Full Time Training

Last week Monday, I started training with a local rowing club that specializes in preparing athletes for international competition. Who knows what the future holds, but the present holds lots of exercise and LOTS of eating.

Although I compete in a weight restricted class, training for upwards of six hours a day requires I eat as much food as I can just to maintain my weight and my energy. I carefully track what I put in my body and what I ask of it so that I fuel properly.

Here's what a day of training looks like:
 6AM - wake up
Breakfast: peanut butter banana sandwich with large glass of milk, strawberries
7AM - bike to boathouse, 20 minutes
Snack: 200 calorie energy bar
7:30AM - get boat out, row for around 60 minutes, easy pace
9:00AM - quick break
Snack: chocolate milk, plus a few Belgian chocolates from a teammate
9:15AM - weightlifting, 75 minutes
Snack: almonds and dried blueberries
10:30AM - bike home, 20 minutes
First lunch: cheese roll from a local bakery
Second lunch: oatmeal with spinach, Parmesan cheese and a fried egg, strawberries
Third (!) lunch: leftover chickpea salad in pita, plus sliced cheese, oreos
Snack: mocha from Starbucks, with whipped cream
2:00 - nap time! Plus stretching.
4:00 - second workout, 45 minutes of biking, plus another 50-60 minutes on the rowing machine
Dinner: stir fry with tofu and brown rice, Oreos
Dessert: S'mores cupcake

Despite eating three lunches, and as much dinner as I could stomach, I was still more than 100 calories short of the calories I burned. A lot of my calories came from less than ideal sources--chocolates and cookies.

I'm trying to find a balance between being able to eat enough and eating well, as many of the foods that are good for me are also very filling. I'm working to increase my consumption of whole grains, dairy products and beans, and finding ways to incorporate them into easy snacks.

Expect to see lots of good snack ideas in the future!

Some tricks so far:
- When I menu plan, I make a list of snacks that use the ingredients we have on hand
- We use our slow cooker to make beans and oatmeal, and make extra rice/pasta when we have them for dinner
- Condiments can take something really simple (beans and rice) and put it over the top. One of my favorites: chickpeas, sticky rice, Sriracha sauce, sesame seeds
- When I'm looking for something to eat, open the fridge first; if I absolutely don't want anything in the fridge, then I look in the pantry

Let me know what you think by leaving a comment or emailing me at piquantprose [at] gmail [dot] com.

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