Speedy Meals for Speedy Cyclists
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By Andrea Holwegner RD, Health Stand Nutrition Consulting Inc.

One of the top reasons cyclists and other athletes site eating poorly is lack of time and energy as they juggle busy work schedules, family commitments, and training plans.

Time Savers For Speedy Meals

You can cycle and train all you want, but if your nutrition falls apart you may be missing out on these essential five benefits:

  1. Enhanced performance (speed, strength, power, and endurance),
  2. Improved energy/stamina to recover quickly and keep up with your training
  3. A healthy body composition and weight,
  4. Preventative health for chronic disease and illness,
  5. Improved immune function and less sick time.

Check 1-2-3!

Regardless of how much time you have to prepare a meal at home or if you are eating out, be sure to choose three things in each meal:

  1. Start with a starch: Foods such as bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, and cereals provide the body with B vitamins, fibre, and carbohydrates (the essential energy you need for your brain and muscles).
  2. Add a veggie or fruit: These foods provide loads of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals (health-promoting compounds), as well as fibre and carbohydrates. You will likely fall short on your veggies and fruit if they are not built into each major meal.
  3. Complete the meal with a source of protein: Protein-rich foods such as meat, poultry, seafood, beans/legumes, nuts/seeds, soy foods, and dairy foods help to improve fullness and sustain energy. Protein-rich foods also help your muscles to repair and recover and help to support the immune system.

Design a staple foods list for grocery shopping

Make a comprehensive list by grocery store aisle/section of the specific foods you need in your home to cook healthy foods. You will only need to make this list once and photocopy it for repeated use. Post this on the fridge and highlight or circle items as you run out. This list will save you time shopping and ensure you get everything you need.

Food to Cook Extra Where to Use Later in the Week
Roast beef/pork or whole roasted chicken • In a sandwich/wrap
• Into a stir-fry or curry
• In a soup or casserole
Grilled chicken breast • On top of a lettuce/vegetable salad
• In a pasta salad
• Into a quesadilla or fajita
• Added to tomato sauce for pasta
• As a pizza topping
• In a sandwich/wrap
• Into a stir-fry or curry
• In a soup or casserole
Grilled salmon fillets • Place on top of a salad
• Salmon salad sandwich
• Fish cakes
Baked Ham • On a pizza
• In an omelet or frittata
• In a pasta or rice dish
Brown rice • Freeze in individual packages for a quick addition to a meal.
• Make a paella
• Stuffed in a green/red pepper
• Added to soup
• As rice pudding
Roasted vegetables • In a pasta salad
• Added to soup
• In an omelet or frittata
• In a sandwich or wrap
Baked potatoes or yams • Pan or oven fried with olive oil and onions
• In a soup
• As a potato salad
Lean ground beef or ground turkey/chicken • Pre-cook and then freeze for quick
• additions to many meals/casseroles.
• Add to pasta sauces, chili, soups


Marinated Vegetable Salad

8 servings

You can make this big-batch salad on the weekend and use it for part of your lunch throughout the week.

8 cups – favourite veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, kohlrabi, red/yellow/green/orange peppers, purple/green cabbage, onion, snap/snow peas, etc.

Your favourite oil and vinegar salad dressing, or try this recipe for basic vinaigrette, which can also be doubled or tripled and left in the fridge:

  • 4 tbsp. canola oil
  • 6 tbsp. vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. dry mustard powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Chop your veggies into bite-sized pieces and place in a shallow dish or baking pan. In a separate bowl or jar mix up the ingredients in the vinaigrette and toss over top the veggies. Leave to marinate in the fridge up to a few days.

Per Serving: Calories 163, Carbohydrates 22 g, Protein 6 g, Fat 8 g, Dietary Fibre 6 g


Grilled Italian Suasage & Red Pepper With Penne

6 servings

(Adapted from Anne Lindsay—Anne Lindsay’s New Light Cooking)

You can make this meal for supper and use the leftovers (hot or cold) for lunch the next day.

