Food

Recipe for success

In her second CJ column, footballer and health coach Ali Riley explains the benefits of little and often...

People are always shocked when I tell them that I eat at least five meals a day – and I don’t mean breakfast, lunch and dinner with a few bites of fruit in between. I'm talking about five or six well-balanced meals spread throughout the day. Here’s an example of my eating schedule:

- 7:30 Scrambled eggs with spinach and wholegrain toast
- 10:30-12:00
Training
- 13:00
Tofu with brown rice and roasted vegetables
- 14:00-15:00
Gym
- 15:30
Carrots and bell peppers with hummus, plus protein shake
- 18:30
Lentil curry
- 21:30
Natural yogurt with raspberries

If I don’t have training, I eat an additional meal around 10:00. As you can see, the size of my meals varies. For example, I eat much more after a tough training session than before I go to bed, but I still wouldn’t call any of them a snack, which in my experience consists of one ingredient and is typically served in a bowl (chips, popcorn, grapes, etc).

You’re probably thinking that I eat so much and so often because I’m an elite athlete, but this eating pattern started way before I became a professional football player. In elementary school we had a mid-morning break, giving us time to eat and run around, and I always ate a meal right when I came home, around 15:00.

Food
Lentil and veggie curry
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil 2 garlic cloves,
- Crushed 1/2 large yellow onion,
- Chopped 1 Tbsp organic vegetable bouillon
- 2 Tbsps red curry paste
- 1 can coconut milk
- 125ml water
- 65g red lentils,
- Rinsed Veggies of choice, chopped  (I used a red pepper, two heads of broccoli and a tablespoon of fresh ginger, roughly chopped)
- Sunflower seeds for garnish (optional)


Heat coconut oil in a medium saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds; add onion and cook until softened (2 or 3 minutes). Add bouillon and red curry paste, then mix. Add coconut milk and water, stirring well. Lower the heat all the way down and add lentils. Cover and cook lentils for 10 minutes, or until tender. Add your vegetables and cook, covered, until they are heated through/softened to your liking (if using broccoli and red pepper, I recommend 5 minutes, to maintain a nice crunch). Top with sunflower seeds and serve hot.

People are always shocked when I tell them that I eat at least five meals a day – and I don’t mean breakfast, lunch and dinner with a few bites of fruit in between. I'm talking about five or six well-balanced meals spread throughout the day. Here’s an example of my eating schedule:

- 7:30 Scrambled eggs with spinach and wholegrain toast
- 10:30-12:00
Training
- 13:00
Tofu with brown rice and roasted vegetables
- 14:00-15:00
Gym
- 15:30
Carrots and bell peppers with hummus, plus protein shake
- 18:30
Lentil curry
- 21:30
Natural yogurt with raspberries

If I don’t have training, I eat an additional meal around 10:00. As you can see, the size of my meals varies. For example, I eat much more after a tough training session than before I go to bed, but I still wouldn’t call any of them a snack, which in my experience consists of one ingredient and is typically served in a bowl (chips, popcorn, grapes, etc).

You’re probably thinking that I eat so much and so often because I’m an elite athlete, but this eating pattern started way before I became a professional football player. In elementary school we had a mid-morning break, giving us time to eat and run around, and I always ate a meal right when I came home, around 15:00.

Read the full story
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Food gave me the nutrients and energy I needed to do my homework and play outside until dark. When I got older and had long days away from home, I brought two lunchboxes with me. It took planning, as well as a lot of space in my backpack, but it was the only way to stay focused in class and then at athletics and football training. So yes, I do need a lot of fuel because I play sports for a living. But at the same time, I was only able to get this far because of the way I ate.

"When I got older and had long days away from home, I brought two lunchboxes with me"


There’s so much focus in the food and fitness industry on what we eat, but it’s actually when I eat that has had the biggest positive effect on my mental and physical wellbeing. If you recognise that afternoon energy crash, the fatigue and irritation, then I strongly recommend experimenting with eating more frequently. But I’m in no way saying that everyone should eat like me! We are all different, even if we play the same sport or even the same position. I would just like to challenge you to find out what works for you, even if it is unconventional. As Virginia Woolf said, “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well if one has not dined well.” So what does dining well mean to you?

