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England Rugby - Nutrition

Nutritional Guidelines for England Players and Coaches, 

This guide provides practical nutritional advice about the basic requirements for modern players, their coaches, parents, partners and team administrators alike.  It is not intended to cover the detail of the fine tuning of elite players, nor their supplementation at this level.


Getting your nutrition right is all about the ability to change your behaviour.  This isn’t easy.  At first there can be great challenges to drop poor eating habits and adopt new ones

.  There are a couple of important points to remember about food likes and dislikes. 


We tend to like what we do and do what we like.  As a consequence, we often have a very limited variety of foods we like and eat.  Changing this can seem impossible at first.  However, if you have ever tried to stop taking sugar in your tea, what you would find is that initially when you started your tea did not taste good, but after a few months it tastes fine again.  So the real question is; when were you having more fun, before or after stopping taking the sugar?  Obviously fun has little to do with this change or taste, at least after the initial shock.  You learn to like what you do.  You will need to learn to “like” new tastes and all successful players do.  They do this because they see the direct benefit to their own performance.


There is another important point about a player’s attitude to adopting these changes.  It is not a question really of likes or dislikes.  We may not “like” playing in the rain or finishing the last 100m on the erg rowing machine.  We do it because we are professionals; we want to be the best we can and to continually try to improve our performance.  Your diet is as an important part of this process as the exercise or the training you complete. 


Sports nutrition used to be equated to eating lots of carbohydrate, mainly pasta.  The problem with this is that it was based on research about endurance athletes like cyclists and marathon runners.  But if you stand a marathon runner next to an international rugby forward, you don’t have to be clever to work out their nutritional requirements are hugely different.  But worse than this, if you feed your rugby player like a marathon runner they end up getting fat!  Getting your nutrition right for you sport is as important as not bothering, since getting it wrong can be worse than not bothering at all.

The main thing with rugby players is they need to develop in a power-based sport  muscle and you can’t make muscle out of anything other than protein; certainly not from just platefuls of pasta.  They need to eat lean protein sources.  This does not mean they do not need any pasta, it is more about obtaining the correct balance for their needs to support their training goals. 


The Top Tips in this guide, following each section, give a number of simple places to start with lots of things you can do and includes some big decisions on the player’s part to cut some things out of their diet or change their life-style.


Changing from a bad diet to a good one boils down to two things:  understanding and willpower.  It’s really “Skill power” – skills to choose low fat, high fibre, high protein, low sugar options instinctively and to learn to love them!

So how can players maintain a good diet while coping with a demanding lifestyle of today?  Here are some recommendations.

Section 1 - Principles of healthy eating for power-based athletes


For players to learn and absorb, for coaches/managers to reinforce (also good practice for them!), for partners/parents to endorse


This is about day-to-day behaviours – match day and training recovery is a different matter.


In nutrition, variety is the spice of life.  Choose a wide variety of natural, unprocessed foods from all the food groups.  These include carbohydrates (including vegetables, whole grains and fruit), protein and fats.  By including a variety of foods in the diet, you increase the likelihood of consuming all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals that you require for a healthy and balanced diet.  A variety of foods also ensures that your diet remains interesting and exciting.  Use cook books and share recipes to bring creativity and new tastes and flavours into your diet.





Water is the most important part of your nutrition programme

Adequate hydration is a crucial part of health and performance.   Even a small water loss can impair both physical and mental function.  As a rugby player you will need to drink at least 3 litres of water a day.  This requirement increases dramatically when you exercise.  Thirst is a very poor indicator of how dehydrated you are or have become.  By the time you feel thirsty you may have lost 2-3% of your body water.  This will have a very big impact on your performance, see the box below.  To ensure you don’t become dehydrated you will need to drink water continuously throughout the day.  Using a water bottle will allow you monitor your intake.  Being well hydrated improves how you feel and how you perform.  To stay hydrated you may also use fruit and herbal teas, or water flavoured with a little fresh fruit juice. 


Remember:  If you dehydrate by only 3% - that is 3kg for a 100kg player – your performance will decrease markedly – losing up to 10% of your strength and 8% of your speed.  You also increase the possibility of muscle pulls and strains


International players regularly lose up to 3.5kg during games

For re-hydration: One kilogram of weight lost =  one litre of water to replace

Water quality:

The water you drink needs to be pure and free from contamination.  Unfortunately many sources of tap water today are neither clean nor of a high quality.  There are 60,000 recognised chemical contaminants of many sources of water and about 50 chemicals are used in the treatment of water.  We are becoming increasingly worried that these chemicals may have unwanted effects in the human body.  A number of them are known to have hormonal activities like those of the female hormone, oestrogen.  This has been seen to have an effect on fish and other animals that eat them.  It has been suggested as a contributing factor in the fall in the male sperm count.  We must stress that the effects in humans are suggestions rather than confirmed fact, however we feel that ensuring that your water supply is of a  high quality is important.  There are many purification systems on the market, an extremely good one is a reverse osmosis filter which can be your mains water supply.  This not only gives you clean water to drink, but also to wash your food with and use in your food preparation and cooking.  How many folk use bottled water in their kettle?  If this is not possible, try to drink bottled water, out of glass bottles whenever you can.


Top tips:

·         You need to drink a minimum of 3 litres a day + whatever is required in training.  Most people don’t come near that.  If you’re properly hydrated your urine should be pale and clear.  If it’s dark and strong smelling, you’re dehydrated

·         Start the day with a glass of water.  Alternatively a mug of freshly boiled water and a slice of lemon.  In summer add a fresh sprig of mint and fresh lemon slices to a jug of cold water

·         Drink little and often through the day and more during training

·         Consider installing a home water filter and remember to use it to fill the kettle and for cooking

·         Thirst is a poor indicator of dehydration.  If you use thirst as your guide, you can be 50-70% more dehydrated than by following the guidelines above

·         Drink from a bottle of water to measure daily intake until you are used to drinking enough

·         In training, consume at least 250ml of fluid every 15 minutes

·         Drink during a game – drink whenever it is offered

·         Drink cool fluids – they are absorbed faster

·         Avoid carbonated/fizzy drinks – especially by young players.  They are commonly very high in refined sugars (see later), they contain a lot of gas that will leave you feeling before you are hydrated and they are very high in mineral phosphorous.  High intakes of phosphorous cause your bodies to loose calcium.  This in turn can have a negative effect on developing healthy bones

·         Pre-hydrate – drink a little extra fluid in the 2 days before a game

·         Weigh yourself before and after training.  This will give you a good idea of just how much water you are losing – a 1kg loss of body weight represents a need for at least 1.2 litres of fluid to be replaced.  Remember the replacement will increase to 1.5 litres in hot, humid, climates

·         The use of isotonic drinks after a match or in training speeds up fluid replacement and maintains blood sugar levels during training and playing.  They also help you retain more fluid than water alone as they contain electrolytes

·         Re-hydrate properly – drink at least 1 litre BEFORE you begin to eat any high sugar food or drinks, since these will slow down the rate that you are able to absorb the fluids you require

·         A large amount of caffeine and alcohol is bad news, so don’t have more than two or three cups of coffee or tea a day or one to two units of alcohol.  Both are recognised to have a diuretic effect, making you make more urine, and causing you to become dehydrated further 


2.         Fats, the good the bad and the ugly


Contrary to popular belief, not all fats are actually bad for you, far from it, many are not only good, but without them you would die.  A zero fat or very low fat diet is harmful to your health.  So you need some fats, the question is which ones and how much? 


Fats can be separated into three groups.  The “good” fats are the polyunsaturated fats.  These include the Omega 3 and Omega 6 essential fatty acids (which actually are the vitamins of the fat world) and Omega 9 non-essential fatty acid, which you will know as olive oil.   The good fats are liquid at room temperature.  They play an important part in many functions, for example controlling inflammation, supporting normal immune activity to infection and allowing your brain to operate optimally as well as structures such as every cell wall in your body.  The body cannot manufacture these ‘essential’ fats and we need to obtain them from our food.  Omega 3 fatty acids are found in oily fish such as salmon, trout, sardines, mackerel, herring and tuna.  These fish should be included in the diet at least twice a week.  You obtain the omega 6 fatty acid from vegetable oils.  Good sources are cold pressed such as flaxseed oil and virgin olive oil.  Good sources of both omega 3 and 6 are nuts and seeds.


The “bad” are the saturated animal fats.  They are known to increase the risk of heart disease, some cancers and strokes.  Saturated fats are generally solid at room temperature like butter and lard.  They are the fats you see in meats and are found in dairy products.  Saturated fats if not used as energy will be stored as body fat and tend to get dropped in your blood vessels leading to furring up of the arteries (atherosclerosis).  It is this that increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases when they are eaten. 


The “ugly” fats are the hydrogenated and Trans-fatty acids (formed when fats are fried).  These have been chemically altered and are used in food to improve texture and shelf life.  Functionally they tend to act like very sticky saturated fatty acids and should be avoided.  You will need to read your food labels.  Many margarines contain these fatty acids and their consumption is associated with an increased risk in heart disease.  There are a few brands of margarine such as Benecol and Flora Activ that are healthier and can even assist in lowering blood cholesterol as part of a good diet.

Top tips:

·         Avoid saturated and trans (fried) fats whenever possible – fried foods, burgers, butter, etc.  They increase cholesterol and decrease membrane fluidity

·         Use cold pressed extra-virgin olive oil as your main source of fat – very good source of monounsaturated fatty acids

·         Eat at least 2 meals per week of cold water fish – e.g. salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines - and take capsules of essential fish oils such as EPA (omega 3) and GLA (omega 6).

·         These foods contain high quantities of Omega 3 fatty acids which improve insulin action, reduce muscle catabolism and enhance testosterone production

·         Try to keep fat intake down to 15-20% of your total calories – if you are eating 4000 calories a day that is about 65- 89g of fat per day

·         Avoid deep fried foods, preferring stir-fried, dry roasted, baked, grilled or steamed

·         Snack on nuts and seeds

·         Add fresh herbs instead of butter to vegetables to make flavours more interesting.  Use chopped mint to add to green beans, mange tout and new potatoes.  Try coriander in stir-fries and an assortment of herbs in soups

·         Dress salads with olive oil and fresh lemon juice or flavoured vinegar.  Use tomato juice or low fat yoghurt for a dressing with a difference.  Use fresh herbs, chopped nuts and dried fruit to add flavour and texture


3. Carbohydrates


Carbohydrates provide the major source of energy for high intensity performance.  They are the fastest available energy source and are always the limiting fuel in performance. 


There are many different types of carbohydrate and these all have different rates of absorption, digestion and utilisation and effect on blood sugar and hence insulin levels.  The simplest way to start thinking of them is as refined and unrefined. 


Refined carbohydrates include white bread, white pasta, white rice, white sugar or anything to which sugar has been added such as sweets, chocolate, cakes and confectionary.  Refined means that these products are not as they occurred in nature.  Refining takes place in the food industry to improve the shelf life and texture of the products.  In its raw state a plant contains a fibrous coat or cell wall.  These are removed in refining, for example removing the husk from the germ of flour transforms brown wholemeal flour into white flour.  The consequence of this is that the refined products require very little digesting and so the sugars are absorbed extremely quickly.  We all know this if we think about it.  When you put some chocolate in your mouth it just dissolves away.  If you placed a pea in you mouth in the morning, by the end of the day you could spit it out.  The unrefined carbohydrate is not going anywhere without the digestive process.


Unrefined carbohydrates would include whole meal breads, pasta, brown rice, vegetables and fruits.  Unrefined whole grains are made up of all parts of the grain – the bran (fibre rich outer layer), the endosperm (middle part) and the germ (the nutrient rich part).  When grains are milled or refined the outer parts are removed leaving the endosperm and germ.  This generates a refined carbohydrate.  Whole grain foods by comparison contain all three layers of the grain.  They also contain important plant compounds called phytochemicals.  Phytochemicals together with the vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre found in grains contribute to these whole foods’ nutritional content and their numerous health benefits.  As whole foods they have to be properly digested and this process slows the rate at which the sugar gets absorbed into the blood from the gut.


Poor choices of glucose intake

There is a problem with consuming a lot of refined carbohydrates.  Your body was not designed to use them.   The body must control your blood sugar (glucose) within a very tight normal range.  Outside this range your brain will not function properly.  We can see this from looking at diabetics.  These folk cannot make enough insulin, the hormone that controls your blood glucose.  Because they don’t make sufficient insulin they must give themselves a top up several times a day. 


How does the body know how much insulin to make when you eat some sugar to keep the blood glucose in the normal range?  This.  The body just looks at how fast the glucose is coming in through the gut and passing up to the liver.  If there is a little bit of glucose coming in, your body assumes you have eaten a little meal, and so makes a small amount of insulin, but if there is a lot of sugar rushing, in the body assumes there is a big meal and makes a lot of insulin.  Simple.


Now consider those refined carbohydrates again.  Refining the carbohydrates means they are absorbed very quickly.  The message this gives your body is to expect a very large meal and make a lot of insulin, however this may be wrong, it might have been just a glass of a fizzy drink (containing sugar), say 100 calories.  Your body has now made a lot of insulin (hyperinsulinaemia).  The faster blood glucose rises the more insulin is produced. 


Insulin is the hormone of storage and it tells your body to store this glucose away.  It moves glucose from the blood into cells, initially muscle and liver, but then fat.  If you have just been training, this will allow you to top up your liver and muscle glycogen (something we do specifically, see recovery later), however if you have not been training there will be very little glycogen to top up and so the rest is stored away, being converted and stored as body fat!  So a diet that is high in sugar and refined carbohydrates will tend to lead to an increase in body fat which is not what an elite athlete or his parents want.   

What Goes Wrong?


Poor blood glucose control occurs for a number of reasons.  The most common and most important reasons are consumption of rapidly absorbed sugars, over stimulation of the pancreas to produce insulin and nutrient deficiencies, which reduce the impact of insulin in the body.

The Glycaemic Index (GI) is a tool that will allow you to practically understand what the sugars in different food will do to your metabolism and is part of the key to a new way of eating.  The GI is a number that is given to carbohydrate foods to show how fast blood glucose will rise.  GI is only relevant to carbohydrates.  The higher the GI the more rapidly the sugar is absorbed and the greater the disruption to blood glucose.  The lower the GI the slower the food is broken down and the sugar absorbed.

We can therefore use the GI as a guide to which carbohydrate foods to eat when.  There are four factors that affect blood glucose levels after a meal.

·         The GI of the carbohydrate

·         The volume of the carbohydrate

·         The presence of protein and fat in the meal, which slows down the rate at which carbohydrate is digested

·         The fibre content of the food, which also slows down the rate of absorption of the glucose

The effect of a meal on blood glucose will be less when the meal includes protein, unrefined carbohydrate and fibre. It is partly for this reason we recommend that protein should be included in all meals and snacks.  We also advise that meals that are high in carbohydrate should be eaten earlier in the day when activity is greatest and energy requirements are high.

You will see from your list that carbohydrate foods are ranked as high or low GI.  Try to choose most food from the low GI list.  The GI only gives information about glucose, it should be used as a tool in combination with all you know from the principles of healthy eating.  A low GI food does not always mean that it is the healthiest choice, as it may contain fats and sugars other than glucose (fructose).

