, recommends low-fat chocolate milk immediately following your workout. Lyman also encourages athletes to take a glutamine supplement (an amino acid that helps with protein synthesis) from a reputable company like Revolutionary Sports Performance. “Two-and-a-half hours later, seek out a real meal with similar ratios, 4:1 complex carbohydrates to lean protein,” says Lyman. “This one should include slow digesting, fiber rich starches and lean protein with a little healthful fat.” One of Lyman’s go to combinations is garden brown rice with lean ground turkey. Beyond just protein, turkey contains selenium, a nutrient that helps buffer damaging by-products of exercise (peroxides and free radicals) that accumulate in the muscles during training. According to the book Advanced Sports Nutrition by Dan Benardot, "A selenium deficiency may result in muscle weakness and increased recovery time after exhaustive exercise.” Reduce cooking time during the week by making more than one serving on Sunday and warming up the leftovers on weekdays. “I like to make the entire recipe and store it in individual portions for my clients for quick healthful meals during training days,” says Lyman.

The Recipe: Garden Brown Rice with Lean Ground Turkey
Ingredients

3  cup brown rice, cooked
1  cup corn kernels, fresh, or frozen
1  cup zucchini, diced
1  cup summer squash, diced
1  cup red bell pepper, diced
1  cup carrot, diced
10  ounces spinach, fresh
2  tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2  cup chicken stock
8  ounces ground turkey, cooked
1/2  cup onion, diced
1  teaspoon kosher salt
2  teaspoons Creole Soul Seasoning
1  green onion, chopped
1  tablespoon parsley, fresh, chopped

Directions
In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, brown the ground turkey and onion (seasoned with salt and creole seasoning) in 1 tablespoon of oil until cooked through. Drain. Saute all vegetables (except spinach) over medium-high heat, in remaining oil until crisp tender, stirring often about 3-4 minutes. Add chicken stock and bring just to a boil. Add spinach mixing well until wilted, about 1-2 minutes. Toss with cooked brown rice and ground turkey. Garnish with parsley and green onion.

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