GB athlete Charlene Thomas wrote to us recently to say she is preparing and looking forward to the 2016 track season. Charlene, along with her nutritionist have been focusing on the importance of nutrition and how Charlene can incorporate more vitamins, minerals and protein into her diet.
"At the start of my 2015-2016 campaign, as most athletes do, especially in the build up to an Olympic year, I wondered what other improvements could be made to my regime. One area I looked at was my nutrition. I’ve not always been great at getting a lot of fruit and vegetables into my diet, mainly because my stomach has struggled with digesting the additional fibre. After speaking with my friend and training partner Cara, who fortunately for me happens to be a nutritionist, she suggested I purchase a Nutribullet, to make it easier for me to get some additional fruit and veg into my diet and digest it.
I would usually consume two recovery sports drinks a day after training, which are 4 parts carbohydrate and 1 part protein to aid my recovery. These drinks have been great but they don’t have the vitamins and minerals in them which my body needs to increase immunity and encourage good health. I decided to replace my morning sports drink with a smoothie and with the help of Cara I was able to match the nutritional values of my sports drink. I still continue to use my sports drink after my evening sessions for convenience.
I soon discovered that my favourite smoothies include Delamere Dairy goats’ milk
I soon discovered that my favourite smoothies include Delamere Dairy goats’ milk and this certainly helps with getting in the protein, vitamins and minerals that I need to stay healthy and hydrates you much better than just water. I did have some disasters though and adding Avocado is a no no! My favourite recipe also includes blueberries that contain lots of vitamin C and K. They are beneficial for athletes in particular as they are renowned for their anti-inflammatory properties and also include cancer fighting chemicals. Ginger also helps reduce inflammation and another one of my favourite ingredients that gives your smoothie a good kick! I also like to include banana as they are easy to digest, enhance immune function and are good for bone health. Kewi Fruit also adds a good kick to the taste and is rich in vitamin C, vitamin E and Omega-3 fatty acids within its seeds.
I’ve always drank one big glass of Delamere Dairy goats’ milk, every evening for many years since I discovered my asthma improved dramatically after switching to goats’ milk. I’m also convinced drinking so much of the stuff has prevented me from developing any bone injuries as my bone density scans have produced results that Wolverine from the X-Men would be impressed with!
Since switching to a smoothie a day I have increased my goats’ milk intake, which I’m very happy with because I’m pretty sure I’m addicted to the stuff! I have also noticed a difference in my energy levels and general well being after increasing how much fresh fruit and vegetables that I am having. I’m training very well and looking forward to the 2016 track season."
Click here for Charlene's favourite smoothie recipe using bananas, blueberries and delamere dairy goats' milk. You can also follow Charlene's progress on her blog.