Being sensible with food choices is your best bet to healthy eating. We generally know what is good for us and what is bad and simply being conscious of our choices is the first step. There is an interesting model that shows the path to making a change, which actually relates to anything in our lives but its interesting to note here.
The idea being presented, is that we can not make a change until we have made a conscious decision too change and it is very easy to fall back into previous state if there is not enough motivation to keep us in changed state. So once you have made the decision to change we need to educate ourselves and motivate ourselves to stay in our new ways.
It is very difficult to advise on nutrition as a generalisation because everyone has different needs, but here is some general guidance.
We need to stay clear of too many sugars, fats and simple carbs. We should try and gets as many colours on our plate as we can, so all the fruits and vegetables in varied colours give different vitamins and minerals which are really important in our diet.
For those of us who train a lot during the week, its important that we fuel our bodies for training. After a long training session, trying to get some form of protein in is a good idea to help with muscle repair. Also a complex carb based meal within two hours of training is also important to replenish glycogen stores and generally help us keep going. Many diet plans will take out carbohydrates, I personally disagree with this method as advice for someone who is training regularly. Our bodies need this to give us energy, in order to do well at our sport we need a lot of energy and we tend to be burning carbohydrates when we play Roller Derby as we tend to be using the lactate energy system. If we don’t therefore fuel our body correctly its not going to be working efficiently. So instead of cutting out I tend to advise getting the right ones, always go for wholmeal rather than white and try and replace bread and potatoes with pulses, lentils, bulgar wheat and such things. A lack of carbohydrate in the muscles during training, will also effect our concentration levels as well. It will still need to get it from somewhere and if there is not a sufficient store in our muscles it will take it from else where (generally this comes from our liver which holds the store for our brain, this is the main reason for confusion when we over train).
I am obviously just touching the surface when it comes to nutrition there are a lot of different areas to look into and also a lot of different theories out there. I am personally a firm believer of eat smart and clean, rather than diet and panic or worry to much about your diet. It’s so easy to get into a bad relationship with food. I am a food lover, but I am lucky that the foods I love tend to be the good ones. I love fruit and vegetables and eating healthy isn’t to difficult for me. I am not super healthy, measuring out my portions or counting calories however. Maybe I should pay more attention to my diet, but I know when I’ve had a bad day and I can recognise when I need to tidy up my diet. So my advice is, put back the donut and have a think about what is a healthier option.
Also to note, is when its difficult to make the right choices, is when we are pushed for time or being influenced by others. This tends to be early morning rushing off to work and lunch time, eating at the desk or popping out and grabbing fast food because we didn’t plan ahead. Here are some of my favourite quick breakfast and lunch options. I will note here, I pre prepare my food. However it doesn’t take a lot of time and it simply a case of building a habit. I shop on a Sunday and cook for the week on a Sunday evening after training, so they are generally quick to prepare. Occasionally I may do it on a Monday if I have run out of time.
Simple Fruit and Greek yogurt
Tinned pineapple (make sure its in juice not syrup)
Any fruit will work really
Can add granola as a topping and some honey to sweeten if you prefer
Your choice of fruit
Then I add half a cup porridge oats to bulk it up a bit and make it keep me fuller for longer.
I use Greek yogurt in mine too.
I make it the night before and leave in fridge for the morning, as I tend to have my breakfast after my morning clients. I will be leaving the house at 6:15 for a 7:00am client so don’t really have time to eat, this way I can eat either on the train or quickly between clients or even during training a client if they don’t mind
Preparation time: 15 minutes
You will need
150g rolled oats
50g dried fruit of your choice
50g shredded coconut
A handful of pistachio nuts
150ml apple juice
150g organic plain yoghurt
1 tbsp agave syrup or honey
1 apple, grated
50g chopped hazelnuts, fresh blueberries, raspberries, passion fruit, pomegranate or any fruit of your choice really, to serve
This made enough for a three days for two, so would probably be enough for a week for one
Apple and cinnamon
Banana and honey
Raisins or blueberries or raspberries mixed in with honey on top
Salad (a real good one)
Chicken – I tend to buy chicken thighs as they are a cheaper option season to taste chuck in the oven and then refrigerate for the week. Simples
In my salad I usually have a selection of leaves. I like spinach and its got good lot of vitamins in it plus iron
Sweet peppers again all the colours
Carot – I like batons
Butter beans – you could do a mix of beans you can usually buy a tin pretty cheap
Then I will have either cous cous, rice or a small amount of pasta
Good way of making your cous cous more interesting, make it up with chicken stock, then squeeze a lemon into the mix and add raisins or a mix of dried fruit. I quite like some herbs or spices mixed in to. Cinnamon and cumin work well for a Moroccan vibe. Or paprika and chilli with fresh coriander.
This is real easy to put together i will just cook a bulk of chicken and rice or cous cous on a Sunday evening and then put the salad together each evening ready for the next day. And why not add some nuts and seeds to the top of your salad too. With the change between seasoning on the chicken the choice between rice, pasta or cous cous this can keep you going for a couple of weeks before you get bored too.
Thai style burrito (my own invention)
Ginger and chilli chicken
Tomato and sweet pepper salsa
All in a wrap
This week I have made a big stew
Moroccan theme (bit obsessed with Moroccan style food at the moment)
Chicken, parsnip, butternut squash, apricot, spices, chilli and then pomegranate and fresh coriander stirred in at the end yummers!!
Quite basically put the boring sandwich away and get inspired. If your not a great cook simply google for a recipe its pretty easy food. The hardest part is getting yourself to get in the kitchen and prepare it all without eating it there and then