Lauren Silvio is Auburn Athletics' director of sports nutrition. She prepared menus for the meals the Auburn football team during the Tigers' seven-day stay in New Orleans for the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
Typically, with our menus, we try to have a lean protein and then a higher fat protein option, so there are two different meats or proteins, and then two starches, or carbohydrate sources, and then fruits and vegetables with all of the meals. And then usually at dinner, we have a dessert. Knowing what the guys like, that's kind of a learned thing. You see at the Wellness Kitchen during camp and throughout the season, you're listening to them when they eat, you gather the vegetables they like and don't like, the starch or carb sources that they like or don't like.
The first night, we did a dinner at the hotel that had that Louisiana flair, while still sticking to our different kinds of proteins, different kinds of carbohydrates, the vegetables and fruit. Some of the other dinners, they're eating out for three nights in a row, some of those are going to be more Cajun-geared.
For a lot of the lunches, I didn't go with the Louisiana theme, I just did things I knew they'd like. I have one that's more like a pasta meal and Italian food, I have one that's more Mexican food based, and they're doing a nice dinner that's steak and lobster for New Year's Eve to be fancy and give them something special because it's such a big bowl game.
Not too much Louisiana because you still have to keep it where it is things that have that Louisiana flair but the guys will still enjoy it, because some of them like spicy food, some of them don't, some of them like seafood, some of them don't.
It's a lot of food, and the hotels are really helpful with that to be able to gauge, they have experience with wedding or big events, so they can gauge the amount of food. I know whenever we talk to the Wellness Kitchen, with the amount of food we're preparing, they prepare for one person, plus around half of another person, because they're so big, they eat so much. They want to be prepared and not run out of food. That's the main thing, just not running out of things so we can make sure they get what they need to fuel their bodies.
A lot of them like the good homestyle food. There's a lot of southern guys on the team. They're used to that southern style food, it's what they grew up on. They like their meat and potatoes and they like different vegetables like asparagus, carrots, greens and green beans, which helps because we can give them a variety of vegetables. They're good with chicken usually, in a bunch of different ways. They always like steak. Basic things that we can put different twists on them to tailor it to the guys or change it up a little bit because we don't want it to be too boring all of the time.
They're doing all of the breakfasts and lunches at the hotel. They'll do three dinners out, and the rest of the dinners will be at the hotel.
For breakfast, we do eggs and then two types of meat. A lean protein, something that's more like chicken sausage or turkey sausage, and then we'll give them a smoked sausage or bacon option that's a little higher in fat. We always have scrambled eggs and omelet stations. For carbohydrates, we always have oatmeal and grits, and I put beignets on a couple days because I knew that was something that they'd like, and it's kind of fun, and other days we do things like pancakes or waffles for some of the other carbohydrate sources.
For members of the Auburn family making New Year's resolutions, one thing that's big for me is not restricting yourself fully from things that you like because I think a lot of people do that. They're on a diet so they'll say, 'I will not have cookies. I will not have ice cream. I won't eat junk food.' Then what happens is you start craving those things, and then you try to eat other things to compensate for it, when in reality, if you just had one cookie instead of multiple cookies, you're fine. Instead of overeating something else that you don't actually want, or it doesn't satisfy that craving, because you just end up wanting it anyways. That's something that's big for me: not restricting yourself completely. Everything's in moderation and it's fine. It's just being able to have the discipline to do that.