Preparation is Key

I won't lie it can be very hard to consistently eat well and control everything else in your life.

Time is essential and trying to fit everything into our daily lifestyle can be difficult, the result is we let our diet slip. 

We find ourselves so hungry after a long day that the thought of cooking and chopping doesn't sit easy, so we end up grabbing a ready meal, take away, processed foods or even worse….skipping a meal!

There is no getting away from preparation I'm afraid and putting the time in when we can, will go a long way.

You reap what you sow, and if you are willing to put the time and effort in to train, you really need to support it with a good diet. Trust me, you will see a vast improvement in your training by doing so.

I have started to spend more time planning my meals for each day, something I grew up on to be honest. Mum would have her routine, she was a nurse working nights so time was of short supply during the day so the easy thing for her was to stick to a routine of meals throughout the week. Monday was mince and spuds, Tuesday was lamb chops, Wednesday was ham, Thursday was stew, Friday was fish, Saturday was treat (pizza and chips) and finally Sunday was a roast.

If you are very pushed for time during the week, another tip is to spend time on a Sunday cooking a few meals you can freeze and eat throughout the week. Lasagne and fish pie's are a great example of dishes that can tie you over for lunch or dinner the next day.

Even buying the chopped vegetables in store in SuperValu is another way to save time and make sure you’re getting real natural, nutritional foods into your diet.

Supervalu now sell healthy roasting dishes full of good quality healthy meals, far better than a boxed microwave ready meal.

As a new first time Dad, I understand the pressures on your time. Even trying to get out for an hour of exercise on a regular basis can be tough, and this is why our nutrition is even more important.

I want to make sure I get the full benefit of that hour and food plays a vital role.

When you exercise hard you use up all your stored glycogen (energy), easily sweat over two liters of water, and break down both muscle and red blood cells.

This is why what you consume in the minutes and hours after your training is so crucial to both performance and recovery.

"Recovery is the act of regaining or returning toward a normal or healthy state". Research has proven that the foods we consume have positive links to recovery and performance.

 The main reasons to consume a recovery snack include

  • Replenishing the muscle and liver energy stores
  • Including protein to aid muscle repair
  • Rehydrate
  • Supporting the immune system

Again research has shown that the body is most receptive to replenishment within the first thirty minutes after intense training.

Essentially the clock starts ticking the moment you finish your run, match or bike ride. At this point is crucial to have a snack that is high in fast acting sugar along with a good source of protein.

Of course it can be very hard to eat a chicken and pasta dish while cooling down on the bike, so keep it simple by eating real unprocessed foods. Bringing a post training snack with you such as Greek yogurt mixed with fresh fruit or blended fruit with some milk.

We are finally beginning to see the start of the summer and what a great time to get out there and be active. If you are willing to get out there in the elements and exercise, then it’s worth reaping what you do by making sure you are giving your body what it needs in terms of good quality, nutritious food.

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