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Eat. Train. Race. Travel.

Welcome to Athlete Food - our continuous adventure to seek out healthy food around the globe and at our own dinner tables. Hope you are inspired to get on a plane or get out the plates and cook a healthy dinner tonight!

U-Pick Salads, Athlete Food-Style


Facing the rainbow of vegetables at the u-pick station of my favorite salad shop, Blue Barn, I tend to forget that I’m not planting a garden, but planning a meal. I choose a mix that would work well alongside a hearty burger. But as dinner, it lands me back at the counter, buying one of their fist-size Rice Krispies treats.

One recent time I hit Blue Barn, there was a short line. It gave me a moment to consider my salad, and I found myself thinking: What would Laurel and Bec choose? With the twins in mind, I added pumpkin seeds (Bec) and pita chips (Laurel) to my ingredient list.

Later at home, I emailed them for feedback. They advised me to choose two or three proteins first, then a complex carbohydrate, and to build the rest based on taste. Curious to see how this strategy would alter my salad construction, I returned to the shop the following week.

I chose chicken, avocado, and walnuts for protein, and roasted sweet potatoes for my carbohydrate. Sliced watermelon radishes and snow peas added crunch. Fresh herbs lent a spring-like flavor. The season’s first asparagus was new to the menu, so in it went. Meyer Lemon-Sumac dressing gave it a little tang.

The fog had rolled in, so I started with a big bowl of asparagus soup. Then I plowed through the salad and two pieces of rosemary bread. I skipped the Rice Crispy treats. And, as I bypassed the Suzy Cakes bakery next door, I texted the twins, thanking them for the salad building help, and asking in all seriousness, “What would you choose?” See below for their dream picks.


Bec’s U-Pick Salad:


Sesame, pumpkin, or sunflower seeds

Grated sharp cheddar

Brown rice or quinoa

Romaine lettuce

Roasted corn

Sprouted beans (I always get these from the Whole Foods salad bar, since I don’t take the time to make them at home.)

Lemon juice and olive oil




Laurel's U-Pick Salad:

Laurel says she's often tempted by the thousands of options at Whole Foods. She's always happy when she sticks to her standby, this salad which we featured a few months ago:

Fresh Spinach

Sliced steak

Crumbled blue cheese

Roasted sweet potatoes, mushrooms, beets, carrots & cauliflower

Dried cranberries

Bread: two olive rolls

No salad dressing necessary!



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