Our third collaborative Oatmeal on the Street event of the year has come and gone! Both the Men’s and Women’s Volleyball teams volunteered their time to hand out bowls of free, hot oatmeal between 9 and 10:30am. The team members promoted their upcoming home games, but the importance of a healthy breakfast, for both students and athletes!

This time around, we interviewed Varsity Women’s Field Hockey libero Asli Ersözoğlu (jersey number 11) about nutrition during game season. Asli is a fourth year New College commerce student who comes from a family of professional athletes.

Olivia van Baaren and Asli

Varsity Women’s Volleyball team members Olivia van Baaren (#7) and Asli Ersözoğlu (#11).

When did you first start playing? How long have you been on the Varsity team?

I’m a fourth year, and I play libero. I started when I was nine-years-old, and I’ve been playing for U of T for four years. Overall, I’ve been playing volleyball for almost twelve years.

What made you decide to participate in Oatmeal on the Street? What value do you see in an event like this?

As athletes, we definitely enjoy our oatmeal before a game, because it’s great food; it’s great carbs, it gives you energy, and keep you full the whole game. And, it’s tasty, with all these different toppings we’re serving. It’s great that we’re promoting as a team to other people, showing what healthy food can look like, and we’re also here to promote out home game, which is this Friday at 6pm. 

How important is proper nutrition to you during game season? Do you make extra effort?

We have a crazy routine; we practice every day and we have games every weekend. If you don’t fuel yourself properly, you’re not going to be able to perform as well. On top of that, nutrition is not something we can ignore; it’s a big part of our performance. Get those greens in, get fruits in; your protein after practice, after games. You don’t want to be hungry in the middle of a game, and oatmeal’s great for that; it keeps you full all day, pretty much.

What do you try and incorporate into every breakfast that you can?

I, personally, am a big fan of fruit. I think they’re great; they keep you healthy, give you a lot of energy. It’s natural sugar, and it kind of wakes you up. Also, protein; for me, peanut butter. I’m a big fan of that, and I’m sure my other teammates are big fans of eggs. Again, they keep you full. We try to start our day with carbs and end it with protein, because we practice in the middle. You have to time in the macro-nutrients. 

A lot of people skip breakfast when they’re rushing around in the morning; any advice for those who tend to skip breakfast?

Don’t skip breakfast! When you skip breakfast, you slow down your metabolism, and then if you have class or practice, it’s doesn’t matter–you’re not going to perform to your fullest; you’re not going to focus in class. One of our team nutritionists gave us this advice: if you wake up in the morning and don’t feel hungry, you should still force yourself to eat even one piece of fruit, and that will jumpstart your metabolism. 

What is your ultimate breakfast?

My ultimate breakfast? Avocado toast, with lots of fruit and coffee. 

Keep an eye out for the next Oatmeal on the Street on Wednesday, November 9th from 9am to 10:30am featuring the Varsity Basketball teams.

Support your Varsity Volleyball teams and attend their upcoming home games: both teams will be playing Ryerson on Friday, October 28th in the Goldring Centre. Catch the women’s game at 6pm and the men’s at 8pm.

Check out more pictures from all Oatmeal on the Street events in our Facebook event album!

– Emily Hotton