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More research suggests soy is safe for breast cancer banner
More research suggests soy is safe for breast cancer banner

More research suggests soy is safe for breast cancer

Soy milk, tofu and tempeh could be important menu items for those with breast cancer. It’s well documented that the breast cancer risk is lower in Asian countries, where soy consumption is much higher. And while the science is still developing, the link is strengthening all the time between eating soy and surviving breast cancer in Asian and western countries alike.

What’s new?

A study published recently in the journal Cancer investigated the diets of more than 6,000 women with breast cancer in America and Canada. Over 9 years, the study showed that women who ate the most soy had a 21% lower risk of death than those who ate very little. Soy had no negative impact on women who were taking tamoxifen, a drug used to treat and prevent the recurrence of breast cancer.

However, even those women who reported consuming the most soy isoflavones ate very little (just over or equal to 1.5mg daily) in comparison to Asian people, who typically consume 30-50mg per day. So, it’s likely that more soy isoflavones will provide greater protection.

What about reducing my breast cancer risk?

A growing number of population studies are showing that soy has positive effects on breast cancer protection and survival.

A meta-analysis of three Chinese and two US prospective studies involving more than 11,000 women found that after breast cancer diagnosis, the women with the highest soy isoflavone intake had a 16% lower risk of death and were 26% less likely to have their breast cancer return.

Studies are also finding that when girls have 1-1½ servings of soy each day during childhood and adolescence, their risk of breast cancer later in life can be reduced by as much as 28% to a hugely significant 60%. This suggests that the best protection may be achieved by eating soy early in life and continuing from there.

Not only does soy have great cancer protective potential, many other studies show that it is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, can improve blood sugar control, and can lower blood cholesterol.

How many soy isoflavones should I have each day?

For centuries, one third of the world’s population has regularly consumed soy. In Japan, the average isoflavone intake ranges from 30 to 50mg (up to 3 serves of soy) per day, while in the US and Europe, it’s less than 3mg.

Traditional foods such as soy milk and tofu can contain 10-30mg or more of isoflavones per serving. As many as 1-3 serves of soy per day (as part of a healthy balanced diet) can offer both nutritional and health benefits.

 

Soy food Serving Isoflavone content
Soy beans (cooked), including edamame 1 cup (150g) 21-29mg
Soy milk, fortified or flavoured 1 cup (250ml) 3-78mg
Firm tofu 170g 5-242mg
Tempeh 170g 12-304mg
Soy burger 1 burger (85g) 0.3-11mg
Soy and linseed bread 2 slices (80g) 7-15mg

Source: USDA Database for the Isoflavone Content of Selected Foods

What do the guidelines say?

In 2012, both the American Institute for Cancer Research and the American Cancer Society concluded that soy foods are safe for breast cancer patients. In their nutrition guidelines, they state: “… for the breast cancer survivor, current evidence suggests no adverse effects on recurrence or survival from consuming soy and soy foods, and there is the potential for these foods to exert a positive synergistic effect with tamoxifen.”

Cancer Council Australia also “supports the consumption of soy foods in the diet. This is consistent with Cancer Council recommendations and national dietary guidelines to eat a diet high in plant based foods”.

What else can I do to reduce my breast cancer risk or improve my health if I already have breast cancer?

Growing evidence shows that maintaining a healthy weight, eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, limiting alcohol and keeping physically active can also improve overall wellbeing, reduce breast cancer risk, and increase breast cancer survival.

So is soy safe?

The totality of evidence suggests that increased soy consumption throughout life, especially of traditional foods such as soy milk, tofu and tempeh, may not only decrease the risk of breast cancer risk but also benefit those who already have breast cancer.

Going plant based: better for your body and the planet banner
Going plant based: better for your body and the planet banner

Going plant based: better for your body and the planet

What are your resolutions for 2018? Eating more plant foods is set to be one of the biggest trends. It’s already gaining momentum with Pinterest searches and saves for plant proteins up 417% in the past 12 months, vegan desserts gaining in popularity and restaurant chefs expected to be replacing meat with plants by featuring tofu and tempeh in more dishes. Even fast food outlets are jumping on board, with Dominos now offering vegan cheese and Maccas turning McVegan. And have you heard about Veganuary?

So, whether you make 2018 the year you commit to eating more veggies, becoming a ‘Weekday Vegetarian’ or going completely vegetarian, the switch to eating more plants has never been easier. Plus it’s a decision that can be a healthy win-win for you and the planet.
 

