Aside from getting to set your own hours and doing work that you really love (most of the time), working at a university is great because of all the free stuff that comes your way. Art students hold free exhibitions and concerts, physio students hold a free clinic, including massage. One of the recent offers of free stuff was 8 weeks of personal training, with second-year Sports and Exercise Science students. I saw this email come through and disregarded it, but later decided to sign up. Why the hell not, hey?
So for the past two weeks I've been in training. Since I'm not trying to lose weight we're mostly working on strength training, and I am surprised at some of the things I've been able to do. There has been a bit of cardio, mostly on the bike, and overall it's been a lot of fun.
Since I'm working my body in ways it isn't used to working, I've been a bit more conscious of what I put in it. I've been trying, successfully, to drink loads of water during the day. And although I'm never worried that I get enough nutrients in my diet, I have been a bit more deliberate about my meals. My concern isn't protein, but carbohydrates.
Carbs are actually the food that you need to eat both before and after exercise, because the sugars reduce muscle fatigue. Complex carbs are good at least three hours before working out, and then again within two hours after finishing. Simple carbs are actually not a bad thing, particularly within 30 minutes after finishing training.
Because I eat leftover dinner for lunch, I have been trying to combine simple and complex carbohydrates into my meals, along with vegetables, protein, fat, and all of the other good stuff, so that I have enough energy no matter when I work out.
For instance, this chickpea cutlet is full of complex carbohydrates while the jacket potato has a higher Glycaemic Index. I'm not really sure about the sweet potato and salad, but they were very yummy, especially with the roasted garlic butter in the background.
This meal is baked chilli with cornbread topping, and is full of good stuff.Millet, potato, sweet potato, brown rice, navy beans and tvp bulked up the chilli, and it was delicious.
And I don't know where barley falls on the GI scale, but I felt good the next morning in the gym--satay tofu, barley with broccoli, and a raw beetroot-nori salad.
Of course, my favourite thing about training is being encouraged to eat cupcakes, muffins, or slice immediately after a workout. That's my kind of trainer! But you'll have to stay tuned for the sweets I've been using to boost my muscle glycogen levels...