You don’t have to be a whiz in the kitchen to be able to cook a healthy, balanced meal. Just ask Carlton FC’s Marc Murphy! Marc’s approach to nutrition and cooking has evolved since he started at the club five years ago. He’s learnt what the right things to eat are and why, and he can cook quick and simple meals that give him the nutrition he requires to compete at the elite level.
“Buy the majority of your food at the start of the week. That way there’s no excuse for eating unhealthy foods or takeaway.”
1. Get in the kitchen!
Cook as much as you can at home. It saves worrying about what’s being put in your food and when you eat.
2. Spice things up!
In the beginning, eating pretty much the same healthy foods everyday does become a bit repetitive. To combat this you need to add flavour to your food without adding any unnecessary sugars or fats. Marinading you protein with spices and herbs is a simple way to add flavour to your meals.
3. Cut the fat!
You should try to trim the excess fat off your meat. A chicken breast (112g) with skin will contain about 188 calories with 10.5 grams total fat and 3 grams of saturated fat. The skinless chicken breast will contain 118 calories with a mere 1.4 grams of total fat and 0.4grams of saturated fat. Even if you are trying to bulk up your extra calories need to be coming from protein rather than fats.
4. Be prepared!
Have nutritious snacks handy all the time. I always have plenty of fruit and nuts to snack on around the house and for a convenient and nutritious option when I’m out and about I eat Winners Bars.
5. You are what you eat!
If you eat junk food you won’t feel at your best therefore you won’t perform to your best. I used to love chocolate and pizza, but they’re not in my daily diet anymore because they won’t help me perform at the highest level.
6. Choose wholemeal
Instead of eating white bread or white pasta, eat whole-meal alternatives. The whole-meal options are an un-processed complex carbohydrate. They’re more nutritious and they leave you feeling full longer, giving you the sustained energy you need.
7. Food = Fuel.
When planning your meals think about what training, exercise and activities you’re doing for the week so you can prepare your meals accordingly. When I am at full training I eat double the amount to ensure I have enough energy to get through the day. By planning ahead I make sure that the extra amounts remain in balanced portions of lean protein, fruit, vegetables and whole grains.