Nutrition Corner - Sporting KC Youth

September 18, 2019

The Big 4 Macronutrients to Include In Every Meal

As previously stated, practicing proper nutrition can help give athletes more of a competitive edge because Food = Fuel and Eating = Energy…

Here are the 4 macronutrients you should include with every meal you cook/feed your athlete:



Examples: Brown or wild grain rice, millet, barley, quinoa, and oats; whole or sprouted grain breads, colorful fruits and veggies (rich in anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense, and immune boosting)



Examples: Free range, grass fed meat and poultry, wild Alaskan fish, organic eggs (runny egg yolks are more nutrition vs. being completely cooked), legumes, nuts, seeds, dairy


Healthy Fats

Examples: Nuts/seeds (darker are better – almonds, walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin, chia/flax seeds), Alaskan and other cold water fish, egg yolks, ground flaxseeds, chia seeds, avocados, olive/flax/coconut/sesame oil



Examples: Fruits and veggies, whole grains, nuts & seeds (especially flax/chia seeds)




Diana Robison

MLS, Sporting KC Sports Performance Dietician

September 6, 2019

Fueling For Training/Games

Prior to training/games, it is VERY IMPORTANT to fuel right with a high carbohydrate meal with simple AND complex carbs, plus some protein and good fats.  Keep this meal lower in fiber and fat to prevent stomach issues.  This meal will help keep your blood sugar in check which will sustain your energy and hydration levels throughout the entire practice or match.  Carbohydrates in particular  are the primary fuel source for our bodies, especially when performing high intensity and agility sessions – and prolonged “stop and go” activities (aka SOCCER)!


Questions to ask yourself before training/game:

1) Did I eat breakfast (or lunch)?

2) What did I eat before I came in?

3)  Where is my water bottle?


Pre-Workout General Recommendations:

1) 2-4 hours before: Eat a balanced meal; focus on carbs (grains/starches, fruits/cooked vegetables, yogurt) Example: Cereal w/ yogurt + fruit

2) 1 hour before: Top off the tank with a snack Example: Fruit and Granola Bar + Water

3) Focus on Fluids!  Check urine for lemonade color or lighter.


Ideal Pregame Meal:

1 Plate: 

1/2 starches / complex carbs

1/4 lean protein

1/4 fruit or steamed vegetables



  • Turkey Sandwich + Baked Chips or Pretzels with Hummus + Fruit
  • Grilled Chicken Tenders + Whole Wheat Pasta + Steamed Veggies
  • Morning Practice / Game: 1 cup rolled oats, 1 banana, 1 large spoonful peanut butter, low-fat yogurt or scrambled eggs
  • FLUIDS!!!  Water, fruit juice, sports drinks
    • 2-4 hours before: 2-3 cups of fluids with sodium (you can lose a lot of sodium through sweating; sometimes the sodium is the cause of cramping; don’t be afraid to salt foods before game, but drink water with meal)
    • 1-2 hours before: 1-2 cups




Diana Robison

MLS, Sporting KC Sports Performance Dietician

August 30, 2019

Healthy & Delicious Grilled Chicken

This week you have the option to fire up some healthy lean proteins, veggies, and fruit on the grill.  I want to show you a way to make healthy AND delicious grilled chicken, BBQ sauce and a link to banana boats for dessert!



1) Marinate 2 lbs chicken in your favorite BBQ sauce at least 30-60 minutes.

2) Spray grill with olive, avocado, or canola oil spray.

3) Grill with salt & pepper to taste at 350-450 degrees F.  Keep the lid closed and watch the temperature to speed up the process.  This will take ~5-7 minutes per side and use a meat thermometer to make sure chicken is cooked to 165 degrees F.

4)  Optional: Serve with additional BBQ sauce on the side!


Note: Sometimes BBQ sauce can be deceptively high in sugar, but it adds a mighty flavor punch to the meal!  Below is a TANGY BBQ SAUCE recipe lower in fat, sugar, and sodium than most bottled BBQ sauces.



