Performance Nutrition for Jiu Jitsu: Part 2 – Lunch

Garbanzo Bean Salad Garbanzo Bean Salad

Lunch should be simple and effective, just like a well-executed grappling technique. I use a few key ingredients that have a lot of variety and versatility. I don’t want to get bored, but I still need to receive the same cornerstone nutrients no matter the organization of the meal.

My favorite meal to make for lunch is a salad. Now I know what you’re thinking; salads are for chicks and vegans, right? Well that’s true, but as performance athletes we need them too. The salads I make are are tasty, versatile, and full of all the nutrients I need.

Garbanzo Bean SaladOn Sundays I meal prep. This involves me making two big salads that I can spread throughout the week. To fit into my diet, there are a few requirements the salads have to meet: they must contain greens and a non-meat protein. These traits help me transform this base salad into to a taco, or a sandwich, or any of several other configurations.

A couple of the salads I like to make are:

Both of these salads are easy to make and taste awesome. They both contain all the nutrients I need as an athlete as well. Tip: keep the dressing on the side.

A week of non-salad salads

Day 1: I will eat one of them as a salad by itself, I don’t need to add anything other than dressing. 

Day 2: With my salad I will usually add a protein. My favorite is a seafood burger from Orca Bay. I pick them up at Natural Grocers, but have found them at all health food stores. The burgers come frozen and already seasoned. It only takes 10 minutes to cook on a pan, and I like to cook them with coconut oil.

Day 3: Well, salad two days in a row is enough for me, but I still need the same amount of nutrients. So on the third day, I like to make fish tacos and use the Black Bean Salad for toppings. For tortillas I use Ezekiel Bread tortillas. These are made from sprouted grains and mostly gluten free. As a bonus, they taste good. Flour tortillas are not an option because they process as sugar in the body and make me feel like crap. 

Day 4: I will take the Bean Salad and use the rest in two spinach wraps and add some scrambled eggs cooked in coconut oil. I also add a wasabi mustard to the wraps and fish tacos; trust me, it’s awesome. 

Day 5: I take a portion of organic protein with sweet potato fries and finish off whatever remains in its original form as a salad. Throughout this process sometimes I add other ingredients, like chia or hemp seeds in the salads, green peppers or jalapeños, or whatever I feel like the dish needs. I rarely worry about consuming too much when it comes to vegetables, clean meats, and good burning carbs.

These kind of meals keep me moving and help me get the sleep I need. Rest is often overlooked but diet has a lot to do with sleep quality. The better quality our rest is the better recovery we will have, especially when our bodies can distribute the appropriate amount of nutrients.

Keep in mind, this meal plan is only an example of my diet as an athlete. This is what works best for me, you will need to find what works best for you, and hopefully you enjoy some of these ideas and can incorporate your own as well.

My diet is very simple and doesn’t stray much from a few ingredients. I find that lack of variety is easier on my body, not to mention my overall sanity. I hope this helps inspire and gives some insight to your diet versus your performance level.

All it takes is a little discipline and followthrough.

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