Working in elite sports means also working with a lot of different nationalities. Many disciplines, whether that’s team sports or other sports, are a melting pot of different cultures. Often, we forget to think about the cultural background people have when they join a team. Food and nutrition in particular reflect our different traditions. Sport is global and international. This is great! Although sometimes hard to handle and difficult to incorporate into daily planning. When you work with a team, you’re limited in offering different nutrient sources with every meal but you can (and have to) make sure there’s something for everyone. In the end your athletes need to eat to cover their needs. An athlete who’s not eating is a big problem. In nutrition planning for individual personalised plans there needs to be room for cultural diversity. In nutrition planning for individual personalised plans there needs to be room for cultural diversity.

In difficult times, food is something that gives us a feeling of security and home. If you get stuck in a place and there’s no familiar food to find, this can trigger feelings of fear, sadness, loneliness, isolation, being lost. Familiar food is important for everyone of us.

Sports nutrition is a great tool to create team spirit and mutual respect by adding new foods and acknowledging this cultural diversity in a team. It can help raise awareness of the different traditions and values everyone of us grew up with. And it allows us dietician to learn about different countries and to try new recipes and new foods.

An Austrian dish that my athletes find on their nutrition plans is Kaiserschmarren. Whether it’s certain training days or after a mountain stage, there’re several situations where it’s a good fit. It’s thought that it was first prepared for the Austrian Emperor Francis-Joseph I back in the 19th century. It’s still on the menu in Austrian restaurants and popular dish in many households.

Kaiserschmarren

Ingredients

(4 servings)

  • 3 eggs
  • 350 g cake or pastry flour (2 ¾ cups)
  • 1 tbsp of brown sugar (or honey)
  • 500 ml milk 1% (2 cups)
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsp of raisins
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • powdered sugar (about 1 tbsp)
  • cinnamon
  • 3-4 cups plum or apple puree

Directions:

Separate the egg whites from yolks.

Thoroughly mix the yolks, sugar, milk and flour.

Add a pinch of salt to the egg whites and beat until stiff.

Add stiff egg whites into the dough and fold carefully.

Heat oil in a large pan, pour in the dough and sprinkle in raisins.

Let cook on one side for a few minutes, turn over and tear into pieces with a fork.

Be careful not to overcook the pancakes, otherwise they will dry out. Sprinkle powdered sugar (and cinnamon – if you want), and serve with plum or apple puree.

Tip: Enjoy as dessert or main dish.

Substitute whole wheat/spelt flour for pastry flour.

If you want more protein, enjoy with some yogurt.

Nutrition information (per serving)

653 kcal

9 g fat

120 g carbohydrates

9 g fibre

14 g protein

693 mg sodium