Today's 'Day on a Plate' comes from Jo Brigden-Jones. Jo is an elite athlete in the sport of sprint kayaking. She raced at the 2012 Olympic Games and is currently training hard to gain selection for the Rio 2016 Olympics.
I love cooking and eating food. I am conscious of what I eat as I need it for fuel for my training but I also appreciate good food and I love trying new things and creating tasty meals. I am also a qualified nurse and paramedic.
Wake up and pack my bag for training. I switch on my coffee machine and make myself a small coffee. Depending of what session I have will dictate if I eat something before training. If I have a really hard session I will have a piece or two of spelt fruit in the toaster.
I arrive at training and start stretching and use a foam roller to wake my muscles up for the session. I usually paddle for 90mins in the mornings and I always take a water bottle out to keep my hydration up.
After training I usually head to the coffee shop with some of my training partners. We are great friends so we like hanging out together. Some days we chat about paddling but other days we chat about everything other than paddling.
I’m home and I like to cook up a gourmet breakfast. I have 4 chickens in my backyard so I have the best eggs to work with. I usually poach my eggs and have them on avocado and toast with some ham for added protein. I like to include vegetables in my breakfast to bulk it up a bit more. I add baby spinach, tomatoes and capsicum. This breakfast gives me a good mix of protein and carbs and helps me refuel for the rest of the day.
My mid morning snack usually is Greek yoghurt and berries. I always stock Chobani yoghurt in my fridge as it is high in protein. I love pomegranates so when they are in season that is my go to fruit. I also sometimes add cranberries and coconut.
Lunch is normally salad and protein. I don’t tend to get overly creative for this meal. My fridge is always full of fresh vegetables so it’s pretty easy to throw together a tasty salad. My protein is either chicken, ham or tuna.
I will have a snack to give me some energy for the afternoons training. If I have a light session I will have some more Greek yoghurt, if I have a hard session I might have something I have made like my protein muffins [scroll down for recipe] or proteins balls. I might also have another coffee here (Have you picked up that athletes have coffee in their veins? It definitely helps us get through the big training days. Research shows that caffeine can improve athletic performance!). The afternoon paddle goes for about 60-80mins. After the session I will have a muesli bar or a Musashi protein bar on the way to my gym session. I am in the gym for 90mins lifting heavy weights so it’s quite taxing. As soon as I have finished gym I have protein shake containing 25grams of protein. This really helps my muscles recover as I have literally just tortured them!
its dinner time. I really love cooking and I use this time to relax and enjoy the process of cooking which helps me unwind from a hard day. I like getting creative and seeing what delicious healthy meals I can come up with. I live with my mum so she really appreciates coming home from work to a well-cooked meal. I always have a good portion of protein (200-250g serve) and a very decent amount of salad or vegetables. I don’t tend to eat many carbohydrates at night as I am conscious of my body composition. I need to be lean but more importantly light as I have to paddle myself down the course. The heavier I am, the harder it is! If I have had a massive day of training and have to back up with another tough session the next morning I will include carbohydrate with my dinner.
I try to avoid desserts during my competition season, which is very hard with my sweet tooth! I like to have a couple of fresh dates and a green tea which covers my cravings and leaves me satisfied.
It’s lights out. Time to let the body rest and recover.
Jo's Blueberry and apple protein muffins
- 1 cup self raising flour (substitute for coconut flour if gluten free)
- ½ cup almond meal
- 4 scoops of whey protein (I used chocolate flavour) ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup Greek yoghurt
- ¼ cup macadamia oil
- 2 mashed bananas
- 1 apple, peeled and diced
- 1 cup blueberries
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Prepare muffins tray by spaying with oil.
- Add the dry ingredients to a bowl (Flour, almond meal, protein powder, baking powder, cinnamon) and mix together.
- Add in the yoghurt, oil, eggs, honey and mashed bananas and stir till combined.
- Fold through the blueberries and apple.
- Spoon evenly into muffin tray and bake for 20-25mins. (I sprinkled some coconut on top for fun and because I am obsessed with coconut!). Allow to cool when cooked.
- Get training so then you can dig into your freshly baked muffins!