Coupling training periodisation with periodised nutrition, athletes can achieve the maximum results from their training. Periodisation is the systematic planning of physical training and it involves progressive cycling of various aspects of a training programme during a specific period.
On a hard training day, you need to take in more carbohydrates so that you can keep your body well fuelled for you to get your 100% in training and also helps optimise recovery. On your rest days, you can cut down on your carbohydrates so that you don’t eat up eating more calories than you need, helping you maintain a healthy body composition.
In our ‘Fuel Up’ series, sport dietitians from Singapore Sports Institute, Cheryl Teo and Ang Sin Hwee, show you how to cook up delicious meals to last through a day’s training. In the first episode, we take a look at Shakshuka as a breakfast suggestion to start the day.
Shakshuka is a popular middle-eastern dish that’s actually poached eggs in tomato sauce. Whether you are an amateur or serious athlete, this dish is excellent for breakfast or as a meal anytime of the day.
This dish is rich in protein which comes in the form of eggs and antioxidant lycopene found in tomatoes. Lycopene prevents hardening of arteries and reduces the risk of stroke. Some studies also suggests that it prevents asthma caused by exercise and protects cells from damage. Eggs are a cheap yet nutritious source of protein that is suitable for vegetarians.
Tailor this versatile dish to your liking with your favourite vegetables, chopped chorizo or crumbled feta. For a high carb meal, have this with toast or flatbread. For a low carb meal, have this by itself or with a salad.
Estimated time needed: 25 minutes
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- ½ cup frozen vegetables
- 4 eggs
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ teaspoon cumin, optional
- ½ teaspoon paprika, optional
Note: You can cool and portion the tomato base in containers to freeze or refrigerate. Stores well in the fridge for 3 days or up to 1 month in the freezer. Reheat, crack in some eggs and you’ve got yourself an instant meal!
- Prepare the base of the Shakshuka. Heat oil in a deep pan. Add onion and garlic. Stir fry for 2 minutes till fragrant and onions are slightly translucent.
- Add frozen vegetables and any other veggie add-ons of your choice. Stir fry for another minute. Mix in diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Add cumin and paprika if using. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Allow the mixture to simmer for 3-4 minutes till slightly thickened. Once sufficiently thick, crack in the eggs one by one, making sure they are evenly spaced. Cover the pan and allow the mixture to simmer for 3-5 minutes, depending on how cooked you like your eggs to be. Serve with a side of your choice.
If you love this recipe try the following as well to make it a complete day's meal: