Sugars, carbs, and proteinsApologies for the delay in posting -- I totally meant to write something up when I got back Sunday night, but I had some complications with heatstroke in Colorado and have been recovering/lazy for the past few days. The heatstroke was totally worth it, though...a few hours spent wandering around the Denver airport in a very slow and confused state were decidedly overshadowed by an entire weekend spent adventuring around Boulder in a very happy and excited state!
Are what I need today,
So don't give me no green beans--
I don't need those to play.
'Cause vitamins are good for me
But right now, I need power;
I think that we can all agree
It's junk I must devour.
Pancakes that are full of grains!
Be gen'rous with the butter
For fat will help me through the pains
It takes to be a cutter.
I'll eat McMuffins, though, alas,
McDonald's makes me sick.
Ben Wiggins says they'll make me fast
And I want to be quick!
The best thing I can nibble, though
(A tip for all you rookies)
Is made with love and fat and dough--
That's right, I must eat cookies.
Cookies filled with crushed-up nuts
Are best, without a doubt.
The protein helps me make good cuts;
The fat helps me lay out!
The carbs will hit me right away
With energy to bound
And I'll be poached the livelong day--
Baked goods don't mess around.
So in your search for frisbee food,
Let cookies end your puzzlin'.
(You know, Beau Kittredge sky'ed that dude
Because he ate a dozen!)
I love ultimate for some of the same reasons I love cooking. For starters, both were forbidden childhood activities -- the first time I ever played a sport, I was already in high school, sneaking out to the lacrosse fields while my parents thought I was at math team practice. I didn't even know frisbee was an organized sport until I got to college. And, coming late in the game to both cooking and ultimate, I was nowhere near naturally skilled at either.
I think that's the biggest draw for both. There are some things I do because I'm good at them and it's fun to be good at stuff, and there are other things I do because I have to do them regardless of my interest in them. (I try not to let too many things sneak into that second category, but alas, the real world sometimes insists.) And then there are the things I do because I'm not good at them, because they're singular and alluring enough for me to want to get better -- things like writing, listening, mathematical analysis, and yes, cooking and playing ultimate. These things deserve my efforts and frustrations. They charm me, take me in as an unpolished stranger, and compel me with my own ineptitude. They humble me into practicing -- they are why I keep a food blog; they are why I jog back and forth throwing hammers to myself in the backyard; they are why I sprint up concrete hills in the blazing heat with a smile on my face.
They are also why, despite my proclivity for stuffing my face with wild abandon, I try to follow Seattle ultimate guru Ben Wiggins' guide to ultimate eating before any tournament. Doesn't matter how big or important said tournament is -- at the end of the weekend, I don't want to be able to blame any sub-par performance on poor nutrition. And so I start my week off with lots of tofu and beans, switch to veggies on Wednesday, eat a bowl of rice or pasta with every meal starting Thursday night, and try for nutrient-rich Mexican food over the weekend. After all that, if I'm relegated to the D-line or don't score a single point the entire tournament, I know it's because I need to practice, learn, and work harder, and not because I should've chugged Muscle Milk on Monday.
Wiggins has this to say about Saturday-morning pre-game meals:
Why: You are about to play 4 games. You must have fuel.
What to Eat: A mix of carbohydrates, simple sugars, and protein. Fruits/vegetables will help keep mineral levels high, but right now you are mostly concerned with energy for the day. Pancakes/waffles make for good carbohydrate energy. Do not neglect protein, though -- fats and proteins make for longer energy throughout the day. No sense in crashing after game #1. This is why Sausage McMuffins and the like are more than just a humorous choice -- they actually give a pretty good spread of carbs, protein, and fat.
And that's what makes Dishing Out the Good Stuff's piped peanut butter cookies the perfect tournament food. Flour = carbs. Peanut butter = fats and proteins. Chocolate = simple sugars (and endorphins!). I made these into dairy-free ice cream sandwiches at home by blending frozen bananas and squeezing between two cookies, and really, the added potassium would've made them a great on-field meal this weekend. But because ice cream melts, I just brought the cookies to GRUB.
The tournament was awesome, as were the people and the party. Since moving to the West Coast, I've realized I have a lot to learn every time I go to a tournament, and this was no exception -- I was by far the least experienced player on my team, and though I tried hard, I didn't play very well...but I had those cookies, so I can't blame it on the food. I'll just have to keep trying and practicing and improving. And eating cookies. I'll definitely have to keep eating cookies.
Piped Peanut Butter Cookies
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, melted
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup all-natural creamy peanut butter
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/3 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 oz semisweet chocolate
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat together melted butter, egg, brown sugar, granulated sugar, peanut butter, and vanilla. Mix in flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until well-combined.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place on greased baking sheets about 2 inches apart.
Using the tines of a fork, press on each dough ball to flatten.
Bake for about 12 minutes, until edges are slightly browned.
When cooled, place chocolate in a ziplock bag and float in a pot of water over low heat until melted. Cut a tiny hole in one corner of the bag and pipe chocolate into cookie indentations. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes to harden.