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A wrestling champs guide to eating with a purpose

Wrestler Alexis Porter during wrestling match

If I have one critical flaw it is certainly my sweet tooth. I have always sought gratification in sugary items — the heavenly taste of a slice of cake and the chocolatey bliss that comes with each bite of a brownie. When I began taking my wrestling career seriously, though, I knew I’d need to get creative to satisfy my sweet tooth so I could reach my goals.

Why Wrestling?

I have loved wrestling ever since I was a young girl. When I was 10-years-old, I would watch my younger brother’s wrestling practices from the sidelines. I learned what a good stance looked like, where to place your hands, and how to move my feet — just by watching. Back then, I tipped the scales at a whopping 80 pounds, so when my brother needed someone close to his size to drill his moves on at home, I became his practice dummy. Within just a few weeks I started learning the different positions and suddenly I was an even match for my brother. He has since outgrown me in both size and strength, but I never let him forget that I used to best him once upon a time.

My dad took notice of my skill for the sport and bought me a pair of wrestling shoes and a singlet, and entered me into my very first pee-wee tournament. New York is one of 25 states without sanctioned high school wrestling for girls — so I wrestled against boys. To the surprise of many spectators, I took 3rd place. I was the first girl the boys had ever wrestled, the first girl they had ever seen wrestle, and eventually the first girl they ever lost to.

As a kid, wrestling was just something fun to keep me active, but I progressed quickly, and my dad soon realized I had potential to succeed in the sport. He was my biggest fan, my biggest advocate, and my most dedicated coach. His unwavering belief helped fuel my passion. I worked hard, eventually earning a full scholarship to the university of my choice and qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Trials when I was 19.

A Wrestler’s Diet

So much of my performance as an athlete depends on my diet. Wrestling is a combat sport which requires you to maintain a specific weight to compete. Cliché as it may sound, what you put in is what you get out. As I recall, as much as I complained about the healthy alternatives my mother made to help me with my goals, she always said, “it’s for purpose not pleasure.” Now that I’m older, and the responsibility to maintain a healthy diet falls primarily on my shoulders, I have learned why my mom made certain substitutions in my diet when I was young and find myself consistently trying to be more creative to satisfy my cravings — particularly for sweets.

If there is anything I have learned through my time as an elite athlete, it’s that desserts can be enjoyed in moderation. That means no I shouldn’t eat a tray of cookies by myself in one night, but I can eat one or two. Balance is paramount to say the least. My body needs healthy fuel to power my training and competition, but it also needs something a little sweet, so I don’t feel like I’m depriving myself of foods that I love.

Kodiak Cakes products are packed with wholesome ingredients like whole grains and protein that help not only fuel my body for competition, but also satisfy my sweet tooth. With products like Protein Balls, I can finally eat for purpose and pleasure. Check out one of my go-to treats to satisfy any “sweet” cravings below!

No-Bake Protein Balls (With a Twist)

Chocolate Covered Protein Balls (with a twist)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup Peanut Butter
  • 1/3 Cup of Honey
  • 1/4 Cup of Water
  • 1 Bag of Milk Chocolate Chips

Directions

  1. Combine Kodiak Cakes mix, peanut butter, honey, and water in a mixing bowl and hand stir
  2. Divide and roll into 12 balls (about the size of a ping pong ball…if it looks like Serena Williams could serve it cross court it’s probably too big)
  3. Heat bag of milk chocolate chips in a pot over the stove or microwave until fully melted (Feel free to sneak a small handful for yourself before you melt the lot…I always do)
  4. Dip and evenly coat balls in melted chocolate (Pro tip: I stab each ball with a toothpick to make the dipping process a tad easier)
  5. Place on parchment paper and freeze for 30 minutes (Help pass the time by watching an episode of your favorite show)

About the Author

Alexis Porter is the first female to represent the Wyoming Wrestling Regional Training Center. She competes for the New York Athletic Club and is an Adidas sponsored athlete. Among her many accomplishments, Alexis is a 4X collegiate All-American and University National Champion, placed 5th at the 2016 Olympic Team Trials, is a Junior World Bronze medalist, and a member of Team USA. Alexis graduated with a Bachelors in Professional Writing at McKendree University and is currently working toward a Master’s degree in Marketing Communication Management. In her free time she enjoys writing, reading, eating pancakes, and watching all things Marvel and Disney.

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