Plan Ahead

Since I entered the grown up world of full time work my diet has gone down the pan. Not down to lack of willpower or interest, but lack of time and preparation. It also doesn’t help that my boss rarely eats and so lunch breaks don’t really factor in to our working day! As a result I’ve been skipping meals, eating lots in the evening and sometimes eating the wrong things because I simply didn’t have the time to go and hunt out the right thing. This was making me unhappy and sending my metabolism up shit creek, so I decided to do something about it. Now, with the marathon in the pipeline, ensuring that I eat the right thing is even more important, and so food prep is becoming a really crucial part of my routine.

On a Sunday evening I will make 2-3 days worth of food, batch cooking chicken or fish and making a big bowl of salad to dish in to tupperware for lunch. I’ll then do the same again halfway through the week. I’ll also do a batch of sweet potato or quinoa to add to my salad to make sure I get my carbs. Then I’ll boil a few eggs and chop up some carrots to have with hummus.

Chicken, cashew, spinach and broccolli salad, boiled eggs, cottage cheese and baby plum tomatoes

For lunches I’ll make a complete protein (usually chicken or fish but I have been known to knock myself out on steak) with fibrous vegetables and a healthy fat, like nuts or hummus or olive oil. Sometimes I’ll add a carb which will be sweet potato or quinoa – they’re the only ones I really eat. Snacks will be complete or incomplete proteins with fruit or veg – boiled eggs, carrots and hummus, almonds/cashews with an apple, cottage cheese and tomatoes or cucumber etc.

At the moment I’m eating 4-6 small meals as necessary – mega hungry days call for 6! – as I find that I can’t digest a huge amount at once and I get hungry quickly. This helps keeps my energy levels up and my blood sugars stable. I never skip breakfast, I never skip dinner and I’m not afraid of a bedtime snack. I’ll also add a protein shake a few times a week to keep my protein levels up. I’ll also add extra calories or carbs where my training dictates – usually in the form of Nakd and Trek bars, bananas, nuts etc.

How you fuel your training is a completely personal decision and usually a matter of trial and error to find what works for you. My only piece of advice is not to take anyone’s advice as gospel – there are so many different people telling you to fast/eat 3 square meals/eat 6 small meals etc and they can’t all be right! Do what’s best for you. Are you a little and often type person, or do big meals float your boat?