What is your typical daily diet when training for a big event?
I tend to alternate my breakfast between muesli and yoghurt with ground linseed or porridge with milk, ground linseed, blueberries and a few seeds on top. If we are away at a tournament then it really depends upon what the hotel has at breakfast, although I do take my own ground linseed with me.
This varies massively depending upon what training I’ve done in the morning and whether I’m lunching at home, or at Bisham (where we train). If I’m at home, then I will make something from scratch, either soup, omelette or a tuna salad and if I’m at Bisham then I’ll pack a lunch to take with me – a chicken wrap or couscous salad for example.
I probably eat stir-fry at least three times a week, as it’s quick and easy and I love trying to make different sauces for it. I really enjoy a simple sauce of chilli, garlic, ginger and soya sauce with loads of veg and either chicken or prawns – simple yet really tasty. As a general rule, evening meals tend to be high in protein and low in carbs.
How do you keep your diet varied and do you ever get bored with eating for your sport?
I really enjoy being in the kitchen and trying new recipes out, so I don’t tend to get bored with eating. There are so many good recipes that you can find on the internet (bbcgoodfood.com is my go-to website), making it so easy to find something you fancy, or that you’ve got the ingredients for. Saying that, when we are away for a tournament it does sometimes feel like groundhog day by the end of it – you just crave fresh vegetables and I can’t wait to cook something for myself.
What super food/juice/meal helps you get out of bed and motivated on those particularly dreary mornings?
Breakfast tends to get me out of bed in the morning as I’m always hungry when I wake up, plus it’s my favourite meal of the day. I’ve just got a new juicer so I like experimenting with different juice combinations. My current favourite is beetroot, carrot, apple, kiwi and ginger.
What’s your trusted snack for an energy boost?
Peanut energy balls – I want to train just so I can have one after training as I love them so much! Wrong, I know, but it’s the small things in life that make me happy.
How do you stay hydrated when training?
If we are in a warm climate then I will have a have a sports nutrition drink to make sure that I am getting enough salt back into my system, as I can lose up to 2.5kg of fluid during a game of hockey. When we are training at Bisham I just tend to drink water.
When competition season is over what are your favourite food indulgences?
I’ve got a really sweet tooth, so it tends to be ice cream, chocolate and cakes – all so tasty, yet no good for the athlete lifestyle – I have to avoid them most of the time.
What would be your top diet and exercise tip for the amateur athlete?
I think that the key thing is to plan your week. Sit down on a Sunday afternoon and plan your meals for the week so you won’t be caught grabbing something from the shop instead of making it yourself. If I have to get up early in the morning, then my lunch is ready in the fridge the night before to take with me. The same goes for exercise – plan your week and stick to it. If you know that you are going to have a busy day, and that you won’t be home until late to train, then it might be best to get up earlier and do something before your day begins. I prefer to train in the mornings, as I know that come the end of the day I’m tired and therefore my training won’t be as good (I know that this isn’t the case for everyone, as some people prefer training in the evenings).
Aside from your speciality, what is your favourite sport/exercise?
Probably surfing or walking in the mountains – I love being outdoors and in the fresh air. When I am by the sea I just want to go for a swim, no matter what time of year it is.
Uncover more diet secrets from top athletes in our eat like an athlete series.