How to feel like an elite athlete

Take your performances up a nutritional notch this month with Rochez O’Grady’s nutrition column. She’s was on tour as the dietitian for the South African women’s Hockey team, when they did fantastically well in the Hockey World Cup. And during the tournament in The Hague she attended a medical seminar that focused on nutrition and health in elite athletes.FS Website GIF with Nutrition Credit

I’m now back in my Cape Town saddle and have the perfect plan for you to keep in shape this winter, while also making sure that you feel like a top athlete.

The plan would mean sticking to your meals, every three hours, and keeping to a routine for the day, right from your breakfast. This means having structure in your food space, which will ensure you speed up your metabolism and keep your energy levels high.

During the gaps, instead of eating, drink water. And lots of it. To keep yourself in shape increase your awareness around food, this eating plan is adapted around the basic sports nutrition requirements and designed to ensure that you keep your waistline in check.

Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat Sun
Breakfast Smoothie: 2-4 tbsp. Future Life + 1 cup low fat milk ½ cup All bran flakes + 1 cup low fat milk + 1 banana ½ cup cooked oats + 1 cup low fat milk + 1 handful raisins 2 boiled eggs + 1-2 slices Health Bread Smoothie: 2-4 tbsp. Future Life + ½ cup yoghurt + a piece of fruit 2 poached eggs + 1-2 slices Health Bread + ¼ Avocado ½ cup cooked oats + 1 cup low fat milk + 1 handful raisins
Morning Snack A piece of fruit plus a Yoghurt A cappuccino plus a piece fruit A piece of fruit plus a Yoghurt A closed handful of Nuts plus a piece of fruit A piece of fruit and Yoghurt A cappuccino A closed handful of nuts
Lunch Base of salad lettuce, tomato, cucumber, peppers etc.) + 1 piece lean chicken + ¼ avo + 1 cup cooked sweet potato Base of salad + tin tuna + 1 tbsp. light mayo + ½ cup cooked couscous Base of salad + 100 g lean strips ostrich + 1 tbsp. sunflower seeds + 1 cup cooked butternut Base of salad + 100g lean shaved ham + 1 tbsp. light hummus + 1-2 slices low GI bread Base of salad + 1 cup mixed tinned beans/chickpeas + ½ round feta Sushi: 8-10 pieces Soup: Vegetable soup
Afternoon Snack Handful lean biltong + closed handful nuts 1 tbsp. light hummus + carrot sticks ¼ avo + 1 slice low GI bread Handful lean biltong + closed handful nuts 1 tbsp. peanut butter + 2 Ryvitas Closed handful Nuts Handful lean biltong
Dinner 200g Fish + ½ plate large salad + 1 tbsp. basil pesto 150 ostrich steak + roasted light vegetables 2 chicken kebabs + 2 gem squash + 2 tsp. olive oil 150g lean steak served on a bed of green beans, red peppers and mushrooms, topped with a yoghurt mustard dressing Pizza: made with Cauliflower Mash  (see recipe) topped with pastrami and vegetables 2 big grilled mushrooms topped with a red kidney bean sauce made with onions, tomatoes, baby marrows topped with a dollop of light hummus Omelette made with 2 eggs + 2 egg white + mushrooms, tomatoes + 1 tbsp. grated cheese

 Recipe for cauliflower-mash pizza base


1 Cauliflower head: 4 cups raw cauliflower rice
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup soft ricotta cheese/cottage cheese
1 teaspoon dried oregano
pinch of salt


Preheat your oven to 180 degrees, and then get to work on your crust.

Step 1: Begin by making your cauliflower “rice.”

Simply pulse batches of raw cauliflower florets in a food processor, until a rice-like texture is achieved.

Step 2: Cook & Strain the rice.

Fill a large pot with about an inch of water, and bring it to a boil. Add the “rice” and cover; let it cook for about 4-5 minutes. Drain into a fine-mesh strainer.

Now here comes the secret:

Once you’ve strained the rice, transfer it to a clean, thin dishtowel.

Wrap up the steamed rice in the dishtowel; twist it up, then SQUEEEEEEEZE all the excess moisture out!

It’s amazing how much liquid will be released, which will leave you with a nice and dry pizza crust.

Step 3: Make & Shape the dough.

In a large bowl, mix up your strained rice, beaten egg, goat cheese, and spices.

Don’t be afraid to use your hands! You want it very well mixed

It won’t be like any pizza dough you’ve ever worked with, but don’t worry– it’ll hold together!

Press the dough out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. (It’s important that it’s lined with parchment paper, which is not to be confused with WAX paper– they’re very different!)

Keep the dough about 1/3″ thick, and make the edges a little higher for a “crust” effect, if you like.

Step 4: Bake!

Bake for 35-40 minutes at 180 degrees.

Step 5: Add toppings

Rochez O’ Grady

In addition to running her MunchWize practice in Cape Town Rochez O’Grady has also been appointed by the South African women’s hockey team as the team dietician. You can book a consultation with her by giving her a call on 082 555 3794 or visit

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