Eat like a pro: Eight foods to help improve your athletic performance

— AS Monaco has been the surprise package of Europe this season, blowing away its rivals to reach the Champions League semifinals and sitting on the brink of a first Ligue 1 title in 17 years.

But behind the training sessions, detailed scouting reports and in-depth tactical analysis, there’s something going on in the kitchen that’s designed to help Monaco get the better of its opponents.

Monaco’s doctor Philippe Kuentz, nutritionist Juan Morillas and team dietitian Tara Ostrowe are tasked with choosing the right foods at the right time to help maximize the physical potential of each footballer at the club.

And below Ostrowe names the eight foods she gives to her players, so you too can eat like a pro.


In recent years, quinoa has become a must eat grain for foodies. But far from just making you look cool, it also has plenty of benefits.

“It’s a very powerful wholegrain and the main fuel for the players’ performance,” Ostrowe tells CNN.

“It’s also packed with lots of vitamins, nutrients and protein, which will also sustain the energy throughout the game.”

Benefits in brief

• Excellent fuel source

• Good source of folate, thiamin and iron

• 16% of daily value of protein in one serving


While just the thought of a kale smoothie is enough to make most people shudder, this green has become popular among chefs and in households for its versatility, taste and wide range of physical benefits.

“This is what I consider the superfood vegetable,” Ostrowe explains.

“It’s packed with lots of vitamin C, calcium and vitamin K, all of which are perfect for recovery and providing good nutrition.”

Benefits in brief

• Great source of vitamin A, C and K

• Good source of calcium and manganese

• Excellent for workout recovery

Beetroot juice

It may be one of the less well-known health foods on Ostrowe’s list, but beetroot and beetroot juice are incredibly beneficial to those participating in cardiovascular exercise.

“We try to give it to the players before a match, and for a few days before — it builds up to help with oxygen capacity,” Ostrowe says. “It’s also packed with lots of vitamins and antioxidants.”

Benefits in brief

• Very effective at increasing oxygen capacity for exercise

• Improves blood flow and circulation

• Contains anti-inflammatory factors

Chia seeds

Good things come in small packages, as they say, and that is certainly the case for chia seeds.

They may be tiny but these seeds pack a mighty amount of health benefits and can be used on anything from cereal to salad.

“As you can see, they’re very small but they pack lots of good nutrition,” Ostrowe says. “The players will put that on all their food. We have it at every meal.

“They put it on their breakfast and it helps with energy for training. Then we also have it for lunch and at dinner, which helps with bringing down inflammation.”

Benefits in brief

• Incredible source of omega-3 fatty acids

• Contain 42% of daily value of fiber in one serving

• Rich source of protein and calcium


Your parents’ claims that fish would help you in your school exams in an attempt to convince you to finish your dinner are not without foundation.

Nutritionists often refer to fish — but salmon in particular — as a brain food thanks to its high omega-3 content, It is believed to promote brain function, hence the recommendation to eat it the day before an exam.

“Salmon is a really great, lean protein,” she says.

“It’s a really good type of fish to have as a post-recovery meal, so we’ll often have it after a big match — especially if we have another match in a few days from now, it’ll help bring down inflammation, help with muscle recovery and help with tissue regrowth.”

Benefits in brief

• Excellent source of protein (87% of daily value in one serving)

• Great source for several vitamins (E, niacin and B12)

• Helps bring down inflammation

Tart cherry juice

Having trouble sleeping at night? Then try drinking tart cherry juice.

“It has very strong anti-arthritic properties,” Ostrowe explains. “So it helps with soreness, inflammation and sleep.”

Benefits in brief

• Strong anti-arthritic properties

• Contains lots of antioxidants

• Helps with sleep issues and physical recovery


So popular has this fruit become in recent years, the avocado fad has been deemed ‘overcado’ for quite some time.

But, not to worry, if you’re more into the healthy benefits of food than adhering to the latest fashion trends, then the avocado is still for you.

“Avocado is another superfood,” says Ostrowe. “It’s filled with vitamin E.

“It’s high in fat and that healthy fat is a precursor for testosterone, which helps with muscle rebuilding, muscle growth and getting stronger.”

Benefits in brief

• Contains at least 20% of daily value of six different vitamins and minerals

• Loaded with omega-6 healthy fats (over 2500mg per serving)

• Has 40% daily value of fiber per serving


It may often be referred to as “the grandad of superfoods,” but the humble blueberry has certainly kept up with the times.

Few foods provide more antioxidants and for this reason it is often recommended as a must-have by nutritionists in most diets.