The Glycaemic Index of Foods


Foods that have a high GI are the main problem, so aim for low GI food for your day-to-day intake.




HIGH                LOW

(55+)                 (0-54)


HIGH                LOW

(55+)                 (0-54)








Sucrose (sugar)



Mars Bar









Puffed rice



Crunchy nut cornflakes

Special K

Shredded Wheat


Porridge oats






























Baked beans

Butter beans

Chick peas

Black-eye beans

Haricot beans

Kidney beans












Dairy Products


French baguette

Rice cakes

White bread


Rye bread

Whole wheat bread

Oat cakes

Whole grain bread













Whole milk

Skimmed milk




Grain Products


Vegetables (cooked)



White rice

Brown rice








Mashed potato

New potato




Sweet potato













High GI = > 50, Low GI = < 50

More GI values can be found at

4.         Managing your Intake of Carbohydrates


We have now shown that apart from the possibility of immediately post training or playing your carbohydrate intake should come from unrefined sources of whole foods.  These can be further divided up by their energy and fibre content into High fibre carbohydrate, High starch carbohydrates and Starch/Protein carbohydrates:


Unrefined complex carbohydrates

Fibrous Carbs

High fibre low energy



Starchy Carbs

High energy low fibre



Starch + Fibre + Protein

Moderate energy,  protein and fibre


Green Beans


Brussels sprouts
















Sweet potatoes





Wholemeal flour




Lima Beans



Soy beans

Broad beans

Chick peas

Kidney beans


You should aim to consume about half your calorie intake from carbohydrates.  But it is also important to match your energy intake with the rate you plan to use energy.  So in the morning when you are about to go out to train and consume a lot of energy it is important to take a higher energy source of carbohydrates such as whole meal bread or porridge oats for your breakfast, however in the late evening it is not sensible to consume large amounts of high energy foods, since any additional intake will be stored as body fat.   


Skipping meals or only eating one or two large meals a day will also result in poor energy levels, poor appetite control, an inability to put on muscle mass and uncontrolled blood glucose.  Aim to eat five smaller meals each day or three meals and two snacks.  Including some protein at each meal (see below) will help you to control your hunger level, mood, blood glucose levels and helps prevent long-term fat storage.  Try to eat your last meal before 8 pm, going to bed whilst digesting your dinner is not a recipe for a good night’s sleep and encourages the conversion of calories into body fat.


Fruit and Vegetables

The government recommendation is that we should consume five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.  The common translation of this advice is to consume four or five portions of fruit and maybe one of vegetable.


Do not replace all your servings of vegetables with fruit.  Aim for four to five servings of vegetables each day and one to two portions of fruit.


The vegetables that grow above the ground have a high dietary fibre content.  In addition they contain antioxidants and phytochemicals that help reduce the risk of heart disease and many cancers.  More than any other foods they contain essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C and potassium for good health and disease prevention.


Balance your vegetable intake between the orange/red and green varieties.  The more colourful the meal the healthier it usually is and as an easy rule the darker and brighter the colour of the vegetable the more vitamins, minerals and fibre it will contain.  For example, compare lettuce with the deep dark green of spinach or the bright orange of carrots.  They can be eaten raw and cooking most vegetables takes only a few minutes if you steam, stir-fry or microwave them.  Fruit and yoghurt or fruit with nuts and seeds makes an excellent and healthy snack.  Choose fresh and organic vegetables wherever possible


Top tips:

·         Eat less refined and simple carbohydrates, e.g. white pasta, rice, potatoes, white bread, carrots, parsnips, simple sugars – glucose etc

·         Eat more unrefined, complex carbohydrates and vegetables, e.g. soybeans, sweet potatoes, lentils, apples, oranges, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, whole wheat bread, oats, fresh vegetables

·         Eat complex carbohydrates approx. 3 hours before exercise/playing

·         An increased frequency of meals to 5 a day of moderate and low GI foods leads to better insulin, blood glucose and fatty acid regulation.  This gives greater potential for muscle maintenance and growth as well as generally higher energy levels

·         Eat sugary refined carbohydrates post hydration after exercise.  This is when you want to use an ‘insulin spike’ to get as much carbohydrate into the muscle as possible.

·         Try to match your energy input (food you eat) with energy output (energy you burn); this is achieved by looking at the timing and type of intake of the carbohydrates you are consuming.  Eating little and often will assist in portion control, so you never over eat. 

·         Never fast, reducing food intake dramatically will lead to muscle loss

·         Always eat breakfast.  Skipping breakfast results in low blood sugar for an extended period of time, your symptoms will worsen and compensatory eating will often be excessive, due to hunger

·         Watch for ‘hidden’ sugar carefully.  Read the labels!

·         Dilute all fruit juice 1: 5 with water

·         Eat high fibre foods.  Vegetables growing above ground and whole grains tend to have good fibre content.  Fibre slows the absorption of sugar from the gut, by decreasing gastric emptying and glucose uptake.  Cooking root vegetables (carrots and potatoes) alters their structure making the sugars more rapidly absorbed

·         Replace some starchy carbs with fibrous carbs at each meal.  This will increase fibre and help fill you up

·         Increase the intake of quality protein foods (i.e. fish, poultry, lean meats, vegetarian proteins like tofu or tempeh).  Protein is very effective at controlling appetite and also slows the absorption of sugars when they are eaten together

·         Avoid large carbohydrate meals, as these will make you sleepy and excess calories will be converted

·         Starchy carbohydrates should be limited in the evening meal where fat loss is a goal, as the need for an energy source at night is limited

·         Quinoa was the grain of the Incas and is particularly high in protein.  It is readily available in independent health food stores.  The flakes are the most versatile as the grains require soaking.  Quinoa mixes well with oats in porridge or muesli

·         Make your own muesli.  It’s cheaper and you know exactly what goes into it.  Mix oats, quinoa flakes, all bran flakes (and your favourite bran cereal), sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, nuts, assorted chopped dried fruits

·         When making casseroles, stews and soups, add pearl barley, brown rice or cracked wheat

·         Avoid sugar coated and processed breakfast cereals.  Half their weight is made up of sugar and the other half is refined carbohydrate!  Choose whole grain alternatives

·         Choose breads that contain whole grain kernels.  Do not go by the name alone.  Pumpernickel and seed loaves have the lowest glycaemic index and the highest fibre and nutrient content

·         Home made vegetable soup is an ideal way for the family to get in their veggies with little fuss.  Add lentils and beans and whole grains like pearl barley and you are on your way to a complete meal.  Make a big pot of soup at the weekend and eat it throughout the week.  It can also be frozen in portions and used later on

·         Roasted vegetables are an excellent vegetable accompaniment and can be used as an entrée, pasta sauce or filling.  Use cherry tomatoes, onion, aubergine, courgettes, mange tout, red and yellow peppers.  Toss with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, fresh basil and salt and pepper and roast for between 45 minutes and one hour

·         Stir-fries are a quick and easy way to prepare vegetables.  Use a little sesame or peanut oil for flavour and add cashews or crushed peanuts, fresh herbs and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.  Try our Thai vegetable stir-fry

·         Take chopped up crudité vegetables to work.  They can be eaten with cottage cheese as a mid-morning snack or be nibbled on throughout the day.  Try an assortment of crudités with the avocado dip or low fat humus


5.         Fibre


Fibre is so much more than a daily bowl of bran cereal.  Fibre is made up of indigestible plant matter that is not available as an energy source.  There are two types of fibre: soluble and insoluble.  Insoluble fibre has a bulking effect, whereas soluble fibre is inclined to form gel, retaining water in the bowel and keeping stool soft.  Fibre has been identified as having many beneficial effects including; decreasing blood cholesterol, improving bowel health, reducing the risk of bowel cancer and even controlling appetite.  Fibre has the added benefit of slowing the rate of digestion and absorption of nutrients reducing swings in blood sugar control.





Oats, vegetables, whole wheat flour, bran, fruits with edible seeds




Pulses, barley, bananas, apples, pears, citrus fruits, berries



How much fibre do we need a day?  The average person in the UK consumes between 10 to 20g of dietary fibre a day.  Ideally we should consume at least 30 to 40g per day.  If you think your fibre intake needs some serious attention, increase your intake gradually each day.  Make sure you are well hydrated as fibre retains water in the bowel.  Look at the fibrous sources of carbohydrate on the list above and try to consume at least three portions a day as the simplest way of making this adjustment.


6.         Promoting Protein

Do not get confused – carbohydrate is the energy source for all of your training and playing needs.  Protein is required for the development of your structure, i.e. it is the building block for new muscle growth.  If you are training hard and attempting to grow or just keep your muscle intact, you will need extra protein to assist in repair, growth and development.


Your body can only grow new muscle when it is in a positive nitrogen balance.  Research has shown repeatedly that athletes with a strong requirement for strength and power who are training hard will need between 1.2 and 2.2 grams of protein per kg of body weight per day to stay in nitrogen positive balance.

How much protein might you require?


Body Weight

Protein Needed at 2.2g/kg

Example foods



4 x egg whites, 2 x chicken breasts, 1 x tuna steak = 112g



5 x egg whites, 2 x chicken breasts, 2 x tuna steaks =  138g



5 x egg whites, 3 x chicken breasts, 2 x tuna steaks = 182g



6 x egg whites, 3 x chicken breasts, 2 x tuna steaks = 185g


Since whole protein sources require a considerable amount of digestion it is important not to try to eat your entire requirement at one sitting.  We would recommend that you drip feed in your requirement in 5 or 6 meals a day.  This as we have seen will also assist your glucose absorption.


Protein should be included at every meal; this will help control blood glucose levels, support muscle mass maintenance and growth and improve appetite control.


Choose from a wide variety of protein sources.  Eggs are rich in nutrients, portable, cheap and a high quality source of protein.  Choose meat and poultry that is lean and avoid prepared meals and processed meats like paté, salami and sausages.  Fish is a superb source of protein, it is low in fat and some fish have the added advantage of being high in Omega 3 fatty acids.  Avoid deep fried fish products that have been coated and battered.  If fat loss is a goal, use tinned fish in mineral water rather than oil.  Grill, bake, steam or poach fish in preference to frying.  Try to avoid farmed fish and choose wild and organic fish whenever possible.  Avoid pork, as it has the highest fat content of all meats, nearly half the calories in pork come from saturated fat.


Peas and beans (legumes) are excellent sources of vegetarian protein and fibre, especially when combined with whole grains.  Most plant proteins do not contain all the essential amino acids you require (animal protein does); combining different sources of plant protein solves this problem.  Legumes should be eaten with whole grains, e.g. brown rice and lentils, humus with whole wheat pitta bread.  Plant proteins are very low in fat and have a very low glycaemic index (see above), this means that they cause a slow release of glucose into the blood.  Baked beans have a low glycaemic index, are cheap, convenient and easy to store.  Serve as a filling for baked potatoes or on toast.


Nuts are also a useful protein source but they should be eaten in moderation as they have a high essential fat content.  Choose a mixture of almonds, pecans, walnuts, and Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, cashews, pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds.  Add them to a salad or stir-fry, or eat them as a snack.  Avoid nuts that have been roasted in oil or are salted.



Sources of protein:

Animal Source


·         Poultry:  chicken and turkey

·         Game:  rabbit, venison, etc.

·         Eggs (Omega 3 enriched)

·         Low-fat dairy produce:  cottage cheese, low fat yoghurt, fromage frais, etc.

·         Small amounts of reduced fat cheeses




·         Oily fish (fresh or smoked)

·         White fish (not fried/battered/breadcrumbed)

·         Oily fish (canned) tuna in water or brine, sardines in tomato sauce not oil

·         Shellfish


Plant sources


·         Tinned/cooked beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas

·         Reduced fat humus

·         Baked beans – choose low sugar low salt or organic variety

·         Tofu

·         Quorn – check fat content of pre-prepared quorn dishes

·         Nuts and seeds in moderation – choose raw unsalted good variety, avoid peanuts


Supplemental sources


·         Meal replacements

·         Whey proteins

·         Protein bars



Combining proteins for maximum benefit


Combining two or more different types of protein at each feeding will maximise the benefit in the body’s use of the nutrients.  Examples might include:


·         Eggs and lean ham

·         Chicken and tuna

·         Baked beans and poached eggs

·         Scrambled eggs and salmon

·         Cottage cheese and smoked mackerel

·         Steak and eggs

·         Quinoa porridge and whey protein shake

·         Nuts and seeds (mixed) low fat yoghurt

·         Tofu, lentils and chicken

·         Steak and shellfish



Protein supplements:

Protein supplements can play a very useful role in delivering a high quality supply of bio-available protein throughout the day. These supplements usually come as drinks and besides assisting you to stay in positive nitrogen balance in your body - essential for muscle growth, are easy to consume and require much less digestion than whole food.  This allows them to be absorbed faster which is particularly useful in the immediate post training period.


It is important to remember that you should get proteins from food as well as supplements, and to eat as wide a variety of protein as possible.  It is also important to select low fat choices for your protein.


Fat content of a variety of protein sources:


FOOD (100g)

Protein (g/100g)

Fat (g/100g)

Water (g/100g)

Egg whites scrambled

Flounder grilled

Shrimp – steamed

Albacore tuna (steak  = 150g)

Turkey breast (approx. 150g)


Chicken breast – skinless roast (about 150g)

Duck – skinless roast





Watch fat content

Beef Steak – lean grilled


High fat content

(Avoid these !)

Pork Loin – lean grilled

Fatback bacon


































































Top tips:

·         Think ‘protein’ first for every meal

·         Choose low fat protein sources

·         Think savoury at breakfast – if you’ve got time, have a healthy cooked breakfast, e.g. grilled lean meats, poached, boiled or scrambled eggs

·         Protein snacks – cottage cheese, hard boiled eggs, low fat houmous

·         All proteins are good, but not all are equal – some of them mix in bad company, e.g. hidden fats

·         Consider supplementing your diet with extra protein in the form of fat free shakes using protein powders

·         When training hard, continue to take your protein supplements on rest days as well as training days.  The rest period is when your body makes new protein – it needs raw material to do this

·         Organic is generally best


7.         Anti-Nutrients


These are substances that have a negative effect on the body’s nutrients intake.  Smoking would be a classical example, active or passive, it has a profound detrimental effect on the body.  Large amounts of alcohol would be another good example.  A large amount would be greater than say three units on any one occasion.  This may not seem very much but alcohol is very high in calories, causes poor blood glucose control, is dehydrating and will stop your muscles from repairing themselves after training or playing.  National guidelines suggest women should not exceed 14 units per week (21 for men).  The less you drink the healthier you are.  A glass of red wine a day may have some health benefits but these benefits can easily be achieved elsewhere.


Drinking lots of alcohol can also affect your insulin, because it can increase your blood fats and put you at more risk of diabetes and heart disease.  You’re better having one pint of beer every day than having seven in one go at the weekend.


