“Lack of time” is one of the top reasons that my clients give for not preparing homemade meals or eating as healthily as they would like. This is not surprising when they are likely to be combining many hours of training each week with a demanding full-time job and little time to shop or prepare meals. If this sounds like you, read on for a simple, quick but highly nutritious recipe that can be eaten for lunch or supper, or even as a post-training brunch if you fancy it. Continue reading
Some people like to eat the same breakfast every day, some people like to try different foods. If you are training and competing in endurance sport, it’s a good idea to vary your breakfast according to the timing and type of training session you do. This helps you to consume carbohydrates, protein and fats in different amounts, and eating different foods over the course of a week also broadens your intake of vitamins, minerals and other beneficial nutrients which support good health. Continue reading
Thai food may well be one of your favourite choices for eating out or getting food delivered in, and it’s a relatively healthy option. But why not make a Thai green curry at home? It makes a tasty dinner and works well after an evening training session.
This curry makes a perfect winter recovery meal after a chilly bike ride or long run. The potatoes and five different vegetables provide carbohydrates to replenish muscle glycogen stores, while the hard-boiled eggs, peas and red lentils provide protein to support muscle recovery.
The various vegetables and spices add extra nutritional benefits to help keep you healthy through the winter months:
- Potatoes, red pepper and onion are great sources of vitamin C to support immune function.
- Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties and anti-microbial garlic helps to fight bacterial infections.
- Ginger has been shown to help reduce muscle soreness after exercise.
- Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable containing glucosinolates that help support your body’s detoxication processes.
- This curry is also high in fibre to help maintain a healthy digestive function.
- Lastly, the salt in the Bouillon powder will contribute towards replenishing sodium lost in sweat, as will the natural sodium in the plant foods. Continue reading
This is one of my favourite evening meals, filling and nourishing after a day with a long or hard training session. The mackerel is a great source of both protein (19g/100g) to help repair muscle and healthy omega 3 fats to support heart, joint, immune and brain function. Sweet potato provides carbs (20g/100g – a serving is 200g) to replenish glycogen stores together with fibre to maintain a healthy gut and a range of vitamins such as beta carotene, which is important for eye health. I’ve added tenderstem broccoli and leeks for additional plant nutrients, so this recipe provides 3 servings of vegetables. I’ve also included maple syrup for flavour and some additional carbohydrate (10g/tbsp)
The blog that I wrote back in 2013 about using beetroot juice to boost endurance sports performance (read it here) is the most popular on my website by some distance, being accessed many times each week. At the time, the evidence seemed clear: taking 2 shots of beetroot concentrate prior to a race had been shown to significantly improve performance by boosting nitric oxide levels, leading in turn to more efficient oxygen use. Many of the studies at this point had been done with cyclists or runners, often using simulated time trials or measuring time to exhaustion in the lab. But the success of that early research has, of course, resulted in further studies that provide a more nuanced picture of the benefits of beetroot, and nitrate-containing vegetables generally. Continue reading
When you are training for endurance sports events, and time is tight, it can be tempting to just grab the easiest and quickest lunch that you can. But lunch presents a great opportunity to have a nourishing meal to support recovery from a morning training session or to fuel up for one later in the day. A quality lunch should combine slow release carbohydrates, such as brown rice, quinoa, sweet potato, buckwheat noodles, oatcakes or wholegrain bread with around 20g of protein from sources like lean meat, fish or seafood, eggs, cheese, beans, lentils, chickpeas, nuts and seeds, plus a serving or two of healthy fats such as olive oil and avocado, together with as many salad or cooked vegetables as you can fit on your plate or in your lunch box. Continue reading
Here’s a filling salad that works well as a recovery meal after a moderate training session. It’s good for lunch or supper, and can be eaten warm or prepared earlier in the day and eaten cold. It also travels well in a lidded container, so could be eaten immediately after training if it takes you a while to get home. Continue reading
This is a simple meal which works well as a pre-training lunch or a post-training recovery meal. Just use the larger quantity of rice and smaller quantity of cheese or chicken if you are eating it to provide energy before a training session. Conversely, have a larger serving of cheese or chicken and a bit less rice if it is a recovery meal to increase the protein content – or keep rice the same if it was a session more than two hours long. If you are prone to stomach issues while running and want to eat this before training, I would recommend using white risotto rice instead of brown rice for lower fibre content. Continue reading