what I eat in a day triathlete food diary

I'm one of those people who prefers healthy food to junk. I will buy an apple as a treat to eat on the way home from the supermarket. I'll say no to a packet of crisps or sweets 9 out of 10 times because I don't fancy them. So, unsurprisingly, I find it quite easy to eat healthily.

I run, swim, cycle (separately and as part of triathlon), play hockey, snowboard and recently I've started climbing. Each day is variable so I don't have a set routine, but I am good at preparing my food and drink to make sure I have everything I need.

I’ve been vegetarian for 23 years, so I’m usually quite careful with my food. My protein intake is my main concern and I can drop weight during a busy season of events if I don’t stay on the ball. It’s more due to not liking meat than an ethical choice and I am not a fan of fish or eggs so it can be quite a struggle sometimes. I’m sure I eat far too much cheese as I have a good excuse!

I work full-time and am often away from home, which means restrictions on what I get to eat. But that's real life and I'm not going to stress too much if I have a day of, let's call it, 'less virtuous' eating. My husband is not vegetarian and is a fan of a takeaway so I do join in with that. I use energy drinks when training, but I've struggled to find recovery products that I enjoy so I generally eat real food. My hockey team laugh when I get my lunchbox out post-match on a Saturday!

Breakfast

I know most people say this, but I eat porridge for breakfast. Often I’ll add a banana but my favourite topping is Greek yogurt and honey. If it’s a race day or a weekend then that is a definite but on a week day, I’m eating breakfast at 6 am before dashing to work so I usually don’t have time to let it cool down enough. Then I’ll have a cereal combo of wholegrain oat biscuits, muesli, and granola with skimmed milk. I'm not a coffee drinker but I have to have two cups of green tea before I can face heading out of the door.

porridge oatmeal healthy breakfast

Mid-morning snack

If I have run or cycled to work, I'll eat a second breakfast when I arrive which is usually toast with marmite or peanut butter. Most days I'll also grab some fruit – an apple, banana, orange or whatever we have in. I'm lucky that we have a kitchen at work so I can make anything I fancy. I'm not a lover of chocolate (yes that is possible) but I do like a biscuit with a cup of tea.

tea biscuits snack

Lunch

My lunch can be quite varied thanks to the work kitchen. I'll have anything from leftovers to soup or baked beans but more often than not I'll have a cheese sandwich. If it's the weekend, my husband and I might make homemade bread as a treat.

cheese sandwich lunch

Dinner

For dinner I'll eat various vegetarian dishes, which are always made from scratch. I'll make sure there are at least five different vegetables and if possible, also beans, pulses and lentils. Mostly my dinner will be pasta, stir fry, fajitas, scrambled eggs, cottage pie, curry or pizza.

I try to eat dinner before evening training sessions as I'm really distracted if I'm hungry. Dessert is usually Greek yogurt with honey and blueberries to bump up my protein intake. If I have an evening session, I'll save this to eat afterwards as a recovery snack.

vegetarian stir fry healthy dinner

Alcohol

I'd be lying if I tried to claim teetotal status. Life is all about moderation. If I'm doing a big event, I'll have very little alcohol in the run up, but over the years I've realised that one beer or one glass of wine on a Saturday night is not going to derail all of my training plans. If there's a wedding or a birthday party, I'm going to join in! But often I'll just opt to be the designated driver so everyone is happy.

Favourite post-event food

This has got to be salt and vinegar crisps and a shop bought cheese and onion sandwich with mayonnaise.