Episode 85 - The Ultimate Grocery Guide For Triathletes

The Ultimate Grocery Guide For Triathletes

Every time you walk into a supermarket, you're faced with the daunting task of trying to pick the healthiest, most nutrient-packed foods at the best price to be healthy and to fuel your training.

As a triathlete, your nutrition differs from the general population. You can’t throw anything in your trolley and hope for the best. You need to make a choice for health and performance.

Nutrition really is the fourth leg of triathlon – it’s the make or break when it comes to a good training block or a bad one, so it’s important to get right.

To ease that stress I have put together The Ultimate Grocery Guide for Triathletes to help you shop SMARTER and FASTER - so you can be confident you're making a #DietitianApproved choice on your next supermarket trip.


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Episode Transcription

Episode 85: The Ultimate Grocery Guide For Triathletes

Taryn Richardson  00:00

Welcome to the Triathlon Nutrition Academy podcast. The show designed to serve you up evidence-based sports nutrition advice from the experts. Hi, I'm your host Taryn, Accredited Practicing Dietitian, Advanced Sports Dietitian and founder of Dietitian Approved. Listen as I break down the latest evidence to give you practical, easy-to-digest strategies to train hard, recover faster and perform at your best. You have so much potential, and I want to help you unlock that with the power of nutrition. Let's get into it.

Taryn Richardson  00:41

Grocery shopping - you either love it or you hate it. For some people, it is just an absolute chore. It's time that you don't have or you would rather spend that time doing something different. You've got all that time on your feet. And honestly, the grocery store is very overwhelming. Personally, I love physically going to the supermarket. It's my natural stomping ground. I love seeing all the new products and spending time reading labels. I like to physically pick my cans up off the shelf and make sure that they're not dinged and bashed in. I like to make a choice about whether I'm going to get olives from the deli because they look really fresh or if they look a bit manky and I'm going to give it a skip this week. But regardless of whether you love it or you hate it, it's a necessary evil of life. And every time that you walk into a supermarket, you're faced with that daunting task of trying to pick the healthiest, most nutrient packed foods at the best price to be healthy, and fuel your training. And honestly, it is so easy to get distracted because everything is beautiful and bright colours. There's lots of deceptive health claims on packaging and hidden ingredients that just confuse even the savviest shoppers, like myself. So what I've done is I've put together the ultimate grocery guide for triathletes to help you shop smarter and faster. So you can be confident that you're making a dietitian approved choice on your next supermarket trip. So you can get that at dietitianapproved.com/grocery. It's beautiful. It's free. Go and get it now. Hit pause and then come back.

Taryn Richardson  02:22

Nutrition really is the fourth leg. If you've been listening for a while you know that that's what I refer to it as - constantly. You have to swim, bike, run and eat. So grocery shopping is necessary, if you want to eat! Like, yes, you can pay someone to do it for you. Maybe you have a partner that loves doing it for you, so you get out of that chore. And yes, you can online order as well. But someone's still got to do it. And as a triathlete your nutrition needs differ to the general population, you can't just throw anything in your trolley and hope for the best. My passion is to help you make a choice for long term health. I want to set you up forever, not just a quick fix - and also performance. That's my role as a Sports Dietitian. Because nutrition can be the make or break - from a good training block where everything's piecing together nicely. And a horrendous one where you're absolutely exhausted, you're flogging a dead horse, nothing is working properly. So my number one tip for navigating the supermarket is to go in with a plan. It's not rocket science. But have you ever been hungry shopping? You end up putting all these things in your trolley that you just don't need because you're starving. You're not making informed, smart decisions in those sorts of situations, because you're so hungry. So you might end up with three bags of Maltesers because they're on special, or some packets of Oreos. Or maybe you've got Tim Tams because they're half price this week. And so you end up with all this stuff that you didn't need. And maybe you want it in that moment, but then you get it home and you start working your way through a packet of Tim Tams, feel sick and then ... mad regrets.

Taryn Richardson  04:02

So I'm going to talk you through my Ultimate Grocery Guide, which gives you some of the foundations of how you want to structure your shopping and your grocery trip to get all the things that you need - with maybe a little bit of those things that you don't need thrown in too. But at least you've got a really solid foundation and base when it comes to the general things that you're buying. The first thing that we're going to need to put into our trolley when we're going through and getting our groceries is some carbohydrate foods. Don't hate on carbs, they're your friend. They are the primary source of fuel for us as endurance athletes. Yes, we use fat as well. But we need to start to harness carbohydrates as a fuel source and not be so afraid of them.

Taryn Richardson  04:44

Primarily you need to understand how much you need and when to maximally support your training program. So you need to understand how much you need on different types of training days that best reflects the amount of work that you're doing and then you'll be able to harness the amazing power of carbohydrate. So some carbohydrate foods that you might want to add to the grocery list and might form that foundation of what you get on a weekly basis - we're talking about things like rice, pasta, noodles, couscous, potatoes, sweet potato, corn, legumes, fruit, dairy products, crackers, muesli bars, raisin toast - those are the sorts of things that you want to be adding to your trolley to put some fuelling foods in.

Taryn Richardson  05:31

Now in your Guide, I am giving you some specific brands to guide you on some better choices than others. Now, that is Australian (I'm Australian. I'm not sure if you could tell by my accent) and I know our supermarkets really, really well. If you're overseas, just ignore the brands. But look for something on that list that is a brand that's familiar to you. The next group that we're going to need to add to our trolley or our basket is some protein foods. And these are our building foods, and help with recovery and repair - not just for muscles, but for all systems and hormones in our body. And it doesn't matter whether you are a meat eater or vegetarian or a vegan athlete, you're going to need to be eating protein. Now how much you need is really individual. And we also need to harness the power of protein timing to maximise the effects of protein too. So some of those foods that you might want to add to your trolley would be: all of our animal meats - so red meat, chicken, fish, eggs, tofu and tempeh, legumes, nuts and seeds. You can also get things like high protein yoghurt and cottage cheese to bump you up here.

