So here’s something that occurred to me just now: A big part, in fact probably the biggest part of training and fitness is of course nutrition. When it comes to keeping my strength, energy, and endurance as good as it can be what I eat is incredibly important, therefore I’m going to share a few tips and easy to follow ideas that keep me going and keep me healthy!
- Basically, when it comes to eating healthily (is healthily a word?), keeping it simple is key – we should be thinking firmly inside the box – natural foods that have grown out of the ground/fallen from a tree etc or something that swam, crawled, climbed, or flew during it’s life will probably do some good, while something that has been spliced together, used to substitute something else, or formulated in a lab probably won’t as much.
Rule of thumb: The less ingredients a product contains, the better. Think about the ingredients in a potato vs. a slice of bread. Stick to that way of thinking when buying food and you’ll generally be on to a winner!
- Using herbs and spices is then paramount to creating great flavours and interesting sauces, meat rubs etc. Mixing together a range of anything off the old spice rack can create some great meals, while on top of that herbs and spices are packed full of vitamins and nutrients that will keep a body strong and healthy. I love experimenting and finding out what works well together, and if all else fails just use hefty amounts of smoked paprika so everything tastes like chorizo! Perfect.
- I take a lunchbox with me to work each day – generally filled with a mixture of things I then label as a ‘salad’. This can be anything from a layer of spinach, chopped peppers, and some smoked paprika-flavoured chicken (with some added chorizo), to a vast array of seeds, mushrooms, kale, potatoes, olives, curried prawns, and avocado. Basically whatever is in my fridge that is easily mixed with whatever I had for dinner the previous night creates my salad.
Side note: How something is named a salad rather than just a meal I don’t know, I would think it’s the amount of leafy greens, but then I could put those with a roast dinner and that doesn’t make it a salad…. it’s can’t be lack of potatoes or bread because of potato salad and croutons! What makes a meal a salad? Answers on a postcard please.
- I drink lots of tea. Green and black (not the chocolate, the types of teas).
- I also drink a fair amount of water. First port of call every day is a glass of water, to make up for losing water overnight and at then at least the day is off to a good start!
At this point I have heard you say many times (because I am standing behind you) “But I don’t know how to cook such and such/I don’t know what to use in my meal/I don’t know how to do anything other than put some chips in the oven and cry in the corner blah blah blah”
Here’s where I return to my first point: don’t try to think outside the box, really just keep it simple.
The above pictures are from an evening where I had no idea what to make, so just chopped up whatever veg was kicking around (a bell pepper, a courgette, and some garlic I think) and grabbed a bunch of stuff from the cupboard and just mixed it together in a pot. It might not look pretty but it was ridiculously easy and took about 3 minutes to prepare. I threw that over some chopped up & roasted sweet potatoes and a chicken breast wrapped in bacon and had a super healthy dinner. You can see an extra chicken breast in the bottom pic which I used with the leftover sauce for the next day’s lunch.
Other than that, I also like to experiment with the odd smoothie, odd being the optimal word. As well as being a quick and easy way to get nutrients in and to use as a healthy snack, making a smoothie is also a fun way to experiment:
Written by me: Keith Fairburn
Personal Trainer, Sports Therapist, S&C Coach.
Ninja Warrior Semi-Finalist, Obstacle Racer, Salming Running Ambassador.
If you have any questions about anything I’ve written in this post or want to get in touch, contact me.