Winter is here and the ski season is kicking off in Canada! I’ve been busy as usual this year with both skiing and school, and can’t wait for the racing to begin.
These past few months of training have been pretty incredible.
I got to do two separate training camps at locations that were new to me. In September, I had a camp with my team in Kelowna. This was perfect because we got in a final dose of summer sunshine before the cold season. As a bonus, I also got to visit Michelle, Indra and the Rancho team at the Armstrong facilities on the drive to the training camp!
It was super cool to get a behind-the-scenes view of how the process works, and my visit definitely gave me an appreciation for all the hard work the Rancho team puts into getting us the best quality products.
In October, I went with the National Team to Mammoth Lakes, California, for our final camp of the year. This was my first time in California, and I was blown away by the amazing views and training locations! Going to new places like this with amazing teammates makes my “job” as an athlete seem pretty great.
Since then, I’ve been in Canmore, doing the final training block before race season. Coming up, I’ve got some races in Silver Star and then Whistler, BC, where I’ll be toeing the line with many of the best skiers from Canada and the USA. After that, I’ll be going home to Athabasca for Christmas!
Outside of skiing, I’ve been busy with school, where I’m working towards my psychology undergrad through Athabasca University. Being both a student and an athlete means my schedule tends to be pretty packed; a typical day for me looks something like this:
- 7:30 am – Breakfast
- 8:30 am – First training session (usually the longer and harder session)
- 11:00 am – Physical recovery (smoothie, shower, stretching)
- 12:00 pm – Lunch
- 1:00 pm – Nap and mental recovery (meditation, reading)
- 2:00 pm – Homework time
- 4:00 pm – Second training session (usually the shorter session)
- 6:30 pm – Supper
- 8:00 pm – Homework or hang out with friends
- 10:00 pm – Go to sleep
To fit in both homework and training every day, I have to be pretty efficient with my time. As an athlete, I need to be fuelling my body with nutritious, whole foods as much as I can to optimize recovery and allow me to train even more! Today, I want to share with you a few food “hacks” I use to incorporate those precious nutrients into my daily eating habits in a simple, quick ways:
- Afternoon snack: Snacks are really important for my recovery and preparation for the second workout of the day. They also fuel my brain for homework. I like to keep a small bag of Rancho’s dried mangoes and apples in my school backpack to munch on when I get hungry.
- Treat in the car: As an athlete, I do a lot of driving to training camps and races. I like to bring a bag of Rancho dried fruit with me in the car (and, of course, some chocolate-covered nuts for emergencies). This ensures that I’m getting in the healthy nutrients I need to keep my immune system strong while travelling!
- Smoothie: Smoothies are my go-to recovery drink. They’re also a great way to sneak extra seeds into my diet. My typical smoothie includes: half a banana, one cup of frozen fruit, a half-cup of milk or orange juice, two teaspoons of Rancho chia or flax seeds.
- Homemade bread: I love making low-maintenance, no-knead bread. I often add nuts and seeds to my loaves to spice things up. A typical bread recipe for me is: four cups of flour (various kinds), two cups of water, one teaspoon of yeast, one teaspoon of salt, three tablespoons of Rancho nuts or seeds (sesame seeds are my favourite) and more seeds sprinkled on top. I quickly mix the dough in a bowl with a spoon, cover and let it rise, then shape it and put it in the oven for 45 minutes at 450 degrees.
- Salads: I have a salad with pretty much every supper I make. They’re so easy and quick to prepare. They’re also a great way to get in extra nuts and seeds! My go-to dressing is a simple 1:1 ratio of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. A typical salad recipe includes: mixed greens, cheese (e.g. goat, or feta), fruit or vegetables at hand (e.g. tomatoes, avocado, pomegranate), favourite nuts or seeds (caramelized Rancho walnuts are my favourite!).
I have a lot of fun discovering new and simple ways to incorporate dried fruits, nuts and seeds into my daily routine. I love how eating nutrient-rich foods helps me recover even better from training. Race season, here I come!
~ Happy skiing, Maya MacIsaac-Jones
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