A healthy nutrition plan plays a tremendous factor in how an athlete performs. However, as college athlete at Oregon State University nutrition was not a priority and nutrition consisted of what I could afford. It wasn't until I was drafted to Real Salt Lake and competing in the highest level in the US and realizing if I wanted a long playing career, I needed to make healthy changes. Not only understanding how to balance intake and outtake but knowing when to eat and rehydrate. For athletes, knowing the right time to eat is just as important as knowing what to eat.
After months of making these changes, I noticed the difference in how I was training and felt more confident in competing at a high level. Listen to your body. These changes were not significant but it made a difference in my daily performance. I noticed, I wasn't getting tired as fast as I used to. The cramping pain in my chest or side slowly disappear each day when fatigue would accumulate. Sleeping better. Waking up without soreness. Overall, once I understood the impact of what it mean to feed my body with the right nutrients to stay in shape, I became part of my lifestyle.
Having a healthy lifestyle, doesn't mean restricting yourself from eating things you love. Jamaican food from jerk chicken, to our national dish ackee and salt fist are some of my favorite dishes, however, not the healthiest as most are cooked in oil -- a lot of oil. I do not deprived myself and I don't count calories but I do keep these intakes in moderation. Most days, I cook majority of my meals at home. Not only are you saving by cooking at home, but you have control of what goes into preparing your meals.
Dinner the night before a game:
Chicken pasta with salad
Omelette (2 eggs, onions, jalapeño, tomato)
2 Whole Wheat Toast
Glass of Orange Juice
Cup of assorted fruits
Lunch: (3-4 hours before game)
Chicken or Turkey Sandwich on Whole Wheat (mustard, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese)
Small Side Salad
Dinner: (3-4 hours before game)
Chicken of some sort (curry, baked, jerk, bbq)
White Rice or Potatoes
Yogurt with granola