Tips from a Tennis Pro

Resident health ambassador, Mike Shiplett

Are you stressed for time each and every week? Maybe even on a daily basis? This pressure can have a severe effect on your health and how you eat. It’s important to plan ahead to keep an optimal level of healthy eats at your fingertips. Every fitness person or athlete will tell you of the importance of structuring your weekly food plan and planning ahead for convenience. It will not take as much time as you might think and the relief of reaching in the fridge for your lunch and getting out the door will be one less thing to think about!

As a tennis player, I am at the mercy of scheduling when entering tournaments.  I am always prepared with snacks for in between matches when my hunger can roar in like a charging lion. Simple snacks like bananas and apples are perfect for a fresh choice. Bananas are a favorite for all tennis players because the potassium can prevent muscle cramping. I always have apples, grapes, or some type of fruit for a clean snack that leaves me feeling energized.  The same can be said for a pre workout routine – oranges, peaches, watermelon – t o name a few – can put a zing in your step and give you the energy to blast through a workout without giving you the feeling of being bloated and stuffed.

Healthy choices should be simple for planning your food sources when preplanning lunch for a few days.  I’ve heard people say ‘it’s too expensive to eat healthy’ and that is not true. How much does one fast food meal cost in comparison to buying an array of fresh vegetables that can be steamed or prepared in an amazing salad? Look in your produce section and you will be surprised at what you can afford. I always have an array of produce that I can package, grab, and go each day. It makes snacking at work easy, healthy, and affordable. No more vending machine stuff and that ridiculously fattening meal that came in a grease soaked bag could never benefit your health.  It will take you minutes to think ahead and plan your lunch!

How about on Sunday afternoon – cook a package of brown rice, heat up some soy tempeh or black beans, and look what you have! A base for lunch that is delicious and optimal for your health and physique. Brown rice is a smart carb choice and the tempeh gives you the protein you need.  Get creative and spice up the meal with some salsa or spicy corn or green beans and you have an exciting  lunch that you will love and enjoy. You will look forward to lunch every day!

Just do it. Take a few minutes to plan. Consider the benefits. It takes very little time to preplan your lunches for a few days or to prepare snacks for a sporting activity. Your waistline, your health and your mental wellbeing will thank you!

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Volume 1, Issue 3, Posted 5:37 PM, 04.10.2013