“As kale is the superfood vegetable, these are the superfood fruits,” Ostrowe says. “Blueberries are packed with antioxidants, they actually have the highest antioxidant content of any fruit.

“It’s a carbohydrate source so it will be good for fueling the workout and it doesn’t spike insulin levels, so it’s a great pre-match snack to have. And quite delicious as well!”

Benefits in brief

• Highest antioxidant content of any fruit

• Good source of dietary fiber (14% of your daily value in one serving)

• High content of vitamin C helps recovery post-workout

HBCU Sports News:Florida A&M to Face Georgia in NCAA Men’s Tennis Championship

INDIANAPOLIS, May 2, 2017—Florida A&M will take on the University of Georgia on Friday, May 12 in the first round of the 2017 NCAA Division I Men’s Tennis Championship in Athens, Ga., as the 64-team was announced Tuesday afternoon on

The Rattlers, which upset top seed South Carolina State 4-2 on April 22 to win the 2017 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) title, will be among four teams in Athens, along with the host Bulldogs, South Florida and Duke. Florida A&M will face Georgia on Friday at 2 p.m. – following the South Florida-Duke match at 11 a.m.

The two winners will meet in the second round on Saturday, May 13 at 3 p.m.

On top of hosting the first and second rounds, Georgia picked up the No. 13 overall seed in the tournament.

Florida A&M is making its first NCAA appearance since 2000, the last time the Rattlers won the MEAC title.

The best things to do in New York City beyond Manhattan

— A person dressed in black from head to toe walked around the American University campus and tied bananas to three trees. They were hung from strings fashioned in the shape of nooses.

The bananas were scrawled with the letters “AKA Free.”

AKA, or Alpha Kappa Alpha, is a predominately African-American sorority.

The university, in Washington DC, recently swore in its first AKA sorority member and its first female African-American student government president.

“I regret this happened, apologize to everyone offended, and state emphatically that this incident does not reflect what American University truly is,” university President Neil Kerwin said in a statement.

The university set up several meetings for students to discuss the incident. It also released surveillance video of the suspect from the Monday incident and is offering a $1,000 reward.

The AKA says it is worried about its members on campus.

“We … urge American University to strengthen the security measures on campus to keep its SGA President, who also is an Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority member, other Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority members and African Americans on campus safe,” it said.

HBCU Sports News: MEAC To Host 2017 Men’s And Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Championships

The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) will host the 2017 Men’s and Women’s Track & Field Championships Thursday through Saturday, May 4-6, at the Irwin Belk Track on the campus of North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, N.C.

Competition will begin on Thursday at 1 p.m. with the beginning of the men’s decathlon, and the women’s heptathlon will start at 1:15 p.m. The men’s discus will follow at 2:30 p.m., with the women’s high jump and discus kicking off at 4:30 p.m.

Semifinals of the women’s 400-meter hurdles will follow at 5:30 p.m., with the men’s 400-meter hurdles semifinals at 5:50 p.m. The men’s high jump will begin at 6 p.m., and semifinals of women’s and men’s 200-meter dash will begin at 6:10 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., respectively.

The day will wrap up at 7 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. with the women’s and men’s 10,000-meter run.

Friday’s action will kick off at 9 a.m. with the continuation of the men’s decathlon and women’s heptathlon. Field events will start at 11:30 a.m. with the women’s long jump and shot put, and running events will kick off at 2:50 p.m. with the semifinals of the women’s 100-meter hurdles.

The day will wrap up at 6 p.m. with the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase.

The competition wraps up on Saturday at 9 a.m. with the women’s pole vault, after which the finale for the men’s pole vault, men’s and women’s triple jump and men’s and women’s javelin will be held. Track events will start at 1 p.m. with the running of the women’s 4×100-meter relay.

The women’s 4x400m relay and men’s 4×400-meter relay, at 4:35 and 4:55 p.m., respectively, will wrap up the event. The awards ceremony will immediately follow the last event.

Bethune-Cookman is the back-to-back-to-back MEAC Track & Field Champions on the men’s side and is looking to extend its streak in 2017. While that’s an impressive feat, they still have a ways to go as Norfolk State won seven straight from 2006 to 2012 under head coach Kenneth Giles.

Florida A&M has won the past two MEAC Championships on the women’s side and a win in 2017 would mark the second time in six seasons that a team has accomplished a three-peat as Hampton won three straight from 2012-2014.

Only South Carolina State and Hampton have won five consecutive outdoor titles in MEAC history on the women’s side.

