Healthy Dinner/eating suggestions....

SwimSwam Article


Courtesy of P2 Life, a SwimSwam partner. 

Dinner is an especially important meal for your training diet because it is the last large, balanced meal before next morning’s practice or competition. Eating a well balanced dinner will allow you to get a full dose of nutrients without feeling sluggish and weighed down in the morning. Here are three dinner suggestions that you can tweak to fit your taste and preferences.

Dinner Plan #1
Pair a low fat protein with complex carbs for ideal nutrition. A lean piece of chicken or fish with some brown rice or pasta are healthy choices. Pair your dinner with a side of vegetables like asparagus or brussel sprouts. This is the time to eat these high fiber veggies, which take longer to digest, versus in the middle of the day at lunch. And as always, enjoy your dinner with a glass of water to hydrate; stay away from sugary drinks.

Dinner Plan #2
If you’re vegetarian, supplement your carbohydrates with animal-free protein choices. Load up on beans, lentils, and use quinoa to get some of the proteins you’ll be missing from the meat. Make a dinner of hearty soups and salads by adding quinoa and beans, or try eggplant parmigiana with a marinara sauce.

Dinner Plan #3
Maybe you’re in a hurry and don’t feel like taking the time to prep a full scale dinner. This is when it’s good to have some whole wheat pasta on hand to whip up a quick meal. Add your favorite pasta sauce (stay away from high fat cream sauces), toss in some chopped veggies like peppers, squash, eggplant or spinach and add a some protein to it like some proteins like sliced beef or sausage. Another good protein alternative is a nutritious protein shake. Remember to hydrate with water.

Pre-Bedtime Meal
This is probably a new thing to you but do not underestimate the importance of having a pre-bedtime meal in your diet. You sleep to recover so it makes sense to be certain you are giving your body the nutrition it needs before you go to sleep. You may ask, why on earth should you have supper, and then a pre-bedtime meal? Let’s think about it, typically one has supper around 7-8pm and then roughly 3 hours later you go to sleep. Most of us get up between 5 – 7am. That’s more 10 hours since you last ate (and that’s assuming you eat as soon as you wake up!). Having a nutritious pre bedtime meal not only helps shorten the time between meals but also helps fill in any nutritional gaps you might have missed before you go to sleep. You sleep to recover so it makes sense to be certain you are giving your body the nutrition it needs before you go to sleep.

Ideally you want a super nutritious snack with proteins, vitamins and minerals and ideally lower on the calorie side. Avocado on whole wheat toast is a good idea, a glass of milk also is fantastic from a protein side. Check out our NutriBoost shake, which really is a good pre-bedtime option too. It is loaded with vitamins and minerals, has the ideal protein mix for bedtime recovery and is low in calories. The NutriBoost shake is also easy to digest, and is quickly absorbed by the body. Remember we sleep so our bodies can recover, so doesn’t it make sense to give your body the things it needs to recover effectively, while it is in its recovery process?

Getting into the right habits and eating the right things will not only make you feel better when you wake up, but will also allow you to recover faster and more effectively. This naturally allows you to train harder in practice, which should result in you improving your times.