1) Combine the following ingredients in a saucepan: 1 cup molasses, 1 cup mustard, 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar, 2 tsp Franks Hot Sauce, 2 tsp Worcestershire, 1 Tbsp Chili Powder, 1/8 tsp black pepper

2)  Simmer for 20 minutes.

3) Cool completely and store in fridge up to 3 weeks.




Thank you all!  Enjoy!



Diana Robison

MLS, Sporting KC Sports Performance Dietician

July 23, 2019

Travel Meal Suggestions

As much as we all try to plan ahead, sometimes it’s hard to get all our ducks in a row ~ & eating out just makes more sense.  Whether you are running low on time, traveling, or going out to eat with a coworker, family member, or friend, there ARE healthy options just for YOU!

Let the suggestions below serve as a guide to help you choose healthier restaurant & menu options!


Panera Breakfast & Lunch:

  • Breakfast:
    • Avocado, Egg White & Spinach on Sprouted Grain Bagel Flat
    • Ham, Egg, Cheese & Roasted Tomato on Whole Grain Farm Style Bread
    • Steel Cut Oatmeal with Almonds, Quinoa & Honey; *add low fat, plain Greek yogurt on side for extra protein!
    • Sprouted Grain Bagel (add 2 T peanut butter & sliced banana + low fat, plain Greek yogurt)
  •  Coffee:
    • Drink black or sweetened with low fat milk or unsweetened milk alternative (optional: lightly sweetened with honey)
  • Lunch:
    • Sandwiches (½ sandwich with salad or soup):
      • Bacon Turkey Bravo Sandwich on Tomato Basil
      • Turkey Sandwich on Whole Grain (with salad or soup)
      • Roasted Turkey & Avocado BLT on Country Rustic or Whole Grain (with salad or soup)
    • Salad (½ with sandwich):
      • Ancient Grain & Arugula with Chicken Salad
      • Asian Sesame Salad with Chicken Caesar Salad with Chicken
      • Dressings:
        • Asian Sesame Vinaigrette, Chile Lime Rojo Ranch, Green Goddess Dressing, Low Fat Thai Chili Vinaigrette, Reduced Fat Balsamic Vinaigrette
    • Soup (½ with sandwich):
      • Bistro French Onion Soup
      • Cream of Chicken & Wild Rice Soup
      • Low-Fat Chicken Noodle Soup
      • Turkey Chili
      • **Any of the broth bowls with salad or sandwich are fantastic!


Jimmy John’s:

  •  Top Sandwiches:
    • Slim 2 Roast Beef on Wheat
    • Slim 4 Turkey Breast on Wheat
    • Big John #6 on whole wheat, mayo on side
    • Turkey Tom on whole wheat, mayo on side
    • Totally Tuna on whole wheat, mayo on side
  • Club Sandwiches:
    •  Gourmet Smoked Ham Club
    •  Bootlegger Club
    • Country Club
    • Club Lulu
    • **Ensure club sandwiches come with light mayo.
    • **Eat with apples or baked chips; Any of these sandwiches as an “unwich” is a great option! Also, you can always ask for extra veggies on the sandwiches!


Which Wich:

  • Top Sandwiches:
    •  Superfood Wich (vegan black bean patty)
    • Black bean patty sandwich on 7” whole wheat bun
    • Chicken or Turkey sandwich on 7” whole wheat bun
    • Chicken Cordon Bleu sandwich on 7” whole wheat bun
    • Chicken Pesto sandwich on 7” whole wheat bun
    • Roast Beef sandwich on 7” whole wheat bun
  •  Sides:
    • Chicken, Chicken cordon bleu, or Black bean patty bowl



  • Bowls:
    • Chicken or Steak “Burrito” Bowl


Crazy Bowls & Wraps:

  • Bowls:
    • Chicken, Tofu, Salmon, Steak Bowl + quinoa/brown rice or zucchini noodles
    • Regular Teriyaki, Fajita, Power, Thai Bowls + salad/soup or chips + salsa on side
  • Whole wraps:
    • Traditional, Veggie, Teriyaki, BBQ, Buffalo
  • Salads ( ½ with soup or sandwich):
    • Spinach Arugula, Tossed Kale Quinoa (choose ½ bowl/wrap + salad)
  • Soup ( ½ with salad or sandwich):
    • Santa Fe Soup


Enjoy all these healthy options!