After winning both the men’s and women’s MEAC Championship on the indoor side this past winter, North Carolina A&T State sets out to capture its first men’s title since 1996 and first women’s title since 1995.

A complete schedule of events for the 2017 MEAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships is available at

HBCU Sports News: NCAA Men’s Golf Selection Show to Air Thursday

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Southwestern Athletic Conference champion Alabama State and individual low medalist Daniel Racioppa of Alcorn State will find out where they will be headed for the NCAA men’s golf regionals, when the NCAA men’s golf championship selection show airs Thursday morning.

Alabama State won its sixth consecutive SWAC men’s golf championship last month, to claim an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

Racioppa will be representing the SWAC as an individual, winning low medalist honors at the SWAC Men’s Golf Championship to become the first individual champion in Alcorn State men’s golf program history. Racioppa finished the tournament at one-over-par (71, 73, 73) and overcame a three shot deficit entering the final round.

The NCAA men’s golf selection show can be viewed on Thursday, May 4 at 11 a.m. CT on the golf channel.

How a wellness coach changes your mind

— The spring season reminds us of Mother Nature’s drive to thrive. However, most humans are not thriving.

Research on well-being concludes that about 20% of adults have a strong sense of purpose and are fully satisfied with their lives; less than 10% strongly believe their lives are ideal. Instead most people are stressed out and burned out. All of this stress harms biological function and increases susceptibility to chronic diseases.

To make matters worse, most people feel too depleted, mentally and physically, to create a healthy way of life that would make them feel better. Less than 5% of adults engage in the health behaviors that prevent diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

People are not exercising regularly, maintaining healthy weight or enjoying plentiful fruits and veggies. Not only do people feel lousy, but they also are dealing with chronic diseases that cost them financially.

While your doctor and nurse practitioner want you to thrive, sadly they don’t have time to help. Other dedicated professionals are well-trained to zoom in on one area such as fitness, nutrition or weight. However, they don’t always zoom out first to understand and navigate the complex web of your life complicating your pursuit of good health goals.

Albert Einstein once observed: “We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.” We can’t improve health when we are in a stressed-out state. Instead, cultivating a thriving mind is necessary to attain a healthy body. Combining a whole-life focus with scientifically validated techniques to change your mind is the work of well-trained, certified health and wellness coaches. Their work is now backed by more than 200 scientific studies.

Here are some tactics we health coaches use to get you thriving:

Imagine a life of thriving

A first coaching step is envisioning yourself engaged in a life of thriving. A personal vision is like setting a compass. It sets the direction and purpose for your mind-changing adventure. Perhaps you imagine a day where you are calm and energized, enjoying instead of dreading the overflow of work projects — attending beautifully and creatively to one task at a time.

You are feeling grateful for what is good and what you have, rather than being stuck in a chronic state of criticism or self-doubt. You make time most days for physical activity that feels good, and you are cooking and savoring delicious and healthy meals with your family most evenings.

Stretch your mind

Poet and physician Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. said in the 1800s that a “mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.” The heart of a good coaching session is the mind-stretching part. It’s a creative process whereby your coach helps you experience an insight, an “aha moment.” It could be a shift in perspective or discovery of a blind spot. Over time these small shifts add up to a whole new mindset, and you outgrow your old one.

Harvard neurologist Alvaro Pascual-Leone explains that the brain can grow new pathways — about 1 millimeter a day. Over time those pathways enable new habits that make a big difference. Exercise calms you down. Good food energizes your brain so you can focus without distraction and you see more good than bad in yourself and others.

While your mind stretches, so do your capacities. Your new neural pathways allow you to become more creative. You find strengths and resources that were underemployed. You leverage positive feelings to balance your stress and, voilà, you get more done, more quickly, with more enjoyment.

Learn to coach yourself

Best of all, what you learn from a wellness coach is how to coach yourself. You learn how to become a personal visionary. You bring the vision down to earth with small daily experiments that lead you to discover your personal formula — the most effective mix of habits. You learn how to change your own mind, 1 millimeter at a time.

Now is the right time to engage a wellness coach to help boost you from merely surviving to thriving. The cost is similar to a personal fitness trainer or dietitian, many of whom also offer wellness coaching. Ask if your employer offers health and wellness coaching services.

As Hillel, an ancient Jewish sage, once noted, “If not now, when?” Go for now.

Janet Jackson says she will resume world tour, addresses split from husband

Janet Jackson took to Twitter on Monday night to make several big announcements about her family and her return to the stage.

The new mother kicked off a minute-and-a-half long video by addressing her weight gain, but quickly moved on to gush about her three-month-old son Eissa Al Mana whose picture she recently shared on social media.

