I like making my own cereal bars - they’re a great snack to have either just before or after exercising. Or even to give a wee energy boost at work! I’ve made some cereal bars using Natalie Coughlin’s recipe:
Before training in the afternoon my lunch tends to consist of a fresh salad with either whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, quinoa or whole-meal wraps with some kind of fresh meat (usually chicken). I find whole-meal/brown foods are lower in GI (glycemic index) and this gives you a slower release of energy, which is perfect for long training sessions.
White rice, white pasta etc. is great for instant energy but these foods are high in GI so you’ll find you’ll run out of energy quicker. It is important to eat a meal with complex carbohydrates (i.e. pasta) before you train and it is just as important to replenish your energy stores post training as well. This will help your body to recover quicker making you fresher for your next training session and minimise muscle soreness and injury risk!
My favorite lunch:
Salad: Handful of spinach leaves, half avocado, chopped tomato, chopped half red pepper and carrots
Whole-meal rice with a cooked chicken fillet or thigh (no skin)
Dessert: Bowl of Greek yoghurt with honey and chopped fruit or a homemade pancake using whole-meal flour.
Post workout, a snack combining carbohydrates and protein together gives the body a better chance of recovery. Some of my favourites are peanut butter & banana on rice cakes or tuna on a whole-wheat wrap. It’s important to consume your snack within 20mins of completing training!
I firmly believe there is no such thing as bad food just bad diet, so everything in moderation. One thing I have learnt over the years is to be open in trying different types of foods and finding out styles you like when it comes to cooking meals. I know I prefer fresh crunchy salad to cooked veg. So most of my meals are with fresh veg. I don’t like meals that are too complicated to make so something quick and easy is ideal. There are many athletes that put up blogs on meals they have created/and snacks. It’s fun to try them out but change some of the ingredients to suit what you like. It’s the creative part that I like best.
One final factor that is very important when looking into nutrition that can get overlooked is hydration! It is vital to drink plenty of water before, during and after exercise. You can make your own home made ‘sport’ drink by adding a pinch of salt to your drink (water and dilute juice).
Getting the right nutrition is purely down to the individual and what works best for them. Everyone is unique so tailoring a diet that is specific to your needs is important if you want optimum performance.
Please tweet me @HannahMiley89 if you have any questions on nutrition and I will do my best to answer!