As a student athlete I have to make sure that my body is always getting the nutrients it needs.
Not doing so risks injury and illness which could impact my whole season.
Adapting to cooking at uni took some time. After a lot of trial and error (and Freshers' week spent living solely on freebies and the broccoli my parents sent me away with) I’ve managed to figure out meal plans to keep me fit and well...
Every morning I get up and make porridge. This is especially good if I’ve done an early morning run as it heats me up again and prepares me for the day ahead.
I often don't have much time in the mornings so I always make a sandwich the day before, trying to include some lean protein and at least two types of vegetable. If I’m training later that day I’ll take a banana and another sandwich to eat on the bus. Making sure I have the food with me means I won't be tempted to buy anything I don't really need during the day, which saves a lot of money in the long run!
On Sundays I roast a chicken and use the leftovers to make curries or stir-fries for dinner on weekdays. I try and cook these in advance so I can buy my vegetables in bulk. This means I can just heat something up after training that I know is quicker and more nutritious than a ready meal.
Competing in a sport where many put a lot of emphasis on leanness as opposed to strength, I’ve always been lucky to be trained by people who encourage me to eat healthily and to see:
Food as a fuel, not the enemy!
I think that this mindset is very important regardless of what sport you take part in and it always something to remember when university life gets stressful.