Olympic silver medalist and 2-time World Champion water polo player Jaime Komer knows a thing or two about nutrition. As an elite athlete, the former Team USA goalkeeper has had to pay attention to what she eats in order to perform at her highest level in the sport, choosing foods that help her to focus in the pool, maintain optimal energy during games and increase recovery time. Today, she uses her dietary know-how to help others eat and live healthier as part of the wellness brand that she founded with husband, Matt, AYT Lifestyle, which provides tips, recipes and resources to people of all activity levels. Here, Komer shares her three favorite, easy-to-make snacks to try before or after your next workout.
Chia Seed Balls
“Chia seeds were used by the Aztec warriors as a source of long-lasting fuel,” Komer says. “Chia has more beneficial soluble and insoluble fiber than almost any other natural source and contains omega-3 fatty acids, too.”
+ 1 cup dates (soak for 10 minutes if extra dry or firm)
+ 1/3 cup peanut butter
+ 1/4 cup raw agave
+ 1/4 cup coconut butter
+ 1/4 raw almonds
+ 1/4 tsp sea salt
+ Small bowl of chia seeds
Blend ingredients together using a food processor or Vitamix. Shape mix into small balls and roll each ball in bowl of chia until well-coated. Place chia balls on a tray in the freezer to harden. Before serving, let balls rest at room temperature for several hours. Chia balls will keep for several months in the freezer.
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Happy Appy Cucumber
Alkaline foods like avocado, cucumber and apple cider vinegar—all found in this recipe—help balance pH levels in the body, in turn decreasing inflammation that can be caused by eating too many acidic foods.
+ 1/4 cup hemp seeds
+ 1 tbs apple cider vinegar
+ 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
+ 1 tbs Bragg’s liquid aminos
+ 1 cucumber, sliced into rounds
+ 1 avocado, cubed
Mix hemp seeds with both vinegars and liquid aminos. Spread mixture over sliced rounds. Top each round with an avocado cube.
Citrus Seasonal Salad
Komer recommends switching out the kumquats or carrot in this salad for any fresh, in-season fruits or vegetables that you can find at your local farmer’s market. This nutrient-filled snack also doubles as a lunch or light post-workout meal.
+ 4 cups of kale
+ Juice of 1 lemon
+ 1 avocado, divided (1/2 sliced into chunks, 1/2 cubed)
+ Sea salt to taste
+ 5 kumquats, thinly sliced
+ 1 heirloom carrot, peeled and sliced
+ 2 tbsp hemp seeds
Pull apart kale in small pieces and place in large bowl. Add lemon juice, the 1/2 avocado sliced into chunks, and salt, massaging into kale to soften leaves. Place bowl in fridge for 10 minutes to absorb. When ready to serve, toss with kumquats, carrot, avocado cubes, and hemp seeds. If desired, add a pinch of cayenne or red chili flakes for added flavor.
Excelle Sports lifestyle editor Kim Vandenberg is an Olympic bronze medalist, Pan American gold medalist, World Championship silver medalist and three-time U.S. national champion and French national champion in swimming. She’s also a member of Excelle’s Athletes Council.