Archive | Nutrition

Athletes: Rise & Shine – Eat Breakfast!

By Julie Nicoletti – Nutritionist and Consultant to the New England Ruffnecks – Proprietor – Kinetic Fuel

Some people wake up starving and can’t wait to have breakfast while others can’t even stand the thought of food in the morning.  Then there are those who would rather sleep than take the time to eat. Consider this: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and is an essential part of an athlete’s diet.  Eating breakfast fuels your metabolism, feeds your brain, improves concentration, lengthens attention span, decreases irritability and mid morning fatigue and helps accomplish weight goals. Convinced?

Eating breakfast is non-negotiable. No excuses accepted.

Strategies for eating breakfast:

*Not your favorite? Eat healthy foods that appeal to you. You’ve heard of breakfast for dinner, you can also have dinner for breakfast.

*Rather sleep? Free up time for breakfast by doing some morning chores the night before. Plan, prepare and lay out whatever you can ahead of time. Take it to-go: make a smoothie or egg sandwich that is portable and can be eaten on the go.

*No appetite?  Wake up a few minutes earlier to give your body time to feel hungry. Consider starting small~ a few bites and a few sips the first day and increase daily. Split it up:  eat half at home and half on the road.

Ideas for breakfast:

*Egg whites, one whole egg veggie omelet on whole grain toast or bagel or as a wrap in a Joseph’s Oat Bran, Whole Wheat and Flax lavash, pita or tortilla,  plus fruit, milk or yogurt. For variety, top omelet w/ salsa and add black beans OR fry egg whites using spray like Pam, OR eat hardboiled egg whites to go. Plan ahead. Make enough for a few days, place eggs in pita/tortilla, wrap in paper towel and then in a sandwich baggie. Microwave one each morning.

*Smoothie: blend ice, low fat yogurt, fruit or peanut butter with protein powder or cottage or ricotta cheese. Can take this to-go.

*Whole grain (Kashi) waffles or protein pancakes topped with nut butter and banana OR cottage cheese or yogurt with fruit like mixed berries or apple slices and cinnamon OR natural applesauce. Make into a sandwich if it’s to-go.

*Make the night before: mix ½ c. Old Fashioned Oats w/ 1 c skim or 1% milk and 1/8 c. unsalted sunflower seeds plus raisins or craisins. Add cinnamon to taste.

*Make the night before: mix together and chill~ 1 scoop whey protein powder with 6 oz. 1% milk and 1 tsp. sugar free jello pudding mix. (239 cal, 33g protein, 17g carb, 4g fat)

*Vanilla Chobani yogurt w/ oats, raisins or craisins, sunflower seeds, cinnamon mixed in. OR Hood fat free cottage cheese with diced apples and cinnamon or pineapple and walnuts or Friendship whipped cottage cheese or part skim ricotta on top of Ezekiel or whole grain bread plus fruit.

*Whole grain cereal w/ fiber and low sugar (Total, Kashi, Special K, Smart Start, organic choices – read labels) w/ skim or 1% milk, fruit, yogurt.

*Leftover dinner.

*Tuna melt or turkey, chicken breast on whole grain English muffin plus fruit and milk or yogurt.

*Peanut butter and banana sandwich on whole grain bread and milk.

Whatever you decide, however creative you may be, decide to eat a healthy breakfast. It’s the best way to fuel your day.

Eat well. Play like a champion!

Performance Based Nutrition

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(Updated Wednesday, Sept. 23)

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