As an active tennis player and fitness enthusiast, I have always believed people are what they eat: improving your eating habits will in return improve your energy, focus, and ultimately help you champion your goals – and your tennis game! I use these three methods to stay light and clean for my on and off the court activities.
1. Avoid Gluten
Just four years ago when I embarked on my journey starting Yaffa Activewear, I was looking for a way to improve my energy and focus. I was Inspired by now the number one seeded tennis player, Novak Djokovic, who practices a gluten-free diet.
After finding out about his gluten intolerance, Djokovic accepted his doctor’s challenge to go gluten-free for 14 days. “As the days rolled along, I began to feel different. I felt lighter, more energetic” he told Eat This! Weight Loss, “And I pledged from that moment on that whatever my body told me, I’d listen”. Since adopting a gluten-free diet he has conquered his tennis goals with no challenger who has been able to out pace him.
Eliminating gluten rich products made from wheat, barley, rye on the other hand, helps you fight the risk of poor gut health. Eat more plant-based meals and experiment with gluten-free flours to feel light on and off the court. For me, going gluten free gave me a jump start in overhauling my entire diet and the way I ate–which for me, did increase my energy.
2. Have a Fruit-based breakfast
Treat your body to an energy boost before your morning match. It’s important to start the day with a meal that isn’t going to wear you down on the court. When going out to play tennis for two or three hours, you want a meal that will give you energy and eliminate hunger to make the most of your game. Enter whole cereal grains, fruits, nuts and seeds.
My go-to pre-match breakfast is a bowl of oatmeal mixed with flax seeds and fresh fruit. I’ve also recently entered the world of Acai bowls. Pair the smoothie like layer on the bottom with your choice of toppings. My favorites are oats, fresh fruit, peanut butter, granola.
These bowls are easy to make at home or can be found in local juice and smoothie bars. A personal favorite of mine is Skinny Buddha, an organic cafe located in Scarsdale, NY. It’s the perfect place for me to grab a quick healthy breakfast before a match on a busy day.
The girls and I often grab a quick green tea or passion fruit drink at the cafe post-match. We’re usually still in our Yaffa gear running errands before heading home.
3. Get Your Greens and Beans
For Dinner, I try to get in as much greens as possible. Eating dark greens is great for circulation, an important aspect for any active and on the go person. Eating kale, collard greens, turnip greens, spinach, broccoli, lettuce and other greens also helps to increase collagen so you can fight sunburn while out on the hot courts.
Juicing is a quick way to receive the key nutrients your body needs from fresh fruit and vegetables at home or on the go. Adding superfoods like chia seeds and hemp seeds give juice blends that added boost and much needed protein.
Another great plant-based source of protein are beans. After you wind down from an active day, you’ll want to eat protein rich foods so the body can repair itself.
See you on the court!
Laura Preskin, Founder and Creative Director