On a rest day, the main focus for elite or competitive athletes is to recover, rejuvenate and unwind. It doesn’t simply mean lying on the couch for the day, athletes must still be proactive about their recovery strategies, which includes their food intake. As athletes are less active on training days they require a lower intake of energy and carbohydrate foods and a higher intake of healthy fats, fibre and protein rich foods. Main meals should all contain fibre rich vegetables and a quality protein source like eggs, meat or fish. Salads with lots of greens and a meat source are a good option for lunch, while mozzarella with chopped tomato and some pepper is simple and suitable snack.
Chicken, broccoli and rocket salad
1 large head of broccoli, chopped
1 cooked chicken breast, chopped
25 g mixed unsalted nuts, toasted
50 g feta cheese, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
6 cherry tomatoes
2 Tbsp. pumpkin seed, toasted
1 Tbsp. pine nuts
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp. wholegrain mustard
1 tsp. honey
- Preheat oven to 190°C
- Oven bake a chicken breast for 15 minutes at 190°C, remove and chop
- Steam the chopped broccoli for 8 minutes so that there is still some bite in the broccoli. Remove and chill in the fridge.
- Dry fry the pumpkin seeds, walnuts, cashew nuts and pine nuts on a hot pan for 3 minutes.
- Chop remaining ingredients, and mix together in a large salad bowl.
- Once cool, add the broccoli along with the roasted mix to the salad bowl
- Add in your chopped chicken and mix again
- Mix the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, garlic and mustard in a small bowl.
- Pour this dressing over the salad, mix and serve.
Mid afternoon snack
Chopped buffalo tomato with mozzarella
The mid afternoon snack on a non-training day should be low in carbohydrate but still be nutritious, filling and satisfying. Simply combining chopped buffalo tomato with some mozzarella, black pepper and guacamole on top is a great snack to have mid-afternoon.
75 g mozzarella
2 large buffalo tomatoes
Salt and pepper
- Chop your tomatoes to desired size and place on a plate
- Chop up the mozzarella into slices and place on top of the tomato, add black pepper and any other preferred spices
- You can also add some guacamole on top for added taste and healthy fats.