Tag Archives: Julie Sparkes

The Athlete’s Palate

11 Feb

I’d been hoping to share this post with you a while ago, but I’ve had more than my fair share of setbacks. Firstly, I had a cold, then Baby M hit the dreaded ‘4 month sleep regression’ early (cue waking every 45 minutes at night!!!) and the finally, my beloved MacBook Pro’s hard drive failed. Fortunately, things are looking up this week: I no longer have a cold; M is back to sleeping for 2 hours at a time and completely amazing Ben has fixed my MacBook… so now I just need to get my blog back on track.

If you’ve been reading recently, you’ll know that I’ve managed to find some free mum and baby fitness classes (Buggy Mums). There’s hope that there will be a free ante- and postnatal pilates class coming soon. I’ve also found that a local leisure centre runs a variety of mother and baby classes during the week, including Buggy Bootcamp; Legs, Bums and Tums; and Baby Spin. I’m hoping that I can book onto some of the spinning classes soon as I’ve not managed to use my bike much recently.

So… the big part of the puzzle that is missing is tackling my nutrition. I was fortunately that I only gained about 7lbs when I was pregnant and I weighed less than before I got pregnant after having Baby M, but Christmas and broken sleep have taken their toll on me.

The Athlete's Palate Ambassador

A while ago, I applied to be an ambassador for The Athlete’s Palate and was delighted to be chosen. This year there are 7 ambassadors. If you’ve not heard of The Athlete’s Palate before, here’s some information:

The Athlete’s Palate is dedicated to empowering athletes by encouraging wellness through holistic nutrition and sports. Our goal is to increase athlete’s involvement in sports and understanding the benefits of holistic nutrition – mind, body, spirit & sports.

Our athletes promote sport, have good sportsmanship, are involved in their community and lead a healthy lifestyle. They are of all ages and range from recreational to professional.

One opportunity leads to another, so the brand is collaborating with some other great brands – don’t be surprised if you hear me mention:

I had a fantastic phone interview with Julie from The Athlete’s Palate and agreed to keep a food diary for a week. However, this was a food diary with a difference. I had to take a photo of everything that I ate and drank. This is a clever idea as it means that Julie is able to see my portion sizes and also I always have my phone with me, so I could just take a quick snap of things… however, it felt a bit more challenging than that. I had to overcome some inhibitions when I was out with others as I felt a bit embarrassed about it. When I explained to my friends what I was doing, they were really interested. It has made me realise that I couldn’t be a food blogger/Instagrammer as when my food is in front of me, I want to eat it, not style it and take pretty pictures!

Here’s a sample of what I had in that week:

One of the challenges that I encountered was the current shortage of leafy greens, including spinach, courgettes and lettuce. When I was working, I ate salad for lunch every day, but it’s much harder when the key ingredients are not available!

I also had to note down my mood and the state of my health. It was unlucky that my week coincided with having a heavy cold. I always seem to get ill at the end of January 😦 It didn’t help that I’ve been really disorganised and my reliever inhaler ran out.

Julie also came up with some ‘food for thought’ for me. I’ve always believed that I drink healthily. My favourite drink is water and I drink a lot of it. If I’m cold I will have jasmine tea or hot chocolate, but try not to indulge in too many hot chocolates. My local tap water does not contain fluoride, but I had not considered the other chemicals that are added to make it safe to drink. Stuart and I moved into what we hope will be our ‘forever home’ just over a year ago, and I am now looking into reverse osmosis water filters. If anyone has any links to academic papers about drinking reverse osmosis water, I’d love to read them as there’s a real mix of information online.

I now need to plan my next week’s meals based around some key nutritional information from Julie.

Do you plan your meals in advance?

Please visit The Athlete’s Palate to read about the other ambassadors.