Diana Robison

MLS, Sporting KC Sports Performance Dietician

July 1, 2019

Lemonade Recipes

Happy Fourth of July Parents!


Let’s celebrate this July 4th with some lemonade without the refined sugars and excess calories!  See below for the recipe for an incredibly hydrating, electrolyte-rich lemonade that will leave you feeling refreshed!


Electrolyte Lemonade (200+ mg Sodium):

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan Sea Salt

12 oz coconut water

6 oz hand squeezed lemon juice


Other INFUSED H20 Recipes:

-Watermelon + Mint

-Mango + Lime

-Lemongrass (juiced) + Strawberry



Make infused water NOT taste like water by making it into a puree! Puree frozen fruit and herbs, then strain and mix with water and lemon/lime juice.  The more flavors the better!




Diana Robison

MLS, Sporting KC Sports Performance Dietician

May 27, 2019

Hydration Protocol

With some hot & humid months in the horizon, I encourage you and your athlete to commit to this water challenge with me to stay well hydrated — I DARE YOU!  Here it goes:  Drink 16 oz of H20 every morning the moment you wake up when your body is in a dehydrated state.  Did you know that your muscles are made up of ~75% H20?!?  No wonder losing 2% or more of total body weight can significantly impair performance and decrease muscular strength and power!


*Please see the guidelines below for individual H20 goals throughout the day and post-exercise.   And don’t forget to replenish with electrolytes from sports drinks (pre/during/post-exercise), table salt, fruits/veggies, nuts & seeds, and dairy to regulate nerve and muscle function and keep that body hydrated!  Happy drinking, bottoms up!

Minerals in Our Sweat:

Sodium: 460-1840 mg/liter

Chloride: 710-2840 mg/liter

Potassium: 160-390 mg/liter

Magnesium: 0-36 mg/liter

Calcium: 0-120 mg/liter



Diana Robison

MLS, Sporting KC Sports Performance Dietician

May 27, 2019

Grilling Season

Memorial Day kicks off the start of grilling season!  Grilling is one of the healthiest, lightest ways to cook, but you also want to be conscious of choosing leaner meats.


Which cuts to choose:

Poultry: Skinless White Meat or Chicken

Beef: Flank Steak, Top Loin, Sirloin, Porterhouse, T-bone steak, tenderloin, 90% lean ground beef

Pork: Pork Chops or Tenderloin

Lamb: Look for the word “loin”

Fish: Salmon, Tuna, Mahi Mahi, Halibut, Tilapia (thick enough to withstand grill)


More Tips:

When shopping, look for cuts with the least amount of visible fat.  The marbling in meat means it is streaked with fat.  *Note: Ground chicken and turkey do not always contain less fat than ground beef because they often contain a mix of dark meat and skin.  Pick ground low fat chicken/turkey breast meat.  Meats labeled “lean” contain <10 grams of total fat, and “extra lean” contain <5 grams of total fat.





Diana Robison

MLS, Sporting KC Sports Performance Dietician

May 20, 2019

Incorporating Vegetables Into Your Everyday Meals

There are a lot of debatable issues regarding nutrition, but we can all agree that VEGETABLES are our friend, not our foe!  How can we include more of these immune boosting, anti-inflammatory and nutrient dense colorful veggies in our diet every single day?!  Well, a great place to start is with a delectable salad.  Set a goal for your family to include a salad with dinner every night.  Building a great salad can be very simple.


Just follow these three steps:


1)  Choose a dark leafy green (spinach, kale, spring mix, etc.) for the base.

