Tips for Improving Your Sports Performance

Today my oldest, Aleyah, placed first in her school’s 6th grade science fair with her research paper. She chose to research how an athlete should prepare and recover from exercise. I hope you find her report useful and helpful.

Improving Your Sports Performance

by Aleyah Terry

Exercise is vital and essential to health. It can also be demanding on your body, so you will need to care for your body before and after your sporting event. By feeding it nutritious and healthy food, by doing additional exercises and practices over and above your regularly scheduled practices, and having the right mindset before and after these events, you can feel and be better.


Before your sports practice is the ideal time to fuel your body. If you have a performance, game, competition, or meet the next day, you should eat a hearty dinner. One example of such a meal is grilled chicken breast with BBQ sauce, baked potato, green beans, and organic 2% milk or water. Other combinations could include a mix of lean proteins, carbohydrates and fats from foods and drinks such as these: organic 2% milk, peanut butter, honey, lettuce, roasted chicken breast, tomatoes, mayonnaise-based salad dressing, low-fat vinaigrette dressing, carrots and salmon.


For breakfast you can eat a bowl of cereal with organic milk, a banana, yogurt with fruit, and 100% fruit juice. For a morning snack, some suggestions are a granola bar, fruit, and water. Lunch can include a turkey sandwich with lettuce and tomato, pretzels, carrot sticks, drinkable yogurt, and water. Before your event, eat 30 minutes to one hour before you start. You can eat dry cereal, grapes, cottage cheese, one or two eggs, milk, and water.


Drink extra water the day before, have two to three glasses before bed and one to three glasses five to ten minutes before the event. It is also important to remember to re-hydrate after the event! For most people, water is all they need to stay hydrated. However, for some people it is not enough. Sports drinks are recommended for events lasting longer than one hour to help replace electrolytes that are lost through sweating. This allows your muscles to get back the carbohydrates they need to continue working hard. Some sports drinks that are recommended by the website Best Prono-commercial-sports-drinks-300x300ducts are Reliant Recovery Water, BodyArmor SuperDrink, Zico Pure Premium Coconut Water, and Nature’s Best Isopure Zero Carb Protein Drink. Choose a sports drink wisely. They are often high in calories from added sugar and may contain high levels of sodium. Some alternatives to a sugary sports drink are coconut water, aloe water, cactus water, Himalayan salt with a bit of honey or maple syrup added to your water, and watermelon water.

If you have an early morning sporting event, have a high carbohydrate dinner and drink extra water. The morning of the event, eat about a two hundred calorie meal like yogurt and a banana and also drink more water. If you have a mid-morning event, eat a similar dinner plan as just mentioned. Have a familiar breakfast by 7am to prevent a stomach ache. If you have a mid-afternoon event eat a high carbohydrate breakfast and a light lunch, or combine them into a big brunch. Make sure to have a high carbohydrate dinner the night before, drink extra water the day before and extra on the event day too. If you have an all-day event, you will need some rest so exercise just lightly two days before the event. Rest completely the day before and eat a high carbohydrate breakfast, lunch, and dinner with extra fluids. Eat a breakfast you enjoy and is light on the day of the event, snack every one and a half to two hours, eat lunch if you can, and drink fluids before you feel thirsty.

The biggest secret to playing your best at a competitive sports event is to keep calm and composed and keep your focus on you, your job, and your play. Then be sure to warm-up before that event. If you do not do this, you are running the risk of getting injured. A bowl of fruit and water can get you refreshed before a game. A good pre-event meal contains high carbohydrates, moderate amounts of protein, small amounts of fat, and plenty of fluids. “Practice” your pre-game snacks and meals. Experiment with different foods, drinks, and timing to find what works best for you.


After your activity there is a couple of things you can do to help improve your performance. The first is stretching. There two type of stretching: dynamic and static. Dynamic stretching is a form of stretching that utilizes movement to warm up the body before practice which helps the body recover and release lactic acid from the practice before. The next stretch is static stretching which is done when the body is at rest. This type of stretching is a form of cooling down because it elongates the muscles.  So do dynamic stretching in order to warm up the body and do static stretching after to cool down the muscles.


Some athletes nap too long, or do not nap at all. Those things are not healthy for you. The best thing to do is to fit in a 25 minute to one hour power nap before practice. If you nap too long it will not be beneficial to you. Sleep is essential to recovery. While you sleep, human growth hormones are released, repairing your muscles and tissues. When you are sleep deprived, you do not get the recovery that occurs during sleep.