Caffeine is found in tea, coffee, chocolate and colas.  Caffeine is a stimulant, increasing heart rate and blood pressure.  It also irritates the stomach and can cause headaches and insomnia.  Drinking more than eight cups of coffee a day would be enough to fail a drug test so limit daily intake to 2 or 3 cups.   Choose alternatives such as herb and fruit teas, fruit juice and water (still the best choice).


Our usual UK diets are very high in salt.  Salt is added to processed foods to help preserve them and together with sugar is added to “low fat” food to improve the taste after the fat has been removed.  Salt can increase blood pressure and cause water retention.   When preparing and cooking food use little or no salt and then add if required after serving.  Avoid food high in salt such as crisps, salted nuts, bacon and cured meats.  Use garlic, lemon juice and chilli, ginger and fresh herbs as an alternative to salt for flavouring.  Alternatively, try a potassium salt to replace the normal table salt.


Top tips:

·         Stick to national guidelines on alcohol

·         Don’t smoke and keep out of smoky atmospheres

·         Reduce caffeine intake to two cups of tea or coffee a day or better switch to alternatives 

·         Add fresh herbs instead of salt to vegetables to make flavours more interesting.  Use chopped mint to add to green beans, mange tout and new potatoes.  Try coriander in stir-fries and an assortment of herbs in soups

8.         Vitamins and minerals


If carbohydrate is the fuel, protein is the structure then vitamins and minerals are the nuts and bolts that help to hold it all together.


You should ideally get all your vitamin and mineral requirements from the food you eat.  Unfortunately, we do not live in an ideal world, often far from it.  Added to this you are not trying to be normal.  Elite rugby players are looking for extraordinary achievements, so it is unlikely that the intake for you will be the same for a couch potato.  In recent years there has been increasing evidence that we are becoming more nutritional deficient.  Not even achieving the recommended daily allowance for all vitamins and minerals.


Supplementation must be just that, a supplement to an already good and well balanced diet.  We typically advise the use of a simple multi-vitamin/mineral complex especially whilst making dietary changes to ensure we avoid any deficiencies.  Omega-3 essential fatty acids, especially EPA, is the commonest deficiency seen in our players and can be the hardest to correct.  This is not uncommonly because they don’t like or eat very much of the appropriate fish (see above).   Supplementation is not a quick fix – it is an on-going process of support for your training, playing and general well-being.


Top tips:

·         Take a basic multi-vitamin and mineral programme daily

·         Keep eating a wide range of foods – supplements are not a substitute

·         More is not usually better and too much of particularly the fat soluble vitamins can be toxic



9.         Putting the principles together




Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and the worst thing you can do is pop into a coffee shop and have a coffee and a Danish pastry.  There’s no nutritional value and you’re just going to get fat.

You should also be sceptical about cereals.  The manufacturers often say they are fortified with vitamins but most are actually full of sugar, which your body turns into fat - something many people don’t realise.  The ideal breakfast would be a couple of poached eggs on some whole grain toast, or a bowl of porridge with some plain yoghurt or fruit on it, or maybe some no-added-sugar muesli.



If you’re going to have a sandwich, then buy a salad with it or ask for thin bread with lots of chicken, turkey or lean meat inside.  Keep away from the ones that are high in mayonnaise.  Steer away from having sandwiches every day, instead get bags of salad, which you could have with some hard-boiled eggs, avocado or cooked chicken.


Avoid creamy soups - and make a bit more supper the night before, take some with you for lunchtime the next day.



Use fresh, unprocessed produce, like chicken, turkey, lean meat or fish, and buy packets of stir-fry vegetables to embellish them.  It’s all about stir-fries, grilling, steaming and dry-roasting, avoid having deep-fried food.

You can also make a big casserole early in the week and have something left over so you’re never tempted to pop into kebab shops or live on hamburgers.  Avoid the chippie, fish and chips are full of saturated fats.

Look at your plate and make sure you have (a) some protein, like chicken, fish or lean meat, (b) then some fibre, like a large salad, (c) finally some high energy carbohydrate, like brown rice or whole grain pasta, but not white rice or pasta.

For vegetarians, there are plenty of proteins around, like quorn or tofu.



Try healthy snacking, like a couple of Ryvita with some cottage cheese or humus, or maybe some raw carrots with humus or a performance bar.  Popcorn’s OK as a snack.



Stay hydrated with water.  If you drink alcohol to excess, you poison your liver, dry yourself out and kill off a lot of good, vitamin-making bacteria in your gut, so you might as well forget going to the gym for three days.  Alcohol also has loads of calories and will make you fat.


10.       Graze don’t gorge: healthy snacks


Top tips:

·         Natural, live yoghurt or soya yoghurt mixed with fresh chopped fruit or a handful of nuts and seeds makes an excellent mid-morning snack

·         Crackers topped with low fat cottage cheese or organic peanut butter.  Try macadamia, almond or other nut based butters for an alternative.  They are usually available at health shops

·         A hard boiled egg make a good convenient snack

·         Make a batch of fruit and nut bran muffins, freeze them and take one to work with you each day.  Fresh soup with beans or lentils makes an excellent snack, particularly as a winter warmer.  Much fresh soup bought in supermarkets is high in fat and low in protein.  Read labels



11.       Rest and sleep


‘You don’t get fit when you train – you get fit when you recover’


Bodily growth and repair ONLY happen when you rest or sleep – you must make sure that your sleep is long enough and of good quality, and that when you get an opportunity to rest – you rest.


Top tips:

·         Aim to get 7.5 - 9.5 hours of sleep every night

·         Prepare for sleep – clear your mind, relax

·         If you train twice a day, try to fit in a 30-60 minute nap after your first session or after the morning sessions

·         Rest means rest – sometimes you need to lie on the sofa and watch a film, NOT go and play golf or go shopping
Section 2 - Nutrition guidelines for match days



Be The Best



Never believe you have insufficient time for the attention to detail

 that is essential  for  excellence




The right nutrition can be the difference between performing to your potential and not performing at all – between training hard and making big progress and not being able to train hard enough to achieve any real changes.


‘Don’t put diesel in your Ferrari !’


·         You must be very disciplined about what, how much and when you eat

·         You must understand why you eat the things you do

·         You must realise that short cuts don’t work, and that although you may see some immediate changes in how you feel, the real benefits may take 3-4 months to realise.


How professionals eat - before, during and after a game

Build up to the game

On match day, if it’s a mid-afternoon game, England’s senior players will usually have a substantial breakfast, with a protein shake and maybe a bowl of muesli with eggs on wholemeal toast and beans.  Lunch might be chicken breast with tomato sauce, pasta and broccoli about three hours before the match.  Protein takes about that time to digest and carbohydrate takes an hour, so they might take a bit more of that on board before the match depending on how they are feeling.   Remember the pre-match day food should be the last thing you are trying to change, once the rest of your diet is sorted out.  Like most preparation for important events trying to fix it at the last minute rarely works.


Things to avoid eating and drinking on the morning of a match

·         Alcohol

·         Refined carbohydrates - white rice or white pasta

·         Chocolate bars

·         Fish and chips - full of saturated fats

·         Large bowl of sweet cereals for breakfast - the body turns excess sugar into fat

·         Fizzy drinks – they cause calcium loss

·         Steak - takes a long time to digest

Things you can eat on the morning of a match

·         No added sugar cereals or muesli

·         Scrambled eggs with smoked salmon on whole grain toast

·         Smooth drink with protein powder

·         Plain yoghurt and fruit

·         Porridge

·         Egg whites, 3 or 4 with 1 yoke, scrambled and served with pepper, tomatoes or mushrooms

·         Water

·         Chicken, turkey or lean meat

·         Whole wheat pasta or brown rice


Half-time refuelling

Hydration remains a very big thing and you can have a 10% loss of performance if you don’t drink enough.  The players tend to drink Lucozade, often diluted so the players can drink more.  There are now numerous studies that show the benefit of taking low concentration glucose polymers, e.g. Lucozade Sport, during training and playing.  These drinks benefit in the following ways:


·         They are isotonic and if less than 7% carbohydrate actually enhance fluid replacement – i.e. faster than just water

·         They also replace electrolytes which are lost in sweat

·         They help to maintain blood glucose levels which has the effect of sparing the precious muscle glycogen stores

Eating and drinking after matches

In the aftermath of a match, today’s England players will initially re-hydrate then consume drink a protein drink that contains as much protein as a chicken breast within 10-30 minutes of finishing the game together with an initial intake of carbohydrate, about 75gms.  Research shows you’ve got two hours as an optimum window to start to get your glycogen stores filled up and eat a proper meal as soon as possible after that.  Players need a good hit of protein quickly because they can burn up a lot of muscle in a long event.


The day after a game

Many people believe they can eat less on the day after a game because they are less active but this is a fallacy.  The day after a game is when you should be doing a lot of your recovery.  During a game players will tear lots of muscle fibres and get bruising but that will also stimulate muscle repairing growth and even though it’s a rest day players need to make sure they get plenty of the right food.  If you tear muscle fibres in your leg and don’t get enough protein, your body will break down the muscle fibres in another part of the body to build up the muscles.  Recovery will be much slower.


Whilst it is important to try to cut down refined sugar intake in general, immediately after exercise is when your body craves and needs sugar most.   If you take a high sugar carbohydrate immediately after exercise (but also after you have re-hydrated!) then you will get a positive insulin burst – you body will shift the glucose into the muscle and store it more rapidly than by consuming any other forms of food.


Post exercise insulin spiking has been linked with prevention of muscle mass loss and over-training.  Also, the combination of protein and carbohydrate is proven to be more effective in preserving muscle mass than carbohydrate alone.



What an England player eats now

Senior England players operate on a 28-day nutritional plan, with suggested recipes and shopping list. 





28 Days of High Protein Breakfasts, Lunches, Snacks, Dinners and ShoppingLists



CONTENTS...................................................................................................................... 2


SALADS, SNACKS AND SNEAKY WAYS TO INCREASE YOUR VEGETABLE CONSUMPTION.............................................................................................................................................. 2

SOUP RECIPES............................................................................................................. 2

INSTRUCTIONS: HOW DO I GET STARTED?..................................................... 2

DAY 1-28 HIGH PROTEIN MENUS........................................................................... 2

INFORMATION FOR SHOPPING LISTS................................................................. 2

WEEK 1 SUGGESTED SHOPPING LIST................................................................ 2

WEEK 2 SUGGESTED SHOPPING LIST................................................................ 2

WEEK 3 SUGGESTED SHOPPING LIST................................................................ 2

WEEK 4 SUGGESTED SHOPPING LIST................................................................ 2





This time we’re really giving it to you on a plate, 28 separate breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks and puddings to choose from.  Each recipe has been balanced for an ideal ratio of protein, carbohydrate and fat, packed full of different flavours.  Two extra pages on snack ideas and salads have been included to complement the existing menu and to help you get more vegetables into your diets.  As each individual’s metabolism is unique some of the amounts need to be taken as guidelines; if you cook too much, save it and use as a snack later that day or the next.  If the recipes come up too short, fill up on snack ideas and tailor the ingredients for next time.


Included at the end of the recipe section are complete shopping trolley lists, which tell you what to buy in order to make the meals up for a week.  Alternatively you can choose individual dishes and mix and match, although we would tend to recommend sticking to the menus for at least one 28 day cycle right through.


Finally macronutrient profiles have been analysed; the full spec is included at the end of each day’s menus.


It is assumed that the basics are present in your kitchen but as a basic guide the following utensils will be necessary:


·         Blender

·         Stainless steel pans or Le Creuset

·         Steamer for vegetables

·         A good set of scales

·         Mixing bowls

·         Hot pot for oven cooking

·         Assorted knives and all the usual kitchen stuff

·         Possible rice cooker


All the meal plans are aimed at one person cooking.  Some of the meals will make enough for 2 people, and this will be made clear by the words ‘serves 2’ in the recipe.


You may find that you need to eat more than this, which is fine.  This is an average intake, your nutritionist can advise you more about specific intake according to your appropriate needs.






Small salads can be made at any time of the day as a light snack, you could even stuff them into a wholemeal pitta bread if you were exceptionally hungry, and here are some possibilities:


·         Tuna and beans: 1 tin of tuna in water, 1/2 tin of kidney or other beans, 1 small diced orange, 1 tablespoon of dressing (low fat).

·         Avocado and grapefruit: 1 avocado, 1 grapefruit, 1 teaspoon of ground ginger, balsamic vinegar.

·         Red onion and cherry tomatoes.

·         Carrot and beetroot.

·         Broccoli and beans: 1/2 tin of kidney beans, 2 spring onions, celery, cashew nuts and dressing.

·         Red cabbage and raisin salad: finely shredded red cabbage, handful of raisins, handful of hazelnuts.

·         Coleslaw: cabbage, onion, carrots - 1/3 of each plus some protein.


To get extra servings of vegetables into your day try juicing fruits and vegetables to have with your breakfast, or buy some V8 or organic tomato juice and have that instead.  Quick fruit salads and yoghurt make an ideal snack, as do chopped vegetables dipped into low fat humus or guacamole.


Soups can either be made from the following recipes or bought as discussed in the menu plans. Whenever you are making the effort to cook, it’s worth thinking ahead and preparing a few extra pieces of chicken or things that you can freeze and use at a later date.





Failure to plan ahead can lead to difficulty in choosing the correct foods and snacks.  It’s a common mistake and will often dictate the success or failure of a dietary strategy.  Ultimately failure to plan ahead may become a source of stress as it can in so many other areas of life.  Take the time to plan your nutrition and hopefully it will not become a headache.  Creating new eating habits should not be a matter of will power, it is rather a matter of developing new skill which over time will become like second nature.  When your new eating habits attain this level they will not be difficult to sustain, as you will not be denying yourself any foods.  At this stage you may wish to adopt the 80/20% rule as discussed with your nutritionist.






Chicken Broth

1 cooked chicken carcass

2 onions

3 sticks of celery

2 strips of wakame seaweed

3 pints of water

2 carrots

1 dessertspoon of olive oil


Cover the carcass with the water and simmer for 45-90 minutes, get any excess meat off the chicken and store.  Sieve the stock and leave to cool before refrigerating overnight, scoop the fat from the top of the mixture.  Fry the vegetables in the oil until slightly soft.  Cut the seaweed into strips, pour the stock on top of the vegetables and bring back to the boil.


This is a perfect example of recycling ingredients and getting the most out of your food.  Plus you’ll benefit from the musculoskeletal support generated from boiling up the chicken bones.




This is a great soup as you can eat it cold on a hot summer’s day, and it makes an excellent appetiser.


550g of fresh tomatoes (skinned)

4 shallots

2 tablespoons of lemon juice

1 tablespoon of fresh parsley

1 red pepper

1/2 large cucumber

Black pepper (freshly ground)

2 cloves of garlic

Chopped fresh mint


Blend all the ingredients together, chill and serve.


Generally, soup can be made from any ingredients.  You need to lightly fry them first, then add some sort of stock either made before or just water with stock cubes added.  Bring to the simmer and serve.  As an option, part or all of the ingredients can be removed and blended depending on the consistency required.





·         Read the introduction.


·         Read the introduction again and make notes.


·         Read the first week’s recipes.