“Hey you guys, it’s me Jan, just in case you didn’t recognize me cause I have put on quite a few since I had the baby,” Jackson said. “I thank God for him, you guys. He’s so healthy, so beautiful, so sweet, so loving, such a happy baby.”

She also addressed her separation from her Qatari businessman husband, Wissam Al Mana, saying she wanted to “keep it real” with her fans.

“Yes, I separated from my husband,” Jackson said. “We are in court and the rest is in God’s hands.”

Jackson then announced that she would be resuming her “Unbreakable” tour which she has renamed the “State of the World” tour.

“It’s not about politics,” she said of the name change. “It’s about people, the world, relationships and just love.”

Jackson postponed her tour first in 2015 for surgery and then in April 2016 as she and her husband planned their family.

She confirmed in October last year that she was becoming a mother at 50.

Jackson’s tour is scheduled to resume beginning with a concert September 7 in Lafayette, Louisiana.

The superstar concluded the video by thanking her fans for their patience.

“I am so excited,” she said. “I cannot wait to see you on stage, September 7.”

Tickets for the rescheduled tour dates go on sale May 5.

Is sushi healthy?

— Whether you eat sushi from a Japanese restaurant or from a local supermarket, there’s no arguing that it’s become a mainstream meal — and that’s good news.

Sushi can be a very healthy addition to your diet, especially when it’s filled with vegetables, omega-3-rich seafood such as salmon and tuna, and small amounts of heart-healthy avocado.

The healthfulness of sushi can rapidly decline, though, depending on how your roll is prepared. Sushi saboteurs include tempura batter and condiments such as mayo and cream cheese, which significantly boost unhealthy fat and calories.

For example, a shrimp tempura roll drizzled with spicy mayo can contain more than 500 calories and more than 20 grams of fat — that’s double the calories and three times the fat of a crab-containing California roll.

Sodium-rich soy sauce can also be a concern; just one small tablespoon contributes about 900 milligrams of sodium, or about 40% of the daily recommended sodium limit. By comparison, 10 salted pretzel twists have 744 milligrams of sodium. If you are watching your sodium, ask for a low-sodium version or eliminate it altogether.

Another tip to keep in mind: Though white sushi rice may be pleasantly sticky, it’s typically made with sugar and salt along with vinegar and is a source of refined carbohydrates. Ask for brown rice instead. Although it still may contain sugar to boost sweetness, it’s rich in whole grains and offers a fiber boost.

And if you are pregnant or if you have an impaired immune system, don’t risk the chance of illness from raw seafood.

Bottom line? When eating sushi, keep it seafood-rich and simple.

‘Vision+Strategy Brunch’ series supports women’s personal goals

Every woman and every person she’s connected to deserves a life that is fulfilling, full of love, purposeful and full of abundance.

Cassandra N. Vincent, Creator of the Vision+Strategy Brunch series addresses March 2017 attendees.

Courtesy/Jerri Marie Clark Photography

Cassandra N. Vincent, Creator of the Vision+Strategy Brunch series addresses March 2017 attendees.

Why shouldn’t we live an excellent and exciting life filled with the people and experiences we absolutely love? What normally keeps us from these dreams are defined in our daily practice, lack of personal vision, and strong belief that we deserve to experience life bountifully — limiting mindsets.

Living a fully liberated and purpose filled life is not exclusive to one group of people, or only for certain people or personality types over the other. We truly determine the life, careers, love, adventures, and experiences we want in our lives.

Outside of circumstances, we are born into, the day we recognize that we want different or desire change is the day we decide the direction of our lives. Every day is an opportunity to decide and create a life worth living. Personal vision, a growth mindset, and great strategy are essentials for realizing the life and success we define as our personal goal.

-Cassandra N. Vincent, Creator of The Vision+Strategy Brunch

Last month women gathered in Baltimore to learn, connect, and grow together over brunch, networking, and many memorable moments. This was not just brunch, but an intentional gathering of women for the purpose of encouraging personal growth. The Vision+Strategy Brunch, curated by Baltimore native and businesswoman, Cassandra N. Vincent is a brunch series created where women are highly encouraged to connect with one another and share ways to live their most purposeful and fulfilled lives.

(L-R) Orlett Haskett-Torrance, Olesha Haskett, and Shivar Stewart attend March 2017 Vision+Strategy Brunch.

Courtesy/Jerri Marie Clark Photography

(L-R) Orlett Haskett-Torrance, Olesha Haskett, and Shivar Stewart attend March 2017 Vision+Strategy Brunch.