No athlete likes to cool down after practice because they want to get home. But cooling down is almost the most important part of practice. It releases tension and gets your blood flowing through your body again, and it is a form of active recovery. Either stretch or do a modified version of your sport. Like if you ran a mile that day, run a 200 meters to cool down.


Most people don’t realize that within thirty minutes of practice, you should eat something to refuel your body. The most common is a protein drink, but you can also have snacks like greek yogurt or fruit.


When people think of massages, they think of spas. But, there are more reasons to get a massage than that. Sports massages help relieve tension in your body and help the blood flow more easily through the muscles. You can try to get a sports massage once a month, and if you do,  you will feel the difference.


Ice baths are used after a long time of exercise. Not everyone loves ice baths, but they do love the benefits. These super-cold soaks help speed up recovery, alleviate muscle pain, stiffness, and soreness, and even repairs muscles. If you can, put a bucket of ice in your bathtub, run a cold bath, and lay in there for five to ten minutes. You can take a warm shower and wash up, then turn the water on cold and rinse the part or parts that are sore or you think will be sore. “The Journal of Science And Medicine in Sport” ran a test on runners to see how ice baths showed improvement. When the runners had taken ice baths between the runs, they were able to continue four minutes longer than the times they were not given cold baths, but with a longer recovery time.


Several sports use compression clothing to lower heart rate. It is made with high quality engineered elastic compression fabric to mold around the part of the body. Foam rolling is like a sports massage, but you can do it yourself for cheaper. Rolling over knots, or tight parts, that may have grown during the sport event, can get your blood flowing back to your body. There are some exercises you can do can eliminate sore muscles. If your hip flexors are sore and you have a foam roller, sit on the roller and put one knee on the other and turn towards that leg. For your quadrilaterals, lay on the roller with your stomach laying on it and roll till your quads get massaged.


Overall, there are several ways you can improve your sports performance. Whether using ice baths or fueling your body, you are allowing your body to prepare and recover from your favorite sport. By doing these extra steps, you are building up muscle and bringing vital minerals and nutrients to your body. Exercise is essential to health and using these ideas can improve your athletic ability and keep your body ready and healthy for physical activity. index


Agadoni, Laura. “Perfect Meals for the Day Before a Competitive Sport.” AZCentral. (accessed January 19, 2017).
Boyle, Kendall. “Why Ice Baths Work for Muscle Recovery.” Lifting Revolution. August 4, 201. (accessed January 19, 2017).
Competitive Edge. “Big Game Preperation.” (accessed December 31, 2016).
Hersch, Aaron. “How Compression Apparel Works.” Competitor.Com. February 14, 2014. (accessed January 3, 2017).
Michelle, Nicole. “The Best Pre- and Post-Workout Foods.” Livestrong. Last modified June 29, 2015. (accessed Decmeber 31, 2016).
Shack, Torri. “What to Eat Before and After a Workout.” Youtube. March 25, 2011. (accessed January 5, 2017).
Swearingen, Danelle. “Eating Before Competition.” Central Washington University. (accessed October 30, 2016).
Watne, MS, RD, Laura. “How to Eat Before a Competition.” Children’s Hospital Colorado. (accessed October 30, 2016).
White, Emilie. “10 Ways to Recover After Practice.” SwimSwam. September, 2015. (accessed January 3, 2017).
Wikihow. “How to Prepare for a Sports Game.” (accessed Decmeber 31, 2016).

January 4th Motivation


Motivational Tools for a True Lifestyle Change


With the start of the year just ahead, many are setting goals, and many of those goals are focused on better health. Here are a few excellent online resources that are geared towards helping people incorporate healthy habits into each and every day so they can transform their lifestyles from that of mediocrity to that of thriving with stronger bodies and minds!

  • Revelation Wellness is offering a 30-day online Challenge called “The Little Way” for a tax-deductible donation. With an emphasis on growing your faith, you will also be encouraged in the areas of food and fitness. These 30 days will help you establish healthy habits that will become part of your daily life.

  • Wendi Pett’s Get Visibly Fit is a 7 week program to guide you and coach you to establish healthy habits and to break free of unhealthy ones.

  • Faithful Workouts has a free 31-day Health Challenge that allows you to click on the date and then a daily verse, food advice/wisdom, and a workout video will pop up for you. 

