What does a Team GB snowboarder eat in the mountains? Winter Olympian Aimee Fuller reveals all

Five exercises to get you ready for the slopes this winter – from an Olympic snowboarder View List

I often get asked why I always have so much energy – and how do I keep it up with such an active lifestyle and life on the road? The answer is nutrition.

As an athlete competing on the international circuit, I travel a lot, spending a lot of time on planes, staying between hotels and apartments, and visiting countries with different food. This type of life makes you realise how lucky we are in the UK to have such variety available every day. Finding a good balance of food on the road is hard, but I’ve learnt that the secret to a healthy diet comes with being prepared.

As a snowboarder I find it’s about maintaining a sustainable balance of fuel for your body versus going overboard on the sugar. I speak from experience when I say, you want to have energy to last the full day but you don’t want to be feeling too full when you’re throwing yourself upside down.

To achieve that balance I aim to fuel my body right, at the right times, with good wholesome nutritious food plus making sure I drink plenty of water – it’s key to maintaining my energy all day on the slopes. It’s not easy, but it is quite simple once you learn how. Here are a few of my on-the-road travel nutrition hacks for fuelling yourself right in the mountains.

A typical day in the life of an athlete
7am

A big breakfast is key to nutrition when on the road – it’s my favourite meal. My go-to dish is a large bowl of porridge cooked with almond milk, topped with fresh fruit. Fruit is a better alternative to processed sugars, with the added benefits of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, plus the fibre in the fruit aids the slow absorption of carbohydrates aiding performance throughout the day. To add protein to the meal, I top it with Pip and Nut Almond butter and Nutrii Quark – a high dairy product, with a similar consistency to yoghurt. If I have time, as an alternative to porridge, I will often make banana pancakes, with eggs, oats and top it with all the good stuff.

11am

On the hill, having a snack is key if you go up early to beat the lift queues. Early days are frequent for me when I am training – I normally train early in the morning, to get the best conditions. I start my day with yoga, followed by four to five hours of riding on the mountain. My favourite snacks are things I can fit in my pocket so I don’t have to stop. I often buy and bring these from home when I’m travelling on the competitive circuit as I know what I like. My most popular choices are Wyldsson nut tubes or bake at home bars and Rude Health bars that fit easily into my jacket – healthy and full of energy to keep me going all day.

Aimee’s go-to snack on the mountain
3pm

I prefer to power through on the slopes and come down the mountain for a proper lunch. In the Alps they often tend to slather everything in butter or deep fry it, so I prefer to make a mega-lunch at home, whether it’s a chicken or fish stir fry with rice noodles, or sweet potato wedges. On the road, our accommodation varies – it’s best when we stay in an apartment so we have good facilities to cook properly, but if we are somewhere for a few days, a hotel is a better option. I love staying at the Alpin Chalets in Flachauwinkl, Austria – they are big and spacious so it makes cooking a nice experience and also very social with the rest of the team. If I am eating out or up the mountain I will aim to get some lean protein with some fresh veggies.

Aimee prefers to head down the mountain to cook her lunch fresh
7pm

I try to fuel up at breakfast and lunch with good carbs, so for dinner I normally go easy on carbohydrates, unless I have a big contest day ahead. Seafood is my favourite choice for dinner, along with some sautéed soy tamari, ginger, garlic and veggies. The night before a big contest I love to have one of my favourite dishes, homemade nachos with sweet potato – it’s a nice one to cook with friends and share the experience.

Five exercises to get you ready for the slopes this winter – from an Olympic snowboarder View List

Aimee’s top tips for snacks on a trip to the mountains
Top tips for eating in the mountains

I know it’s hard, but stay away from pizza and bread. Instead, head for the salad bar and stock up on those essential vitamins. I tend to choose lean meats as a source of protein to restore my muscles for that next day riding. And if you can help it, avoid that fondue.

Top tips for a post-ride meal

This is the key time to get the protein into your diet. I keep it lean, with omelettes, nuts, Nutrii ( a high-protein quark snack, popular in Scandinavia) and I often travel with tins of tuna – it’s an easy quick protein fix when you only have access to fast food. And when it comes to sugar cravings, I recommend going for fresh fruit and Greek yogurt instead of those tempting chocolate bars.

Nutrii supplies Aimee with a source of protein
Top tips when you’re flying

I always steer clear of eating plane food, as it’s full of sodium and high in fat – not what you need if you’re trying to eat right and prepare your body for a big week in the mountains. To avoid it I travel with Rude Health porridge pots in my hand luggage and ask for boiling water. People often think you can’t bring food through security in the airport but as longs as it’s not over 200ml of liquid, you’re good to go. I also pack rice cakes with avocado, mini hummus pots, salads and chopped raw vegetables – so much better than the stuff they serve on the plane.

Aimee’s diet, yes or no?
Coconut oil? Yes

My favourite is by Lucy Bee – it’s a saturated fat but is good for cholesterol, great for cooking and also great to use as a natural oil for your skin and hair on the road.

Nuts? Yes

They are high in calories but the benefits are huge – they’re high in protein and an antioxidant powerhouse.

Fast food? No

Unless it’s a cheat meal I won’t binge on fast food.

Aimee Fuller | Fast facts

Born July 21, 1991From Keston, southeast LondonCurrently lives in Belfast and LondonStarted skiing aged 4 on the dry slope in BromleySwitched to snowboarding at the age of 12, after her family moved to the USACompeted at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, reaching the semi-final in the slopestyleBritish champion in both Big Air and Slopestyle at the 2017 BRITS in Laax Appeared in 2017’s Mission Mudder, a six-part TV series for Sky Sports Currently training for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South KoreaSponsored by Roxy, Jeep, Vans, Tag, The Snow Centre and Nutrii
Indian food? Yes

I always go for the Tandoori options to avoid the creamy sauce.

Deep fried food? No

I prefer to cook fresh and avoid processed meat.

Nachos? Yes

I love to top them with feta cheese, fresh tomatoes, and chicken or beans.

Pizza? No

It’s just not my thing. I have other guilty pleasures.

Fresh fruit and Greek yogurt? Yes

A great choice for dessert.

Aimee loves Cpress coffee with almond milk
Coffee? Yes

This is my guilty pleasure – great for enhancing performance and as a stimulant.

Milk? No

But yes to nut-based milks such as cashew or almond.

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