In Australia, we are in the second half of our cheer competition season. This post is a reflection of what I have learnt thus far. Hopefully, this will be handy for other athletes or anyone who is curious as to how competitive cheerleaders eat.
Please note, I am not a nutritionist or a doctor, the following is just something that I have tried and have been helpful. Please speak with your doctor/dietician/ nutritionist should you be inspired to embark on healthy eating!
I was introduced to cheerleading in 2004 and have been so passionate about it ever since, there is so much to learn and perfect! All-Star cheerleading appealed to my competitive nature, I just love the thrill of the season! It was 2 years ago when I became interested in healthy eating.
It took me a few goes before arriving at this stage. When I started cheerleading, I became more active, this resulted in an increase in appetite and unfortunately, for the wrong food. It was 2 years ago when I realised this and decided to make the change. I don’t think healthy eating is a magic trick, I think it more as a journey, thus, it is constantly evolving as I come across new materials.
The following are some tips and tricks that I’ve learnt:
1) Get excited about HEALTHY EATING– Being in a positive mindset is paramount! Explore and discover new food or rediscover the joys of familiar ones. I like to plan my meals, it doesn’t work for everyone, but it does for me. When I write what I am going to have, I get into that positive mindset and let that inspire me. To illustrate, if I was going to have a fruit salad for breakfast, I would write ‘Ultimate Fruit Paradise‘ in bold. It just sounds so much more fun that way.
2) Plan your meals– I highly recommend planning your meals, it helps keep you focused and it makes it easier to do grocery shopping. I recommend taking 20 mins or so (the more you do it, the faster you get) plan all your meals including snacks. also consider when you WANT to cook. I usually plan whilst watching TV on a Saturday night as I do my groceries on Sunday.
3) Gather your army– Rally support for healthy eating! Get your friends and family to be on bored. Sure, some people may be resistant at first, but when they see you happy and healthy you look, they will no doubt fly your flag! You may come across some negativity from others, you can’t change their minds, but you can choose to remove yourself from their company, or if you will, practice the art of selective hearing. I actively try to surround myself with folk who are into healthy eating as I am.
4) Naturally flavoured water– Drink up the H2O, keeping hydrated ensures your body functions at optimum standards. I always carry my Camelbak bottle where ever I go. I aim to drink at least 4 bottles (3L) However, sometime, I crave some flavour, what I usually do is to squeeze some lemon into a big glass of water. If I’m feeling particularly fancy, I would crack open a bottle of sparkling water.
5) Eat clean– Eating clean simply mean eating whole foods, things that haven’t been processed or enhanced in anyway. Examples of wholefood- Eggs, apples, carrots, chicken. Examples of non-wholefoods- Canned spaghetti, potato chips, pre-made beef patties. I usually go to the Spud Shed- they sell fresh produce at a cheaper cost. The hubs and I like to go to markets and when we do, we always grab fresh produce.
6) Be persistent– This is an important tip and the one that I found most challenging. There will be days when not the best choices have been made. Sure, you stuffed up, from here you have 2 choices- give up and go home or pick yourself up and get back on the horse. Growing up, I didn’t have someone who was passionate about healthy eating, thus I had developed unhealthy habits that I am still on the journey to undo. It is not easy, but it sure will be rewarding!
Below is a what I eat in a typical day:
Breakfast: I don’t have a large breakfast as it doesn’t work for my body, whatever it is for you, always have something to eat!
1 cup of green tea/ black coffee, 1 Banana, 1 Mandarin
Snack: I don’t usually snack, but if I do…
Handful of Almonds/ 1 pear/Celery with PB
Lunch: I usually use left overs from dinner to make my lunch
Hidden Chicken Jewels- Chicken pieces in a large bowl of fresh veggies with guacamole
Snack: I don’t snack in the afternoon but I usually have a green tea
Dinner: Dinner is typically inspired by simple Japanese/ Chinese/ Korean dishes carried by rice.
Rice, egg omelette, blanched chinese greens, grilled beef with sesame sauce (I usually cook more of the meat so that I’ll have some left over for lunch.)
Have you got any tips you would like to share? Place your comments below, I’d be happy to hear from you!
http://shop.camelbak.com/eddy-75l/d/1012_cl_3300 I’ve got this in Green