Athlete Food: The Protein Power Bowl

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This protein-packed power bowl has been my go-to dinner all summer. It's a refreshing way to refuel after a long day in the sun, that kind of day where you're too hot and tired to even think about turning the stove on to cook dinner.

When I first made this bowl, I had just completed a five-hour day of training (5K swim, bike intervals and a track workout). I opened the refrigerator, took out every source of protein I could find and set them out on the counter. Instead of eating everything in sight, I selected a combination of things that seemed to go together.

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I chose spinach, smoked salmon, hard-boiled eggs and mozzarella cheese. I put back the items that would clash with these flavors. The extra nutrients weren't worth making my bowl go from appetizing to a weird mash up only a starving athlete would eat.

Wondering what I turned down? I left the stinky cheese, leftover bison taco meat and hummus in the fridge. I also put back the bacon, only because it wasn't cooked.

I piled all of the proteins, plus some small tomatoes and raw corn, in a big bowl. I topped it with a little olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, a few slices of jalepe?o (for a little heat) and some salt and pepper.

For most of us, this salad alone isn't enough. Some nights I eat a portion double the size of the one in the picture. If I have it on hand, I'll serve the power bowl with our Beet the Competition chilled soup. And, of course, a trip to get ice cream wouldn't be out of the question (seriously!).

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The next time you go shopping, put these items in the cart so you can throw together a healthy dinner in minutes.


  • Spinach or kale (I've used large spinach leaves from our CSA, but chopped kale also works)
  • Eggs (hard-boil a bunch at a time when you have free time, then store them in the refrigerator)
  • Smoked salmon
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Mozzarella cheese (for ease, buy the little balls of bocconcini)
  • Avocados 
  • An ear or two of corn (shuck them, soak them, then cut the kernels off and store in a container. eat raw)
  • Sunflower seeds

The bowl's vegetables vary each time I make it, depending on what's in the fridge. Enjoy!