Healthy you

You are probably aware of the longer term benefits of eating mainly plant foods with research showing it can help you live longer and reduce the risk of chronic disease including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and some cancers.
 
But what about here and now?
 
Well eating less animal foods that are higher in saturated fat and eating more plant foods like nutrient rich fruit, veggies, wholegrains, legumes, nuts and seeds has a wide range of immediate health benefits from boosting your immunity to increasing your energy levels, and can even improve your complexion.
 
If weight loss was also part of your New Year’s resolution, eating more plant foods could also help you achieve this goal. As well as being big on nutrients, plant-based foods provide plenty of dietary fibre. This will keep you feeling full for longer and help fend off cravings for less healthy snacks.
 

Healthy world

Did you know animal foods are the planet’s leading source of greenhouse gas emissions, more than all transports combined? A new global study has found that by switching to a healthier diet and simply eating in line with our dietary guidelines, Australia could reduce greenhouse gases from food production by up to 25%. For most Australians, following our dietary guidelines simply means cutting back on meat and eating more plant foods. 
 
From here, each move towards a more plant-based diet has an even better impact on the environment. In another study that compared the environmental impacts of different diets, the less animal products eaten, the lower the carbon footprint – with the least for vegan diets.
 
The important message is that every bit helps.


 

Tips for going green

So, if 2018 is your year to go green, here are four tips to make eating more plant foods easy:
 
Eat veggies at every meal

Australians have a long way to go to meet the recommended 5 serves of veggies a day, with just 7% of us managing to meet this target. To make it achievable, we really need to be striving to add veggies to every meal. Breakfast is often the biggest hurdle but this can be as simple as adding some spinach or left over roast pumpkin to your morning omelette, adding some greens to a smoothie or spreading your toast with avo.
 

Go local and seasonal

Local produce that’s in season is fresh, delicious and generally cheaper, so make the most of it. Stocking the fridge with seasonal fruit and veggies will not only inspire you to eat more plant foods, it will also help to support local growers and is a more sustainable choice, reducing the need for storage and transport.
 

Prep your plants

Try prepping your veggies for the day or the week in advance. Keep chopped up veggie sticks and fruit in the fridge for a ready-to-go snack, pre-make versatile dips and spreads like hummus that can be frozen in ice cube containers for a single serve, have canned legumes in the pantry so they are ready for the week ahead or roast up a tray of veggies to add to meals. Check out more great ideas here.
 

Rework the ratios

If you’re not cutting out meat all together, try to stick to the dietary guidelines. It’s all too common to see oversized steaks or schnitzels falling off our plates. The recommended size for a serve of red meat is actually about the size of a pack of playing cards. By cutting back on meat, you’ll naturally tend to load up on more veggies achieving a healthier balance for you and the environment.
 

RECIPES

Try these delicious recipes to help you increase your serves of plant food across the day.


Want even more ways to up your veg intake?

Check out this new video with easy tips to Veggie Prep Your Day.

12 surprising sources of protein banner
12 surprising sources of protein banner

12 surprising sources of protein

No meat, no worries. When it comes getting enough protein, there’s an abundance of plant foods that deliver a protein punch.

Protein is important for growth, tissue repair and recovery from exercise. It’s made up of smaller parts called amino acids. There 20 amino acids that we need for good health. Our bodies can make 11 and the other nine need to come from our food – these are known as ‘essential’ amino acids.
 
Some foods provide a few essential amino acids, others provide them all. If you eat a wide variety of food you’ll be sure to get the protein you need. In fact, most Australians exceed their daily protein target.
 

Here are 12 surprising sources of protein:

1. Pistachio30g handful = 6g protein
These tasty little morsels are the perfect package providing the awesome combination of plant protein, iron and zinc – important nutrients if you are on a vegetarian diet. Pistachios and almonds have the most protein of all nuts with just one handful containing 6 grams. Another nutty option is cashews, providing 5 grams of protein in one handful.  

2. Peas – a cup (cooked) = 7g
Pass the peas please! Like all legumes, peas pack a protein punch with a cup of peas providing almost 8g of protein. These little dynamos are also big on fibre, vitamin C and vitamin K. Now forget the mushy, over boiled peas your mum served you as a kid and think about the burst of sweetness from adding fresh peas to salads, pastas, frittatas or even pureed in pestos.