For many of the women, networking, entrepreneurship, ownership, and discovering their life’s purpose are at the top of their lists for attending the Vision+Strategy Brunch (VSB), which was established in 2016. Vincent created the brunch gathering with the mission to empower and inspire women to define their success based on the idea that each woman was divinely created for a great purpose. With changing economies, the increase in the number of women pursuing entrepreneurship, and the future of learning drastically changing — personal growth and development opportunities in various forums are sought after.

By definition, personal growth ‘covers the activities involved in improving awareness and identity, talent development, building human capital and facilitation of employability, and enhance the quality of life and contribute to the realization of dreams and aspirations.’ The Vision+Strategy Brunch held on Saturday, March 25, 2017, hosted women from as far as New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, as well as the Washington, D.C. and Maryland area.

Learning and growth opportunities among women are in demand, particularly African-American women [the fastest growing group of business owners and entrepreneurs growing more than 322% since 1997, according to a June 2015 Fortune article.] The Vision+Strategy Brunch (VSB) series is designed to answer the demand by providing a space where women are empowered with knowledge to support their individual goals. The VSB gathering featured a networking session, empowerment talks, and a panel of women who shared their passion and the tools used to live purpose driven life.

A purpose driven life for many women who attended the VSB are investing in themselves because this group is “significantly impacted by factors including fair pay, fair promotion, and family-friendly policies in the workplace.” Vincent’s mission with the Vision+Strategy Brunch is to bring the answers to this group by bringing expert knowledge and creating a safe sharing space for women. Women who attend a VSB gathering will walk away with not only meaningful connections, a bold personal vision, but also strategies for executing her goals and realizing her vision.

(L-R) Kendra Barnes, Chianti Lomax, Tameka J. Harris, and Neffi Walker during VSB March 2017. Photo: Jerri Marie Clark Photography

(L-R) Kendra Barnes, Chianti Lomax, Tameka J. Harris, and Neffi Walker during VSB March 2017. Photo: Jerri Marie Clark Photography

March’s VSB panelists included Interior Designer Neffi Walker, Business Development Consultant LaCheryl Jones, Real Estate Investment Coach & Entrepreneur, Kendra Barnes and featuring Chianti Lomax, Certified Coach + Chief Happiness Curator of The Happy Pop-U, and panel moderator Tameka J. Harris, Creative Curriculum Designer.

Sponsors of the March 2017 Vision+Strategy Brunch included: Cover Paige Creative, Cara Paige for (Event/Venue Styling), TEN Shopping, Ven and Rose, ColourPop Cosmetics, Behind The Pen Web Designs, The Good Body Stuff, Black Foodie, Ivy’s Tea Co., Dj Soul (VSBrunch music mix cd), The Art of Suga, Lovely Lavender Plus, Pretty Entrepreneur, and The Liberated Heart.

Be the first to know about the next VSB gathering, not just another event. Learn more here: or email

Cassandra N. Vincent works as a business consultant supporting clients reach their digital marketing and outreach goals and is the owner-operator of Vincent Media & Consulting, LLC. Supporting women live their BEST God-designed lives is one of her greatest passions. Cassandra enjoys curating spaces to empower, inspire, and connect women to a community of other like-minded, and purpose-driven women.

Youth Entrepreneurship Conference at Morgan State University

— Research shows just how important support is for younger entrepreneurs: 88 percent of those with mentors survive in business, compared with a 50 percent failure rate among those without such backing. Cited from To allow more youth to accomplish what they choose, the Entrepreneurial Development & Assistance Center (EDAC) at Morgan State University and EYE for Change co-host #EYECON, the premier youth entrepreneurship conference to help students start their own businesses. #EYECON takes place on Thursday, May 4, 2017 from 8:30 am – 2 p.m. at Morgan State University’s Student Center..

The objective of #EYECON is to help youth pursue entrepreneurship as a career option and employ an entrepreneurial attitude to excel and remain competitive in the workforce. The conference features workshops on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) coupled with entrepreneurship.

Lastly, there will be time allotted to network with students from other schools, play games, visit vendors, and receive giveaways. The conference is open to youth ages 10-18, school personnel, community leaders, and parents who have an interest in youth entrepreneurship skills training.

Registration is available online at

EYE for Change, Inc (Engaging Youth Entrepreneurs for Change) is a 501c3 not for profit organization that empowers and prepares youth to become competitive in a global economy through entrepreneurial skill building. For more information please visit

EDAC connects budding & existing entrepreneurs to resources for venture management & growth.