Practical Nutrition: the missing link

Last month we looked at how to fuel your workout based on two key principles of Performance Nutrition – your goals and the physical demands of the training session.

Understanding what to eat pre and post workout is a good start, but where most people fall down in not have having a practical plan in place to eat well day to day. Many new clients I see admit to being ‘stuck in a rut’ – preparing the same meals each night at home, and visiting the same café chain for the same sandwich, during the working week.

Take Ownership

The starting point to take ownership and starting driving your nutrition is building a 20 min planning slot into your weekend. This is where the Mind & Body element comes of Performance Nutrition is key. Take the time to relax with a coffee and fully engage in your week ahead – Without setting your week out in this way, you will just follow the same old habits, which have brought the same old results.

Planning

With any new programme it’s important for you to challenge yourself think differently about your nutrition. Start slow and plan 1 new recipe to try out each week. You will be amazed at how quickly your confidence and cooking repertoire grows!

Key questions to plan your week ahead:

  • What are the work, training and travel plans next week?
  • When will shopping take place?
  • When will you try out a new recipe?
  • Are there any ‘pressure points’ next week that require extra planning (e.g. travel, social occasions)

Faster food

Some of the biggest frustrations shared by many is 1) recipes take too long to prepare or 2) contain too many ingredients which need to be sourced from different locations! I hear you and that why we’ve challenged our chef team to ensure all recipes are under 15 minutes but also contain no more than 10 ingredients.

Smarter Shopping Guide

Modern life and the inner city environments have changed our shopping behaviours – for many this means a nightly shop to the local ‘metro’ supermarket, often whilst on the phone, and usually very hungry – an easy trap to fall into, but far from optimal.

Now whether you prefer to shop online or in the supermarket – here is your simple 3 point system to ensure weeks nutrition is bullet-proof. The recipe list below is linked to our latest recipe collection, of which will be introducing new recipes each month:

Step 1. Kitchen Essentials

These are the multipurpose ingredients that needs one big shop (don’t forget your utensils and storage containers here!)

  • Oils, fats & sauces: Olive oil, coconut oil, almond butter, butter, Thai curry paste, low fat coconut milk, white wine vinegar
  • Grains & seeds: quinoa, couscous, granola, dried noodles, rolled oats, pumpkin seeds, chia, flax
  • Pulses & tinned: lentils, kidney beans, chopped tomatoes
  • Spices: salt, pepper, cinnamon, turmeric, paprika

Step 2. Sunday – The Primer

An hour for the this on Sunday will stop the endless supermarket visits during the week. And make you feel you have ownership for the week ahead:

  • Dairy: e.g. free range eggs, low fat Greek yoghurt, milk (or non dairy alternatives)
  • Wraps & bread: e.g. whole wheat tortilla wraps, bread (rye or sourdough)
  • Lean meats: e.g. chicken, turkey, salmon, smoked salmon, prawns
  • Herbs: e.g. coriander, rosemary, basil
  • Fruit & vegetables: e.g. kiwi, blueberries, pomegranate, chili pepper, beetroot, onion, spinach, mixed leaves

Step 3. Wednesday – The Refresher

This is the quick Wednesday night visit to top up the fresh items. Just 20 mins in your local supermarket or health food store:

  • Dairy
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Specific ingredients for new weekend recipes

Sunday – Prep to perform

Picture this – the shopping is done and you’re in the driving seat! Now it’s time to get creative. The expression ‘food prep’ often conjures the image of multiple tuppaware containers piled high in the fridge, with lots of bland meals – enough to bring anyone out in a cold sweat.

When we use the term preparation – this is about what meals can be batch prepared on the Sunday to eat during the week, to cut down the admin after work returning from the gym. Sunday is a prime time to prepare meals to keep in the fridge for Monday and Tuesday – so getting set on Sunday, is setting yourself up for success.

If you prefer to cook as you go, that’s fine too – just having the ingredients ready to prepare dinner after the gym on Monday and Tuesday will get the week off to a great start!

Hoping you’re starting to build some traction with your nutrition and feeling the benefits. Looking forward to hearing the progress!

Next month – we shift our focus to supplementation and what you need to know about the industry, and questions to ask when sourcing your supplements.

Until next time.

JC


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