  • 12 oz. lean hot Italian sausage
  • 2 large sweet red peppers
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 6 oz. dry whole wheat penne or other pasta
  • 4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (or 1 tsp dried basil)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
  1. Quarter and seed peppers. Place peppers on a greased grill over medium heat; close lid and cook for five minutes. Move peppers to upper rack if possible. Place sausages on grill; close lid and cook for twenty minutes or until sausages are no longer pink in centre, turning peppers and sausages after ten minutes. Slice sausages; cut peppers into chunks.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling water, cook pasta until tender but firm; drain well.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat; cook onion until tender, stirring occasionally. Add garlic to onion; increase heat to high. Add tomatoes; cook, stirring occasionally for about two minutes or until heated through. Add basil, cilantro, red peppers, sausage, pasta, salt, and pepper; toss to mix.

Chop your veggies into bite-sized pieces and place in a shallow dish or baking pan. In a separate bowl or jar mix up the ingredients in the vinaigrette and toss over top the veggies. Leave to marinate in the fridge up to a few days.

Per Serving: Calories 376, Carbohydrates 37 g, Protein 20 g, Fat 18 g, Dietary Fibre 9 g


Black Bean Soup

8 servings

Here is a freezer-friendly meal you can cook up in advance and freeze in individual portions for a quick luch or post-training meal.

  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1 cup ham, diced (optional)
  • 1-19 oz (540 ml) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1-19 oz (540 ml) can stewed or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1/4 cup brown rice, uncooked
  • 1 L (4 cups) water
  • 1 tbsp. lime juice
  • 2 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1-4 tsp. hot pepper sauce (depending on how spicy you like it!)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger

In a large pot cook onion and ham (if you’re using the ham) in oil until tender. Stir in the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered for one hour or until rice is tender.

Per Serving: Calories 271, Carbohydrates 44 g, Protein 16 g, Fat 5 g, Dietary Fibre 9 g

Looking for more quick and healthy recipes? Check out: www.healthstandnutrition.com.

Combining lessons learned from counselling hundreds of clients and insights as the Chocoholic Dietitian, Andrea Holwegner believes the recipe for success is learning how to enjoy guilt-free eating and balance all foods (even chocolate!). A registered dietician, Holwegner is a consultant to the Canadian Sport Centre Calgary and president of Health Stand Nutrition Consulting Inc.www.healthstandnutrition.com.

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Amy Floyd, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Thanks Andrea for an amazing presentation, I have heard all positive remarks from attendees and the evaluations show the same sentiment. It is really gratifying when a speaker does their “homework” and weaves in our profession’s day to day challenges within their content, you did an awesome job of this! You truly took the “die” out of Dietician! Your information on healthy eating and simplifying how we can work towards this as we are all so busy really hit the mark. Andrea connects very well with her audience; she is energetic, funny, and very approachable.”
Carole Ann LaGrange, Transfusion Medicine Safety Officer

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I am a family physician who sees patients with a myriad of eating concerns – from wanting to know how to plan healthy meals for active families, to weight loss, to eating disorders, and so on. I cannot recommend the Health Stand team highly enough. I have worked with (and been to!) other Dieticians in the past and too often find that they just ask for food logs and make suggestions that are easily obtained online or in books. The Dieticians at Health Stand offer much more than just telling clients what they “should be eating.” In contrast, the team really does more of a counselling practice, and they work hard to help their clients learn more about why their eating habits may be off track and not optimal for them, as well as helping people to effect change at a deep level that, most importantly, is sustainable for lifetime health.”
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“As a construction company, we select speakers who can relate to our industry and its employees. Andrea’s message was delivered with humor and empathy. She makes people feel as though they can make changes without leaving behind every favorite food. Andrea focused her presentation on healthy eating as a way to keep energy high throughout the day. This message and the way it was delivered resonated with our predominantly male, blue collar culture. I would highly recommend Andrea as a speaker for groups such as ours. She will get your message across without alienating anyone in your audience – which is a huge hurdle when trying to introduce a wellness program in the workplace!”
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