Hope you all enjoyed my last post about training tips! This month, I wanted to share a little bit about my nutritional lifestyle while being a professional soccer player. I am not a dietician by any means, but nutrition has always been one of my interests and is very important to me. I want to feel my best every day so I can play my best. With that being said, I know that putting the right stuff in my body will enhance my performance.
Every meal, I make sure that I incorporate a protein, complex carbohydrate, and vegetable. Protein is essential for the body because it works as a building block that creates and develops our hair, nails, and, most importantly, builds muscles. Complex carbs supply us with energy, and vegetables supply us with vitamins and nutrients such as potassium, dietary fiber, folate (folic acid), vitamin A, and vitamin C. There are a lot of sources for protein including meat, fish, and eggs as well as meatless options like tofu, beans, and protein shakes. My favorite carbs to add to my meals are oats, brown rice, sweet potatoes, and quinoa. My vegetables of choice are broccoli, spinach, and asparagus.
For breakfast, I love to have oatmeal with pecans, walnuts, coconut flakes, a little honey, and sometimes fruit. I occasionally add peanut butter for protein or I make a protein shake with almond milk and add spinach for a vegetable.
My lunch and dinner are typically similar — I have a protein, complex carbohydrate, and vegetable. Also, I always make sure that I eat before I workout and I follow that workout with a protein shake (preferably Garden of Life) for recovery purposes.
I’ve tried numerous diets and lifestyles such as vegan, vegetarian, and pescatarian. From each of these lifestyles, I’ve found options I love and some I dislike. For instance, I personally feel better when I don’t consume dairy and I also like to limit how much I eat meat. However, I love seafood such as salmon and shrimp but also love vegan and vegetarian dishes. I encourage everyone to explore different lifestyles and then make it your own based on what feels right for you. Most importantly, everyone deserves a cheat day, so always reward yourself with your favorite cheat snack or meal every now and then.
Thank you for letting me share with you all and remember,
“A healthy outside always starts from the inside.”