·         Make any adjustments necessary.  For example, if you dislike tuna, then either substitute it for another high quality protein from the protein sheet (chicken), or choose another recipe.


·         Plan when you are going to start the first week of rolling menus.


·         Go to the supermarket with the first week’s worth of recipes and the suggested shopping list.  Alternatively, you may wish to make your own shopping list based on revised ingredients.


·         Buy the ingredients for the first week’s shopping.


·         Freeze any meat that you are not eating within the next 3 days.


·         Start the menus on a day when there isn’t a thousand and one other things to do.


·         Each night spend 10 minutes reading over the next day’s menus, defrosting any meat you may need and planning your meal times and training plan for the day.


·         If a menu says serves 2, this mean there is enough food for 2 people and eating half of it will give you the amount of calories listed in the column.


·         If a recipe says save half for a snack later in the day, the total calories for the day will assume that you have eaten this.  If you do not eat it then subtract the calories in the column from the day’s total calories.


DAY 1                                                                                                                CALORIES


B         HOME-MADE MUESLI                                                                               878

R         Mixed grains:  oats, barley and millet flakes, quinoa       133g

E         Organic raisins                                                              33g

A         Mixed organic nuts:  2 brazils, 6-7 hazelnuts

K         Lecithin granules                                                           1 tablespoon

F          1 scoop of whey protein

A         Oat milk, rice dream, soya milk or bio-active yoghurt      166ml

S         Chopped apple

T         Banana flakes or maple syrup to taste                            33g

Mix all ingredients together, add milk and serve.



MEAT AND THREE VEG                                                                          885

L          3 medium sweet potatoes                                                         

U         1.5 large tins of tuna or 9oz lean meat equivalent

N         6oz frozen peas

C         Salad dressed with flaxseed oil - choose from list of salads in introduction

H         Bake the sweet potatoes and prepare one of the salads from the introduction.

            Put the peas in a saucepan and add boiling water, strain and serve.

            Put the tuna in the potatoes with a small amount of low fat fromage frais and serve.





I           2 Salmon fillets             300g

N         Red lentils                     250g uncooked

N         Lean bacon rashers       200g

E         2 medium onions, 2 cloves garlic

R         2 tin tomatoes

Fry the onions and garlic in olive oil, add the bacon till cooked, then add the tomatoes and lentils and simmer till tender.  Grill the salmon.  Serve.


THREE SEED TRIANGLES (Cut into 5, use 1.5 as a snack)                       772


125g pumpkin seeds                 Grind the seeds in a nut grinder and gently toast in a dry

125g sunflower seeds                saucepan for 5 minutes, stirring all the time.

250g stoned dates                    Place the dates and 200ml of water in a small saucepan, bring

100g brown rice flour                 to boil and simmer for 10 minutes until all the water has been

water 300ml                               absorbed.  Mash the dates with a fork. Place all the ingredients

1 organic free range egg            in a food mixer, including the remaining 100ml of water and blend until everything is well combined.  Alternatively, this can be done by hand.  Spoon the mixture into two round sponge cake tins and smooth down.  Place in a preheated oven and bake at 180 for 30 minutes.


       TOTAL: 3598


NOTE: Use a protein shake, rapid recovery or meal replacement as additional meal.

DAY 2                                                                                                                           CALORIES




R         Oats, millet or rice or a mixture of all      225g

E         Purified water or filtered                         As required

A         Molasses or soft fruit                            1.5 tablespoons


F          300g of mixed grains in a pan covered with water, cook and keep adding water

A         until porridge is desired consistency.

S         Put the grains in a pan with the water and simmer until cooked.  Add soft fruit

T         and/or nuts and seeds to taste.


MIXED BEAN AND COUSCOUS SALAD                                                 820.5

(Save approx 1/3 for a snack later)          


L          2 tins of mixed beans or two different types of bean, i.e. black-eyed beans and pinto beans,

U         even baked beans will do

N         150g of couscous

C         Boiling water to just cover couscous

H         Dressing made from 1 tablespoon flaxseed oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, honey and herbs to taste.

            Put the couscous in a bowl and add boiling water to just cover it, leave for 5 mins.

            Mix in the desired beans.  Add the dressing and plenty of herbs to taste.


GRILLED SALMON, ORGANIC CARROT SALAD      (Serves 2)          865





D         500g carrots                              1 medium onion

I           300g salmon or other oily fish    200g of feta cheese (use less if BF% is high)

N         500g tomatoes                          1 tablespoon olive oil               

N         Grate carrots and put in a bowl.  Add balsamic vinegar and garlic dressing.

E         Set aside.

R         Cut tomatoes into slices and your onions into rings, break a moderate

amount of feta cheese into the salad, add a red wine vinegar and extra virgin  olive oil dressing.

Grill 2-3 pieces of salmon and add herbs to the fish as it cooks.


            ORGANIC APPLES AND NUT AND SEEDS                                             491



N         2 organic apples

A         Handful of nuts and seeds  50g

C         250ml of live yoghurt

K         Chop 2 apples and add them plus the nuts and seeds to 250ml of yoghurt.


                                                                                                                      TOTAL:  3445


NOTE: Use a protein shake, rapid recovery or meal replacement as additional meal. 

DAY 3                                                                                                                           CALORIES


EGG WHITE OMELETTE                                                                751


R         2 whole organic free range eggs

E         4 egg whites

A         Small amount of milk

K         Pepper and spices to taste

F          You may also wish to add fresh peppers, mushrooms or spinach and cinnamon

A         4 pieces of rye bread

S         1 tin of baked beans

T         Beat the eggs together with the milk, pour into a non stick pan, heat through.


BUCKWHEAT OLIVE AND TUNA SALAD                                             985

(eat half and use rest as snack)


L          200g buckwheat, pasta or another grain

U         2 tins of tuna in water

N         Follow directions to cook buckwheat on packet.  Choose 20 pitted olives (a mixture is best)

C         and stir in the olives, tuna and sauce.  Serve immediately.

H         .Sauce: 1 tablespoon of Worcester sauce, 1 tablespoon of reduced sodium soya sauce (light soy),

 1-2 tablespoonfuls of home-made tomato ketchup.  Add balsamic vinegar to taste.  You may need

 to add more sauce according to taste.


CAMARGUE RED RICE WITH SWISS VEGETABLE                           813





D         3 salmon steaks or fillets grilled with added mixed Italian herbs

I           300g of Camargue red rice cooked until ready.  This rice takes 30-45 minutes to cook and remains

N         quite nutty in texture.

N         1-2 tablespoons of  Swiss vegetable bouillon

E         200g of frozen peas

R         Home-made tomato ketchup (tomato puree 1/2 tube, lemon juice 1 tblsp. Worcester sauce 1 tblsp, honey 1 tblsp and salt).  Or buy reduced sugar ketchup.

            Plenty of freshly milled black pepper

Put the rice on a simmer for 25mins according to taste.  Grill the salmon.  Pour boiling water on the peas, strain and serve with home-made ketchup.


BANANAS AND NUT AND SEEDS                                                           768


S         3 bananas

N         A handful of mixed nuts and seeds        45g

A         1 pot of yoghurt (250ml)


K                                                                                                                   TOTAL: 3317


NOTE: Use a protein shake, rapid recovery or meal replacement as additional meal.


DAY 4                                                                                                                           CALORIES


HEALTHY COOKED BREAKFAST                                                         1130


R         2 organic free-range eggs (poached)

E         Cooked tomatoes 1 tin

A         Whole earth baked beans 1 tin or reduced sugar and salt beans

K         Mushrooms 250g, onions 250g and garlic fried in 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

F          2 grilled rashers of bacon

A         1 large piece of organic wholemeal bread with organic butter (small amount)




SARDINES ON RYE BREAD                                                                      756


L          Choose 3 tins of sardines - 2 of the tins are to be canned in brine, the 3rd in olive

U         oil and chillis or lemon (Waitrose).  Toast two slices of rye bread, serve with a

N         small salad of rocket and watercress, 250g of total salad.  Or use a bag of salad

C         leaves as available.








D         150g Bulgar wheat cooked                                

I           150g Buckwheat cooked                                   

N         2 red onions, finely diced

N         10 olives mixed

E         2 tablespoons of pesto red or green

R         1oz of feta cheese

            2 chicken breasts cooked and chopped

            Mix all ingredients together.  Serve


LOW FAT YOGHURT AND FRUIT                                                           408


S         2 medium pots of bio yoghurt

N         4 pieces of organic fruit




                                                                                                                        TOTAL: 3394


NOTE: Use a protein shake, rapid recovery or meal replacement as additional meal.


DAY 5                                                                                                                           CALORIES


SMOOTHIE (BERRY AND NUT)                                                                  794


R         1 Pot of plain organic bio yoghurt, use ‘yeo’ or ‘Rachel’s organic’

E         8oz blueberries or frozen soft fruit

A         2 scoops of whey

K         10 almonds or ground almonds

F          4 bananas

A         Approx. 500ml of water depending on desired consistency


T          Put ingredient into a blender, blend and serve


            BEANS AND 2 EGGS ON TOAST                                                                           910


U         Choose 1  tin of either low sugar, low salt beans or whole earth organic beans,

N         heat add spices and herbs, lightly poach two eggs and toast 4 slices of Burgen

C         bread or 100% wholemeal, use a small amount of organic butter to taste.





PEPPER TO TASTE.  Add spinach and a small knob of butter

D         85g of whole wheat pasta

I           1 tin of tomatoes

N         Tomato puree

N         1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

E         1-2 cloves of garlic

R         1 dessert spoon of olive oil

200g of frozen spinach cooked

1 fillet beefsteak peppered and griddle cooked 300g


Cook the pasta as directed.  In a pan fry the crushed garlic in the oil and add the tomatoes and tomato puree and a vegetable stock cube, simmer until thick.  Drain the pasta and coat it in the sauce, serve with a little parmesan.  This is the first course.  Cook the spinach in water and fillet steak in very hot griddle pan.   Use rest later as a snack


            OATCAKES                                                                                                     761


S         With low fat spread such as humus and sliced chicken breast with watercress.

N         1 pot of low fat humus

A         4 oatcakes

C         Handful of sliced chicken

K         2 handfuls of watercress


                                                                                                                      TOTAL:  3348


NOTE:  Use a protein shake, rapid recovery or meal replacement as additional meal

DAY 6                                                                                                                        CALORIES


MEAL REPLACEMENT SHAKE WITH PORRIDGE                                938


R         Meal replacement shake and aminos if applicable

E         500g of porridge oats, heat to desired consistency with water, slice a banana on top

A         to taste.  Have this with 2 slices of wholemeal bread and Marmite.







1/4 ROAST CHICKEN (SKINLESS), MIXED GRAIN                                 970



L          Either buy a whole roast chicken or cook one yourself.  If roasting one yourself,

U         insert 2-4 garlic cloves slivered underneath the skin and slice the skin along the

N         leg of the chicken, this will make it easier to remove after it is cooked.  Use a

C         mixture of wild rice, millet and quinoa* (300g mixed) and add plum tomatoes,

H         sun dried tomatoes and cherry tomatoes in equal amounts (225g).

Flavour with black pepper and herbs to taste.

            *  or other suitable grain like American long grain brown rice




D         Stir fry is an excellent choice for a meal at any time.  Choose some good

I           quality meat or fish and preferably marinade it for some time before in a

N         mixture of spices, garlic, marinades and olive oil.  For vegetables choose 5 or

N         more different types of varying textures.  An example might be mange tout,

E         baby corn, bean sprouts, kale and onion.

R         3 large chicken breasts, 500g mixed vegetables, 1 tablespoon olive oil.

Fry the meat or fish quickly in the spices, garlic and small amount of oil.  Add the vegetables gradually turning and keeping the mixture moving all the time.  A small portion of rice or egg noodles is sometimes nice especially post-training or earlier in the day.


            SOUPS are an excellent snack, try this recipe:                                                    764


S         1 pint of chicken or vegetable stock made with Swiss vegetable bouillon or other

N         low salt stock cube.  Add 2 egg whites to the stock once it is boiling and whisk

A         vigorously.  Serve.  Use a teaspoon of ginger to spice it up a little.  Have this with

C         1/2 small pot of low fat humus and 2 slices of toasted wholemeal bread.

K                                                                                                                   TOTAL:  3493



NOTE: Use a protein shake, rapid recovery or meal replacement as additional meal.


DAY 7                                                                                                                           CALORIES


CITRUS SMOOTHIE                                                                                                  905


R   1 whole organic unwaxed lemon

E   500ml of water

A   1 peeled orange

K   1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

F    1 sachet of rapid recovery or

A   1 tablespoon of honey and 1 scoop of whey protein isolate

S   Have this with an egg white omelette (see page 3), don’t have the beans and only

T   have 2 slices of rye bread.



L    Soups (mixed vegetable, leek and potato, minestrone, chicken broth, Tuscan

U   bean mixture, pumpkin and ginger, corn chowder, butterbean and vegetable,

N   cauliflower and cashew nut, lentil and coriander or gazpacho).  These soups

C   can be either bought (Covent Garden or Gourmet kitchen) or cooked at

H   home.  Oatcakes make a great accompaniment.


Spicy tomato and rice soup with sweetcorn, 2 tins Baxters Healthy Soup Range, have this with 3 slices of wholemeal bread and 1/2 pot of humus.



D   CURRIES:  (Rice) different types of rice are recommended: aromatic

I     basmati rice is a good slow releasing sugar, as is wild rice (actually a grass),

N   brown rice, brown basmati rice and Camargue red rice.  If you have trouble

N   cooking rice, we recommend a rice cooker (around £30-40) which is a hassle

E   free way to make fluffy, perfectly cooked rice every time.  Adding spices and

R   cardamom pods whilst the rice is cooking adds variety and taste.


1.5 chicken breasts, 3 onions, 4 cloves of garlic, 3 teaspoons of curry powder, 2 tins of

tomatoes, 1 pot of yoghurt.  Makes 2 servings, use one as a snack later in the day.

      Fry the onions and garlic until soft, add the chicken and curry powder and cook through.  Then

add the tomatoes and yoghurt.  Cook 150g of any of the above types of rice.  Serve.



S   Quick salads:

N   Tuna and tomatoes

A   2 tins of tuna

C   10 tomatoes

K   Balsamic vinegar and freshly ground black pepper

Sardines and salad

1 tin of sardines in brine

1/2 tin of pinto beans

1/2 a lettuce

Cider vinegar and flaxseed oil dressing

                                                                                                                      TOTAL: 3310


NOTE: Use a protein shake, rapid recovery or meal replacement as additional meal   

DAY 8                                                                                                                           CALORIES


B   ON THE RUN OPEN COTTAGE CHEESE SANDWICHES                             705


E   6 slices of whole wheat bread or rye (organic)

A   Whole fruit jam, thinly spread

K   Low fat cottage cheese, 1 tablespoon on each slice, 1 small pot in total (30g protein)


A   Toast the bread, drizzle in flaxseed oil (1 tblsp) and spread with a generous

S   amount of whole fruit jam or real fruit slices.  Add low fat cottage cheese.