Taryn Richardson  05:32

Now notice that I didn't say protein powders or protein supplements? It's really easy to meet your protein needs solely from food without needing to supplement. Now there are some convenient times where I might suggest a protein powder. And certainly some of our Academy athletes can attest to that. Because there's times where we need to get a certain amount in a certain timeframe and that's just not possible with food. But the foundations of your groceries on a weekly/monthly basis should not include protein powder as a way for you to get protein from your diet.

Taryn Richardson  07:20

The next group is our fats. And fats have definitely got a bad rap over the years. But we want to focus on eating healthy fats and minimising the bad types of fats. Now I'm not going to dive into those details in this episode, it is something that I talk about in the Triathlon Kickstarter Course, so if you do want to learn about fats and harnessing their power, then go to triathlonnutritionkickstarter.com to read all about that course. So if we're focusing on including those good types of fats, that can help reduce the inflammation that naturally happens with the stress of exercise. And we need to do that as a triathlete. We are exercising all the time. And we have this heightened stress state where we do want to dampen that down with some anti inflammatory properties - and our healthy fats can do a really good job of doing that. So things to add to your trolley next time you go grocery shopping, would be things like avocado, olive oil, nuts, and seeds. And don't forget to throw in some of our deep sea fatty fish - things like salmon, tuna, herring and mackerel. These guys contain a great source of Omega 3s, which is a type of fat that we do need to focus on getting more of in our diet.

Taryn Richardson  08:34

And our last group that we're throwing in our trolley is all of our colourful foods - anti-oxidant and fibre rich. So I'm sure you can probably guess what they are, but all of our fruits and vegetables. And we want to focus on a huge variety of these not just sticking with the same thing all the time. So if you're somebody that goes to the supermarket and you haven't got a plan and you haven't thought about it and you're not being strategic, you're probably going to throw in the same types of things on a week to week basis, because that's habitual for you. That's the norm. So I want you to shake yourself out of that rut and start to play around with new things that you've never tried before.

Taryn Richardson  09:14

Find something that is in season because it's going to have more nutrients in it than something that is forced to grow out of season. And focus on lots of different colours. So as an example, if you're somebody that always buys red capsicum - next time look for green capsicum, yellow and orange capsicum - because they're different colours and do have different nutrient profiles in them. Instead of getting just red tomatoes, get the mixed multi-colour variety. It's these simple little swaps that can make a huge difference to our nutrition. And there are more convenient ways to do this as well. You don't have to buy fresh, whole fruit and vegetables all the time. There's lots of pre bagged salad mixes, frozen veggie mixes and other convenience options in the supermarket these days that can really help bump up your nutrient intake with less effort when you're a time poor triathlete.

Taryn Richardson  10:07

So if you haven't got it yet, go and download my Ultimate Grocery Guide for triathletes - dietitianapproved.com/grocery to go and get it. And I want you to use that as the foundation of your general shop. And make decisions based on fuelling and recovery for what you actually need versus impulse purchasing e.g. those discounted chocolate bars that are always at the checkouts. And if you want to dive deeper with me - today I'm launching a new Virtual Supermarket Tour. It's been in the works, honestly, for many years. Thank you COVID! But come grocery shopping with me, in my local supermarket, from the comfort of your own home - wherever you are in the world. I'm going to show you how to navigate the supermarket like a dietitian pro - where to focus your time and energy so you're not wasting your time and spending all that time on your feet trying to figure things out. And I'm going to save you money as well. I'm going to show you how to read a food label and how to pick certain products. So things like canned tomatoes - what are we looking for? Tinned tuna, canned corn, milk, muesli, biscuits and crackers, muesli bars. How to pick a kombucha that's really kombucha and not fake stuff.

Taryn Richardson  11:17

And how to pick the best fruit and vegetables so you can see what you're looking for to get something that is fresh and has maximum nutrients in it. So things like how to pick a capsicum to make that whole cutting process easier. How to check if your broccoli is fresh. Bananas and how to do that without them all going off at the same time and then being rendered useless or turned into banana bread. Zucchinis, tomatoes, apples. I've got loads of tips on how to actually pick the best things for you. This is my happy place. This is what brings me most joy. And this is what I do for a living.

Taryn Richardson  11:52

So let me teach you the fast and easy way to navigate the supermarket in less time and blowing less cash. So go and check it out dietitianapproved.com/supermarkettour. It launches today. So I'm really excited to share it with you and look out for some pretty fun Instagram reels coming your way over on the Dietitian Approved Instagram account @dietitian.approved. Alright, I'll see you next week where I'm going to talk about planning your supermarket shop better and I've got another great resource to help fast track you through that process - saving you at least two hours a week and getting you more organised in the kitchen. I'll see you then.

Taryn Richardson  12:32

Thanks for joining me for this episode of the Triathlon Nutrition Academy podcast. I would love to hear from you. If you have any questions or want to share with me what you've learned, email me at [email protected]. You can also spread the word by leaving me a review and taking a screenshot of you listening to the show. Don't forget to tag me on social media, @dietitian.approved, so I can give you a shout out, too. If you want to learn more about what we do, head to dietitianapproved.com. And if you want to learn more about the Triathlon Nutrition Academy program, head to dietitianapproved.com/academy. Thanks for joining me and I look forward to helping you smashed in the fourth leg - nutrition! 


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