Training with Caitríona


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Training with Caitríona

If you’ve got a teenager that’s training on a regular basis you’ll be more than familiar with their protein requirements. I say requirements because the amount of protein they should be eating, even when training, is probably not as much as they think.


When we were travelling around the country with the Lidl Future Stars Roadshow #SeriousSupport recently, how to feed protein to your family on a budget was a topic that I was asked quite a few times. It’s a problem that is hard to figure out because protein is probably one of the most expensive parts of your diet. Particularly if you’re buying meat protein.


The good news is that the majority of foods contain some form of protein, but obviously some are higher than others.


For families who are in the habit of eating meat for more than 1 meal a day, I can see how the cost of feeding active teens in training can all add up. There are plenty of quicker alternatives to having meat at every meal that will save you money.


For example, eggs are a brilliant source of protein and amino acids. In fact 1 egg contains all the amino acids your body needs for 1 day if you’re not training. On average an egg contains 13g of protein making it a great budget way to eat well. A dozen Organic eggs in store cost €1.99 which is excellent value in my book.


Beans and lentils are another go-to when I’m feeding the family on a budget. They’re a natural source of protein and full of fibre, something which is more important when training than you think. Beans are a great comfort food and easy to rustle up in a hurry. It’s one of the ultimate original fast foods. Topping a slice of toast with some hot baked beans €0.39 will literally take 5 minutes. That’s real fast food if you ask me. Crumble some cheese on top for some extra dairy and protein. I recommend Lidl Greek Feta cheese €1.39 which adds a wonderful sharp flavour and cuts through the tomato sauce.


There’s an awful lot of bad press around pot noodles but honestly when you break down the ingredients they’re not that bad for you at all. The basic elements of a decent pot noodle are; noodles €0.89, a vegetable stock cube €0.66, frozen vegetables €1.25, and if you like some cooked chicken breast to add to the pot. You can buy precooked and sliced chicken breast for just €2.09 and it’s available in the chiller cabinet. Or even use up some leftover chicken from a roast the night before to save on money. A fresh whole chicken for roasting this week costs: €3.19


Suggested link: Recipe for homemade pot noodle


The beauty of keeping protein in your diet is that not only will it help with muscle building and repair after training, but it will also keep you feeling fuller for longer.