A few weeks back I shared that I had teamed up with the lovely people at St Helen's Farm. The company is health conscious and driven, very much like myself, meaning it was always going to be a pretty good match.
I actually really enjoy going food shopping, not when it's busy though...I'm a browser and need space and time! Certainly in the larger supermarkets, we are very spoilt for choice. Since completing my dissertation (5 years ago now...time flies!) on the impact food labelling, the range on the shelves has developed dramatically. My cousin works as a buyer at Asda and she's constantly being made to reduce the amount of shelf space she has for her juices and smoothies products to 'Free from' products. We've all seen them - the soya Milk, the dairy free yoghurts, the lactose free cheese, they are taking over our shelves! It’s great that we now have more options on the shelves that suit our individual needs.
Ive said it before in a previous blog post and I'll say it again. You are what you eat. If you eat rubbish, you're likely going to feel rubbish. You eat well, you're going to look and feel well. Diet of an athlete is a complex subject. Firstly it's not a one size fits all process. It depends on the sport you do, the intensity of training, the length of training, the type of training, what phase of training the athlete is in, the injury history of the athlete.... I could go on and on! In the GB Women's Hockeys squad, there is huge variety in diets and needs of athletes and it's the job of us, as athletes, and our nutritionist to try and work out what works best.
In about 2014, I worked out that consuming cows milk dairy wasn't working the best for me. I was getting constant cramps and bloating and it wasn't pleasant. It was a bit tough trying to find the right alternative for me. The soya yoghurt and milk I started using just tasted a bit synthetic - my cereal or smoothies in the morning didn't quite taste the same. Looking at the ingredients, contained a a fair few synthetic ingredients. As athletes we've got to know what we are consuming, the more natural the product or food the better in my opinion. To hide the artificial taste of non dairy, lots of yoghurt are now fruit flavoured. With fruit favouring, unfortunately, usually comes an abundance of added sugar. Top tip, next time check the label of your favourite fruit yoghurt and see how much added sugar has been added...
I started using St Helen's Farm products about a year ago now and and my tummy and I are very glad for it. Their products have allowed me to enjoy traditional dairy based meals and snacks again without a synthetic taste. Products wise the full fat yoghurt and semi skimmed milk are two staples to be found in my often over full fridge. They are both used daily. Milk in either porridge, smoothies or a protein hit before bed. Yoghurt consumed throughout the day. Topping for protein pancakes, mixed with some granola at breakfast, a mid afternoon snack topped with berries or a post dinner snack mixed with cinnamon. I also love a warm Goats Cheese salad topped with toasted Walnuts and added Quinoa for a protein boost.
In the next few days I'll be posting some of the recipes I have mentioned that use St Helen's Farm products. If you make any, let me know how you get on by me on social by clicking the links below.
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