Nutrition is an integral part of any athlete’s training regimen, just as important to your overall fitness and well-being as exercise and rest. And, just as any training requires dedication, time, and effort, so does nutritious meal-planning. Since we’re all busy enough as it is, balancing work and friends and family and our health and every other little thing that’s required to just get by, here’s a simple, delicious meal plan, guaranteed to keep your body well-nourished!
Breakfast: Hearty, healthy, and easy!
- 1 cup of yogurt, a handful of mixed berries, and 10-20 almonds.
- 1 whole wheat bagel and 1-2 tbsp. of peanut butter
Usually, there are two types of people when it comes to breakfast preferences: those who like a hearty breakfast and those who like a light breakfast. The great thing about these two breakfast options is that you actually have a lot of wiggle room to suit your particular tastes.
First, you can choose whatever flavor and type of yogurt you like best. My personal preference is vanilla Greek yogurt with blueberries and strawberries. This combination is just sweet enough without being overpowering, and nothing wakes me up better than the tart taste of blueberries. Then, you have the option of how many almonds you want to sprinkle in, adding your desired level of protein (and energy!) to your breakfast. And, if you don’t like dairy, or would rather have a heartier breakfast, choose the bagel and peanut butter option. You can substitute peanut butter for almond butter; you can sprinkle some blueberries or other chopped fruit on top of the peanut butter- the options are endless and delicious!
Lunch- Lean and light!
- 1 grilled or baked, 6-8oz. chicken breast, mixed greens with lemon juice dressing and shredded carrots
Making sure you eat a light, lean lunch is ultra-important, especially for athletes. Depending on when you work out, this lunch will either be used as fuel for a late afternoon workout, or as a great recovery meal, replenishing your tired muscles.
Plain chicken and mixed greens may sound less flavorful than a piece of cardboard, but if you get creative with it, and you’ll find that it can be an incredibly flavorful meal. One of my favorite things to do is to make a bed of mixed greens, layer in shredded carrots, top the salad with sliced chicken, and then squeeze a little lemon juice over the top. Next, I add the finishing touch: a handful of raspberries. The raspberry and lemon flavors complement each other well in my opinion, and they add a unique and vivacious flavor to this healthy lunch!
Dinner: Well-rounded & unique
- Brown sugar glazed salmon, green beans, and orange slices
- Brown sugar glaze: Mix 1-2 tbsp. Dijon mustard & ¼ cup brown sugar
- Baked salmon:
- Heat oven to 425°.
- In an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat; heat olive oil.
- Add salmon, skin side down and sear for about 2 minutes.
- Transfer the pan to the oven and roast the fillets for 5 minutes.
- Spoon glaze over salmon fillets and continue roasting for about 3 to 5 minutes longer, or until salmon flakes easily with a fork.
- Turn the oven off and let salmon stand in the oven for 2 minutes.
This salmon dish is one of my favorite meals. The brown sugar glaze is a perfect combination of spicy, tangy, tart and sweet, and even though it may sound unusual, the combination really works well together. Add that to flaky, flavorful salmon, refreshing green beans, and palate cleansing orange slices, this meal is one that you’ll want to make for everyone you know!
Dessert: Simple, yet decadent
- Dark chocolate, 1-1.5 oz.
Yes, dessert is as simple as that! Dark chocolate is a wonderful dessert, packed with antioxidants, that will satisfy your sweet tooth. There are plenty of options out there for types of dark chocolate, but if you’re looking for the healthiest option, go for the purest dark chocolate, with the most cacao beans present. Remember to keep serving size in mind as you enjoy your dessert!
Last, but not least, be sure to drink plenty of water! You should be drinking at least Lots and lots and lots of water! There are differing opinions out there on just how much water we should be consuming each day, but a safe rule is to drink a full glass (8oz) when you wake up, every time you eat a meal, and before bed, and make sure you’re staying hydrated during any exercise (even if it’s just climbing the stairs to and from your office!).
Keeping your body nourished is essential to your well-being, but so is keeping your body free of pain and injury. Pairing healthy eating habits with regular treatment for your sports-related injuries will provide you with an incredibly balanced, healthy life. Anjuna Medicine specializes in offering massage therapy and acupuncture for athletes, providing treatment designed specifically for sports-related injuries, and easily tailored to your specific ailments. Contact Anjuna Medicine today to get more information about how we can help make your healthcare easy!