Kick Off 2022 with Recipes and Tips for Strength

January 27, 2022

Grilled Spicy Steak Salad with Guacamole Salsa

Elite athlete and Sports Dietitian provide tips to beef up your lean protein game in the new year.

As we press on into 2022 and work to keep those resolutions going, athletes and people everywhere have nutrition top of mind. Beef Checkoff-funded Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner., is here to help with some easy ways to re-think our nutrition gameplans and maintain muscle.

Snowboardcross Olympian and three-time X-Games Silver Medalist Erin Simmons Nemec is no stranger to training, and Registered Sports Dietitian Amy Goodson knows the critical role nutrition plays in achieving peak performance. The two sat down at the Steamboat Resort, where Nemec frequently works out, to discuss the importance of a well-rounded diet while participating in sports, and life after competition.

“The biggest thing is to have a balanced diet,” said athlete Erin Simmons Nemec. “It’s important to incorporate the amount of protein needed to help your body recover. Whether I’m looking for a quick recovery between morning workout and hitting the mountain for training, or I need to recover from along day or a big race, it’s important to make sure I have enough protein – like lean beef – mixed with and carbohydrates to carry me to the next day so I’m not sore.”

“Protein provides your body with the building blocks it needs to gain muscle and fuel recovery,” said Registered Sports Dietitian Amy Goodson. “Animal proteins, like beef, are one of the most nutrient-rich, complete protein sources available, meaning they provide essential amino acids that help your body maintain muscle mass.”

While the importance of protein in our diet seems like a no-brainer, developing a workout and nutrition plan and sticking to it can be challenging. Some tips that make it easier, especially if you have a busy schedule, are to:

  • Set an achievable goal – Set a realistic goal of how much weight you want to lose in a week or month and create an action plan to make it happen. Remember, a goal without a plan is just a wish! 
  • Live by the 80/20 rule – This means that 80% of the time you focus on eating nutrient-rich foods like whole grains, lean protein, healthy fat, fruits and veggies as well as exercising. Then, 20% of the time you can include foods that are higher in calories and lower in nutrients. 
  • Schedule in exercise – Figure out how many days of exercise are possible and schedule them like a meeting on your calendar. If you can’t do it that day, reschedule it. 
  • Develop a win/challenge list – Keep a journal on what you’re succeeding at, food and exercise wise, and where the challenges are.

  • Be accountable – Find an accountability partner to check in with on a daily or bi-daily basis. This will help you stay on track towards your goals!

Whether you’re an athlete training for competition or the average person balancing a busy schedule, this Grilled Spicy Steak Salad with Guacamole Salsa is a great example of how lean beef can be part of a quick, nutritious and delicious meal. Because beef is so versatile, there’s something for everyone on any budget. For example, the top sirloin in this salad is both lean and budget-friendly! 

About the Beef Checkoff
The Beef Checkoff Program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. States may retain up to 50 cents on the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national checkoff program, subject to USDA approval.

About NCBA, a Contractor to the Beef Checkoff
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) is a contractor to the Beef Checkoff Program. The Beef Checkoff Program is administered by the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, with oversight provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.