I sure do love the offseason, but few things compare to my heart racing after winning a volleyball match. I'm riding an adrenaline high after recent trips to China and Brazil, and I cannot wait to compete in my next 15 tournaments. That's right, THREE, just in the month of May. I'll let you in on a secret—three is a lot. To get me through the rigorous schedule, I've created my personal "survival kit" that keeps me at peak performance on and off the beach.
Most of the items I rely on daily basis are already in my kitchen pantry:
- Just a tablespoon. From Manhattan Beach workouts to hitting the cardio at the hotel gym, I find honey has become my go-to workout partner. With about 17 grams of carbohydrates and 64 calories per tablespoon, it provides me a quick burst of energy while also helping me to sustain my levels. I'll even enjoy honey sticks or grab a squeeze from a honey bear during a time out and take that added energy with me onto the sand.
- Goodbye chapped lips. I prefer to use a lip balm such as Burt's Bees Honey Lip Balm. It has SPF, which is critical especially on match days. The balm protects my skin from the sun and the honey helps to keep my lips hydrated. If I can't find my lip balm in my bag, sometimes I just apply honey directly to my lips for that extra moisture on sunny days.
- Protein matters. One of my favorite recipes is almond-crusted chicken tenders with a honey-mustard dipping sauce. For dessert, I love plain Greek yogurt with mango, almond slices and honey. Honey is a natural flavor booster that is versatile across savory and sweet dishes. Honey allows me to cook tasty food that my whole family will enjoy, while also allowing me to fuel up with protein-packed meals that my body craves after competing.
While I would love to tell you about the rest of my kit, I need to keep my competitors guessing! If you want to learn more, I'm actually going to be at Hermosa Beach on June 6 with the National Honey Board as their spokesperson providing beach-goers some sweet relief from the summer sun before heading off to Russia for the Grand Slam. We would love for you to stop by! Until next time, you know where to find me.