All in a day's work: Carla the student and part-time gym receptionist
Carla, 21, spends much of her day sitting in lectures (she is studying English and sociology) and tries to balance that with lots of exercise, working out 7-9 times a week. Keen to do more weights, Carla is anxious to know if she is fuelling her body correctly. She religiously packs her lunch and snacks for Uni. She has trouble digesting wheat products (pasta and bread) and too much dairy makes her feel ill.
Boiling water with lemon juice, an instant coffee with almond milk, half a banana. Had this before going to an intense 30-minute exercise class.
Two scrambled eggs, spinach, cherry tomatoes, . avocado and leftover roast pumpkin and kumara from dinner last night. Usually starving at this point.
Small handful of roasted unsalted almonds between classes.
Fish left over from dinner with a salad of spinach, cabbage, tomatoes, carrot, cucumber, olives, feta, kumara and pumpkin seeds dressed with apple cider vinegar, flaxseed oil and honey.
Handful of walnuts and grapes.
Stir-fry chicken and vegetables. Recently I’ve cut out carbohydrates at night and have felt a massive difference. I am sleeping better and wake up more energetic in the morning.
Cup of peppermint tea.
Mikki Williden’s nutrition quick fix
Your well-balanced diet reflects a health-conscious individual. Your protein consumption is good, however carbohydrate is as important for muscle repair and recovery. Including carbohydrate before and after your gym session in the morning is spot on. You only have small amounts, but that is enough and the kumara at lunch helps you prepare for your afternoon training session. While the change to a dinner lower in carbohydrate is benefiting your sleep, on the days you train twice — and the second training is high intensity — ensure you’ve also got carbohydrate after that workout.
A piece of fruit after your workout and before dinner, or incorporating a small amount of rice, kumara or potato into your dinner will help replenish your muscle glycogen (our body’s carbohydrate stores) before your workout the next morning. This is because it will free up the protein available from the fish or meat in your dinner to help repair muscle damage. Without the carbohydrate necessary to replenish muscle glycogen, protein is converted to glucose to do that job, leaving less available for its job of helping your muscles adapt and grow.
I love how you incorporate leftovers in your meals. Try Louise Thompson’s ham, spinach and feta frittata incorporate those leftover meat and vegetables. Easily transportable, super-healthy and tasty, it would last you a few days.
Mikki Williden (link to profile page: http://www.bite.co.nz/our-people/1777/Mikki-Williden/) is a registered nutritionist and lecturer at AUT University, where she lectures in public health nutrition and sports nutrition at the School of Sport and Recreation. Read Bite articles from Mikki or visit mikkiwilliden.com for more.