3. Amaranth – half a cup (cooked) = 4.7g
Amaranth is the cousin to the “on trend” quinoa and is rising in popularity because of its high protein content. This ancient pseudo-grain (it’s actually a seed) is gluten-free and contains all the essential amino acids. It can be popped to create a crunchy topping, cooked into porridge, used in salads like quinoa or ground into flour.

4. Cereal – two wheat biscuits = 3.63g
Aiming for 20g of protein at brekkie may help regulate your appetite and keep you full for longer. To hit this target, there’s no need to fuss with a fry up. Wholegrain wheat is a source of amino acids with something as quick and easy as two wholegrain breakfast biscuits containing 3.63g of protein - and that’s before you add milk. A serve of oats provides 5g of protein and there are also high protein breakfast cereals now available. So cereal + milk + a latte will quickly add up to 20g of protein.

5. Soy beans – 150g (1 cup) (cooked) = 20.2g 
Soy beans knock it out of the park when it comes to protein. They contain all nine essential amino acids and the amount of protein they provide per serve is almost as much as meat. What’s even better, you’ll gain the benefits no matter whether you eat soy beans in their pod or in the foods soy beans are used to make such as tofu, tempeh, and many meat alternatives. (170g of tofu provides 20.4g of protein and 100g tempeh provides 23.2g.)

6. Milk (Soy or Cow) – a cup of low fat milk = 9.5g
If you are looking for an excuse for your morning cappuccino here it is! Milk and fortified soy milks really are a glass of goodness, providing all the essential amino acids, as well as B group vitamins, calcium, phosphorus and potassium. If you prefer milk alternatives, there’s no need to miss out on the protein, with soy milk providing as much protein per cup, plus other nutrients.

7. Potato – medium size potato = 4g
The humble spud often gets a bad rap in the nutrition stakes, but a tasty potato should not be dismissed. A medium sized potato will provide around 4g of protein and is also a good source of potassium. Try baking them whole and enjoy skin and all, for extra fibre and B group vitamins. 

8.  Peanut butter – 1 tablespoon = 5g
Whether snacking on apple slices with peanut butter, or spreading it on your morning toast, this favourite spread stacks up, providing essential amino acids, vitamin E and magnesium. In fact all nut butters contain protein, so if you’re not a peanut fan try almond butter or the popular ABC spread which contains a nutritious mix of almonds, Brazil nuts and cashews.

9. Broad beans – 150g (1 cup) serve = 11g  
This ancient bean was one of the first farmed crops. In fact evidence of broad beans were even found by archaeologists among excavations of ancient Troy. Known as the kings of beans, broad beans are full of nutrients with a 150g serve providing 11g protein as well as fibre, folate, vitamin C, iron, riboflavin and thiamine.

10. Yoghurt – two thirds of a cup of low fat yoghurt = 12.7g
Yoghurt is a great addition to cereals, smoothies and snacks for a protein boost. The amount of protein will vary from product to product, with natural and Greek-style yoghurts generally containing the most protein, some as high as 15g a serve. Choose plain or natural varieties if you are after less sugar and a yoghurt with at least 100 million colony forming units (CFU) if you are looking for yoghurt that provides good bacteria.

11. Chia seeds – 2 tablespoons = 6g
These tiny seeds have a long list of nutrition credentials including an unusually high amount of omega-3 – an essential fatty acid for brain function and heart health – plenty of calcium, loads of fibre and an excellent source of protein. They are also incredibly versatile, which is why you are now seeing them added to so many recipes and supermarket products. Try chia sprinkled on salads or cereal, added to bliss balls or smoothies, or even soaked overnight ready to start the day with a chia pudding. Now that’s a super food!

12. Chickpeas – 1 cup (cooked) = 11.8g
Chickpeas are budget-friendly nutrition at its best. They are cheap to buy, low in fat, low GI and a good source of B group vitamins, iron, zinc, folate and magnesium. They are also an excellent way to add amino acids to your diet. Mix them with tahini (sesame paste) to make a hummus and you’ll tick the box for a nutritious spread that is a complete protein – a reason to eat more hummus, yes please!

In fact, any legumes are a great source of plant protein with a cup of lentils providing 10.2g and even the old pantry staple, three bean mix containing 5.6g of protein a cup.

Party tricks to help you eat healthy banner
Party tricks to help you eat healthy banner

Party tricks to help you eat healthy

It’s called the ‘silly season’ for a reason but Christmas doesn’t mean your health goals should veer off track!