JACKET POTATO WITH SUGAR FREE BEANS AND                                       905



U   Bake a medium jacket potato for 45-60 minutes.  While it is cooking prepare your

N   lentils (400g) boiling them until tender in a little chicken stock.  When your potato

C   is ready open and add a little flaxseed oil, the lentils, beans (1 tin) and sardines or

H   other fish.  If you are pushed for time then leave the lentils and have the fish.


      CHILLIS  These can be made with chicken,                                                                    926

turkey or beef (leanest minced steak is best)

D   4 onions

I     Garlic to taste (2 cloves)

N   Kidney beans 1 tin

N   1-2 tinned or 4-5 fresh large tomatoes

E   2 servings of lean meat 500g (chicken, turkey or beef)

R   1/2 tube of tomato puree

1-2 vegetable stock cubes

Mixed herbs 1 tablespoonful

Chilli peppers fresh to taste. Powdered chilli, 1 teaspoon

Mushrooms (shiitake and button mixture) 300g  

Serves 2 - don’t eat it all unless you need the extra calories.

Top tip: keep left over chilli and have as an open sandwich for breakfast the next day.




S   250g of cherry tomatoes, halved

N   100g firm goats or sheep’s cheddar, cubed

A   200g red cabbage, finely shredded                 

C   1 fennel root, finely sliced or beetroot

K   6oz of freshly cooked prawns

      100g of black olives, 4 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

 250g of cherry tomatoes, halved, 2 tbsp. olive oil


Sauté the cabbage and fennel in the olive oil for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Set aside in a bowl and allow to cool.  Add the remaining ingredients and combine well.  Serve


                                                                                                                              TOTAL: 3517


NOTE: Use a protein shake, rapid recovery or meal replacement as additional meal

DAY 9                                                                                                                           CALORIES


B         CONTINENTAL                                                                                                813


E         Scrambled eggs (as below) and smoked salmon

A         Lemon juice and black pepper

K         Mushrooms and tomato


A         Scramble 2 whole eggs and 4 egg whites with some flakes of smoked salmon (75g).

S         Fry some mushrooms 250g in Worcester sauce and water adding some garlic if

T         you want.  Add 4 halved tomatoes and cook through.  Have on 2 slices of rye.


            MEAT (ANY) AND TWO VEGETABLES                                                     870


L          Choose a nice large piece of meat or fish in season 200-300g and organic where

U         possible.  Marinade it in tamarind sauce, garlic and a small amount of olive oil.

N         Lightly steam some broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.  For a sauce add a

C         small amount of fresh low fat fromage frais and lightly warm this mixture in the

H         juices of the griddle pan which you’ve just cooked your meat in.  175g broccoli,

175g cauliflower, 175g Brussels sprouts, 200g low fat fromage frais.


            OVEN ROAST COD, MONK FISH,                                                              960


D         2 pieces of fish 300-500g

I           1 lemon

N         Thyme

N         Rock salt and cracked black pepper

E         Extra virgin olive oil

R         2 cans of chickpeas, 2 large garlic cloves, 2tsp ground cumin


Cook the fish in the oven with the oil, lemon and thyme (salt and pepper).

Put the chickpeas in the blender with the garlic, cumin and lemon juice.

When it reaches the desired consistency, heat in oven and serve with the fish.


            BANANA AND WALNUT CAKE (cut into 4 use 1.5 as snack)                        808


S         2 large ripe bananas

N         225ml (8fl oz) orange, apple or other whole fruit juice

A         300g of flour, use wholemeal, self-raising or non-wheat and add baking powder (1 tsp.)

C         100g of molasses sugar or 150-200g mixed prune and apricot mash

K         2-3 egg whites

1 tbsp. of flaxseed oil  

1 tsp. Cinnamon, 1 tsp. mixed spice

50g mixed chopped walnuts


Mash the bananas with the fruit juice.

Mix together the flour, sugar or mixed fruit and spices in a bowl.  Add the banana juice mixture together with egg whites and oil.  Mix these together well.  Spoon into a lightly oiled tin.  Bake at 160 for an hour.

                                                                                                                     TOTAL:  3451

Try a serving of this cake whilst still warm with a little low fat yoghurt.


NOTE: Use a protein shake, rapid recovery or meal replacement as additional meal.

DAY 10                                                                                                             CALORIES


MIXED FRUIT SALAD, YOGHURT CRUNCHIE                                      666

B         1 apple

R         1 orange

E         1 tangerine

A         1 kiwi

K         Some grapes

F          Pineapple, small tin in own juice

A         or other fruits in season

S         1/2 pot of yoghurt, 500ml

T         1/2 pot of Jordan’s Oat Crunch or Quinoa flakes 30g

Chop up the fruit add all the ingredients.  Serve.


            RISOTTO                                                                                                         1401

L          350g of risotto rice

U         2 large onions

N         4-5 cloves of garlic

C         Juice from 2-3 lemons

H         Parmesan shavings 50g

2 pints of vegetable or chicken stock

2 chicken breast fillets with low fat ricotta cheese (60g) and rosemary.


Place the onions, garlic and olive oil into a pan and cook until lightly brown.  Add the rice and fry it for 2-3 minutes.  Begin to add the stock gradually a little at a time stirring it in and keeping the rice moving.  This is quite an involved dish. Keep adding the stock until the rice is done.  Slice the fillets in half and pack with ricotta cheese and rosemary, grill until golden brown and cooked through.


This dish takes some time to prepare - allow an hour.

Eat half and use the rest as a snack.    


            GRIDDLED HALIBUT, TUNA OR                                                                905



D         500g vine tomatoes

I           1-2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

N         Freshly ground black pepper

N         A pinch of saffron

E         2 tsp. sun dried tomato paste

R         1.5 large fish steaks

            133g couscous

250ml boiling water

Organic rocket salad


Roast the tomatoes in a little oil, add the saffron, sun dried tomato paste and sun dried tomatoes and stir.  Pan fry the fish until desired.  Pour the water over the couscous and season.  Garnish with a large rocket and balsamic vinegar salad.


            CARROT CAKE      Cut into 4 and use as snacks                                             441


225g of wholemeal flour or other grain flour with added baking powder

2 tsp. of mixed spice

100g of molasses sugar or 100-150g of pureed fruit prunes and apricots 50/50

4 carrots grated

1-2 apples grated

100g of raisins

175ml of orange or apple juice or other whole fruit juice

2-3 egg whites

2 tbsp. of flaxseed or 50% olive 50% flax mix

Mix together the flour, spices and sugar or pureed fruit together in a bowl.

Stir in the carrots, apples and raisins.  Add the oil, fruit juice and egg whites and mix.  Spoon into a loaf tin and bake at 160 for approx. 90 minutes.

                                                                                                           TOTAL: 3413


NOTE: Use a protein shake, rapid recovery or meal replacement as additional meal.

DAY 11                                                                                                             CALORIES


                     EGGY BREAD AND CHICKEN                                                                   851


R         2 slices of bread

E         4 whole eggs

A         Pepper and spices

K         2 thinly sliced grilled chicken breasts 200g

F          Home-made ketchup (tomato paste, honey or maple syrup, Worcester sauce, salt bio or LO salt,

A         herbs and spices).  Or use reduced sugar tomato ketchup.

S         Beat the eggs pepper and spices in a bowl, dip the bread into the mixture

T         thoroughly covering it.  Place the bread into a hot frying pan and cook.  Serve.


                     SPICED LOW SUGAR LOW SALT BAKED BEANS, WITH                 943




U         1 tin of healthy beans, add spices and herbs to taste

N         2 tins of sardines canned in brine

C         1-2 cloves of garlic

H         Mixed organic salad leaves 1 packet, serve with 2 slices of toasted rye bread


Grill the sardines with garlic squeezed on top.  Heat the beans, serve with salad and dressing of your choice.


                     QUICK FISH PIE                                                                                            929


D         150g smoked haddock skinned and cut into pieces

I           Add some smoked salmon or prawns for more people or to make more of a flashy pie

N         Buy some low fat cheese or cheese sauce

N         150g of polenta or mashed potato

E         2 tbsp. of freshly grated parmesan cheese

R         Mixed herbs, Thai fish sauce 2 tablespoons, 100g of frozen peas


Preheat the oven to 220, put the fish into bottom of the dish and add the cheese sauce, frozen peas, herbs and Thai fish sauce.  Mix up polenta as directed and stir in some of the cheese to make a topping for the pie.  Cover the fish and peas but do not squash the topping down.  Leave in oven for approx. 30 mins. until cheese is golden brown.  



            RASPBERRY AND ALMOND CAKE      (3 slices, only eat 1 at a time)         826

S            8 egg whites, 1/4 tsp. salt,   1/2 tsp. cornflour

N            1 tsp. vanilla essence/extract, 1 tsp. almond extract

A            150g sugar or 200g pureed prunes and apricots

C         150g plain flour, 30g finely ground almonds

K         100g fresh raspberries,  250ml low fat yoghurt, fresh mint to garnish


Preheat your oven to 170.   Lightly grease a non-stick 1.7 litre ring mould.  Combine egg whites, salt and cornflour and beat until lightly foamy.  Add the vanilla and almond extracts and beat until mixture lies in soft peaks.  Sift together the sugar and flour and stir in the almonds.  Using a large metal spoon gently fold the mixture a little at a time into the egg whites making a light and foamy mixture, then fold the raspberries being careful not to break them.  Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and cook for 45 minutes.  Allow the cake to cool completely and serve with yoghurt and fresh raspberries or strawberries.                                                                                                                                              TOTAL: 3549

DAY 12                                                                                                          CALORIES


            MIXED ENERGY BREAKFASTS                                                                                1077


R         Oats and oat bran or millet and quinoa: 100g oats, 50g oat bran, 50g millet, 50g quinoa

E         Rice dream, 250ml

A         Sliced banana

K         Tablespoonful of lecithin granules to assist emulsification of fats

F          Maple syrup

A         F.O.S 1 teaspoon (build up to this dose slowly)


T         Putting this recipe in the fridge for 1/2 hour improves the flavour.


            THAI FISH SOUP ON NOODLES                                                                                1018


1 whole sprig of fresh coriander

1 tablespoon of ground ginger

L          Chilli powder to taste

U         4 cloves of garlic

N         2 pints of low fat coconut milk

C         1.5 pints of fish or vegetable stock

H         Monkfish, Tiger prawns, Baby squid

Sugar snap beans 100g

Pour over cooked vermicelli noodles 300g


Fry your fish lightly in the garlic, chill and ginger.   Add the stock and the coconut milk and simmer for 10 minutes whilst you cook the noodles.   Serve.   





            COURGETTES, SWEET POTATOES (AND/OR YAM).  Low fat protein source


I           Aubergines 150g, courgettes 150g, sweet potato, 150g, turnips 150g, onions 300g,

N         5 cloves garlic, 2 chicken breasts or equivalent, 1 tablespoon of olive oil

N         Roughly chop the vegetables and place on a baking tray with a light drizzle of

E         olive oil.   Separately grill whatever low fat protein source you’ve chosen until

R         done. 



BANANA AND STRAWBERRY SHAKE                                                                    381


N         1 banana

A         250g of strawberries, cored and halved

C         500ml of thick apple juice

K         Blend ingredients together with a few ice cubes and serve



                                                                                                                          TOTAL:  3434       


NOTE: Use a protein shake, rapid recovery or meal replacement as additional meal.

DAY 13                                                                                                             CALORIES


            FAT FREE MUFFINS WITH NUT BUTTERS AND BEANS                    899


R         2 fat free muffins (95% fat free)

E         Nut butters (almond spread, sunflower seed spread)

A         Protein shake 30g of powder

K         1 tin of low sugar, low salt baked beans






            SALADS, choose from the following:                                                         769

L          2 tins of tuna or equivalent protein with each salad

U         Warm broccoli, red pepper and sesame

N         Chickpeas with peppers and tomatoes

C         Spiced lentils with mixed green vegetables

H         Brown rice and citrus fruit

Tuna, avocado and tomato

Mixed green leaves (preferably organic)

Herb salad, have with 3 slices of toasted rye bread


CHICKEN WITH WILD MUSHROOMS                                                        883

300g of chicken stock

D         2 free-range skinless chicken breasts

I           10g of unsalted butter

N         200g of mixed fresh mushrooms - shiitake, oyster, and button

N         1 large onion, 1 pack of dried mushrooms 30g

E         350g of bio yoghurt

R         Freshly ground black pepper

Wild rice or Camargue red rice, 150g


Bring the stock to a boil in a shallow pan, add the chicken breasts and cook for 20 minutes, remove the chicken once cooked and add to the stock the small amount of butter, onion and mushrooms and cook.  Next remove half the mixture and blend adding the yoghurt, then return this mixture to the pan and warm through.  Slice the chicken and serve on a bed of wild rice, spoon over the sauce to taste.


            BUCKWHEAT PANCAKES WITH BANANA OR                                       637


S         4oz flour, use wholemeal if you can’t find buckwheat

N         4oz rice milk

A         3 whole free range eggs

C         2 bananas


            Mix the flour, rice milk and egg together, cook mixture in non-stick pan.

            Serve with chopped banana, organic coconut and fresh lemon juice

                         TOTAL: 3442


NOTE: Use a protein shake, rapid recovery or meal replacement as additional meal.  

 DAY 14                                                                                                            CALORIES


LOW FAT SOYA OR QUORN SAUSAGES                                                 819


R         4 low fat soya or quorn sausages with 1 tin of low salt and sugar beans on 100% rye bread, 

E         4 slices.  Use low fat meat sausages if you don’t like the soya ones.








LAMB AND VEGETABLE KEBAB (LEANEST CUT)                            1019



L          6oz of fresh cubed lamb chunks

U         Assorted chunky chopped vegetables: onions 50g, courgettes 50g, peppers 50g and so on

N         Kebab sticks (soaked in water)

C         175g brown rice, 150g lentils


Alternately skewer the sticks with chunky pieces of vegetables and lamb then place them in barbecue sauce to marinade.  Next barbecue or grill them until done.  Cook the rice and lentils as instructed on the packet.  Cover in remainder of barbecue sauce but cook the sauce through first as it’s had raw meat in it.  Barbecue sauce made from 1/3 ketchup, 1/3 lemon juice, 1/3 honey with plenty of garlic, soy sauce and herbs to taste.  


            TEX MEX APPROACH – SANTA FE CHICKEN FAJITAS                    109

D         500g boneless, skinless chicken  breasts

I           1 red onion, 1 green pepper

N         3/4 cup of salsa or picante sauce, 6 tablespoons lime juice

N         3 cloves garlic, minced

E         2 teaspoons chilli powder, 1 teaspoon dried oregano

R         1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, salt, freshly ground black pepper

Low fat sour cream, chopped tomatoes and hot peppers

1 tablespoon canola or olive oil

6 tortillas


Cut the chicken into fine strips.  Add the onion, garlic, green peppers, salsa, lime juice, herbs and spices in a bowl, stir and place in the fridge for an hour or longer.  Heat the oil in a pan and add the chicken mixture and cook until ready.  Pour mixture into prepared tortillas and add toppings.   Serve immediately.