Food
Lentil and veggie curry
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil 2 garlic cloves,
- Crushed 1/2 large yellow onion,
- Chopped 1 Tbsp organic vegetable bouillon
- 2 Tbsps red curry paste
- 1 can coconut milk
- 125ml water
- 65g red lentils,
- Rinsed Veggies of choice, chopped  (I used a red pepper, two heads of broccoli and a tablespoon of fresh ginger, roughly chopped)
- Sunflower seeds for garnish (optional)


Heat coconut oil in a medium saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds; add onion and cook until softened (2 or 3 minutes). Add bouillon and red curry paste, then mix. Add coconut milk and water, stirring well. Lower the heat all the way down and add lentils. Cover and cook lentils for 10 minutes, or until tender. Add your vegetables and cook, covered, until they are heated through/softened to your liking (if using broccoli and red pepper, I recommend 5 minutes, to maintain a nice crunch). Top with sunflower seeds and serve hot.

People are always shocked when I tell them that I eat at least five meals a day – and I don’t mean breakfast, lunch and dinner with a few bites of fruit in between. I'm talking about five or six well-balanced meals spread throughout the day. Here’s an example of my eating schedule:

- 7:30 Scrambled eggs with spinach and wholegrain toast
- 10:30-12:00
Training
- 13:00
Tofu with brown rice and roasted vegetables
- 14:00-15:00
Gym
- 15:30
Carrots and bell peppers with hummus, plus protein shake
- 18:30
Lentil curry
- 21:30
Natural yogurt with raspberries

If I don’t have training, I eat an additional meal around 10:00. As you can see, the size of my meals varies. For example, I eat much more after a tough training session than before I go to bed, but I still wouldn’t call any of them a snack, which in my experience consists of one ingredient and is typically served in a bowl (chips, popcorn, grapes, etc).

You’re probably thinking that I eat so much and so often because I’m an elite athlete, but this eating pattern started way before I became a professional football player. In elementary school we had a mid-morning break, giving us time to eat and run around, and I always ate a meal right when I came home, around 15:00.

Food
Recipe for success
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil 2 garlic cloves,
- Crushed 1/2 large yellow onion,
- Chopped 1 Tbsp organic vegetable bouillon
- 2 Tbsps red curry paste
- 1 can coconut milk
- 125ml water
- 65g red lentils,
- Rinsed Veggies of choice, chopped  (I used a red pepper, two heads of broccoli and a tablespoon of fresh ginger, roughly chopped)
- Sunflower seeds for garnish (optional)


Heat coconut oil in a medium saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds; add onion and cook until softened (2 or 3 minutes). Add bouillon and red curry paste, then mix. Add coconut milk and water, stirring well. Lower the heat all the way down and add lentils. Cover and cook lentils for 10 minutes, or until tender. Add your vegetables and cook, covered, until they are heated through/softened to your liking (if using broccoli and red pepper, I recommend 5 minutes, to maintain a nice crunch). Top with sunflower seeds and serve hot.

Food

Recipe for success

In her second CJ column, footballer and health coach Ali Riley explains the benefits of little and often...

People are always shocked when I tell them that I eat at least five meals a day – and I don’t mean breakfast, lunch and dinner with a few bites of fruit in between. I'm talking about five or six well-balanced meals spread throughout the day. Here’s an example of my eating schedule:

- 7:30 Scrambled eggs with spinach and wholegrain toast
- 10:30-12:00
Training
- 13:00
Tofu with brown rice and roasted vegetables
- 14:00-15:00
Gym
- 15:30
Carrots and bell peppers with hummus, plus protein shake
- 18:30
Lentil curry
- 21:30
Natural yogurt with raspberries

If I don’t have training, I eat an additional meal around 10:00. As you can see, the size of my meals varies. For example, I eat much more after a tough training session than before I go to bed, but I still wouldn’t call any of them a snack, which in my experience consists of one ingredient and is typically served in a bowl (chips, popcorn, grapes, etc).

You’re probably thinking that I eat so much and so often because I’m an elite athlete, but this eating pattern started way before I became a professional football player. In elementary school we had a mid-morning break, giving us time to eat and run around, and I always ate a meal right when I came home, around 15:00.

