This is the second article in a four-part series on eating to perform while balancing life and training demands. The information provided here is from the Norwegian organization “Sunn Jenteidrett,” which published the “Eat Smart” cookbook and resource guide on nutrition and training. Sunn Jenteidrett is dedicated to increase awareness about nutrition and performance among young athletes, and is a joint effort of the Norwegian Ski Association, Norwegian Orienteering Association and Norwegian Track and Field Association, backed by the country’s Olympic Development Center.
Make it a habit to always pack food for the day when you leave in the morning. That way, you don’t have to go hungry and you don’t have to settle for less-than-nutritious options when you’re starving. Use your imagination, and avoid getting stuck in a rut. If your mornings are crazy, you can easily make your lunch the night before, and leave it in the fridge overnight.
Get it done
For starters, find a suitable container. A large box with divided sections is a great option, and helps keep food fresh. Also, keep moist items completely separate from things you want to keep crisp.
For sandwiches, vary your fillings: cheese, ham, fish – whatever you like. If you’re picky about soggy sandwiches, bring the bread and the fillings in separate containers and assemble the sandwich when you’re ready to eat it.
Remember to bring a drinking bottle. Make sure it’s clean and within reach all day long. Dehydration is a major energy-zapper and decreases performance significantly. Drink water between meals. During workouts, drink water, sports drink or diluted juice. If your workout lasts longer than an hour, you should drink a sports drink that contributes electrolytes and carbohydrates, which helps maintain your energy and lets you finish the workout in style.
Some bring-along-food options:
- Sandwich with sliced, smoked salmon (lox), cream cheese, lettuce and tomato or cucumber slices. Add scrambled eggs if you like.
- Sandwich with smoked ham, cream cheese, lettuce, tomato or cucumber slices. Also tasty with scrambled eggs.
- Pasta salad with cubed chicken breast, corn, apple, garbanzo beans, broccoli and dressing of your choice.
- Tortilla wrap with cooked shrimp or shredded chicken, avocado, sweet chili sauce, onion and carrots.
Recipe: Filled pita bread
If using frozen pita bread, take them straight from the freezer to the toaster, and they’ll taste like fresh-made! Choose whole wheat pitas if possible. Fill with anything you like – here are some options:
- Cubed ham, cheese, bell pepper, sundried tomatoes and shredded lettuce. Spread a little pesto onto the inside of the pita before filling it.
- Tuna salad and lettuce.
- Lettuce and shredded chicken.
- Leftovers from last night’s dinner.
- Feta cheese, olives, tomatoes and chopped onion with a vinaigrette dressing.
Inge is FasterSkier's international reporter, born and bred in Norway. A cross-country ski racer and mountain runner, she also dabbles on two wheels in the offseason. If it's steep and long, she loves it. Follow her on Twitter: @IngeScheve.