Variety to include tropical soft fruits as well as hard fruits


N         50g pineapple, 50g mango, 50g melon, 50g grapes, 50g kiwi, 50g apple, 

A         50g pears, 50g banana, 50g lychees, and 50g fruit juice

C         Serve with 250ml low fat yoghurt

K                                                                                                                     TOTALS:  3554


NOTE:  Use a protein shake, rapid recovery or meal replacement as additional meal

DAY 15                                                                                                             CALORIES


B         RYE OR MULTI-GRAIN TOAST WITH                                             835



A         4 slices of rye bread

K         1 tin of sardines (200g) and 130g of grilled tomato

F          1/2 tin of baked beans

A         Toast the bread, warm the beans and sardines.  Serve





L          1 duck breast, season with black pepper

U         175g of broccoli

N         1 tin of butter beans

C         75g of almonds

H         2 oranges

Roast the duck breasts on a bed of oranges.  Boil the broccoli.  Once the duck breasts are cooked, put the butter beans into the sauce and lightly fry on the cooker.  Remove and serve the duck breast, butter beans and broccoli, cover in juice.


            SOUTHWESTERN BLACK BEAN SALAD                                                 887

D         1/2 tin of chickpeas

I           1 can black or other beans, rinsed and drained

N         1/2 green pepper

N         1 cup of corn or another type of bean

E         1 chopped tomato

R         1/2 finely chopped red onion

3 tablespoons lime juice, 1 tablespoon canola oil

1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar

1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sugar or honey

2 teaspoons chilli powder, 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Freshly ground black pepper, Hot pepper sauce to taste

Combine ingredients well and serve


            CHOCOLATE BROWNIES                                                                              580

100g of plain high cocoa organic chocolate

S         100g of pitted prunes

N         3 tbsp. water

A         4 egg whites

C         200g of light brown sugar

K         1 tsp. salt

1-2 tsp. vanilla essence

65g plain flour, 25g of chopped walnuts

Best post workout with protein source

Melt the plain chocolate in a bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water.  Puree the prunes with the water in a liquidizer until smooth.  In a separate bowl mix together the prune puree, egg whites, sugar, salt and vanilla essence.  Add the melted chocolate and stir until smooth.  Fold in the sieved flour.  Spread the mixture into a lightly oiled 15cm square tin.  Sprinkle with the walnuts.  Bake at 180 for I hour. When cool cut into 4 squares. Don’t eat it all at once!   Have with a protein shake.

                                                                                                                             TOTAL:  3289

NOTE: Use a protein shake, rapid recovery or meal replacement as additional meal.

DAY 16                                                                                                             CALORIES


B         LOW FAT COTTAGE CHEESE AND SMOKED                                        910



A         4 low fat bagels halved and toasted

K         1 250 ml pot of extra low fat cottage cheese

F          250g of smoked salmon

A         1 whole lemon

S         Freshly crushed black pepper

T         If this is too much save some for a snack later


CRAB SALAD                                                                                                    970


1 avocado

L          1 orange

U         1 packet of watercress

N         1 red pepper

C         1 tin of fresh crab

H         1oz prawns cooked

1/2 cucumber

Low fat dressing

200g pearl barley, cooked


Cook the pearl barley, chop and combine the other ingredients.  Serve.


GRILLED CHICKEN BREAST WITH LIME                                                  812


D         2 chicken breasts

I           2 whole limes

N         1 pot of low fat bio yoghurt

N         1/2Ib of new potatoes

E         Sprig of whole coriander

R         3 garlic cloves


Marinade the chicken breasts in the juice and zest of one whole lime and crushed garlic cloves.   Leave in fridge for at least an hour, ideally overnight.   Finely chop the coriander into the yoghurt and add the juice and diced flesh of the other lime, sprinkle paprika and turmeric on top.   Set aside.   Grill two chicken breasts turning frequently.  Serve with lime and coriander, yoghurt and new potatoes.


FROZEN YOGHURT                                                                                        657

S         1.5 pot of plain bio active yoghurt

N         7 dried apricots diced finely

A         Roasted hazelnuts 45g


K         Put all the ingredients together and freeze.


                                                                                                                    TOTALS:  3349


NOTE: Use a protein shake, rapid recovery or meal replacement as additional meal.

DAY 17                                                                                                             CALORIES



B         MACKEREL ON TOAST, ANY NON-WHEAT VARIETY                          996


E         1/2 packet of smoked peppered mackerel or 2 chicken breasts cooked in any way

A         2 slices of non-wheat toast, e.g. rye

K         Frozen peas, 6oz

F          Herbs and spices to taste






SALAD NICOISE                                                                                               774

400g of tuna in water, drained - if you like them add a few anchovies

3 eggs - 1 whole and 2 whites

L          1 tablespoonful of capers

U         100g of cooked green beans

N         1 packet of celery

C         Dressing:

H         1 tablespoonful of flaxseed oil

2 tablespoonfuls of vinegar (mix cider and balsamic)

1 teaspoon of mustard

1 clove of crushed garlic

4 ripe tomatoes

Freshly ground black pepper to taste, serve with 195g of long-grain American brown rice



SPICED LOW SUGAR, LOW SALT BAKED BEANS,                                         1027




I           1 large tin of pilchards or 2 tins of sardines with 2 cloves of garlic crushed on top

N         1 tin of beans with added spices and herbs

N         1 packet of organic salad leaves and tomatoes

E         Dressing to taste





Serve with almond ratafias


N         These low fat ice-creams can be found in most supermarkets, as can almond

A         ratafias.   Use around 120g per serving.   Have with 2 apples.



                                                                                                                    TOTALS:  3441


NOTE: Use a protein shake, rapid recovery or meal replacement as additional meal.

DAY 18                                                                                                             CALORIES


BACON AND TOMATOES ON TOAST                                                        885



E         4 rashers of trimmed bacon or turkey rashers (or use a combination)

A         4 ripe tomatoes, halved

K         4 slices of toast


A         Grill the bacon or turkey rashers and tomatoes.

S         Toast and lightly butter the bread.



            SPICED LENTILS WITH MIXED GREEN VEGETABLES                    1145


L          400g of mixed lentils

U         1 pint of chicken stock

N         1 teaspoon of chilli powder

C         1kg of mixed green vegetables roasted in herbs and a little olive oil

H         Black pepper and salt to taste

            300g courgettes, 300g peppers, 300g aubergine and 100g fresh chillis


Put the lentils, stock and spices into a pan and boil until tender


POTATO, ONION AND GARLIC BAKE.                                                       826



I           4-5 medium potatoes thinly sliced

N         2-3 onions, ringed

N         4 cloves of garlic, chopped finely

E         2 fresh fish, e.g. trout, red mullet, any you fancy, approx. 300g

R         Large mixed salad




            MIXTURE OF DIFFERENT FRUITS                                                             604


N         4 different pieces of fruit, i.e. kiwi, pineapple and apple, 

A         served with low fat yoghurt 250ml



                                                                                                                        TOTAL:  3460


NOTE: Use a protein shake, rapid recovery or meal replacement as additional meal.

DAY 19                                                                                                             CALORIES


B         BANANA MILKSHAKE WITH SEPARATE                                                 811




K         1 banana

F          1 pint of milk (oat, rice, soya, or normal skimmed)

A         1 scoop of protein powder 30g

S         blended together


            1 LARGE  serving of non-wheat breakfast cereal with more non-dairy milk


FENNEL, WATERCRESS, ORANGE SEGMENTS AND                         759

FRESH PARSLEY  Serve with oatcakes and chicken


U         2 chicken breasts

N         4 oatcakes

C         1 fennel root or chopped celery

H         250g watercress

            2 oranges, 100g fresh parsley


CHINESE CHICKEN AND CASHEW NUTS                                              1301

D         2 chicken breasts thinly sliced

I           Freshly chopped ginger 40g

N         Freshly chopped garlic 2 cloves

N         2 handfuls of cashew nuts

E         50g of pineapple juice

R         Mixed vegetables of your choice 500g               Beansprouts     100g

1 tablespoon of soya sauce                                          Broccoli                        100g

Chinese five spice (generous pinch)                               Carrots             100g

            2 teaspoons of sesame oil                                            Mushrooms       100g

            300g of noodles (rice or egg based                  


            LOW FAT FROMAGE FRAIS WITH                                                              564



N         1 pot of low fat fromage frais (250ml)

A         1 punnet of fresh strawberries




                                                                                                                        TOTAL:  3435



NOTE: Use a protein shake, rapid recovery or meal replacement as additional meal.


DAY 20                                                                                                             CALORIES


SOAKED MUESLI                                                                                             981

B         113g rice flakes,            85g millet flakes

R         25g of mixed seeds (sunflower, linseed and sesame)

E         33g of mixed dried fruit - apricots 40g, prunes 30g and dates 30g

A         25g of mixed nuts (almonds, walnuts and brazils)

K         1 serving of whey protein

F          Mix the ingredients together and store in a glass airtight container.

A         Fill a bowl to the desired level and soak with filtered water for at least 15 minutes

S         or overnight.

T         Serve with rice milk, oat milk, soya milk or yoghurt.   Approx. 250ml per serving


BEAN CURRY                                                                                                   904

L          1 pot of reduced fat coconut milk

U         200g of mixed sweetcorn and peas

N         500g of cooked beans (kidney, chickpeas, butterbeans)

C         2 cloves of garlic, 1 teaspoon coriander, 1 teaspoon cumin

H         Handful of fresh coriander

4 onions

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

1 teaspoon of ginger

Fry the onions and garlic till soft, then add the spices, tomatoes and beans and heat through.





D         1 avocado

I           3 large turkey breasts

N         6 tortillas

N         1/2 cucumber

E         1 tin of black-eyed beans

R         Juice from 2 limes

               2 sweet potatoes, 1 large packet baby spinach, filo pastry 1 packet


Fry the turkey in Mexican spices, cook the tortillas, serve with low fat fromage frais.  Stir the black-eyed beans in with refried beans and lime juice, heat through.  Chop the baby spinach and sweet potatoes, add an equal amount of soy sauce and balsamic vinegar, put mixture in a baking dish, put the filo pastry on top and bake for 30 minutes at 180-200.


            TINNED BLACKCURRANTS AND                                                              504



N         1 tin of blackcurrants in own juice 200g

A         1/2 pot of bio active strawberry yoghurt 250g

C         1 scoop of protein powder

K         Crunchy cereal 50g

TOTAL:  3462


NOTE: Use a protein shake, rapid recovery or meal replacement as additional meal.

DAY 21                                                                                                             CALORIES


B         BREAKFAST RICE                                                                                                    1016

R         1 Bowl of cooked brown rice per person with a mixture of the following ingredients:

E         Nuts and seeds             75g

A         Desiccated coconut      20g

K         Pinch of nutmeg

F          Oat milk, rice milk, fruit juice or soya yoghurt      250ml

A         A mixture of dried, stewed and chopped fresh fruit




QUINOA, CASHEW NUT AND VEGETABLES                                                      922

L          175g of broccoli

U         1 courgette

N         1/2 red pepper

C         1 large carrot

H         100g of green beans

2 sticks of celery, 1 leek

100g of whole cashews

200g of quinoa or other whole grain such as rice and lentils mixed


Juice of 1 whole lemon

Juice of 1 whole orange

1/2 tube of tomato puree

1 tsp of paprika, ginger, ground coriander, some grated lemon rind, pinch of nutmeg

Serve with 1/2 pot low fat humus ________________________________________________________________________




D         Cook 500g long grain American rice  (You’ll use 350g now, 150g tomorrow)

I           Marinade sauce consisting of:

N         1 tablespoon of Worcester sauce

N         1 tablespoon of tamarind sauce                 

E         4 cloves of garlic                                      

R         1 tablespoon of olive oil.

            1 tablespoon of honey

            Mixed herbs

1 teaspoon of chilli pepper


Place 3 chicken breast fillets into marinade overnight.   Grill and serve with rice and quinoa .

Marinade not used can be heated up thoroughly and served as sauce with the rice


FAT FREE MUFFINS WITH BLUEBERRIES                                             664


N         2 fat free muffins

A         1 punnet of fresh blueberries

C         200ml of low fat fromage frais mixed with 1 scoop of protein powder


                            TOTAL:  3590


NOTE: Use a protein shake, rapid recovery or meal replacement as additional meal.

DAY 22                                                                                                             CALORIES


RICE SMOOTHIE                                                                                              788


R         2 bananas

E         1 pinch of nutmeg

A         150g cooked rice (saved from the night before)

K         Soya or rice milk 250ml

F          Scoop of protein powder 30g


S         Blend the ingredients until desired consistency, add a few ice cubes as you do so.

T         Pour into a glass and eat as you would a yoghurt




U         4 large tins of chickpeas drained and washed

N         6 mixed peppers

C         8 ripe tomatoes

H         Dressing:  2 tablespoon flax or olive oil, 4 tablespoons balsamic, 4 cloves garlic,

            2 tablespoonful of mixed herbs.  Use 2 slices of rye bread as a vehicle for salad.

            Chop and mix all ingredients together.  Serve.  Use rest as a snack later. 


BROCCOLI AND SMOKED SALMON BAKE                                             935

D         1 medium onion

I               30ml rice flour

N         2ml nutmeg, black pepper

N         250g smoked salmon

E         250g of broccoli florets

R         300ml soya milk

1 teaspoon of lemon rind

250g cooked red kidney beans


85g millet flakes, 55g mixed ground nuts

30g brown rice flour

2 dessert spoons of flaxseed oil

2 tablespoons of mixed seeds

Chop the onion and cook with the broccoli in 140ml of boiling water until tender.  Drain and keep the cooking liquid.  Put the rice flour in a pan and mix into a smooth paste using a little of the soya milk.  Add the remaining soya milk and the stock from the vegetables made up to 140ml with water. 

Bring to the boil, stirring constantly, then lower the heat and simmer for 2 minutes.  Add the nutmeg, lemon rind and pepper, then the vegetables, beans and smoked salmon which should be broken into pieces  Spoon the mixture into a large dish or some smaller dishes if it’s for a dinner party. 

Place the millet flakes, rice flour and ground nuts in a bowl and rub in oil by hand.

Spread the topping over the vegetable and salmon mixture and scatter the mixed seeds over the surface.


S         The juice from 4 large juicy oranges with a handful of almonds                                  641

N         Eat this with 2 bananas



K                                                                                                                   TOTAL:  3391


NOTE: Use a protein shake, rapid recovery or meal replacement as additional meal.

DAY 23                                                                                                             CALORIES


THE FULL MONTY                                                                                          928


R         3 rashers of lean bacon or turkey rashers

E         3 slices of toasted bread

A         1/2 tin of beans

K         2 whole free range organic eggs

F          Tinned tomatoes 1 tin

A         Mushrooms lightly fried in water and garlic - 200g, 2 cloves garlic

S         Tomato juice and herb teas       


Grill the bacon, toast the bread, heat the beans through, poach the eggs, fry the mushroom in the garlic and serve.   This is great for post match morning.


            TURKEY SANDWICHES                                                                              1198


U         2 slices of rye bread, 2 slices of Burgen or other whole grain bread

N         3 turkey breast fillets cooked in onion and garlic

C         Low fat cheddar cheese 50g

H         Mixed salad leaves 250g

            Low fat mayonnaise, home-made 2 egg yolks, 1 tablespoon olive oil or bought reduced fat mayo.