Food
Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

People are always shocked when I tell them that I eat at least five meals a day – and I don’t mean breakfast, lunch and dinner with a few bites of fruit in between. I'm talking about five or six well-balanced meals spread throughout the day. Here’s an example of my eating schedule:

- 7:30 Scrambled eggs with spinach and wholegrain toast
- 10:30-12:00
Training
- 13:00
Tofu with brown rice and roasted vegetables
- 14:00-15:00
Gym
- 15:30
Carrots and bell peppers with hummus, plus protein shake
- 18:30
Lentil curry
- 21:30
Natural yogurt with raspberries

If I don’t have training, I eat an additional meal around 10:00. As you can see, the size of my meals varies. For example, I eat much more after a tough training session than before I go to bed, but I still wouldn’t call any of them a snack, which in my experience consists of one ingredient and is typically served in a bowl (chips, popcorn, grapes, etc).

You’re probably thinking that I eat so much and so often because I’m an elite athlete, but this eating pattern started way before I became a professional football player. In elementary school we had a mid-morning break, giving us time to eat and run around, and I always ate a meal right when I came home, around 15:00.

Read the full story
Sign up now to get access to this and every premium feature on Champions Journal. You will also get access to member-only competitions and offers. And you get all of that completely free!

Food gave me the nutrients and energy I needed to do my homework and play outside until dark. When I got older and had long days away from home, I brought two lunchboxes with me. It took planning, as well as a lot of space in my backpack, but it was the only way to stay focused in class and then at athletics and football training. So yes, I do need a lot of fuel because I play sports for a living. But at the same time, I was only able to get this far because of the way I ate.

"When I got older and had long days away from home, I brought two lunchboxes with me"


There’s so much focus in the food and fitness industry on what we eat, but it’s actually when I eat that has had the biggest positive effect on my mental and physical wellbeing. If you recognise that afternoon energy crash, the fatigue and irritation, then I strongly recommend experimenting with eating more frequently. But I’m in no way saying that everyone should eat like me! We are all different, even if we play the same sport or even the same position. I would just like to challenge you to find out what works for you, even if it is unconventional. As Virginia Woolf said, “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well if one has not dined well.” So what does dining well mean to you?

Food
Lentil and veggie curry
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil 2 garlic cloves,
- Crushed 1/2 large yellow onion,
- Chopped 1 Tbsp organic vegetable bouillon
- 2 Tbsps red curry paste
- 1 can coconut milk
- 125ml water
- 65g red lentils,
- Rinsed Veggies of choice, chopped  (I used a red pepper, two heads of broccoli and a tablespoon of fresh ginger, roughly chopped)
- Sunflower seeds for garnish (optional)


Heat coconut oil in a medium saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds; add onion and cook until softened (2 or 3 minutes). Add bouillon and red curry paste, then mix. Add coconut milk and water, stirring well. Lower the heat all the way down and add lentils. Cover and cook lentils for 10 minutes, or until tender. Add your vegetables and cook, covered, until they are heated through/softened to your liking (if using broccoli and red pepper, I recommend 5 minutes, to maintain a nice crunch). Top with sunflower seeds and serve hot.

People are always shocked when I tell them that I eat at least five meals a day – and I don’t mean breakfast, lunch and dinner with a few bites of fruit in between. I'm talking about five or six well-balanced meals spread throughout the day. Here’s an example of my eating schedule:

- 7:30 Scrambled eggs with spinach and wholegrain toast
- 10:30-12:00
Training
- 13:00
Tofu with brown rice and roasted vegetables
- 14:00-15:00
Gym
- 15:30
Carrots and bell peppers with hummus, plus protein shake
- 18:30
Lentil curry
- 21:30
Natural yogurt with raspberries

If I don’t have training, I eat an additional meal around 10:00. As you can see, the size of my meals varies. For example, I eat much more after a tough training session than before I go to bed, but I still wouldn’t call any of them a snack, which in my experience consists of one ingredient and is typically served in a bowl (chips, popcorn, grapes, etc).

You’re probably thinking that I eat so much and so often because I’m an elite athlete, but this eating pattern started way before I became a professional football player. In elementary school we had a mid-morning break, giving us time to eat and run around, and I always ate a meal right when I came home, around 15:00.

Food
Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

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