The week starts like this…early morning swim training, rush to the office then head to the track for speed work or a ride…. It is tricky making sure you have enough food for the day, let alone the right kind of high quality fuel for optimal performance. One of the biggest challenges with a busy athlete schedule is having healthy, quick meals and snacks on hand when you need them in a pinch!

Remember: food is fuel! Higher quality fuel is better!

Some tips for meals:

  • Where possible make a double recipe of the chili, pasta sauce, casserole or soup on the weekend or less busy week days and freeze this into a portion for the family’s meal + your lunch for the following day
  • Keep frozen mixed veggies stocked in your freezer and pre washed leafy greens/salads for days when there is no time for washing and chopping
  • Plan ahead on the weekend for which weekdays will be ‘full on’ busy and choose a frozen meal or chop veggies for your slow cooker meal the night before
  • Bulk up your mixed green salad by adding some beans, beets, quinoa, lentils, corn and a little feta for a complete meal
  • Keep wholegrain wheat tortillas and bread in the freezer
  • Hard boil a few eggs and keep on hand in the fridge for salads, snacks

Some snack ideas to keep on hand:

  • Dried fruit and mixed nuts
  • Oats
  • Wholegrain crackers, rice cakes
  • Bananas and other fresh fruit
  • Oat based bars, nut bars
  • Nut butters, hummus
  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Tinned tuna

In a pinch and need a meal NOW?

  • Microwave rice (quinoa mix optional) + flavored tuna or leftover lean meat/protein + mixed frozen vegetables or mixed greens
  • Wheat tortilla + rinsed canned black beans, Cajun spice, colored peppers, leafy greens, grated cheese, heat in microwave and top with cherry tomatoes, yogurt and salsa
  • Baked beans on toasts with tomatoes and cheese

Quick Snack/Meal Idea 

Tuna mix for tuna melts, tuna sandwich or cracker spread

(Can be prepared ahead of time and kept in fridge)


  • drained 185g  tuna in water
  • 1-2 tsp light mayo
  • 1 Tbsp. plain yogurt (low fat optional)
  • ½ small onion, finely chopped 
  • 2 small pickles, finely chopped (optional)


  • Mix above ingredients well
  • Place on wholegrain bread slices and top with small amount of grated cheese for the melt and bake in oven at 180 until golden or in toaster oven and top with fresh tomato
  • Spread on bread or wholegrain crackers and have with few veggie sticks or tomato and spinach for a tasty and colorful sandwich

LifeSport Nutrition coach Celine Evans is a qualified sports dietitian. Celine has worked with high performance teams in New Zealand including Rugby, marathoners and endurance cyclists. She has 11 years’ experience in sports nutrition and her grad diploma in Sports Nutrition from the. Contact Coach Celine to share your goals, race faster, or master the Ironman distance.