In the first of our Healthy Habits series, we talk to Health Coach Lauren Barber to get her thoughts on how correct nutrition can make a difference to rider performance…
How much time do you spend thinking about achieving the perfect balance of nutrients in your horse’s diet? Most riders spend hours agonising over balancers, supplements and the right levels of forage to feed. Without this attention to detail we can’t expect our horses to perform to their best.
So with this great understanding of equine nutrition, you would expect riders to reflect this in their own diet. However many people won’t hesitate to skip breakfast, tend to refuel with processed food ‘on the go’ and keep themselves going with caffeine and sugar.
But imagine if you applied your dedication to equestrian nutrition in your own diet? By fuelling yourself correctly you could greatly improve your own performance. Your energy levels will be maintained, your concentration enhanced, your sleep patterns improved and your body will be better equipped to recover after a tough day.
As a Health Coach I work with people to help them implement modifications in their lifestyle to ensure they get the best out of themselves. I know from my own experience that food is an often-overlooked element to a rider’s routine so this is the perfect place to start when it comes to creating a healthy balance.
* Choosing the right way to start your day will set you up for productivity and performance. Selecting a breakfast that will keep you fuller for longer, provide slow release energy, reduce cravings and help prevent that mid-morning biscuit binge may sound like the impossible, however it is easier than you think! Particularly on competition days, getting into the habit of fuelling yourself properly is vital.
* Preparation is key. The chances of you having time to create a nutritious lunch during the working day, or when you are eventing, is slim to none, so preparing your meal the evening before is your best option to prevent you reaching for a garage-snack or burger-van lunch. Choosing a good source of protein, low GI carbohydrates and vegetables or salad is the easiest way to give you the energy needed to get through the riding, yard chores and keep you going until dinner.
* Snack smart. It is easy to reach for crisps and chocolate when we need a pick up – however how many times do you feel full and nourished after eating these things? My guess is that if anything, you just want more! Choosing whole foods to snack on such as nuts, seeds, homemade energy balls and
other protein or healthy fat-based snacks will leave you satiated and keep you going in between meals.
Look out for my next blog where I will talk about some great healthy breakfast ideas that can either be prepared in advance or made within minutes. If you have a question about Health Coaching, or wish to know more, visit www.listenupbeautiful.co.uk or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
About Lauren Barber
Lauren has been involved in the equestrian industry for nearly fifteen years. Starting off as an event groom before working on a national equestrian publication and then setting up as G-Gee PR & Marketing to offer promotional support to horsey businesses. Having experienced a number of health concerns herself, she is now a Health Coach and specialises in helping people address their lifestyle concerns – particularly in the area of nutrition. Her 12 week programme is designed to implement small modifications that result in big transformations.