The food diary of a nutritionist and athlete

By Su

12182304_10156155057005494_609181791_nEveryone wants to know what a nutritionist puts down in their food diary. I see it every time when I have lunch or dinner with others, they are always looking to my plate to see if it’s healthy or not, or if it looks as expected. I find this funny, but at the same time normal because since I am a nutritionist I am supposed to practice what I preach.

First of all, I need to make clear that I am a sports nutritionist but also a professional Muay Thai fighter. I need you all to know that during these weeks I am getting ready for an important fight, so I need to be very careful on what to eat since I need to have power and good recovery, as well as losing some weight in fat since I need to check my weight for the fight.

Still, my routine and food intake is similar most of the time for my food diary, so for the curious, this is what a normal food diary looks like for me:

My food diary

food diary5:15 am: Before training snack

My food diary starts at 4:45 am when I wake up to walk my dog and get ready for training. Just before I leave, I have my morning snack. Most of the time I’ll eat a fruit portion before training. Fruits are the best options to “break the fast” in the morning since they are full of vitamins and antioxidants to boost your energy throughout the day. They also provide healthy carbs that I need for the training. Ok, but there are some days I don’t feel like fruit, so I might go for the toast with honey, that will also give me the needed energy for my workout.

Today an apple was the first thing I wrote in my food diary.IMG_4814

7:45 am: After training

Normally I’ll go for water with electrolytes and 1 tsp of glutamine. I will also have a low-fat yogurt or 1 glass of low-fat milk. For me, low-fat dairy will have the perfect combination of protein and carbs needed for recovery after training, with the water, the glutamine, and the electrolytes, it just completes the equation.

8:00-8:30 am: Breakfast

This I have it as soon as I get to work. I will either bring something from home or buy it here. Since I work in a sports hotel, the restaurant and the shops have healthy options.

Today I brought home cereal with unsweetened almond milk. I always choose a low in sugar/high in protein and healthy fat breakfast cereal or muesli. The almond milk gives you vitamin E, some calcium, B vitamins and vitamin D, so that is a perfect combination to help my body to reduce inflammation, have strong bones, muscles, and skin, and helps with the energy metabolism. I will usually have this with tea or coffee (for a hard training day like today, it’s usually with coffee).

IMG_477212:00: Lunch

During a working day like today, I will normally go for lunch to the staff canteen. It has all kinds of options and a salad bar, so you can have a descent healthy plate if you do the right choices.

For today, I had lettuce, carrot, cucumber and water chestnut from the salad bar, with balsamic vinegar as dressing. I also had a stir fried Thai vegetable dish mixed with egg and shredded chicken. As you can see it was a lot of delicious filling food that I really enjoyed and provides protein, fiber, healthy carbs and little fat. I normally drink water with my lunch.

The food diary of a nutritionist and athlete4:30 pm: Before training snack

Around 3-4PM I am normally hungry again, especially when training gets hard. I will always go for a carb option as a pre-workout snack with water. The carb will provide me with the energy needed to kickstart my training. It’s important to consider that it has to be something that will not interfere with your digestion, so an ideal proportion of macronutrients in a pre-workout snack has to be 70-80% carbs, 15% protein, and less than 10% fat.

Today I had a fruit and cereal bar that contains organic cereal flake, mung bean, red brown rice flake, corn, sesame and pumpkin seeds, raisin and dried banana.

7:00 pm: After training

I will normally only have water with electrolytes or a coconut and 1 tsp of glutamine because I might have dinner soon. If it’s a late dinner, then I will have a small post-workout snack like a fistful of homemade trail mix or this nut mix made at work, that contains a natural mix of nuts and dried fruits. This makes an excellent snack on the go and requires no refrigeration or preparation. This small snack will help me with the muscle recovery and it is also a way to avoid overeating at dinner (because by this time after training I am always hungry!)

IMG_47758:00 pm: Dinner

Most of the days I prefer to cook or prepare something at home, because as a nutritionist I love trying new recipes and ideas, and I actually enjoy the time in the kitchen. But of course, there are days that I am so tired after training and working that I will go to dine out. If I go to eat out, I will normally go to one of the local restaurants that I know because I know what I can choose and also to avoid food poisoning (really common here in Thailand!). I will always go for chicken, fish or seafood as the main dish with cooked vegetables as a garnish and as a side dish a green salad, or if not I will order a soup or salad with chicken/fish/seafood and vegetables.  

Today I made something quick and easy, but still one of my favorites. I always advise people to have this as an “I don’t know what to prepare today and I am really tired” option: Homemade Caprese salad. It’s fresh, it’s really easy to make, and is very versatile. I sliced tomatoes and low-fat cheese (I had a left-over of mozzarella and goat cheese tonight), then since I didn’t have basil, I used rocket instead. I only dressed with a bit of herb and apple cider vinegar, totally delicious! I had it this night carb free since I am cutting weight for the fight, but I will usually add up a whole grain wheat tortilla to the food diary.
So, now you know what a sports nutritionist and athlete’s food diary looks like! My food diary choices are always based of course in what I know about food, but it is also the way I enjoy eating. I am not telling you I normally don’t cheat, of course, I do! At least once a week I might have a cup of caramel ice cream that is my treat, but on a daily basis, I eat healthy because I love it, and also to fuel correctly my body to cope with the training. My food diary is very important for my training, as it allows me to detail everything I eat daily.

What is on your food diary?

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About the Author

BochakornBOCHAKORN BOONSERM (MAAM) began her education in conventional medicine as a nurse, then shifted to embrace natural healing and integrative medicines. Her training and certifications abroad include: Nutrition and Western Herbal Medicines, Acupuncture and Moxibustion.

During her therapeutic sessions, she may also incorporate other aspects of integrative medicines when required, including: acupuncture, cupping therapy, moxibustion, nutritional, supplements and herbal recommendation.

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