We spend a lot of time talking about actual fitness at the Allrounder, but we often ignore perhaps the most important aspect of training – diet. We’re not going to bang on about how necessary it is to have a good diet though, you probably know this already. We are however going to pass you over to someone who knows a bit more than we do. Dimitar Dimov, certified fitness trainer from the International Sports Science Association (ISSA), gives us his top seven healthy snacks on the go.
NB: We’ve taken this opportunity to test out a new stock photo provider, with mixed results.
We all live very fast-paced lives, always rushing around and never having enough time to do things… at least the important things. It appears that the tasks that contribute the most to the quality of our lives often get neglected for less important things. With one of those things being meal preparation, or lack of it.
As the well-known saying goes; if you fail to prepare, you are preparing to fail. In other words, proper planning is everything. That is not to say that you need to be a top chef spending hours in the kitchen, rather just by dedicating only five minutes every night can get you a long way down the line. The snacks that we will go through now are quick to make, rich in important nutrients and you can easily take them with you on the go. They actually taste nice as well (assuming you like the ingredients).
1. Tuna Sandwich
Very few meals can beat a tuna sandwich when it comes to convenience, preparation time and nutrition. It only takes a couple of minutes and two slices of wholemeal bread, some light mayo and a can of tuna to make a filling and tasty sandwich with over 25g of protein, slow-digesting carbohydrates and minimal amount of fat. Sandwiches, easy to make, easy to carry around – probably why they’ve done so well.
2. Protein Shake with Peanut Butter
A protein shake is a convenient snack option when you can’t take your time to sit and have a proper meal. It is easy to drink anywhere; at your desk, sat in a car or wandering down the street. No crumbs, no sauces, no mess. To prepare a great thick shake mix two scoops of whey protein, one tablespoon of 100% natural peanut butter, and about 250ml of semi-skimmed or whole milk.
In that shake you will get more than 50g of protein, around 20g of fat and 10g of carbs. Of course the macros will vary according to the protein powder and how much you want to indulge on the peanut butter, but generally the numbers won’t be too far-fetched.
3. Chicken and salad
Third position goes to common chicken salad. In an ideal world you would cook and pack these at home, but we appreciate that sometimes you might not have the time to cook the chicken. Worry not, all you need to do is pop to the nearest supermarket and get some ready-made diced chicken breasts. Add this to a pack of green salad and you’ve just got yourself a 5 star meal (editors note – probably not 5 star).
While it is not the most convenient meal, it is highly nutritious and very filling. Depending on the size of the packs, you will be getting at least 30g of protein with almost no fat and no carbohydrates.
4. Almond Butter Sandwich
Most people are used to peanut butter sandwiches, but that’s probably because many haven’t tried almond butter sandwiches. Not only does it taste delicious, but it is also richer in important micronutrients, such as Vitamin E, Manganese, Vitamin B12 and many more. Bread, open jar, spread, done. If you’re a bit “cordon bleu” stick it in the toaster.
5. Muesli with low-fat yoghurt
One of the nation’s favourite snacks is muesli/granola with milk. While this is a great and quick-to make snack, it is not something you can take with you unless you have a container that seals tightly. Even if you do, it is still a risk putting it in your bag.
Replace the milk with low-fat yoghurt and you’ve gone one better, with an even better snack option. Since the yoghurt is much thicker, you can carry it with you without the fear of it spilling all over your bag. It also tastes amazing, especially with a little bit of low calorie/ zero calorie maple syrup. Although it isn’t as rich in protein as the other macronutrients, the fat content is still very low and the carbohydrates are within reasonable amounts (about 10-15g for 200g). If you want to add something extra to your snack and soften the muesli, put them in the yoghurt the night before.
Top an 8-inch whole-wheat tortilla with 2 slices of honey roasted ham, a few slices of low-fat cheddar and a slice of a tropical fruit, such as pineapple. Roll it up and grill it for about a minute on each side. If you are in a rush then you can microwave it for about 30-60 seconds. The goal is to slightly melt the cheese while the tortilla can absorb the juice from the pineapple.
7. Subway sandwich
The final snack that made it in our Top seven list is Subway. While it is more of a meal than a snack, we felt that we had to include it just for those of you who are so busy that don’t even have a couple of spare minutes. Instead of going for your favourite fast-food option, try heading to Subway for a 6-inch sub instead. A good example would be Chicken Tikka in honey oat or wholemeal bread. Add to this all the vegetables you can and go easy with the sauces. Generally we would recommend going for low-calorie sauces such as mustard or ketchup. Although the carbs and fats might be a bit more than necessary, it can work well as a post-workout meal or as an exception when you forget to prepare your own meal.
So there you go, seven quick meal options for the busy (or lazy) fitness aficionado.
For more fitness and diet information from Dimitar, head over to his website here.