by Quintana Roo Triathlon January 22, 2019

As the winter months continue on and racing season quickly approaches, getting back on track with our diet after the holidays is at the top of most athletes' minds. While training hours are picking up, it’s important we make sure we’re getting the right foods in to support our workouts and immune system health. Here are some tips and tricks to get those nutrients and stay strong and healthy during cold and flu season!


During the colder months it can often feel more challenging to get in those recommended 6-10 servings a day. But with a little planning ahead, you can grab these nutrient rich cold weather seasonal options:

  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Winter squash
  • Beets
  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • Turnips, Rutabaga, Parsnips
  • Potatoes
  • Citrus fruit
  • Pomegranates
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Escarole
  • Fennel


Frozen fruits and vegetables are also a great option as they are frozen at their peak ripeness when they are most nutrient packed. They can make a quick and easy side to meal, addition to Greek yogurt or oatmeal, or added to smoothies.


As athletes, protein is always an important nutrient to promote muscle repair and recovery after workouts but it also plays a role in supporting the body’s immune system. Eat a variety of protein sources including eggs, lean meat, beans and peas, seafood, nuts and seeds.



Eating a balanced diet is always the best way to promote a healthy immune system and adequate recovery between sessions but these specific nutrients can help give an extra boost:

  • Vitamin A - found in red bell peppers, kale, spinach, carrots, eggs, and sweet potatoes
  • Vitamin C- found in citrus fruit, red bell peppers, and berries
  • Vitamin E - found in nut butters, almonds, and hazelnuts
  • Zinc - found in nuts, beans, seeds, lean meats, seafood, and milk.


Here’s one of our favorite hearty and nutrient packed recipes from the Endurance Training Diet and Cookbook:



  • 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey (93% lean)
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach; thawed and excess water removed
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1/2 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces grated part-skim mozzarella cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 375*F.
  2. In large bowl, combine all ingredients except mozzarella cheese; mix well.
  3. Press half mixture into 8" loaf pan. Top with grated cheese.
  4. Press remaining turkey mixture on top; bake one hour.

Per serving:
Calories - 263
Carbohydrates - 10g
Protein - 31g
Fat - 11g

Pair this with some roasted vegetables or side salad and you have a complete meal rich in nutrients and the leftovers can make for a quick and easy lunch!


About the Author: Stevie Lyn Smith is a Registered Dietitian at The Core Diet and is currently working on her MS in Applied Nutrition through Northeastern University. She is an eight-time Ironman Finisher, Ironman 70.3 World Championship qualifier, and 50-miler ultra marathon finisher. In her free time you can find her playing with her puppy or adventuring around the world! To learn more about The Core Diet and their services, check them out at

Quintana Roo Triathlon
Quintana Roo Triathlon

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