Did you know... on average Australians gain between 0.8-1.5kg over this period? But you can navigate your way through the holiday season's parties with these easy tips to keep your body and health on track for the new year.

Navigate the party food table

The food table at any party can be a trap for even the healthiest person in the room but these are ways to navigate the healthier options: 

Eat dinner before you go

The easiest way to successfully avoid the food table at any party is to eat beforehand. Having a light, healthy dinner before heading out means you’ll be feeling full and less likely to overindulge.

Smart positioning - far from the food table

If you stand next to the food table, you're more likely to eat what you see in front of you. Avoid temptation and stand on the other side of the room.

Snack smart

Most party food tables will have healthier food options. Instead of a handful of chips, choose cut up vegetables dipped in hummus or salsa, fruit pieces, sushi or a handful of nuts.

5 healthy ways to navigate a restaurant menu

We tend to eat out more during the silly season, catching up with family and friends, which also tends to mean we eat more than we usually would. But your everyday choices during the holiday season could help your waistline fight off that Christmas creep.

When eating at a restaurant:

  1. Choose grilled or baked rather than fried or battered
  2. Swap white bread for wholegrain
  3. Swap butter for olive oil
  4. Ask for dishes based on rice or pasta and plenty of vegetables
  5. Keep track of how many treats you’ve had in a food diary. Writing down your treats will help you to not overindulge.  

Navigate holiday eating

When you’re on holiday and out of your regular environment, finding healthy options can sometimes be difficult. When waiting at the airport or driving on a road trip, a bit of planning can help you stay on track.

Plan not to skip breakfast

Breakfast is one meal in the day where it’s easy to eat light and healthy. Start the day right by making the most of healthy options provided where you're staying or step out and buy your own.

Snack attack - head to the supermarket

Don’t fall into the snacking trap of chips, chocolate and lollies. It'll leave you feeling sluggish and your hunger won’t be satisfied. Instead, head to the local supermarket and stock up on nuts, oat-based muesli bars, fruit and wholegrain crackers and cheese to keep you going when you get peckish.

Carry water

Always have a bottle of water handy. It's the best drink for you and will also help stop you from overindulging when you’re hungry.

Moderation: how to celebrate and stay healthy banner
Moderation: how to celebrate and stay healthy banner

Moderation: how to celebrate and stay healthy

There’s nothing like a good celebration, bringing friends and family together to enjoy all we’re thankful for. And more often than not, we celebrate over food.

It’s enjoyable and rewarding to prepare a meal for those we care about, and we relish the sights, smells and tastes that come with it. Just a whiff of a certain spice can take us right back to childhood, and while our memory of the events themselves might become less reliable over time, we’ll never forget the taste of a delicious family meal.

Part of the reason these meals stand out in our memories is that they’re so different from our everyday food routine. We indulge ourselves with friends and family, which is fine as long as this is an exception to a generally healthy diet. It’s when these indulgent food choices become the norm that we can run into trouble. So how do we ensure we enjoy the celebrations, but keep them in proportion to a balanced lifestyle?

Moderation

We hear the dreaded word “moderation” all the time, but there are a lot of misconceptions about exactly what moderation is for healthy bodies, hearts and minds.

Most importantly, it isn’t about deprivation, it’s about balance – finding that place where we enjoy our food without allowing the choices we’ve made affect our longterm health.

However, “everything in moderation” is also not a free pass to eat anything and everything. It’s about understanding the role certain foods can play in a healthy diet and not beating ourselves up for choosing to indulge every now and again.

Let’s look at some practical tips to stick with moderation when celebrating with family and friends.

1. Save yourself for the main event

We’ve all been to a party where we’ve filled up on the delicious finger foods that come around before dinner. Then we still eat a hearty dinner … and then there’s dessert. So try to stick with the plant-based finger foods like veggie sticks and hummus, and avoid the deep-fried or pastry-heavy options. Use the time before the main meal to catch up on some conversation over a drink. Speaking of drinks …

2. Don’t drink a meal’s worth of kilojoules

Soft drinks and alcohol pack a wallop of empty kilojoules that don’t fill you up, so it’s easy to overdrink. Grab some sparkling water instead with a wedge of your favourite citrus fruit or berries crushed into the glass, or go for a low-kilojoule option you can drink all night long.

3. Plant yourself in front of the plants

If the dinner table has all the food spread out to share, try to sit by the vegetables and take a good helping of them first. Then you’ll usually find that you don’t have to try so hard to eat less of the poorer choices.

