Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Yahoo!Sports' take on my favorite Bodybuilding food: The Sweet Potato


This is a repost from Yahoo!Sports.  I take no credit for this post, but I thought everyone should hear about my favorite slow carb.  It is a great article on the sweet potato, it directly applies to my audience, and I do give my regards to Lisa White the author as she has made my mouth water...

Lisa White is a Certified Personal Trainer with an emphasis in pre/post natal weight training, as well as a figure competitor and fitness consultant. She was previously a health club and sports nutrition store owner.

Each bodybuilder will have carbohydrate staples, but some have favorites they eat during the entire contest prep. Depending on a competitor's preference, the chosen carbohydrate could be for the low glycemic value or its texture.

For some, the nutrient rich sweet potato is the only way to go. It is high in antioxidants, iron, calcium and anti-inflammatory properties, and it offers a sweet taste to other bland carbohydrates. The skin also adds to the texture and is where many of the nutrients and fiber is.

Sweet potatoes are simple to prepare, but some methods are better for bodybuilders than others. Sauteing is tricky, due to the oil content that is needed, while frying is a flat out no-no.

Steaming your spud

Place water in your steamer and put whole or largely diced sweet potatoes in the basket. Depending on the size, this can take up to 45 minutes or longer. If you do not have a steamer, use a metal colander and large pot. Place the colander in the pot, with the handles hanging over the edge. This will hold the colander above the water so the potatoes can steam. Put the spuds in the colander and use a lid to prevent the heat from escaping.

Oven steam your spud

What if you don't have a pot or a steamer? You can still get the same effect directly from the oven. In a shallow baking dish, add a half-inch of water, and place your clean, potatoes in the baking dish. Cover it with aluminum foil.

Boil your tuber

Place your clean potatoes in a pot of boiling water. There should be enough water to cover the sweet potatoes. Boil until it is slightly soft, and remove it from the water. Let it cool before removing the peel.

Throw it in the oven

Bake your sweet potatoes at 400 degrees until they are slightly soft. Sweet potatoes will ooze sweet, sticky syrup so use foil to line your pan, or wrap your sweet potatoes individually. Do not place them on the rack without a pan underneath. The syrup will leak and can catch on fire while baking or the next time you use your oven.

Get the grill out

Grilling your potato is another way to cook your spud. Cook your potatoes at the same time as your protein to save time in the long run. After you've turned your grill, place your aluminum wrapped potatoes on the outer edges of the grill. They will take longer to cook than your meat, so put it on the grill first. If you place them over direct heat, it can char. Turn it over to keep this from happening. If you prefer not to use aluminum, lightly coat your potato with olive oil and salt. If you are in contest prep, you can avoid this step.

Quick fix with the microwaveMicrowaves commonly have settings for potatoes, which makes the cooking time less complicated. Different size potatoes will need less or more time, but here is a guideline to follow:

  • 1 potato, 4 to 6 minutes
  • 2 potatoes, 6 to 8 minutes
  • 3 potatoes, 8 to 12 minutes
  • 4 potatoes, 12 to 16 minutes
  • 5 potatoes, 16 to 20 minutes

Tip: Wash your potatoes thoroughly before cooking. If you cut off the woody parts from your potato, then do not worry with poking holes in it. If you haven't cut away the spots, be sure to poke venting holes.

More on bodybuilding from Lisa:
How to Write a Bodybuilding, Fitness or Figure Sponsorship LetterBodybuilding tips: Complex carbohydrates for pre-contest diets

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