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By Christina Major  |  16 January 2020   

What you eat before martial art practice can make or break that day's training. If you're too full, you won’t train well. If you’re too hungry, you’re going to think more about what you’re going to eat on the way home rather than the punch that’s flying towards your face.

These three recipes here will help keep you full, provide long-lasting energy, and are highly nutritious. Plus, they are very tasty and easy to make.

Thai Peanut Chicken Salad with Quinoa

This recipe is high in protein and fibers, but low in energy-draining carbs. It’s high in vitamins, especially vitamin A, as well as immune-boosting phytonutrients.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa or millet
  • 1 cup shredded, cooked chicken
  • 1 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1 cup thinly sliced snow peas or sugar snap peas
  • ½ cup grated beets
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced green onion
  • Peanut sauce
  • ¼ cup smooth peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon juiced
  • Pinch of sugar, if using no-sugar-added peanut butter
Instructions:
In terms of cooking the chicken, the first step is to bake it at 400°F  until its internal temperature is 165°F. The second step is to turn the pieces over and broil them, rotating the pan or the chicken pieces every few minutes to encourage even browning and prevent burning.

Caldo de Pollo

In terms of cooking the chicken, the first step is to bake it at 400°F  until its internal temperature is 165°F. The second step is to turn the pieces over and broil them, rotating the pan or the chicken pieces every few minutes to encourage even browning and prevent burning.
Ingredients:
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 lb chicken thighs
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • 2 medium chopped carrots
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  • Place all ingredients in a pot over medium heat.
  • Bring to a simmer until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Remove chicken, shred, and return to soup.
  • Continue to cook until all vegetables are tender.
  • You can also place de-boned chicken and all ingredients in a slow cooker/pressure cooker and simmer all day for a hot meal when you get home.

Variations:

  • Substitute beef or game for chicken
  • Add tomatoes for a sweeter soup
  • Add lentils, beans, quinoa, or barley for more fiber and carbs
  • Top with avocados, fresh tomatoes, or nuts
  • Substitute parsley and basil for cayenne, chili, and cumin for an Italian style soup

Easy Breakfast Bake

You make this a few days in advance and you’ll have breakfast for a week. For morning classes and day-long training, having a hardy breakfast can make or break what you learn.

Ingredients:

You make this a few days in advance and you’ll have breakfast for a week. For morning classes and day-long training, having a hardy breakfast can make or break what you learn.

  • 1 tablespoon butter, plus extra for dish
  • 1 lb cooked sausage
  • 10 large eggs
  • 2 cups milk, whole cow’s milk or almond milk
  • 4 cups shredded potatoes
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded cheese
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup sliced peppers (if frozen, drain well)
  • 1 cup frozen spinach, defrosted, drained, and chopped
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes or halved grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350° and grease a 9"-x-13" baking dish with butter. 
  • In a large bowl, beat together eggs and milk. Gently add to the baking dish.
  • In a large skillet, melt butter then sauté vegetables, except for basil.
  • When reduced and water evaporated, cool, then sprinkle over eggs.
  • Top with basil. Top with remaining cheese and until set.
  • Let cool, then divide into individual portions and refrigerate.

Training day foods should be light, easy to digest, and provide lots of healthy fats and proteins, without fillers or energy-draining carbohydrates. Learn more about healthy nutrition and what nutrients work best for a martial artist’s body under the Nutrition Section.

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About the author

Christina Major is a Holistic Nutritionist, Naturopath, and herbalist. She owns Crystal Holistic Health, a nutritional consulting and writing business specializing in complementary and alternative medicine. She has over a decade of helping people find health, lose weight, and get off medications. Christina has practiced martial arts for 18 years. Staring with an eclectic group in college, she practiced Tang Soo Do and Tai Kwan Do for three years after graduation. After moving to Central PA, she began studying Taijutsu where she obtained a 2nd-degree black belt and studied the art directly under the Soke and top Shihan in Japan. She met her husband, a 5th-degree in class, where they enjoy giving each other bruises and kisses.

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