·         Carbo-loading

Description:  Carbo - Loading

Carbo - Loading

On weekdays, I go to gym at 5am as I’ve been training for my sixth Comrades. I eat more carbs and fruit and less protein than when I’m not preparing for a race. Carbo-loading works for me. I adore pasta, so it’s a guilt-free meal now! I also love Energade jelly babies and sliced biltong – great snacks for a marathon.

·         Night shifts

I’ve worked various late shifts and I MC events that end at 1am. I’m ravenous by then and my blood sugar levels drop fast. A dietitian structured my eating plan to include a snack after dinner on those nights.

·         Healthy ways

When I’m not training, I’ll have a slice of low-GI toast with Bovril and fat-free youghurt for breakfast. I snack on fruit or have a banana smoothie, which is great pre- or post-run. Lunch is tuna on two slices of low-GI toast. For dinner, I’ll have a grilled chicken breast, peas and salad. I love cooking – anything from risotto to desserts. Chocolate is my weakness.

At events, I skip fried foods and pastries and opt for a sandwich or wrap. I feel sluggish after eating junk food so I avoid it.

I grew up with my mom’s lovely home-cooked meals. My brother was hypoglycaemic and couldn’t eat refined foods so we had wholewheat goods. I’m grateful for those now!

In Koula’s cupboard

Description: In Koula’s cupboard

In Koula’s cupboard

1.    Fresh fruit.

 It’s great to pack into my handbag.

2.    Pickles.

A healthy snack when I don’t want celery.

3.    Provitas.

A few of these will do when I don’t have time to make a sandwich.

Swap shop

Instead of this… have this!

1.    Chocolate

Home-made sugar-free hot chocolate: heat 1/2 C fat-free milk. Mix in 1 T cocoa powder, 1 non-nutritive sweetener and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Top up with hot water.

2.    Provitas

Corn thins and Ryvitas. These high-fibre crackers will increase grain variety.

3.    Sliced biltong

1/2 peanut butter sandwich. Carbohydrates are better utilized as fuel for exercising muscles.

The dietitian says

Jade Campbell is a Joburg-based dietitian.

·         Eat wholegrains

Koula’s main source of starch is low-GI bread. This lack of variety compromises her overall nutritional quality.

Description: Eat wholegrains

Eat wholegrains

Adding other wholegrains (corn, oats, barley, pearl wheat or quinoa) will help increase Koula’s intake of a range of vitamins, minerals and fibre. The wholegrains also have other health benefits such as lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

·         Vary fruit and veg

Fruit and vegetables contain phytochemicals, which are potent antioxidants. There are, however, more than 2 000 different phytochemicals, which are found in different coloured fruit and vegetables.

Description: Vary fruit and veg

Vary fruit and veg

Instead of including similar vegetable and fruit options such as bananas, salads and peas, Koula should have a rainbow approach to her intake. She must try include a greater variety in the colours of the fresh produce she chooses.

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