RED LENTIL & BEEF CASSEROLE                                                             804


D         2 teaspoons of oil

I           1 onion chopped

N         2 crushed garlic cloves

N         200g of red lentils

E         1 1/2 pints of filtered water

R         2 vegetable stock cubes

1 red pepper, 1 yellow pepper, 2 courgettes, 2 carrots, 100g shiitake mushrooms

1 small aubergine

300g of prime trimmed beef steak mince

1 glass of red wine


Heat the oil in a large non-stick saucepan or pressure cooker.  Cook the onions, garlic and beef to seal in the flavour for around 5-7 minutes.  Add the lentils, water, stock and wine.  Bring this mixture to the boil, stirring to dissolve the stock and cook for a further 30 minutes; alternatively cook in the pressure cooker for 3 minutes and then remove from the heat.  Add the vegetables and cook until they and the meat are tender.


S         CARROT CAKE (FOLLOW BANANA CAKE  RECIPE                             494

N         REPLACING BANANAS WITH CARROTS) (4 servings)         


C         Exactly the same as banana cake recipe but add carrots instead (see day 9 snack).


                                                                                                                      TOTAL:  3424


NOTE: Use a protein shake, rapid recovery or meal replacement as additional meal.

DAY 24                                                                                                             CALORIES


B         HAM AND CHEESE ON TOAST                                                                   891

R         4 slices of extra lean ham (equivalent to 150g)

E         4 slices of toasted wholemeal or 100% rye bread

A         2oz of reduced fat cheese

K         Home-made tomato ketchup

F     1/2 tin of low sugar low salt baked beans

A         Lightly toast one side of the bread and turn, place the low fat cheese on the other

S         side and grill until golden brown, add the ham and ketchup.   Flavour with

T         Worcester sauce.


            LARGE MIXED BEAN SALAD                                                                       764


U         2 tins of mixed beans, drained and washed

N         Selection from list of salad vegetables

C         Dressing of choice (low fat)

H         .2 hard boiled eggs

1 tin of tuna

            2 slices of rye


Mix ingredients together and serve with oatcakes, Ryvita and low fat humus or aubergine spread.


THAI GREEN FISH OR CHICKEN CURRY                                                                1086


I           1 tablespoon of olive oil

N         1-2 onions finely diced

N         50g of Thai green curry paste

E         1/2 pint of reduced fat coconut milk

R         250g of chunky fish or chicken, e.g. cod, monkfish

200g of brown rice

Grated zest of 1 lime


Put a pan of rice on the boil.

Heat the oil in a pan and add the onion and garlic, cook until slightly caramelised.

Add the curry paste and coconut milk and simmer for around 10 minutes.

Add the fish or chicken and cook.

Serve the curry on top of the rice and garnish with fresh coriander and the lime zest.


            LOW FAT CUSTARD ON LOW FAT MUFFIN                                          515


N         Mix up 1 sachet of low fat custard powder and serve with a low fat muffin.

A         Add 1serving of whey.   Slice a banana on top to taste.


K                                                                                                                   TOTAL:  3386



NOTE: Use a protein shake, rapid recovery or meal replacement as additional meal.

DAY 25                                                                                                             CALORIES




E         4 slices of wholemeal toast

A         3 bananas

K         Peanut butter (organic)

F          1 scoop of protein powder made as a separate drink





RICE WITH HADDOCK AND PEAS                                                             905

350g of wild rice

L          1 pint of vegetable stock

U         400-500g of haddock fillet

N         200g frozen peas

C         Freshly ground black pepper

H         2 slices of rye bread on the side


Place the rice in a large pan with the stock and bay leaf, bring to the boil and cook  for 15 minutes.

Add the haddock and peas and cook for a further 5 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed.

Stir to break up the fish.

Serve with home-made ketchup and a salad of your choice.


BROWN RICE, MILLET AND QUINOA (1/3RD)                                967



D         Serve with mixed seafood platter

I           50g brown rice, 50g millet, 50g quinoa

N         100g shiitake, 100g oyster, 100g button mushrooms

N         1 large pepper, 6 shallots, 4 cloves garlic

E         10 large prawns, 1 tuna steak, 4 fresh sardines


Cook 50g each of rice, millet and quinoa according to directions on packet.

            In a separate pan cook the shallots, peppers and mushrooms, mix in olive oil.

            Oven roast prawns, tuna steak,  fresh sardines and other types of fish in garlic,

            lemon juice and assorted herbs., 



            LEMON SORBET                                                                                             670


N         4 lemons

A         1.5 sachet of rapid recovery

C         4 tablespoons of mixed sugar (maple, honey, FOS, sucrose)


            Blend the ingredients together and freeze.  Leave to stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Best eaten post training on a hot summer’s day.


                                                                                                                      TOTAL:  3424


NOTE: Use a protein shake, rapid recovery or meal replacement as additional meal.

DAY 26                                                                                                             CALORIES


B         2 POACHED EGGS, BEANS AND SAUSAGES                                                   1098


E         Poach 2 eggs and warm a whole tin of healthy beans.

A         Grill two sausages (soya or quorn).

K         Serve with 2 slices of toast and a berry smoothie:

F          175g of mixed berry fruits and grape juice with yoghurt in a mixer.




            SOUP - CHOOSE FROM SELECTION                                                         829


U         See soup recipe section for various soups and methods of preparation.

N         Use 4 tins of Baxters Healthy eating soup.

C         Serve with oat cakes, pitta and humus,  i.e. 4 oatcakes, 1 wholemeal pitta and a

H         small pot of humus.



            CHICKEN, TURKEY AND BEEF MUNGO                                                1038

D         250g chicken fillets diced

I           250g turkey breast fillets diced

N         250g extra lean steak mince

N         3-4 cloves of garlic

E         2-3 onions

R         Salt, pepper and spices to taste


            Eat the mixture in a pitta bread or add to a non-wheat pizza base.

            Spread the pizza base with tomato puree and add a little cheese.


            BANANA AND PAPAYA SMOOTHIE                                                           548


N         2 fresh bananas

A         1 fresh papaya

C         2 cups of fresh orange juice

K         1 serving of whey


            Put ingredient together in blender, blend and serve.


                                                                                                                      TOTAL:  3513


NOTE: Use a protein shake, rapid recovery or meal replacement as additional meal.


DAY 27                                                                                                             CALORIES


POTATO PANCAKES                                                                                     888

B         2 free range organic eggs

R         150ml of filtered water

E         1 onion

A         Mixed chopped herbs

K         55g rice flour

F          255g grated potato (sweet or other)

A         Small amount of olive oil to coat the pan

S         Chopped cooked chicken breast, 2 slices of rye bread


Mix all the ingredients together except the oil.   Fry the mixture as a whole

pancake for 10-15 minutes.   Add the chopped chicken to the mixture whilst it is

still a little runny on top.   Turn the mixture once the chicken has set and cook for

another 10 minutes.   Eat with 2 slices of toasted rye bread.


            GREEK PASTA SALAD                                                                                 1129

L          1Ib of spinach fettuccine cooked.  1/2 cup of chicken or vegetable broth

U         2 tablespoons of olive oil

N         2 tablespoons balsamic or white wine vinegar

C         3 cloves garlic

H         1 teaspoon of dried basil

            1 teaspoon of dried oregano

            4oz feta cheese, 4 cherry tomatoes

            8 ounces spinach, washed dried and chopped

            1 cucumber washed and chopped

            1 red onion      


Mix all ingredients together and serve.


            RICE, PEAS AND BEANS                                                                                         907

D         175g of Camargue red rice

I           175g of peas, frozen

N         1 tin of baked beans


E         Cook the rice in vegetable stock, a dash of soya sauce and a dash of Worcester sauce.

R         After 25-35 minutes add the frozen peas for 3 minutes.

            Serve with a tin of cold baked beans and herbs


            GRILLED PEARS AND LOW FAT FROMAGE FRAIS                              564


N         3 ripe pears halved and grilled until lightly brown

A         A pot of low fat fromage frais



                                                                                                                      TOTAL:  3488



NOTE: Use a protein shake, rapid recovery or meal replacement as additional meal.

DAY 28                                                                                                             CALORIES


B         HOME-MADE MUESLI                                                                                     658

R         Mixed grains:  oats, barley and millet flakes, quinoa                   100g

E         Organic raisins                                                              25g

A         Mixed organic nuts:  3 brazils, 10 hazelnuts

K         Lecithin granules                                                                       1 tablespoon

F          1 scoop of whey protein

A         Oat milk, rice dream, soya milk or bio-active yoghurt                  250ml

S         Chopped apple, Banana flakes or maple syrup to taste.  25g

T         Mix all ingredients together add milk and serve.


HEALTHY BURGERS                                                                                  1090

1 onion finely diced

L          600g of extra lean minced beef

U         4 egg whites

N         1 red onion

C         Four slices of reduced fat cheese

H         2 tablespoons of low fat fromage frais

            2 medium tomatoes, 1 tablespoon of very low fat mayonnaise

            4 wholemeal rolls, 2 little gem lettuces finely diced

Mix the mince, egg whites and herbs thoroughly and pat into 4 burger shapes and put in the fridge for 30-60 mins.  Prepare the rest of the ingredients.  Grill the burgers until done.  Mount them on lightly toasted buns, lettuce, tomatoes and fromage frais and mayo, mix with red onion and ketchup to taste.


            GINGER AND ORANGE CHICKEN                                                             1052

D         500g of skinless chicken

I           Juice of 1 orange

N         2 inches of fresh ginger

N         2 teaspoons of dried or fresh thyme

E         1 yellow pepper, 1 red pepper, 1 red onion

R         Soy sauce

200g of fresh or tinned pineapple

Mix the diced chicken, garlic, orange juice, soy sauce and ginger together and marinade overnight. 

Cook the chicken mixture in a pan and add the rest of the ingredients until lightly cooked.  Serve.


HEALTHY STRUDEL BLACKBERRY AND APPLE                                 641

            1 1/2Ib of cooking apples,         250g of blackberries

            1 tablespoon of organic honey

            6 x 1oz/28g sheets of filo pastry

            2 medium eggs

            1 level spoon of icing sugar

            Handful of pine nuts, Vanilla essence, 1 teaspoon

Preheat oven to 200.  Peel & core apples, put with  blackberries into a saucepan with 4 tablespoons of filtered water, simmer until soft and pulpy.   Lay a sheet of filo pastry on a floured work surface and brush with the beaten egg then lay another piece of filo down as a base for the sauce.  Put around a third of the fruit mixture onto this base leaving a gap of around 1 inch.  Repeat this process with the remaining fruit mixture and pastry finishing with the apple mixture.  Starting from the longest end, carefully roll up the preparation, fold down the ends to seal the strudel, using the beaten egg mixture as desired.  Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes.

2 Servings eat the rest tomorrow                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  TOTAL:  3441


NOTE: Use a protein shake, rapid recovery or meal replacement as additional meal.



The following shopping list is an ingredient guide to the entire 28 days of shopping, broken down week by week.  Rough quantities have been given, however many of the portion sizes will depend on how many people you are shopping for so these are left blank.


Many of the items listed here may already be present in your kitchen, but we presumed that you were starting from scratch.  Initially the investment into this new way of eating will be quite high due to the amount of different and varied ingredients involved in the recipes.  As the weeks go on, however, this will decrease.


Some of the meals could feed more than one person, whilst some are designed for a single portion.  The menu plans presuppose a high level of physical stress is being placed on the body and the macronutrient profiles reflect this.


The menus also presuppose that a certain amount of additional feeding will be taking place in the form of proteins, meal replacements and post workout recovery drinks as part of your supplementary meal requirements.  The exact quantities of this additional feeding from supplemental sources will depend on which particular phase of nutrition you are on.


Remember feedback is essential to make these menus as successful as possible, so information regarding any recipes or difficulties experienced is welcome.




1 standard sized packet each of the following:


Starchy carbohydrate


Buckwheat, couscous, oatmeal, barley flakes, millet flakes, millet flour, quinoa flakes, rice flour, bulgar wheat, organic oats, Camargue red rice, brown long grain rice, wholemeal spaghetti, oatcakes, one loaf rye bread, one loaf organic wholemeal bread.


Nuts , seeds and dried fruit


Brazils, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds or ground almonds, organic raisins, banana flakes and 250g stoned dates.




1 bottle of: flaxseed oil, balsamic vinegar, whole grain mustard, extra virgin olive oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, Worcester sauce, cider vinegar, reduced sugar tomato ketchup.


Tinned food


1 tin of black-eyed beans, 4 tins tomatoes, 4 tins of reduced sugar baked beans, 1 tin pinto beans, 1 tin sweetcorn, 4 tins of Baxters healthy eating soup, 2 tins of blackcurrants in own juice.




2 tubes of tomato puree, 1 packet of chicken stock cubes, 1 packet Swiss vegetable bouillon cubes, 1 pot of green pesto, 1 jar of olives, 2 pots of humus, small jar Marmite, 1 tub sundried tomatoes, maple syrup or honey or molasses.


Dairy and substitutes


1 litre of soya milk or oat milk or rice dream (depending on taste), 2 packets of feta cheese, 8 small or 3 large pots of bio-active live organic yoghurt (low fat), 1 small tub low fat fromage frais, 1 packet organic butter.




6 chicken breasts, 6 medium tins of tuna in water/brine, 6 salmon steaks, 2 boxes of eggs, 1 packet of lean bacon, 4 tins of sardines, 1kg of extra lean steak mince, 1 packet of chicken or turkey slices, 1 whole free range chicken (large), 1 large fillet steak.


Vegetables and fruit


4 pears, 1 punnet blueberries, 1 unwaxed organic lemon, small bag oranges, garlic, onions (1kg), frozen peas (large packet), 1 packet frozen spinach, red lentils, green lentils, organic carrots (1 packet), 1 punnet of cherry tomatoes, 1 punnet ordinary or plum tomatoes, 1 large bag of organic apples, 4-5 bananas, 500g mushrooms, mange tout, 1 packet of kale, 1 packet of bean sprouts, one lettuce, one red or green pepper, 1 bag salad leaves, 1 bunch watercress, 1 kg sweet potatoes.





Unless otherwise stated, 1 standard packet of the following:


Starchy carbohydrate


1 loaf of 100% rye bread such as pumpernickel, 1 loaf of Vogel bread (any variety), 1 packet of low fat muffins, 1 packet of wholemeal wheat flour, 1 small packet of cornflour, 1 packet of risotto rice, egg or rice noodles, 1 packet of polenta and couscous if all used.


Extra nuts and seeds if you are running low, plus an extra packet of almonds, walnuts and jars of nut or seed butters (e.g. cashew or sunflower).




Whole black peppercorns, baking powder, 1 packet dried Italian herbs, dried thyme, dill and basil, bottle of tamarind sauce, Swiss vegetable bouillon (or other stock cubes), 1 tin of reduced fat coconut milk, chilli powder, cumin seeds, lime juice and sundried tomato paste.


