As the Olympic games wind up, and we sit and ponder on all those young athletes, the training and  food they  must eat to stay in that kind of shape, you may be surprised to they that they do not wander far from these simple rules as a bases of great eating habits!

  1. Eat every 2-4 hours, never skip a meal or snack.  Plan meal times  so that you aren’t eating a huge supper before coming to the gym but are well fuelled with a carbohydrate-based snack.   An banana or apple with a yohurt is a great pre- workout snack about 1 hour before your workout as it surplies glucose to fuel your trip to the treadmill!  A similiar snack after the workout will help to repair and refuel muscles, reducing fatigue and soreness the next day.  Having a snack available after the workout will ensure you do not go home famished and over eat later into the evening.
  2. Base your diet on whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole-grains, lean proteins, beans, nuts, seeds.  Use processed foods minimally and look for more natural ingredients in anything you eat.
  3. Drink water all day, enough to pee the colour of pale lemonade (about 2-3L of total fluids per day for women, 3-5L per day for men). 
  4. Keep nuts in a container in your workout bag as they do not go bad and are a great source of energy and macronutrients, calcium, selenium, copper, zinc etc.
  5. Eat treats and indulge in moderation, no more than 10-20% of the time, my favourite treat? a chocolate milk after my workout!
  6. Get plenty of vegetables and fruits and whole-grains for antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that help boost the immune system.  Cut lots of raw veggies into your lunch time salad, cauliflower, broccolli, carrotts, mild onions and then sprinkle with roasted pumpkin seeds….yum
  7. Consume good fats in moderation for their anti-inflammatory, brain and heart-boosting effects.  Fish, flax, chia, nuts, seeds and their butters are important parts of a balanced diet. Try switching the peanut butter to almond or hazelnut to change things up, an almond butter and banana sandwich would be a great pre workout snack.  or adding the almond butter to a shake with some cocoa powder, heaven in a glass!
  8. If you lack a major food group, look to alternate foods to supply missing key nutrients, or resort to a supplement.  For example, if you can’t consume dairy products, consider boosting your calcium intake from fortified soy milk, salmon, almonds and dark greens and/or taking a calcium supplement. 
  9. Following these steps may sound easy on paper, but it takes dedication and will power.  It also takes skill to shop for, prepare and plan for healthy food to be on hand for a busy lifestyle.  Chop all your vegetables on the weekend and have them ready to go quickly throughout the week. Prepare your lunch the night before so it is a grab and go in the morning when time is limited.
  10. Olymic athletes are where they are because of their focus, dedication, mental toughness and natural ability.  While we may be lacking in the natural ability to go faster, stronger longer, focus dedication and mental toughness will go along way to helping you reaching your goals. 

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