2)  Include chopped carrots, bell peppers, tomatoes, avocados, radishes, celery, sweet potatoes, jicama, etc.

3)  Top with an olive oil, vinegar, or yogurt based dressing and jazz that salad up with a healthy crunch from sprouted toast pieces, roasted chickpeas, brown rice crackers, kale chips, plantain chips, chopped apples, slivered almonds or cashew halves and pieces, etc.




Diana Robison

MLS, Sporting KC Sports Performance Dietician

May 13, 2019

Breakfast Cereal/Granola Choices

A few questions were raised about how to shop for breakfast cereal/granola.  Below are a few of my top cereal choices that don’t taste like gravel, so your kids will actually enjoy transitioning from cocoa pebbles, cinnamon toast crunch, etc. to some superior options.


Cereal Buying Guidelines:

  • Look for WHOLE grains (i.e. oats, quinoa, etc.) in the ingredient list.
  • 10g of sugar or less.
  • At least 3g of fiber in every serving.
  • At least 3g of protein in every serving.


My Top Cereal Choices:

1) Alpen Swiss Style Muesli

2) Barbara’s Original or Peanut Butter Puffins

3) Bob’s Quick Cooking Steel Cut Oats

4) KASHI GoLean Cinnamon Crisp Cereal or Vanilla Graham Clusters

5) Cascadian Farms Purely O’s or KASHI Heart-to-Heart Toasted Oat Cereal

6) Cascadian Farms Hearty Morning

7) Quaker Honey Nut Oatmeal Squares

8) Kellogg Special K Protein

9) Nature’s Path Millet Rice


My Top Granola Choices:

1) KIND Granola

2) Bear Naked Granola

3) Bob’s Red Mill Crunchy Coconut Granola

4) Nature’s Path Pumpkin Flax Granola


*Combine any of these cereal/granola choices with 2% milk, Greek yogurt, or FairLife milk for extra protein at breakfasts, snacks, and evening desserts.





Diana Robison

MLS, Sporting KC Sports Performance Dietician

April 29, 2019


Do you ever get tired of the same old smoothies, day after day, week after week?  Well, you’re in luck!  I’ve created some new and fun, EASY smoothie recipes you can refer to and switch things up a bit!


Creamy “Nice Cream”

  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 spoonfuls ground flaxseed
  • 8 oz unsweetened almond or coconut milk
  • Optional: 1 scoop protein powder


Daily Greens

  • 8 oz coconut water
  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • 1 splash lemon juice
  • ½ cup pineapple
  • Squirt of honey
  • Ice


Cold Brew Smoothie

  • 8 oz cold brew (or chilled brewed coffee)
  • 1 banana
  • Squirt of honey or 2 pitted dates
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 1 Tablespoon nut butter
  • Ice


Almond Joy

  • 12 oz unsweetened almond or coconut milk
  • 1 scoop almond butter
  • ½ cup blueberries
  • ½ banana
  • 1 scoop collagen
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • Squirt of honey
  • Ice


The Hydrator

  • 8 oz coconut water
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • ½ banana
  • ½ cup berries or cherries
  • 2 handfuls of spinach
  • 2 spoonfuls chia seeds


Complete Meal

  • 8 oz unsweetened almond or coconut milk
  • 1 Tablespoon nut butter
  • 1 scoop whey protein
  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • 1 banana
  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • Few shakes of cinnamon
  • Ice


Mighty Mango

  • 8 oz unsweetened almond or coconut milk
  • 1 scoop whey protein
  • 1 banana
  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • Squirt of honey
  • ½ cup frozen mango


Cake Batter

  • 8 oz coconut water
  • 1 banana
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 2 spoonfuls chia seeds
  • 2 spoonfuls flax seed
  • ½ spoonful cocoa powder
  • Squirt of honey
  • Ice





Diana Robison

MLS, Sporting KC Sports Performance Dietician

May 3, 2019

5-Ingredient Meals

I get it.  Cooking can seem overwhelming and daunting to the point of giving up before we even make it to the store! But here are some quick meals that 1) don’t require a recipe and 2) are loaded with veggies!


