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Day on a plate - Helen

Posted by on 2 August 2015 | 0 Comments

Helen is in our Ryde Run Club and trains for half marathons. Karen takes a look at her day on a plate.

Helen's day on a plate

Breakfast - rice bubbles

Morning tea – three mandarins, two sweet biscuits

Lunch - skipped

Afternoon tea - a few minties

Dinner - spaghetti bolognaise and a packet of tiny teddies

Two coffees, one litre of water, two glasses of wine

Karen's comments

Helen is a self-confessed sugar freak who loves to run and do regular strength work. Along with her love of sugar, comes a general food obsession, resulting in Helen often keeping her running partners entertained contemplating what they might have for their post run brekky. However during her most recent half marathon training for Canberra, Helen really struggled to keep her energy levels up and ended up feeling quite unwell following her fantastic effort in Canberra.

Helens current diet is not ideal for the average Australian female, yet alone someone who is a long distance runner. Her overall energy intake on this day is low, but it is more the missing lunch and sugar rich snacks which are impacting on both her energy levels and risk of nutritional deficiencies long term. As well as being low in energy, Helen is missing out on good fats, protein, vegetables and calcium.

Eating three regular meals and at least two nutritious snacks is a great place for Helen to start when it comes to stabilising her energy levels. As her job and family life are extremely demanding, this will require Helen to be organised when it comes to food and plan ahead to ensure she has the appropriate foods available, rather than succumb to the office bikkies and lollies. These sugary foods are leading to blood sugar spikes and crashes, making Helen feel weak and fatigued when she tries to run longer distances. Preparing easy, nutritious snacks (like the biscuit and bliss ball recipes at www.healthychef.com) on the weekend, to freeze and eat during the week will make avoiding the bikkie jar much easier.

A breakfast of low GI Rice Bubbles will leave Helen hungry and looking for sugar again in no time and nutritionally provides very little. A better alternative would be eggs on toast or a nutritious muesli with yoghurt and nuts, providing protein, low GI carbohydrate and good fats to keep Helen full and prevent the blood sugar crash. More vegetables and calcium rich foods are needed in Helens diet to protect her bones and prevent disease long term.

In order to make it through her long runs with plenty of energy, Helen needs to fuel properly. This might involve a supper of yoghurt or cereal the night before an early morning run or getting up in time to have a small snack before running. For the longer runs Helen can't tolerate gels, so needs to ensure she has some sports drink or a small portable snack such as dried fruit to maintain her energy levels. If her energy levels don't improve with a change in diet, then Helen should visit her GP and have her Iron and blood sugar levels checked.

Helens new Day on a Plate might look like this:

Breakfast: Two eggs on grainy wholemeal toast plus spinach and tomato

Morning Tea : fruit and nuts

Lunch: a large tuna salad with brown rice or quinoa

Afternoon tea: a homemade bliss ball

Dinner: spaghetti bolognaise with a side salad and cheese

Supper: a small bowl of yoghurt and berries.

Karen Hester is a Fitness Coach and Dietitian with Mind Body Motion Fitness Solutions. Click here for more information on how you can work with Karen on your daily meals.


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