Time For a White Out With Nutrition Clout

April 24th, 2019

by Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD, CSSD, LDN

The days are getting longer and the temperature is rising. We may want to get outside to move or play and don’t want to have to be in the kitchen all day. As a sports dietitian, I love to recommend foods that not only taste good but may also have benefits for active individuals. To do this, I have selected 5 of my favorite white foods. They can brighten up a meal, they can lighten the calorie load so we don’t feel bogged down, and they can heighten physical performance with their nutritional benefits.

Here is my white food “it” list:


Potatoes are great for an active lifestyle as they can help fuel a workout or recover when done. A medium potato contains 26 grams of carbohydrate to help the body compete or replete. They are an excellent source of potassium, a medium potato contains 620 milligrams. Potassium is important for muscle contraction, bone, nerve and heart health. The vitamin C supports a healthy immune system and collagen formation for bone health  Potatoes are easy to prep and great alone or as a canvas for veggies, and yogurt. The fiber in the potato can also keep you fuller for longer.


Onions contain a phyto- or plant nutrient called quercetin which may have anti-inflammatory and immune supporting benefits.  Onions also contain inulin, a prebiotic that can be used to “feed” the good bacteria in our gut. Core training from the inside out!


This cabbage family vegetable contains substances called glucosinolates which can decrease oxidative stress and decrease inflammation.  Cauliflower also contains Vitamin C for collagen formation and also Vitamin K for bone health. And it can lend texture and crunch to a stir fry, salad or casserole.


Mushrooms bring the chew and the mouthfeel. Mushrooms are naturally high in umami to lend a savory taste to food and the meatlike texture is great for vegetarians and vegans. Mushrooms contain selenium, a mineral which functions as antioxidant to combat oxidative stress. Mushrooms also contain ergothioneine and glutathione two antioxidants that can combat oxidative stress.


Greek yogurt is an excellent source of protein, and also a source of live and active culture or probiotics. The protein is important for muscle protein synthesis, bone health and satiety and the probiotics are important for gut health. Greek yogurt also contains calcium which is important for healthy bones.

These foods help to provide shortfall nutrients, are readily available, affordable and versatile. Potatoes can be baked, mashed, fried or boiled. Onions can be eaten raw, sautéed, roasted or grilled. Cauliflower can be eaten raw in a salad or used for dippers, added to a stir-fry, chopped finely to replace rice or roasted whole as a cauliflower steak. Mushrooms are lovely in salad, sautéed, grilled or added to soups, stews, sauces and stir-fries. Greek yogurt can be eaten plain, paired with fruit or veggies, flavored with herbs and used as a sauce or dip instead of sour cream, or a delicious topping on a potato. I have combined all these delicious tastes into my take on a stroganoff, using mushrooms, onions and cauliflower with a yogurt sauce over a baked potato.

This recipe delivers on performance nutrition with a carbohydrate to protein ratio of 3:1, sodium and potassium for electrolyte replacement and fat to optimize calories.


One medium russet potato, raw
1/3 cup chopped white onions
1/2 cup chopped cauliflower
½ cup thinly sliced white mushrooms
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup vegetable broth
2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
Smoked paprika
Black pepper
½ tablespoon flour
½ cup full fat plain Greek yogurt


Poke the potato all over with the tines of a fork. Moisten the skin slightly and wrap in a paper towel. Microwave on HIGH for 3.5 minutes, flip and microwave for another 3.5 minutes.

In a skillet, heat the olive oil, add the onions and cauliflower and saute for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and saute for another 5 minutes. Add the soy sauce, vegetable broth and paprika and pepper to taste. Stir in the flour and blend well. Add the Greek yogurt and mix to coat the onion, cauliflower and mushrooms. Spoon over the potato. Enjoy

Calories: 464
Carbohydrate: 55.1 grams
Fiber: 6.5 grams
Fat: 20.2 grams
Protein: 19.1 grams
Sodium: 939 milligrams
Potassium: 1485.3 milligrams
Calcium: 172.1 milligrams

Leslie Bonci is a registered dietitian and board-certified specialist in sports dietetics. She consults to professional sports teams, industry, the media and real people!

Instagram: @boncilj
Twitter: @boncilj #ActiveAdvice
Facebook: Leslie Bonci
Posted by: Deanna Segrave-Daly

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