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Food can keep up energy: Tote some trail mix, puree delicious soup

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Whether you're a high-performance athlete or a weekend warrior, it's important to eat regular snacks and meals to keep up your energy.

Registered dietitian Heidi Smith encourages clients to eat high-energy trail mix and has supplied her recipe for the popular treat.

Olympian Clara Hughes loves soup and began writing a blog in March on which she posts her favourite recipes, peppering her comments throughout.

Tempting Trail Mix

This recipe is very tasty. You may want to portion out the servings in self-sealing plastic bags to avoid eating too much, Heidi Smith says. It's easy to tote with you for a quick pick-me-up.

250 ml (1 cup) cereal (such as Cheerios/Kashi GoLean)

250 ml (1 cup) roasted soy beans (look for 10 g fat per 50 ml/1/4 cup)

250 ml (1 cup) raisins

125 ml (1/2 cup) bran cereal (omit for pre-exercise snack)

125 ml (1/2 cup) dried cranberries or dried currants

125 ml (1/2 cup) sunflower, pumpkin seeds or mini M&M's (optional)

Mix all ingredients in a large container with a lid. Close and shake.

Makes 16 50-ml (1/4-cup) servings.

Nutrition information per 50-ml (1/4-cup) serving: 130 calories; 5 g protein; 20 g carbohydrate; 4 g fat (1 g sat fat), 4 g fibre.

Source: "Nutrition for the Long Run: A Nutrition Handbook for Runners, Walkers and Active Individuals" by Heidi Smith.

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Clara Hughes' Favourite Tomato Soup

On the June 1 posting of her Soup Wednesday blog Olympic athlete Clara Hughes writes: "This is no time for humility ... I have to brag a bit because I made this recipe up by trial and error. ... I made a big batch of this soup to soothe my wounded body and spirit from too many crashes the week prior."

She adds: "All you need are a few ingredients. Trust me, it is so worth it to use fresh tomatoes. Canned tomatoes make this taste like spaghetti sauce."

Tomato Soup

Tomatoes (6 to 8)

A few carrots, peeled

A few stalks of celery

A few shallots

Walnut, olive or avocado oil

2 organic bouillon cubes (vegetable)

Freshly ground pepper

A nice bay leaf or two

Organic dried basil

Fresh basil, for garnish (optional)

In a boiling pot of water, plunge tomatoes. Leave them in the boiling water for a few minutes (I'd say about 3 minutes). Drain and let tomatoes cool 5 minutes (or you will burn your fingers like I have) and then peel the skin off. It comes off super easy. Cut out the stem as well. Throw away the peel.

In a large pot, put about 15 ml (1 tbsp) walnut oil on medium heat; chop shallots and add. Chop carrots and celery and add after shallots have sauteed a few minutes. Let all this saute for a few more minutes.

Add bouillon. Add tomatoes, mashing them with your fingers as you add them to pot (wear apron or you will be covered in tomato juice). Add 15 ml (1 tbsp) dried basil and bay leaves. Add about 250 ml (1 cup) of water. Bring all this to a boil and then reduce heat and cover. Let simmer for about 10 minutes.

Remove bay leaves and set aside. Puree with immersion blender in pot (again, wear apron; you look like a goof, but your clothes will thank you). Put bay leafs back in. Add some fresh ground pepper.

Serve in nice white bowls with some fresh chopped basil, if using.

This makes a big pot. I leave the bay leaves in until I put the leftovers in storage containers for the fridge.

Source: Clara Hughes, http://clara-hughes.com/category/journal/soup/

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Clara Hughes' Leek and Cauliflower Soup

"There is nothing like hot soup when you're sick. This soup is ridiculously easy," writes Clara Hughes in a May 2 post on her Soup Wednesday blog.

"Such a nice soup ... if you use organic vegetables there is a beautiful flavour that comes out from the leeks and the cauliflower," she adds.

2 leeks

15 ml (1 tbsp) butter

1 cauliflower

750 ml (3 cups) water

2 cubes organic vegetable bouillon

Freshly ground pepper

Wash and chop leeks. In a large pan, melt butter; add leeks. Reduce heat to low and cook gently until leeks are transparent (don't burn the leeks; they are fragile to high heat).

Wash cauliflower and divide into florets. Add cauliflower, bouillon cubes and water to pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook for about 5 minutes (don't overcook, just until cauliflower is al dente).

Remove from heat and use an immersion blender or stand blender.

Add fresh ground pepper. If you like the flavour of mace seasoning, add 0.5 ml (1/8 tsp) (I don't and it was delicious as is).

Source: Clara Hughes http://clara-hughes.com/category/journal/soup/

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