All in a day's work: Vicky the retiree
Vicky is retired but is a very active 69-year-old. She’s a distance runner training three times a week and is concerned about joint damage. Her BMI is on the low side but she’s seldom sick so it doesn’t worry her or her doctor. She says “I am always hungry because of all the exercise I get”.
Every day before breakfast I have a cup of tea and a glass of water. I also take a daily iron tablet.
Home-made muesli with trim milk, psyllium husk, banana, strawberries and low fat Greek yoghurt. Orange juice and instant coffee.
4 wheat and sesame crackers with Noble cheese (lower fat than normal cheddar). A small apple and a cookie given by a student while I was helping at a school athletic sports.
A large bowl of home-made chicken, vegetable and noodle soup plus a four seed grain roll with merest smear of butter and a home-made morning glory muffin (full of goodies).
Budget pepper steak (beef mince with parsley, salt, Tabasco and worcestershire sauce made into patties and coated in ground black pepper), baked potato and salad with a few roasted salted cashews on top. 1 standard glass of red wine as I prepare dinner and one bigger glass with dinner. Coffee and 3 squares of dark chocolate to follow.
1 orange. I always have a piece of fruit around this time.
Mikki Williden’s nutrition quick fix
As important as keeping inflammation low (thus aiding recovery), as we age we must also incorporate more protein to help preserve muscle mass, particularly those who are more active. You are aware of that which is good, but I think you could bump it up a bit.
This is particularly important given that athletes place their bodies under considerable oxidative stress and cell damage. More fat and protein in your diet will protect your muscles and joints, reduce inflammation and will definitely help your running.
Choose full fat dairy products rather than low fat as they will provide fat that helps you absorb vitamins A, D, E and K – essential for musculoskeletal repair and recovery. They have a certain type of fat called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which helps protect against the development of plaque in the arteries, heart disease and cancer and they leave you far more satisfied than their low fat counterparts.
Swap the orange juice for a green smoothie that incorporates antioxidants which can help reduce damage done to muscles after a hard workout. Try blending up spinach, 1/2 an apple, 1/2 an avocado, 1 Tbsp ground flaxseeds or chia seeds (the omega 3 fatty acids in seeds will help reduce inflammation), a handful of ice, 1/2 cup water, the juice of a lemon and an inch of ginger (which also helps with inflammation).
Play around with the ingredients to find one that suits you, but go easy on the fruit. You’ll be a lot less hungry come mid-morning.
Ensure you take your iron tablet outside of meals that contain dairy, fibre or phytic acid (such as oats) and drinks such as tea and coffee. The properties of these bind the iron and prevent absorption.