May you find the encouragement to continue in your health journey or to start your very own journey into a healthier and stronger you!

A Key to Grocery Shopping 


Do NOT be fooled by labels that make a product sound like a healthy choice. Peter Pan’s “Simply Ground” peanut butter is anything but “simply ground”. Hydrogenated oils (aka trans fat) are one of the very top ingredients to avoid. I always read the labels of new products I’m considering buying, so I know what I’m fueling (or inhibiting) my body with.

And true, simply ground peanuts taste much better than Peter Pan’s anyways! 😊

Warm Beet and Avocado Salad 



This tower of tastiness was inspired by a dish I had in NYC.  The restaurant where I ordered this served it cold, but I knew that it would be better with warm beets to melt the avocado, making it extra creamy. With that said, here is my twist on their idea. 

Warm Beet and Avocado Salad 

  • 2 medium beets, peeled and sliced into circles

  • 1 avocado, sliced

  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic

  • pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400. Lay beets on a baking sheet. Season with pepper and sprinkle with chopped garlic. Roast for 20-25 minutes in the oven or until fork tender. 

As the beets become close to being done, slice the avocado. When beets are finished,  begin layering the salad with a beet slice followed by 2-3 avocado slices on top of the beet. Repeat this layering until it’s 5-6 layers high. I sometimes garnish with crunched up kale chips when I have them made. Makes 3-4 servings.

*Beets and avocados are high in Folate (great for women in their child-bearing years!) Beets are also a great liver cleanser and avocados are great for eye and bone health.

Spaghetti Squash Muffins

My most viewed post of 2015…all natural sugars (and very little at that) to make these a “sweet treat”.

Whole to the Core Blog

Spaghetti squash isn’t just made for dinner. How about dessert or breakfast? Itweakedthis recipe that Ifound on and served this to my kids. They ate them up and finished off the batch within a few days. My oldest, Aleyah, privately cornered me and asked what I had hiddenin there. Pretty smart girl! I answered her honestly, and she smiled and commented on how much she liked them (still 🙂 ). Now you can make up a batch of spaghetti squash for yourpomadora saucefor the night and use the rest for your breakfast the next morning.


Spaghetti Squash Muffins

1 1/4 cup whole grain flour

1 Teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Dash salt

1 Tablespoon ground flax (or 1 egg)

2 Tablespoons honey

2 Tablespoons coconut oil, extra light virgin olive oil, or nut oil

1 small orange, zested and juiced

1/4 – 1/3 cup almond…

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Christmas Day – The Christ Candle

Whole to the Core Blog

Today we celebrate God’s gift to us- Jesus Christ. May you and your family have a blessed Christmas Day, and may the love of Jesus fill your heart throughout the new year!

John 1:1-14
The Word Became Flesh

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.

Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true…

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Celebrating Advent – The Bethlehem Candle: the Candle of Peace

Whole to the Core Blog

Celebrating the Second Sunday of Advent The Bethlehem Candle- the candle of Peace:


“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.” Micah 5:2-5

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were…

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Celebrating Advent – The Prophet’s Candle, The Candle of Hope

Whole to the Core Blog

Today we celebrate the first Sunday of Advent. This week’s candle is called the Prophet’s  Candle, and it represents the hope God gave to His people with the promise of the coming Messiah.

 There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

Isaiah 11:1-2

There are over 300 Old Testament prophecies fulfilled in Jesus.

Mathematically speaking, here are the odds of any one person fulfilling these 300+ prophecies:

  • 1 person fulfilling 8 prophecies: 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000
  • 1 person fulfilling 48 prophecies: 1 chance in 10 to the 157th power
  • 1 person fulfilling 300+ prophecies: Providence at it’s best!

“The days are coming,” declares the Lord,

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7 Days of Fulfillment ~ Day 1


We often hear about the Old Testament prophecies being fulfilled in Jesus at Christmas time – those that center around His birth. But, there are many that are also fulfilled through His death. Beginning today, and throughout the rest of Passion Week, we will look at just how some of those Old Testament prophesies were indeed fulfilled completely in Christ.

Day 1 Prophecy:

“And I (God) will put enmity between you (Satan) and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed (Jesus) ; He will bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel” (Gen. 3:15).

Fulfilled: “ ‘Now is the judgment of this world. Now shall the prince of this world (Satan) be cast out. And if I (Jesus) be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all to Myself.’ But He said this to signify by what death He was about to die” (John 12:31-33).