Column by Kristen Heiss
COLLEGE STATION, Texas, September 11. AS the big swim meet day looms closer, one noticeable change in our household of swimmers is the fridge. First is the gradual replacement of Ben and Jerry's New York Super Fudge Chunk ice cream with the lower calorie version of ice cream known as the "light" ice cream.
Next to appear after the "light" ice cream is the frozen yogurt. After the frozen yogurt, comes the drastic appearance of the all-natural, 100 percent fruit Popsicle.
When the big meet is right around the corner, desserts become scarce, and we scrounge meagerly around the kitchen for a piece of fruit to satisfy our sweet tooth.
The meals during swim meets are filled with the constant preoccupation of what to eat.
"The alfredo sauce is probably too heavy…I should go for the marinara. Perhaps I should just stick with the grilled chicken and vegetable of the day. Or maybe I should rely on the always popular carb-loading pasta dish."
As we swimmers try and order the healthy, non-greasy, yet energy fulfilling food, we can't help but sneak longing glances at the dessert menu perched upon the table or gaze with yearning at the pieces of chocolate cheese cake the waiter is setting upon the table next to us.
Occasionally there is a slight slip up, and a small bag of Dove chocolates might makes it's way into the swim bag for the meet, or a tiny, inconsequential Snickers bar finds its home between the suits and goggles packed. Yet, most of the time, we remain steadfast in our commitment to excellence at meet time, fueling our bodies with only the most nutritious of meals.
So what happens after the meet is over? We inevitably find ourselves sprinting towards the nearest place that sells desserts. Two swimmers, who wish to remain unnamed, said that after their last event at the U.S. Open, they made visits to two ice cream shops in the span of one hour: consuming both gelato (a delicious Italian ice cream) and the local Ben and Jerry's ice cream. It was, in their opinion, a just reward for a successful meet.
The following is an incomplete list compiled with the advice of many of my fellow swimmers on their opinions of the best post swim meet food.
1) The Cookie Monster from Cheddar's Restaurant.
2) Chik-Fil-A Milkshake
3) Home made cookies (and cookie dough)
4) Dairy Queen Blizzard of the Month
5) "Gotta Have It" from Cold Stone (this is for the swimmer in dire need
of dessert after a long period of deprivation)
6) Cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory or any other respectable
8) Brownies (the boxed Ghirardelli brownie mix is quite acceptable)
9) Hamburger and french fries. Although this is not a dessert, many
swimmers say that the appeal of a burger and fries after a meet is just
as strong as any dessert.
So what is my favorite treat? Ice cream of course! However, all nine of these ideas are well worth the calories and are an excellent treat to reward the completion of a swim meet. After all, a little dessert is good for the physical and spiritual well being of any person, including swimmers.
What's your favorite post meet treat? Let us know in Reaction Time below.