Veteran WNBA star Alana Beard has been a fixture in the league since she graduated from Duke in 2004. A four-time WNBA All-Star, she has played for the Los Angeles Sparks since 2012, and helped the team to a league championship in 2016.
On the court she's known for her formidable defense. Off the court, she has a passion for something else: good food. The 35-year-old, who co-owns Mellow Mushroom, a pizza franchise in Roanoke, Virginia, with former teammate Marissa Coleman, sees a future as a restaurateur after retiring from the WNBA. For now, she filled us in on her favorite pregame meal. And nope, it's not pizza.
Day and time: This meal is what I eat in some variation before almost every game. Sometimes I eat it postgame or just for a regular dinner, too.
Place: Home! I love when the team has home games because I have a lot of control over my pregame nutrition preparations.
What I'm eating: Salmon, avocado, eggs, beets, sautéed mushrooms and onions with a sprinkle of feta cheese.
Why I'm eating it: I like eating a lot of protein and healthy fats before games. Some nutritionists might not agree with my approach, but I feel my best on the court when I eat this way.
Whose recipe: My own!
Chopped mushrooms and onions
Pre-cooked beets, chopped
1/2 an avocado, sliced
Salt, pepper and minced garlic to taste
Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat and season salmon to taste with salt, pepper and garlic. Add salmon and cook for three to four minutes per side. Remove to plate and pan fry an egg (or two).
In a separate pan, add a teaspoon of olive oil, chopped mushrooms and onions. Sauté over medium heat for five minutes.
Slice half of an avocado and chop three small pre-cooked beets. Place all ingredients in a bowl and sprinkle with feta.