4. Enjoy your dessert

Indulging yourself at the end of a meal should be enjoyable, but you don’t have to eat a huge helping. Also, if you’ve got a choice of desserts, be sure the one you pick is the one you really want.

Think about it first. Do you want a smooth or crunchy texture? Do you feel like a hot or cold treat? Would you prefer something light and fresh or rich and creamy? That way, you’re more likely to end up satisfied, and less likely to eat your way through the dessert table until you find one that hits the spot.

5. Don't be hard on yourself

The way we look back afterwards on what we’ve eaten is just as important as thinking about it while we’re making our choices. Don’t be hard on yourself. Tomorrow is another day when it comes to food choices – you’ll have another chance at your next meal, even!

Building good eating habits, by prioritising core food groups such as vegetables, legumes, fruit and wholegrains, will help you to enjoy a healthy relationship with those tempting treats.

 

Healthy eating on a budget banner
Healthy eating on a budget banner

Healthy eating on a budget

There’s a common misconception that healthy eating has to be expensive, but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, in most cases, the foods that should be eaten most as part of a healthy balanced diet are some of the cheapest foods in the supermarket.

So how do you save your wallet and your health at the same time?

Here are some of our favourite tips

Make a list

Put simply, when you make a shopping list, it helps you to stop grabbing stuff you don’t need. To make a list, you also need to plan out your meals as well, so you only buy as much as you need, reducing the wasted food that just ends up getting thrown out. The average family in New Zealand throws out $563 worth of food a year, so something as simple as making a list can be a great money saver.

Shop seasonally

A healthy diet should be filled mostly with whole vegetables and fruits – they fill us up and are full of vitamins, minerals and fibre. But you need to pay attention to what’s in season to get the most bang for your buck. You don’t have to buy tomatoes when they’re $12 a kg, have a look around the fresh food section and keep an eye out for cheaper in-season produce.

Be willing to do a little kitchen prep

Things like pre-cut fruits and vegetables or quick cook brown rice can be a great time saver in the kitchen, but they’re also significantly more expensive than their unprocessed counterparts. By being willing to do that bit of extra food prep yourself, you can see a significant saving on your weekly shop.

Health tip

Buying in bulk doesn’t always turn out to be better value - a 3 litre bottle of milk might cost less per litre than a 2 litre bottle, but if you only use 2 litres before it goes off, you would have been better off buying the smaller bottle. To save money, only buy what you need.

Our best budget buys

Dried beans and legumes

A fraction of the cost of canned beans and a great starting point for any healthy meal, whether you’re on a budget or not. Cook up a big batch all at once and freeze portions for a convenient grab and go ingredient for a mid week dinner.

Not so basic veg

Certain vegetables like carrots, cauliflower and broccoli tend to be great value all year round. Bring some variety to these great value veggies with a drizzle of honey or a sprinkle of dukkah. A little spice mix can go a long way in lifting a cheap and simple meal.

Fill up fruit

Processed snack foods can be some of the most expensive items in the supermarket. Instead of reaching for the chocolates or biscuits, check out what fruit is in season. It’s a ready to go snack that’s cheaper, much more filling and bursting with flavour and nutrition.

Branching out: resetting our screen time addiction with nature banner
Branching out: resetting our screen time addiction with nature banner

Branching out: resetting our screen time addiction with nature

Australians are spending more than nine hours a day in front of screens – that’s more time than some of us spend sleeping!

For many of us, screens are not only an essential part of our work, but an essential part of our lives. Often, we simply don’t have the option to put ourselves on a total screen time ban. But it is worth keeping an eye on the amount of time your screen is taking up in a day as too much screen time has been linked to anxiety, depression and reduced sleep quality.
 

Is nature the solution?

Whether it’s outdoor daily exercise, a weekly walk through the bush or along the beach, or simply spending time in the garden, research consistently shows that spending time in nature can reduce anxiety, improve mood and strengthen your relationships. Just 30 minutes a week can make a difference.

So if too much screen time increases anxiety and getting into nature reduces it, why not try a direct swap? Find some time – whether it’s an hour a day or an hour a week – to put your phone down and get outside.
 

Swapping screens for nature: tips to inspire you

Start small: Is your phone the first thing you reach for when you wake up? Before you go to bed, pop it in a drawer or leave it charging in the kitchen. When you wake up, head outside for those first 10 minutes you’d normally spend mindlessly scrolling and spend that time doing some outside stretching, meditating, or just appreciating the new day. Then you can grab your phone!