  1. Chicken + cauliflower/brown rice + coleslaw mix + sesame ginger dressing + peanuts
  2. Chicken + whole grain pasta + broccoli + marinara sauce + parmesan cheese
  3. Chicken + lentils + kale + pico de gallo + guacamole
  4. Chicken + sweet potatoes + stir fry veggies + seasoning/herb blend + lemon olive oil





Diana Robison

MLS, Sporting KC Sports Performance Dietician

April 12, 2019

Recipe: Protein Power Bites

This easy, peasy protein bite cep not only tastes delicious, but will help your player feel powerful and invincible on the field. Plus, these little gems cost about a forth of the cost of most protein bars!


Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Servings: makes 8 bites



  • 1 cup rolled oats (half pulsed in, half stirred in)
  • 1/2 cup nut or seed butter
  • 1/4 cup flax meal
  • 2 T honey
  • 2 T coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt



  1. Combine ½ cup oats with all other ingredients in high-powered blender
  2. Scrap out into medium-sized bowl, combine with other ½ cup of oats
  3. Stir to combine, and then get in with your hands to get all ingredients thoroughly mixed together
  4. Use a 2 oz. ice cream scoop to make 8 balls.
  5. Store in freezer or fridge and enjoy!


*NOTE: Eat as is or roll into unsweetened cocoa powder, crushed/freeze-dried strawberries, or unsweetened coconut flakes. To boost the protein, add 1-2 scoops of protein powder per serving. Store in freezer or fridge.



Diana Robison

MLS, Sporting KC Sports Performance Dietician

March 29, 2019

911 Snacks, Pre-Made Meals & Fast Food

While I always recommend cooking your own meals, I know life doesn’t always allow us to do so. So here is what I call my “911 list”: snacks and meals that can serve as good substitutes when you’re in a rush or simply don’t have the time to cook at home.


911 Snacks

  • EPIC BARS & Grass-fed Jerky
  • JACK LINK’S Big Beef Sticks
  • Hard Boiled Eggs
  • Crunchy Chickpeas
  • Nuts & Seeds
  • Apples, Oranges, Bananas, Dried Fruit (raisins, dates, figs, apricots, etc.)
  • BOARS HEAD Deli Meat
  • Smoked Salmon
  • Whey or Vegan Protein Powder
  • LACROIX or Sparkling Water


911 Pre-Made Meals

  • TASTY BITE Indian Madras Lentils
  • Fresh Thyme Rotisserie Chicken Breast
  • Frozen Meals
    • AMY’S
    • EVOL
    • HEALTHY CHOICE Power Bowls


911 Fast Food

  • JIMMY JOHN’S Unwich
  • CHICK FILA Chicken Salad (ask for sauce on side)
  • MCALISTER’S Soup & Salad
  • ASK FOR:
    • Grilled Meat
    • Sauce on Side
    • Small Portion Sizes



Diana Robison

MLS, Sporting KC Sports Performance Dietician

March 15, 2019

Keeping Your Immune System Strong & Healthy This Flu Season

Alas, flu season has decided to return with vengeance … The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reporting another wave of severe infections. 😞


Have no fear!  Below are some very important steps you can take to keep your immune system strong and healthy:

1) ALWAYS WASH HANDS! (*Especially before eating, after using bathroom, etc.)

2) Increase consumption of IMMUNE BOOSTING FOODS (*see list below)

3) Supplement with probiotics (

4) Consider taking an immune boosting supplement with Vitamin C + Zinc or ImmunoBoost Shot (*see recipe below)



ImmunoBoost Shot Recipe

Makes 1 Shot

  • 1/2 cup OJ
  • 1/4 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 T fresh Ginger or 1 tsp. powdered ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. Turmeric or Curcumin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp honey

Shake in blender bottle, shake, and drink!


Thank you all-stay healthy!



Diana Robison

MLS, Sporting KC Sports Performance Dietician