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Eat like an athlete - Lisa Dobriskey


Middle distance athlete, Lisa Dobriskey came away with a silver medal during her Olympic debut in 2008 and will be going for gold this year in the London Olympics. Here Lisa shares a love of chocolate, the benefits of ostrich steak and her tips for staying on top.

What is your typical daily diet when training for a big event?


8am - a bowl of porridge with some nuts and seeds with a cup of tea or coffee. (After a morning run)

1pm - Tuna salad with oatcakes and a yoghurt
4pm - Snack: some nuts or cereal.

8pm - (After training session) Sweet potato with grilled salmon and salad.

Total calorie intake:
It depends on the amount of training I've done and what I have to do the next day. I tend to keep my calories balanced with my workload.


How do you keep your diet varied and do you ever get bored with eating for your sport?

I am lucky to travel a lot with my sport and always try to eat local produce. We spend a lot of time in South Africa and I have become a big fan of ostrich steak (which is very rich in iron and extremely lean). I enjoy cooking so I often try new recipes and try and eat seasonal produce to keep things varied.

What super food/juice/meal helps you get out of bed and motivated on those particularly dreary mornings?

Chocolate chips in bowl

Breakfast after a long morning run always tastes amazing - especially if it's cold and dark outside. My weekly treat is a handful of dark Mexican chocolate mixed into my porridge. It's high in antioxidants and is a great recovery treat.
 What's your trusted snack for an energy boost?

40g of cashew nuts (not salted or roasted though)

How do you stay hydrated when training?

I always have a bottle of water with me to sip throughout the day.

When competition season is over what are your favourite food indulgences?

Chocolate cookies on sheet

Anything with chocolate. My husband and I are partners in a local chocolate shop so I get to go and enjoy the produce rather than just look at it. Overall though I enjoy healthy food and so my diet is never a chore - I rarely crave junk food.
 What would be your top diet and exercise tip for the amateur athlete?

When you're training hard you demand a lot more from your body. Iron deficiency is very common amongst athletes and so trying to eat iron rich foods can give you that extra little boost.

A little treat now and again does you good and doesn't have to be unhealthy - dark chocolate is full of antioxidants for example. It's important to enjoy exercise and diet and not let it feel like a chore.

Aside from your speciality, what is your favourite sport/exercise?

I love watching the winter Olympics especially border cross.

Your favourite recipe from

Bobotie with rice and salad on plate

Bobotie is a favourite. We've had this dish many times in South Africa and so we love cooking it when we're back home.


Uncover more diet secrets from top athletes in our eat like an athlete series.

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