Side Dish: Want to eat smart? Learn from the pros — baseball’s elite | Food/Restaurants

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“The Game of Eating Smart: Nourishing Recipes for Peak Performance Inspired by MLB Superstars” by Julie Loria with chef Allen Campbell, Rodale Books, 240 pages, hardcover, $25.99

The long Major League Baseball season can take a toll on players’ bodies. Today’s elite players are learning that “proper nutrition has a positive impact on athletic performance,” author Julia Loria writes in “The Game of Eating Smart: Nourishing Recipes for Peak Performance Inspired by MLB Superstars.”

The players “now know it’s vital to fuel themselves with food that boosts energy and, in turn, confidence,” she writes. “These players credit their improved eating habits with fewer aches, pains and injuries, faster muscle recovery, better focus on the field — and, in some cases, longer careers.”

Side Dish: Recipe for Cashew Crusted Salmon Skewers

In the book, 21 players who have made lifestyle changes share their views on nutrition and their eating habits both during the season and in the off-season.

After completing the interviews, Loria teamed up with Allen Campbell, former personal chef for New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady, to develop more than 100 recipes inspired by what the players like to eat. Since many of the players Loria spoke with avoid dairy, gluten and refined sugar, all of the book’s recipes are dairy- and gluten-free and none includes refined sugar.

The book begins with information on stocking the kitchen for making the book’s recipes and how to prepare beans, grains and homemade nut milks.

Each chapter opens with a player’s interview, followed by easy-to-make recipes that reflect that player’s approach to eating smart. For example, Houston Astro José Altuve says he’s noticed that since he’s improved his diet, he feels better on and off the field and his recovery is much faster. He starts his day with an omelet of spinach, onions and tomatoes, plus two slices of wheat bread and fruit, and he enjoys eating fish for dinner. The recipes in his chapter include simple scrambled eggs, snapper with baked acorn squash and escarole, coconut mango bars and granola bites.

Other featured players include Giancarlo Stanton of the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price and Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs.

The book is illustrated with full-color photographs of each player and of many of the completed dishes.


Cheramie Sonnier is a food writer and columnist. Email her at sonnierfood@gmail.com, and follow her on Twitter, @CheramieSonnier.

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