Meet you for a walk: Consider inviting your colleagues to take part in the swap, and invite them on a ‘walking meeting’. This gets everyone up and out of the office, with the added benefit of getting you moving and using nature to inspire fresh thinking.

Bring nature inside: We can’t be outside all the time, so why not bring a bit of nature inside? Plants on your desk at work and throughout your home will not only give you a sense of nature and improve the air quality, they also look great.

Screentime addict? There’s an app for that. Here are some of our favourite apps that can help you unplug and recharge:
 
  • Moment (iOS) – track how much you and your family use your phone and tablet each day, with the option to set daily limits.
  • Headspace (Android and iOS): Turn your phone to ‘do not disturb’ and switch on a guided meditation with one of the most soothing voices online.
  • AppDetox (Android): If apps are your vice, AppDetox can help you put down the Candy Crush and pick up your running shoes. Set your own parameters and be reminded when you need to put down your phone.
Family fitness and fun banner
Family fitness and fun banner

Family fitness and fun

Are you looking for kids’ activities over the school holidays?

Many youngsters are spending more time than ever on screens, so inspire your kids to stay active this summer by building their strength and confidence through outdoor activity.

It’s the perfect weather to hit the pool or park for some family swimming, running or bike riding. Not only will the kids love the chance to get out and about and have some fun, but you’ll benefit by spending time with them and staying active.

Your family could even train for a real event, such as the Sanitarium Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon series which kicks off in late January and is the biggest under 16s kids triathlon in the world. There are events in Sydney, the Central Coast, Canberra, Bendigo, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, the Gold Coast, Brisbane and Townsville.

If there isn’t a Kids TRYathlon event near you, plan a fun family event or invite your children’s friends to participate.

Along with your training, it’s important to keep in mind that what you and your children eat and drink before, during and after exercise can directly affect how your bodies perform. Just like a car, your body needs the best fuel for it to operate at its peak.

Tips for family training

Drink water

Our bodies are made up of 50-75% water, depending on body type, so keeping your hydration levels high before exercise is just as important as replenishing them after. Make sure you and your child are well hydrated before starting any exercise.

If you or your child are exercising for less than an hour, there is no need to drink during that time, especially if you hydrated well beforehand.

If you must drink, water or diluted juice or cordial are the best options. In a race like the Sanitarium Weet-Bix Kids TRY-athlon, having a sip of water during transitions or on the cycling leg are the best times.

Eat the right foods

Carbohydrates are your friend! Carbohydrate is the main source of energy bodies use when exercising and carbohydrates come from energy dense foods like pasta, rice, bread and potatoes. Carbohydrate rich foods should be the main part of your diet (55%) and eating them before an exercise session, the night before or for breakfast, will help give you and your child’s bodies enough energy to get through the session.

Remember, healthy bodies also need protein and fat as well. Protein-rich foods include legumes, dairy, meat and fish and these should make up 15-20% of your diet, and fat from plant sources rather than from animal fat should make up 30% of your diet. Combining carbohydrates, protein and fat in your meals will give your body the balance it needs.

When and what to eat before training

Generally, have a good, carbohydrate-rich meal 2-3 hours before exercise. A bread roll, sandwich or pasta is perfect! The night before a race, eat a filling dinner, high in carbohydrates to stock up your muscle fuel stores.

The morning of a race? Don’t skip breakfast! Try cereal, fruit juice, toast or English muffins 2-3 hours before the race. If eating in the morning makes you feel nauseous, try a liquid breakfast like an UP&GO or a smoothie.

What to eat and drink after training

Replenishing fluids is the most important thing to do after exercise, followed by eating foods that are high in carbohydrates.

Drink water or a diluted fruit juice or cordial to rehydrate your body quickly. You should drink at least two glasses of water post-race to replenish the fluid you lose from sweat, and avoid caffeinated drinks that will only dehydrate you further.

The post training meal is even more important than the pre-training meal! Not only does it replenish your body’s energy but eating the right food after exercise will help your body use its energy more efficiently.

Carbohydrate-rich meals are again the most effective to replace energy stores, repair muscles and to help maintain and protect the immune system. Try pasta, yoghurt and muesli, fruit, muesli bars, rice dishes or a sandwich.

Make training fun

Training and competing isn’t all about winning, it’s about inspiring children to develop a lifelong love of exercise and outdoor activity, which will benefit them in years to come.