healthy food

Life as a financially-challenged medical student, Team GB multi-sport athlete, London commuter and worker of two part-time jobs that involve being on my feet all shift brings several challenges to ensuring my dietary intake matches my energy expenditure and daily nutritional needs. I have tried low carb, gluten free, low dairy and reduced meat ‘healthy diets’ but all have left me tired, grumpy, food-obsessive and broke.

My current diet is carbohydrate-rich and full of meat, dairy, fruit and veg. My meals are planned generally based on what meat or fish are being sold at a reduced price or on a good offer. I then pair this with whatever vegetables and carbohydrate accompaniments I have to hand. I have a very sweet tooth but instead of depriving myself of cakes, biscuits, puddings etc for the sake of ‘health’, I fit these foods around fuelling for and recovering from training. For example, a few sweets before a running speed work session, a cake stop in the middle of a long training ride or chocolate custard and a banana post evening swim. Finally, I am a serial snacker. My bag is always full of cereal bars, boxes of grapes, almond snack packs and oatcakes. I don’t like to have huge meals and therefore the best way to get enough calories in the day for me is to snack regularly. Additionally, there is nothing worse than a rumbling tummy on ward round, in lectures or before cycling home.

Below is an example of what I would eat on a typical day with two training sessions and 9-5 at university.

Morning pre-swim- 1 banana and a coffee (instant with a splash of milk)

Morning post-swim-  Porridge made with skimmed milk, one egg, frozen berries and chia seeds.

oatmeal porridge breakfast

Morning Snack- Cereal Bar (whatever brand is currently on offer)

Nature Valley snack

Lunch- Chicken marinated in tandoori paste, spinach, chickpea and lentil mix (bought pre-made) and peas. Followed by a yoghurt (Again I get whatever is on offer) and grapes.

healthy lunch meal prep chicken

Afternoon Snack- Dark Chocolate rice cakes

dark chocolate rice cakes

Late afternoon/Pre training Snack- 1 pack of gluten free cheese oatcakes

gluten free oatcake

Post Training- Tandoori marinated Chicken, brown rice and veg. Followed by strawberries and yoghurt.

chicken healthy dinner idea

When tapering for a race, offseason or when it’s been raining/icy/snowy and I’ve got the tube instead of cycling, my energy demands are obviously much lower. Therefore, on these days I would cut the number of snacks and lower my volume of carbohydrates throughout the day.

Read more from our What I Eat In A Day Series

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