Football Diaries: Part Two - The Lineman Diet.

For those of you who like a little more direction, I'm going to provide more specific meal ideas, combinations, and a 3-day food plan to help get you on your way.
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Last week in Part I of the Football Diaries, I provided some general guidelines for what it takes to put on some mass. For those of you who like a little more direction, I'm going to provide more specific meal ideas, combinations and a 3-day food plan to help get you on your way.

Before I get into details, keep these few ideas in mind. Carbohydrates are not the enemy; they are necessary for optimal performance and will help provide sustained energy when on the field. Second, eating more calories will help you gain weight.

You can lift weights until you're blue in the head, but if you're not fueling your body correctly, your efforts will be virtually useless. Third, while protein is important, it is not the only ingredient needed to gain muscle. Finally, there is no more important nutrient than water. Not staying hydrated before, during and after training is not only going to hinder performance, but it is dangerous. In Part I, I mentioned that you need to start your day with breakfast. Breakfast is given its name because it literally means you are "breaking the fast." Remember that you only build muscle and strength during recovery; if you do not eat regularly (every few hours) you cannot and will not fully recover.

When I played football in high school I would bring snacks to eat between my "main" meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Not eating regularly will also negatively affect mental performance.


3-Day Menu

So here's a sample 3-day menu. Of course these calories will not be enough for some of you and may be too much for others; obviously with a general article like this, I cannot discuss individual needs of various athletes. However, this may be useful for some meal ideas and get you off on the right foot.

Day 1
Meal 1 1 cup raw oats
1 cup non-fat milk
1 apple
1 cup water (minimum)
Meal 2 � dried fruit (whatever is preferred)
� cup mixed nuts
1 cup water (minimum)
Meal 3 2 slices whole grain bread
2 TBS natural peanut butter
1 whole banana
2 TBS honey
1 cup water (minimum)
Directions: spread the peanut butter on the bread; slice the banana on the peanut butter and drizzle with honey
Meal 4 1 granola bar
1 orange
1 cup water (minimum)
Meal 5 1 can tuna fish
1 cup brown rice
1 TBS balsamic vinaigrette dressing (mix the dressing with the tuna and rice)
1 cup non-fat yogurt
1 cup water (minimum)
Meal 6 4 oz grilled barbecue chicken
1 cup steamed broccoli (or your favorite vegetable)
1 cup non-fat milk
1 baked sweet potato
1 cup water (minimum)
Meal 7 Celery stalks with peanut butter spread on them
1 cup non-fat yogurt
1 cup water (minimum)

Day 2
Meal 1 2 whole eggs (any style)
2 slices whole grain toast
2 tsp all natural jelly
� cup 100% orange juice
1 cup water (minimum)
Meal 2 1 apple
1 non-fat yogurt
1 cup water (minimum)
Meal 3 1 cup spaghetti (preferably whole wheat)
1 cup marinara sauce (stay away from alfredo and other cream sauces)
1 cup frozen spinach mixed into the sauce
3 oz grilled chicken breast also mixed into sauce
1 cup non-fat milk
1 cup water (minimum)
Meal 4 Cottage cheese and fruit (sold together for convenience)
1 cup water (minimum)
Meal 5 4 oz lean hamburger
1 whole bun (preferably whole wheat)
Sliced tomato and lettuce
1 whole backed potato (eat the skin)
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
1 cup water (minimum)
Meal 6 1 string cheese
Whole grain crackers
1 bunch grapes
1 cup water (minimum)

Day 3
Meal 1 3 whole grain frozen waffles
2 TBS pure syrup
1 cup strawberries
1 cup water (minimum)
Meal 2 1 non-fat yogurt
1 banana
1 cup water (minimum)
Meal 3 2 slices whole grain bread
4 slices turkey cold cuts
2 slices cheese
lettuce and tomato
Mustard
Side salad with mixed greens
1 cup water (minimum)
Meal 4 Peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole grain bread
1 cup non-fat milk
1 cup water (minimum)
Meal 5 Grilled chicken sandwich (no mayonnaise)
BBQ sauce
Carrot sticks
Roasted red potatoes
1 cup water (minimum)
Meal 6 1/2 cup dried fruit
� cup mixed nuts
1 cup water (minimum)


A Few More Tips.

Always carry a water bottle around with you during the day; just because it is not hot outside does not mean you do not need fluids. I included at least 1 cup of water with each meal; this is the very minimum for each meal and throughout the day.

Remember, there may be some likes and dislikes that vary between readers. Adjust the foods and calories to your needs. However, these are the types of foods you should be concentrating on; notice it is high in whole grains, offers a variety of fruits, some vegetables, and is adequate in protein (without even suggesting using a protein supplement).

It also offers high levels of calcium through the various dairy products, and is simple too follow; perfect for those who are busy with other activities and don't have the time to plan and cook meals. Good luck!

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