Become a Food Prep Ninja

Eating the right foods can be difficult at the best of times as we all live busy lives with many time pressures. But by employing a few simple strategies, GAA players can build new habits to maximize their time to make it easier to eat in a healthy fashion.

  1. Plan ahead. Work out your training schedule for the week ahead. Pick out the days when you will not be able to prepare meals from scratch and plan accordingly.

  2. Do a big shop at the start of the week. Buy the essentials you need to prepare your meals for the week. Nothing can derail your plans more than having empty cupboards. Depending on personal preference foods such as eggs, nuts, meat and fish, fruit and vegetables should all be weekly staples.

  3. Cook a large portion of meat. Extra portions of meat can be kept in the fridge and be used in the following days in salads, stir fries, wraps or in sandwiches. Roast chicken, pork fillet or boiled ham are good examples and are all very versatile.

  4. Freeze meals. When cooking any large meal such as spaghetti bolognaise, lasagna or chilli con carne. Put extra portions into lunchboxes and place in the freezer for future use.

  5. Healthy snacks. Hummus, nut butter, cheese & ham can all be eaten as toppings on oat cakes or ryvita. These toppings provide a source of protein and fat.

  6. Frozen fruit and vegetables. Frozen fruit such as berries can be added to smoothies or put into museli or porridge. Frozen vegetables are really handy as they don't require any preparation, they can be added to soups, stir fries or boiled. Ready to eat in less than five minutes.

  7. Prepare lunch the night before. Put your food into lunchboxes and have it ready before you head off in the morning.

  8. Emergency meals. Have enough ingredients to prepare simple quick healthy meals. Eggs for an omelette, greek yogurt and muesli and tinned fish in a pitta bread or on a slice of brown bread.

  9. 30 minute cookbook. Invest in a cookbook that specialises in meals that can be cooked quickly. Jamie Oliver's '30 Minute Meals' and The Body Coach 'Lean in 15' are good examples.

SUMMARY:

Not having enough time is not an excuse for eating crap. Practice food preparation strategies that help you make better choices to stay on track.

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