Eat like a Vol at the UT training table

By: Sara Shookman Email
By: Sara Shookman Email

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- It isn't just prep work on the field that leads to win a here at the University of Tennessee. It's also happening here inside the kitchen at the Varsity Inn, the Vols training table.

"From the the fresh fruits and the smooties in the mornings, to a nice even meal with proteins and carbohydrates," said Phil Lawrence. Lawrence, the director of operations for the Varsity Inn at Gibbs Hall says that's three meals a day, five days a week.

All leading up to the big show.

"UT Athletics thinks its very important. This is the training table for football and all the other meals that go out for the different sports," he said. "It's an integral part of making us successful as a team."

Fueling a win starts with understanding what an athlete needs.

"Low cholesterol, we try to keep things low fat, low sodium. Just because they work out all the time and we have to make sure and keep them heart healthy," said cook Meghan Andrejczuk.

During the season, players sometimes need 4000 calories a day. But not every plate is meant to be the same.

"The Lady Vols eat much lighter fare than the guys do and the guys tend to eat something a little bit heavier," said Lawrence.

Players who need to lose or gain have one on one nutrition counseling. Following team guidelines, players can find a good mix of whole grains and other carbohydrates, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables at each meal.

"These kids are young. Some are freshman still. They are in sports and they're not sure how to eat correctly yet," said Lawrence. "We serve the things that make them more healthy."

The best meals? The special pregame dinners three or four hours before the Lady Vols tip off.

"We'll sit and brainstorm and think about what we want to serve," said Andrejczuk.

November begins a very busy month here at the Varsity Inn with fall and winter sports in season.

There are some treats involved. These are still college students afterall. Chocolate waffles and cinnamon rolls are also available.

Meals at Varsity Inn are open to any UT student or paid buyer who visits Gibbs Hall.


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