Tinned foods


1 tin of pineapple in own juice, 1 tin kidney beans, 2 tins of low sugar, low salt baked beans, 2 cans of chickpeas, 2 tins tomatoes, and 1 tin black olives.


Vegetables and fruit


4 bananas, oranges, tangerines, kiwi fruit, grapes (and mixture of other tropical fruit like mango and pineapple), 1 punnet of strawberries, 1 packet of raspberries, frozen Brussels sprouts, mixed dried fruit, 2 large jacket potatoes, garlic and additional onions (if required), 1 large pack fresh and 1 packet dried mixed mushrooms (including some shiitake mushrooms), 1 whole red cabbage, 1 fennel root, 4 whole lemons, 1 lettuce, 1 punnet of cherry tomatoes, 1 punnet of vine tomatoes, 5 large beef tomatoes, 4 courgettes, 1 aubergine, 1 pack sugar snap peas, 1 head of broccoli and 1 of cauliflower, 1 bag organic rocket salad,  3 mixed peppers, fresh ginger, coriander, chilli peppers and a bunch of fresh parsley.


Dairy and substitutes


2 large pots of low fat cottage cheese, 1 small packet of goats milk cheese, 1 packet of ricotta, 1 packet of parmesan, 1 pint of whole milk, 1 litre soy milk, 1 litre rice milk, 1 medium pot of low fat soured cream, 4 500 ml pots bio-active low fat plain yoghurt and 1 small tub of low fat fromage frais if none left.




Dried apricots, dried prunes, more maple syrup if needed, low sugar whole fruit jam, 2 litres thick unsweetened apple juice, 1 bottle Thai fish sauce, vanilla essence and almond extract if none already in stores.




8 skinless chicken breasts, 2-3 peppered mackerel fillets, 75g smoked salmon, 500g of frozen prawns, 2 boxes of healthy eating eggs, mixed fresh fish of your choice (you may wish to get this from a fishmongers), frozen haddock, lamb chunk, low fat quorn sausages, 2 tins sardines and 2 tins of tuna.




Unless otherwise stated, 1 standard sized packet of each of the following:


Starchy carbohydrates


Whole wheat tortillas, rice flakes, American long grain and wild rice, 1 bag of low fat bagels, 1 packet of pearl barley, wholemeal rye bread, egg or rice noodles, oat and wheat bran, 1 pack filo pastry and 2 fat-free muffins if none left.


Additional nuts and seeds if required – check supplies of almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts and cashews.


Dressings and Sauces


Nutmeg, paprika, organic vegetable stock, 1 bottle of chilli sauce (any), 1 bar of organic high cocoa chocolate (minimum 70%), anchovies tinned in oil, Colman’s mustard, dried rosemary.


Vegetables and Fruits


New potatoes, celery, 4 large Mediterranean tomatoes, 1 punnet ordinary tomatoes,  2 green peppers, 2 red peppers, 1 bag of red onions, 1 bag of ready to eat prunes, 1 pack salad leaves, 1 pack baby spinach, 1 bag frozen peas/sweetcorn, 2 avocados, 1 packet of watercress, 2 large cucumbers, 4 courgettes, 2 aubergines, 2 leeks, 4 large sweet potatoes, fresh green beans, 1 iceberg lettuce, fennel root, 2 oranges, beansprouts, broccoli, 1 bag of organic carrots, mixed dried mushrooms, fresh basil, fresh coriander, fresh ginger, garlic, 1 punnet of strawberries, 1 punnet blueberries, 2 bananas, 1 unwaxed lemon, 4 limes, 2 apples, several kiwi fruit, 1 pineapple, fresh chillis, parsley, and check supplies of dried apricots, dates and oranges.




4 turkey breast fillets, 1 duck breast, chicken or turkey slices, additional chicken breasts (3), 2 brown trout, smoked mackerel fillets, 4 tins of sardines, 1 large packet of smoked salmon, 2 tins of crab, 6 rashers of bacon or turkey rashers, 2 portions fresh fish and 1 large (400g) tin tuna in brine/water.


Dairy and substitutes


2 large pots of low fat cottage cheese, 1 tub of low fat soya ice-cream, 1 large pot of low fat fromage frais, 1litre soya or oat or rice milk, 500 mls low fat bio-active plain yoghurt and 250mls low fat strawberry bio-active yoghurt.


Tinned food


1 tin chopped tomatoes, 1 tin sweetcorn, 2 tins black-eyed beans, 1 tin chickpeas and 1 tin butter beans.




1 tin pineapple juice, 1 jar capers, 1 packet almond ratafia biscuits, 1 tin reduced fat coconut milk, 1 pack desiccated coconut and check stores for light brown sugar.



Unless otherwise stated, 1 standard packet of the following:


Starchy carbohydrates


1 loaf wholemeal bread, box of oatcakes, 4 low fat sweet muffins, 2 packets of wholemeal pitta bread, organic muesli, 1 loaf rye or Burgen bread, 1 packet filo pastry sheets, 4 wholemeal rolls, 1 packet spinach fettuccine, and check supplies of brown rice, brown rice flour, long grain American rice, wild rice and quinoa flakes.


More nuts and seeds if required – check supplies of cashews, almonds and pine nuts.


Dressings and Sauces


More balsamic vinegar (if required), flaxseed oil, tomato puree, pot of low fat humus, any fruit juice 1 litre, 1 pot of whole peanut butter, 1 pot of organic lemon sorbet, 1 litre red grape juice, reduced fat coconut milk, curry powder, Chinese 5-spice, 1 packet of low fat custard, 1 bottle tomato juice, and 1 bottle Thai green curry paste.


Tinned food


1 tin of chickpeas, 1 tin kidney beans, 3 tins of baked beans, tomato puree, 1 tin of butter beans, 1 tin of blackcurrants (fresh if you can find them), 1 tin tomatoes, 1 tin pineapple, 1 medium tin tuna in brine/water and top up stocks of Baxters healthy eating soups (4).


Dairy and substitutes


1 litre of oat or rice or soya milk, 250g low fat cheddar, 2 packets of feta cheese, 1 small pot of reduced fat mayonnaise, and 500 mls low fat fromage frais.




250g smoked salmon, turkey rashers, 2 boxes of free range eggs, whole roast turkey, 1 packet of sliced ham, fresh cod, haddock (smoked),  4 tins of yellow fin tuna, 250g large frozen prawns, 1 fresh tuna steak, 4 fresh sardines, 6 chicken breasts, turkey mince, 250g turkey breast and 1.2kg lean prime beef steak mince.


Vegetables and fruits


Garlic, 2 kgs red onions, frozen broccoli, 250g fresh broccoli, 12 mixed peppers, 8 ripe tomatoes, 8 oranges, 8 bananas, 1 aubergine, 3 courgettes, fresh shiitake mushrooms, fresh oyster mushrooms, 500g button mushrooms, 1 bag salad leaves, 1 bag shallots, dried mixed mushrooms, 1 pack carrots, 1 pack celery, dried apricots, prunes, frozen peas, sweet potatoes, spinach, cherry tomatoes, 4 pears, 1 lime, 5 unwaxed lemons, 1 papaya, 1 punnet blueberries, 1 punnet (250g) fresh blackberries, 1.5 lbs cooking apples.






Additional Recipes



Mixed grains: oats, barley and millet flake, quinoa - 133g

Organic raisins - 33g

Mixed organic nuts:  2 brazils, 6-7 hazelnuts

Lecithin granules - 1 tablespoon

Whey protein - 1 scoop

Oat milk, rice dream

Soya milk or bio-active yoghurt - 166ml

Chopped apple

Banana flakes or maple syrup to taste - 33g

Mix all ingredients together, add milk and serve


3 medium size sweet potatoes

1.5 large tins of tuna or 9oz lean meat equivalent

6oz frozen peas

Salad dressed with flaxseed

Bake the sweet potatoes and prepare salad.  Put peas in a saucepan and add boiling water, strain and serve.  Put tuna in potatoes with small amount of low fat fromage frais and serve


2 salmon fillets - 300g

Red lentils - 250g uncooked

Lean bacon rashers - 200g

2 medium onions

2 cloves garlic

2 tin tomatoes

Fry the onions and garlic in olive oil, add bacon till cooked, then add tomatoes and simmer till tender.  Grill salmon and serve





Ode to Oats

Oat porridge is not only an excellent wholegrain food choice for breakfast, it contains both soluble and insoluble fibre, B vitamins, chromium and trace elements.  It has also been shown to have a beneficial effect on controlling blood glucose and lowering blood cholesterol.  Choose natural oats rather than the quick-to-cook variety.  For a hearty breakfast, cook porridge and combine it with soya yoghurt, mashed banana or frozen berries.  You can also use oats as a base for a home made muesli (see recipe for Swiss Muesli) or in an oat and seed bar.  The protein content of porridge can be boosted by mixing them with quinoa flakes.


Oat, coconut and seed crunchies

150g oats

2 tablespoons desiccated coconut

1 tablespoon sunflower seeds

1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds, roughly chopped

1 tablespoon linseeds

25g chopped dates

3 tablespoons syrup (or if available brown rice syrup or honey)

5 tablespoons cold-pressed walnut oil


Set the oven to 180ºC

Mix all the dry ingredients together.  Add the syrup and oil and mix very well to ensure an even distribution.

Press into a lightly greased 14x14cm (5½ x 5½  in) tin and bake for about 25-30 minutes.

Cut into fingers and leave to cool in the tin.

Makes 8 slices




Awesome Avocado

Avocado is one of nature’s most perfect foods.  Smooth, creamy, buttery and delicious, it can be used in salads, sandwiches and is delicious on its own.  The majority of the fat is mono-unsaturated, the same type of fat that you find in olive oil and therefore has the health advantage of increasing HDL cholesterol.  They also contain phytochemicals, in particular two types are found in high amounts in avocados.  The first is beta-sitosterol, a high intake has been associated with lower blood cholesterol levels.  Second is glutathione, a phytochemical that acts as an anti-oxidant ‘mopping up’ free radicals that are known to play a role in the development of heart diseases and some cancers, avocados may be one of the best sources of glutathione.  Avocado is also rich in vitamin E and C, and other anti-oxidants.  Folate promotes healthy cell and tissue development and is vital for pregnant women and women of childbearing age, (avocados contain more folate per ounce than any other fruit).  They are also high in potassium, a mineral that helps the body’s fluid balance.





Avocado Dip

115g or 1/2 dried butter beans (lima beans)

75ml cold pressed, unrefined sunflower oil

1 avocado pear

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Freshly ground black pepper


Cover the beans with four times their volume in boiling water and leave to soak overnight.  Drain and boil in water until the beans are soft and tender.  Transfer the warm beans to a food processor.  Process them with the oil until smooth and creamy.  Add the avocado pear, lemon juice and black pepper and whizz together in the food processor.


Serve with crudités of carrots, celery, broccoli, radish etc., or use as a topping for baked potatoes.



Three Bean Salad

1 tin baked beans in tomato sauce

2 tablespoons cooked chickpeas

2 tablespoons cooked red kidney beans

2 tablespoons cooked black-eyed beans

1 spring onion, thinly sliced

1 stick celery, sliced

1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley

Half a green pepper, thinly sliced

Half a red pepper, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons vinaigrette dressing (or more to taste)

Salt and freshly ground pepper


Combine all ingredients and stir again just before serving








Get 10-15 quids worth of fresh fish.  You’ll also need onions (red) shallots, garlic, fish or vegetable stock, white wine, bay leaves, thyme, basil and oregano, pepper, capers, olives stuffed with anchovies and pimentos, 2 tins of tomatoes, saffron and paprika.


Fry the onions, shallots and garlic in a generous amount of olive oil until light brown – add 2 pints of stock.  Add the herbs and 4 bay leaves, 1 teaspoon each of the herbs and a little saffron and paprika – simmer, you may need to add a little water at this stage.  Chuck in a bottle of white wine as well – don’t worry; the alcohol evaporates at 70°C.  The sauce shouldn’t be too thin, nor too thick, it needs to be able to cover the fish.  Think stew and you won’t go far wrong.


Next prepare the fish, roughly chop it all into 2-3 cm cubes.  Monkfish, cod, large prawns (you can pan fry these in olive oil and garlic first), mussels (wash these thoroughly), any sort of fish you want really – and chuck these, the olives and capers into the mix.  Simmer for 10 minutes – don’t overcook the fish as it’ll ruin the dish.


This dish is best served with a long grain brown and wild rice mix.  It goes well also with baby spinach which you should reduce in a little olive oil and garlic, adding plenty of black pepper and soy sauce as you see fit.





For a healthy dessert, bake apples or pears with nutmeg and cinnamon and top with sultanas and chopped nuts, serve with live, plain yoghurt.  Alternatively, roast thin slices of pineapple and mango in the oven until crisp and serve with yoghurt and fresh fruit puree.







Nutritional Supplements


A wide range of nutritional supplements are available, these may include:


·         Meal replacements

·         Protein powders

·         Carbohydrate drinks and related products

·         Vitamins and minerals


The purpose of these supplements is to provide increased intakes of specific macro-nutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) or micro-nutrients (vitamins and minerals) in a convenient and digestible form.


The use of macro-nutrient supplements may be appropriate for rugby players who are unable to meet their energy requirements through their normal diet.


The use of micro-nutrient supplements is not usually required by individuals following a normal, varied, balanced diet and living in healthy environment.


Ergogenic Aids


Ergogenic aids are products or substances which claim to improve performance to a higher level than may be achieved by training alone.  Examples of substances in this category may include:


  • Creatine
  • Hydroxy-Methyl-Butyrate (HMB)
  • Phosphate
  • Glycerol
  • Many others, including a large number of substances banned under international doping regulations, the ingestion of which could result in a positive drugs test.




Creatine is a naturally occurring compound found in significant concentrations in meat and fish.  Creatine is also available commercially, principally as powders and tablets.


Although the current scientific research suggests that Creatine may be a safe, legal and effective supplement to enhance performance, the position of the RFU is that as with all nutritional supplements, it should not be taken unless under strict medical supervision.


Herbal Products


The term ‘herbal product’ is used to cover a wide spectrum of substances ranging from those claiming to assist in the recovery from medical conditions, to those which claim to improve performance.



Position Statement


The manufacture of nutritional supplements, ergogenic aids and herbal products may not be subject to the same stringent standards as those applied to the manufacture of pharmaceutical medicines. There is a risk that these products may :


  • Contain ingredients not listed on their label
  • Contain ingredients in different amounts to those listed
  • Contain ingredients which are banned substances
  • Contain ingredients which are pre-cursors of banned substances


Consequently the ingestion of these products may increase the risk of a player incurring a positive drugs test.


The RFU therefore recommends that :


1.     Players should be extremely cautious about the use of any nutritional supplements, ergogenic aids and herbal products


2.     Nutritional supplements, ergogenic aids and herbal products should only be used where the process is controlled and individually monitored by appropriately qualified medical practitioners and nutritionists who are able to screen the supplements used


3.     All nutritional supplements, ergogenic aids and herbal products are taken at the individual players risk and with their personal responsibility.





Dr Simon Kemp

Dr Adam Carey

Dave Reddin