When I work with someone for the first time whether it is an athlete or someone looking to change their body composition one of the first things that I ask them for is a food log. The reason I do this is because I want to see what they are eating on a daily basis. We all know that athletes have different nutritional requirements than someone who sits at a desk all day long. When I ask people for a three-day log it normally looks something like this:
Breakfast: Bagel with coffee or a bowl of cereal.
Lunch: Soup and salad or a sandwich from the cafeteria with a bag of chips and a fountain soda or an energy drink
Snack: Diet coke and a pack of crackers from the vending machine or an energy bar.
Dinner: Chicken, rice and some green beans or eating out at a restaurant.
Snack: Bowl of ice cream.
If you quickly glance at the items listed above I would say this is a typical day for many of us. If you are an athlete and this is what you are eating on a daily basis I can guarantee you that you are missing out on some performance gains on the field or court due to your lack of nutrients.
I understand that we are all pressed for time and nutrition gets put on the backburner. However, I truly believe that if you are skipping meals and not making food a priority, your performance will suffer and your changes of getting injured will increase.
One of the most common things I hear from athletes is “I don’t have time to cook”. In my opinion, if you make your nutrition a priority you will be surprised at the quality of food you can make with very little preparation.
Here are five ways you can improve the quality of the foods that you eat:
- Go shopping on Sunday and Wednesday.
- Make a list of what you need to buy at the store.
- Buy fresh local food whenever possible.
- Buy the best food that you can afford.
- Purchase a good cookbook that has simple recipes.
I understand that for some people the kitchen can be intimidating. Here are five (5) meals that you can make in less than 30 minutes.
Meal No. 1
Breakfast: Eggs with spinach, onions, hot sauce, avocado, red peppers, mushrooms
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Meal No. 2
Lunch: Grilled chicken with red peppers, red onion, garlic, pico de galo, spinach on ciabatta bread with chips and pico de gallo.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 5- 10 minutes
Meal No. 3
Snack: Homemade energy bars –
Dark chocolate, sea salt, raisins, protein powder (vanilla), organic dates, almonds and peanut butter
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: None
(Note, you need to put it in the fridge for 30 minutes to get the chocolate to harden)
Meal No. 4
Dinner: Broiled Salmon with roasted peppers and zucchini and a side salad (onion, tomatoes, walnuts)
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes for fish and peppers
Meal No. 5:
Snack before bed: Protein Shake – Vanilla Whey plus strawberries, banana, kale, coconut oil and ice
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Blend: 30 seconds
Have a question for strength and conditioning coach Kevin Miller? Leave a reply in the comment portion below.