Food for Thought

Let’s talk about what you’re eating on your competition days. In competition, you really should be eating the same things you’ve been eating on your training days. You want to compete like you’ve been training, not change up what you’ve been doing when the big day comes. In shooting, we tend to avoid caffeine and sugars due to how they affect our heart rate. However, if you consume caffeine and sugar on every other day, you absolutely should have those things on your competition day. The thing to note here is consistency. Manage all of the controllable factors you can in training so that you can manage all of the controllable factors in competition. One of the things within your control that has a major impact on your performance is diet.

One way to become great at something is to emulate what the best people do. Contradictory to this, if your favorite athlete in your sport starts off the day with a quad venti latte, this does not mean you should start off your day with a quad venti latte. Figure out what your routine is and stick with it. Long before your competition, you should be testing which foods, drinks, and supplements work best for you before and during training. Try stuff out, journal it, and hone in on the perfect combination to promote your best performance.

I am totally not a breakfast person, but while training and in competition, I always ate a breakfast with protein, carbs, and dairy. I also ate snacks throughout my training sessions and matches. A Diet Coke in the afternoon was a MUST. This was my routine and it worked for me! One snack I always had on hand was some kind of healthy bar.

I made a batch of bars this morning that are the perfect example of what I would take to the range to keep my mind and body ready to perform. Make your own by following the recipe below!

Healthy Breakfast Bars by Amanda Banta

Healthy Breakfast Bars (Vegan, GF)

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Cook Time: 25 Minutes

Total Time: 40 Minutes


• 1 cup dates, pitted

• ¾ cup peanut butter

• 1 cup apple sauce

• 1 teaspoon vanilla

• 2 ½ cups quick oats

• ½ cup almonds, chopped

• ¾ cup chocolate chips

• ¼ cup shredded coconut

• ¼ cup pumpkin seeds

• ¼ cup sunflower seeds

• 1 teaspoon cinnamon


1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line an 11×7 pan with parchment paper and set aside.

2. Add the dates (MAKE SURE THE PITS ARE OUT) to a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit for 5 minutes and drain (this softens the dates).

3. While the dates are soaking, add the dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and mix.

4. Add the dates, apple sauce, peanut butter, and vanilla to a food processer and blend until smooth.

5. Add the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well.

6. Pour the batter into your baking pan. Evenly distribute the batter and press down.

7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

8. Cool completely.

9. Slice and enjoy!

These breakfast bars will keep covered on the counter for 3-4 days and refrigerated for up to a week. You can also freeze them for 1-2 months!

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