Breakfast

Tips on buying breakfast from Sainsbury’s

(local stores)

  1. Choose a pot such as eggs and spinach or eggs spinach and avocado.
  2. Choose your protein such as smoked salmon or salmon steak / flakes or chicken (yes, you can eat chicken for breakfast, it’s not illegal and Mr Kelloggs won’t beat you up).
  3. Choose a shot (optional)
  4. Do your best to avoid cereal. For more info on why, click here.
  5. Do your best to avoid bread, croissants etc. Most coffee shops and supermarkets heat (NOT MAKE) their own bread because the smell permeates the store. This is deliberate because its customers are normally hungry. The smell then stirs the taste buds, tummies and brains of the customers present into a frenzy of shit quality bread purchasing zombies.

Eggs, spinach and eggs spinach

You can add smoked, flaked or salmon filet to this and avocado. If you purchase avocado it would be wise to bear your lunch in mind and or breakfast the next because avocados have a tendency to be one of those items you forget about and go off and they ain’t cheap…

It would be wise to pair a lunch relatively low in fat such as a tuna salad from Pret or a bag of salad leaves and add your own chicken . breast and olive oil dressing.

Lunch

Tips on buying lunch from Sainsbury’s (local stores)

  1. Choose a salad bag (leaves)
  2. Choose your protein (packet of chicken, salmon, prawns etc)
  3. Choose a grain based salad (optional)
  4. Prepare your own protein and add a salad

The directions above typically cover two small to medium size meals, definitely two meals if adding a grain based salad such as cous cous. I advise only adding grains, a third of a pot, if you are restricting calories and weight loss is a primary goal.

The two meals can be eaten during the same day or be kept in a fridge and eaten the following day. In the picture below I have bought 300g of chicken, a salad bag, a pot of nuts and a greek yogurt. I also brought in two Tupperware boxes to keep it all in.

Please note, that pot of yoghurt has over 600 cals and I do not advise having this unless you are on your feet actively training people and yourself for over 8 hours a day.   

1. Choose a salad bag (leaves)

2. Choose your protein (packet of chicken, salmon, prawns etc)

3. Choose a grain based salad (optional)

I say ‘optional’ because these salad are often quite high in calories as they can include olives, goats cheese and sun dried toms etc. In addition they may also contain a teaspoon or so of sugar depending on the dressing. I advise the inclusion of a grain based salad on high intensity or long duration training day and only using half a pot at that.

4. Prepare your own protein and add a salad

When cooking your evening meal, more often than not you will have a chance to at least prepare some protein for the next day’s lunch. For ease, with your weekly food and meal planning you can double up the meat you are using or double the size of the meal.

Here, Rachel made chicken for dinner but prepped some chicken breasts with some seasoning the night before. I have simply added some spinach, a grains salad (as it was a long day at work and I needed the cals) and some olive oil.

Snacks

Savoury snacks

There will be times you just want a savoury snack. There may be physiological reasons as to why but rather than look at this too scientifically, fuck it, just have something because life is too short. That said, if you are going to eat something considered as shit, try to eat shit that will do minimal damage. You can use this phrase as I do when push comes to shove, ‘if you’re going to eat shit, eat good shit’. 

Look for snacks that have low calories but are not fat free products. This carries it’s own problems which you can read about here.

Avoid common potato crisps and snacks due to their processing and the shit oil that is used to cook them and go for gain based or gluten free options even if you aren’t gluten free. More often than not they are not as bad as conventional snacks but they can still carry their own problems such as high salt content. Be sure to check you are looking at the ‘portion’ size for salt. What you may think is a portion, half a pack of zingy salted rice cakes, may well end up to being twice your RDA of salt.

Sweet snacks

There isn’t much out there in the way of sweet snacks that aren’t either full of sugar and or artificial sweeteners. There’s an abundance of protein bars the supermarkets now sell such as the Grenade brand (see below) and worst case scenario, opt for one of these rather than a chocolate bar but I have found that dark chocolate rice or corn thins can fill a gap when your taste buds won’t shut up. Another far healthier option is to choose a pot of dark fruit such as berries or a pink grapefruit. Try to avoid yellow fruit such as mango, pineapple as they are much higher in sugar and I advise only eating bananas around your training.

Yogurts

In the picture below there are some yogurt choices. I have pictured the Arla product because I’ve been asked by several clients about it and other brands like it that offer high protein / low fat yogurt snacks. In short, they are highly processed. They have to be to have the fat taken out, the protein put in along with the flavouring. You are better off choosing a Live Bio Yogurt.

Snack size pots are 150g but they are also sold in express supermarkets in 350 and 500ml pots so be careful of consumption. A 500ml pot of yoghurt can have up to 600 calories and 6 teaspoons of sugar and that’s just the plain ones.

The pots to the right (Yeo / Kefir) have their nutrients quoted per/100g. This means, total sugar non flavoured will have 8.1g of sugar and the flavoured pot will have 14.3g of sugar. Bear in mind that a teaspoon of table sugar is between 4 and 5g you will now see how much sugar is added to what’s commonly know as ‘healthy snacks’. It’s best to have plain if you really want a diary type snack with your lunch.

On a side, coconut and lactose free based yoghurts are very similar in calories and sugar. Always reed the label!

Lactose and lactose intolerance

FYI, if you are, or think you are, or have branded yourself without clinical identification to be lactose intolerant, the fermentation process significantly reduces lactose (the sugar molecule in dairy that is undigestible if you are lactose intolerant) in kefir yogurt and milk.

This is because bacteria feed on the lactose in the milk producing lactic acid which changes the structure of the milk proteins and causes it to curdle.

For more info, here is a study written by experts explaining fermentation and here are 9 health benefits of kefir yoghurt.

Fruit

Fruit

When choosing fruit be mindful of the sugar it contains and not to over eat it. If you are watching calories and aiming to lose weight I advise limiting yellow fruit and dried fruit which contain the most sugar. Blackberries, raspberries and strawberries contain the least sugar.

Some fruit is also now genetically modified to be sweeter such as cotton and grapes that contain 4 teaspoons of sugar per 80g serving*. More on those little fuckers here.

*Please note that a widely used portion size / weight for fruit is 80g. This works well for fruit such as grapes and berries but not for an item of fruit such as a banana (ave weight 151) and an apple (ave weight 160g). Here is a comprehensive list of average fruit weights from the foods standards agency.

Below is a table showing the sugar content of popular fruit.

Fruit juice

Personally, avoid fruit juice and smoothies at all costs. In fact, you’d be wise to use the mantra of ‘not drinking calories’ especially from fruit juice and smoothies. Most of is gets dried, rehydrated, fortified, sweetened and then packaged. Clever marketing and advertising help sales by adding 2% cucumber or kale and then calling it ‘innocent. Here’s an article containing more info.

A quick mention must go to fibre which sets fruit apart from other high sugar foods that rarely contain it. Fibre is important for health and digestion by adding bulk to the stool and can also help food pass more freely through the stomach and intestines.

It also slows the absorption of sugar reducing the body’s insulin response.

More on fibre here.

Olive Oil / dressing

Extra Virgin Oils

Rather than use the salad dressings that accompany the salads, my advice would be to purchase a good quality extra virgin oils such as olive, avocado and flaxseed. Opt for cold pressed when possible and keep it at your office / desk for lunches. Salad dressings can have lots of hidden calories in the form of sugar so it is best to replace them with this excellent alternative. Here are some of the benefits should you wish to read more.