Thursday, April 9, 2015

Skater of the Month: Nikki Tesla

Welcome to our monthly feature on the blog where we help you all get to know our players a little better! This month, we're featuring our 2015 team Secretary:

Skater Name: Nikki Tesla

Number: 134

Story Behind the Name: With a hardcore love of all things Steampunk, and a husband who is an electrician, taking the name of a famous Nineteenth Century Inventor just seemed to fit. Plus, now I can aim to be "electrifying" on the track!
Hometown: A small town in Northern CT

Derby Experience: I've just passed my one year anniversary playing Derby! I'm excited to be skating on the Team's Roster this season and I can't wait...

Sports background: I've played softball and soccer. I used to ride bikes or rollerskate for HOURS after school every day. I did Kempo Karate and Ju Jitsu in high school and college. Now, it's all Derby or trying to get in extra cardio at the gym.

Why Derby: At first it was just a way to get more exercise. Now it's a constant way to challenge myself both physically and intellectually.  There's so much to keep track of and to try to master! I love it.

Derby Style: Ummm...sometimes it's a pure case of "fake it 'til you make it!" Basically, I try to bolster my teammates in whatever way works best on the track. I fall down, I get back up, and keep moving on.

Why Pair O' Dice: Originally, I came to POD because two of my coworkers were already affiliated with the team. I stayed because we are a tight-knit group of fabulously strong girls who work to support each other both on and off the track. It's like having a new, extended family.

Derby Goals: To learn to be a great blocker and solid addition to the team.  Then, after that, I'd love to learn to master track awareness so that I can become a solid swing, playing both offense and defense on the track.

Favorite players: Can I name my own teammates?  LOL.  Seriously, I want to learn to skate low and fast like our own Donny Brook. I want to learn some epic shenanijams from our Suga Burn and I want to learn to take advantage of the rules in the smartest ways possible like Astra Knot.  Outside of POD, I'd love to someday be as strong and agile as Western Mass' Rammy Lammy, and be able to maneuver as confidently backwards and forwards as Boston's Shark Week.

Outside of Derby: Librarian by day... I'm a reader, writer, and answer finder. I love to curl up with a great book or in front of my favorite cheesy sci-fi tv shows.

Things I have learned about derby: I've learned it's a sport you need to be passionate to play. I've learned that Derby works best when you have team mates you can depend on and they know they can depend on you. Really though, I've learned that no matter what, there's always more to learn about Derby! 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

POD's Healthy "Fuel" of the Month

In the interest of fun and nutrition - and showing that yes, you CAN combine the two sometimes - we are going to be featuring one healthy meal a month that can be used to help fuel up before a game or to recharge afterwards. Every once in a while, we'll probably also have a recipe or two for some fabulously tasty treats...because what Derby girl doesn't love treats??

This month, we're going to feature a simple recipe that can be a great way to refuel after a hard practice or a big bout! (Yes, I know the after-party usually features a whole different kind of "fuel," but go with me here...) 

Picture from Healthy Today  Healthy Tomorrows
1 package whole wheat couscous
1 lb. chicken tenders 
1 head of broccoli
1 red pepper
3 scallions 
10 baby carrots 
2 tblspn olive oil 
1 tblspn rice vinegar
2 tblspn red. sodium soy sauce
1 tlbspn Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes 

1. Pour olive oil into a large skillet and bring to medium heat. 
2. Turn heat down slightly, bringing skillet to medium low heat. 
3. Chop vegetables and add to pan, starting with the broccoli and carrots (the harder veggies) first as they'll take longer to cook. Stir occasionally to keep from burning.  
4. Prepare the couscous according to package directions. 
5. Cut chicken into small pieces and add to veggie skillet.  Turn heat up a notch and stir frequently to ensure chicken cooks through. 
6. Add vinegar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and red pepper flakes to taste.  
7. Place a decent portion of couscous on each plate, then top with chicken and veggies. Serve!

Stir-fry is one of those great meals that you can basically make out of anything. Beef, Sausage, chicken, rice, noodles, couscous, and whatever veggies you happen to have around the house. I've used eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms, every type of veggie you can think of!  I chose this recipe to share as it's the one I make most often. Chicken is an excellent source of lean protein and contains important nutrients like niacin and vitamin B. I also like to use the whole wheat couscous because it gives an interesting texture to the stir-fry and increases the dish's protein and fiber content without adding massive calories. No matter what you put in your stir-fry, just go easy on the soy sauce.  Adding all that sodium in after a good workout will only make you feel dehydrated and gross - hello bloat! Buy low sodium and use as little as possible. 

The next time you're looking for a quick and easy dish to throw together, give a chicken stir-fry a shot! Let me know how it goes. 

- Nikki Tesla #134