With much attention paid to what we should be eating for recovery or in preparation for a big ride, daily meals such as breakfast and lunch can fall by the wayside. While preparation and recovery meals are a crucial component of any cyclist’s nutrition program, if you train in the afternoon or are committed to more than an hour of intense training each day, ensuring that your three to five key meals are nutritionally balanced gives the foundation to a strong nutrition platform. So no more fast food consumed on the run! It is time to give your lunch the attention it deserves and your cycling should benefit as a result.
As a general rule of thumb; for active people a nutritionally balanced, fuel rich lunch should include a mix of wholegrain carbohydrates to fuel muscle, lean protein to support muscle recovery and sustained energy release, and some fresh vegetables or salad for fibre, bulk and for a vitamin and mineral hit. Often we get our lunch balance wrong when we rely on easy to find, carbohydrate-rich lunch options such as thick sandwiches, noodles and fast food which lack the lean protein and salad and vegetable content that will supported sustained energy release throughout the afternoon.
To ensure that this does not happen again here are the best easy, healthy DIY lunches to give your body the fuel boost it needs in the middle of the day, so that you get the best from the remaining hours of your day.
1) Quick Tuna Pasta or Rice
All you need is a tin of tuna, some quick cook pasta or brown rice and some frozen or fresh vegetables and you are ready to go.
2) Leftover Hamburger or Lean Sausages
There is nothing wrong with a lean mince patty or sausage as long as you do find a low fat variety and team them with wholemeal or wholegrain bread and some salad.
3) Steak Sandwich
Often thought of as an unhealthy option, a piece of lean steak on good quality grain or wholemeal bread with salad is a balanced, tasty and filling lunch choice.
4) Brown Rice Sushi
Sashimi and sushi can be good lunch choices especially if you choose brown rice varieties, fresh sashimi as well as some greens from seaweed salad and edamame beans.
Usually thought of as a Sunday brekkie choice, not only are omelettes a great protein-rich lunch option, they are quick and easy to make. When combined with plenty of vegetables and some sourdough or wholegrain, they are a perfect mix of carbs, proteins and vegetable fibre.