It’s wonderful to welcome back Laura Clark, registered dietitian and sports nutritionist at LEC Nutrition who writes monthly here, sharing her wisdom and experience so we all benefit!
Laura has kindly developed a healthy eating plan for me as I head off on a little UK tour with my debut book Mumboss!
Check it out!
Vicki is heading off on her book tour. Many of us travel with work and some days just travelling from the school run back to the home office can feel like a mission so it’s easy to get into bad habits. Fear not, though as here are my top tips to keep Vicki and anyone else healthy through a hectic May.
I’d recommend Vicki starts the day with some slow release carbs and high protein choices. British breakfast choices can be quite low in protein meaning we’re hungry again by 10 o’clock. Soaked oats are great and when mixed with higher protein yoghurt (around 10g protein per 100g) they boost protein contents of breakfast. You can also mix with milk to add flavour. Almond milk is quite popular but remember this alone has virtually no protein in it.
There are also some handy on-the- go oat pots with protein added in, so with the addition of water you’re good to go. Around 15-20g of protein at breakfast would do wonders. I expect of course that Vicki will have someone be able to make her eggs on sourdough bread every morning which would be another slow release, high protein win!
Caffeine can be friend or enemy. It will contribute to your hydration when spaced out across the day and indeed something like a latte will boost protein and calcium intake between meals which is useful for regulating blood glucose levels and helping us to feel on an even keel. Whilst large doses of caffeine support improved performance, they are only useful for single tasks hence why they are so vital in endurance sports. If Vicki is multi-tasking (which knowing her, she will be) caffeine is not a performance aid. Herbal teas or diluted fruit juices would work better alongside water to keep her well hydrated.
It’s easy not to drink enough when travelling, especially if you’re worried about when the next opportunity to use the toilet will present itself! Hard to change behaviour sometimes, but it’s worth noting that lack of fluid means the brain has to work harder to achieve the same output, hence why we feel tired. Sipping throughout the day can make a big difference.
For lunch on the go, a little carb can go a long way. Too much can leave us feeling tired and lethargic in the afternoon but none at all will leave us reaching for the unhealthy snacks by 4pm (officially the witching hour!) Being ‘good’ and just having a bowl of soup is simply not enough to fuel the demands of motherhood whatever that looks like.
Instead, with lunch being such a pivot point in the day, get it right. Wholemeal tortilla wraps work well as do oatcakes or rye crispbreads. We can also boost fuel with pulses and lentils such as a 3 bean salad or Puy lentils and goat’s cheese salad. They’re versatile, low in fat, high in fibre and a source of protein. For more inspiration check out my plant power recipe blog.
Fruit should also not be forgotten – sometimes pieces doesn’t travel well which is why the little pots of fruit salad are good to grab or dried fruit – you may remember from the iron ladies blog that apricots are an excellent source of iron. I hear funny things about fruit, people telling me they shouldn’t eat it after a certain time of day or that it should be avoided because of its sugar content. Let’s be clear – standard portions of fruit (handful) boost fibre intakes and are the biggest dietary factor to influence our long term health. Those with higher fruit and veg intakes have lower incidences of many of our most prominent diseases.
For snacking when travelling, ideally you want to use it wisely to fuel what is likely to be a longer day. Nuts and seeds help to provide additional fibre in the diet which is useful when bowels often react to being away from home. Little snack packets (around 30g) are ideal to ensure correct portion size. Snacking on a larger bag or pot could give you up to 600 calories though so beware. It is healthy fat but excess calories are not a good idea in any form.
For dinner I’d recommend Vicki get some prawns in. An excellent source of selenium and zinc they help to protect our immune function which can take a knock if we’re sleep deprived. Mix these with plenty of veggies and some more wholegrain carbs to help the body release melatonin so Vicki gets a good night’s sleep.
I have of course missed out all the socialising and bubbles that will take place, and so they should, there is much to celebrate. We’re not adding pressure to create the perfect diet here. In fact, my definition of perfection is a balance of all things tasty, savoured and enjoyed in great company!
Have fun Vicki!