When it comes to being active, taking care of yourself is vital. And after two years of lockdown, people are now keen to get back to their pre-pandemic fitness routines. But as well as exercising and ensuring you’re getting enough sleep, it's also important to be mindful about your nutrition.

Mindful eating is all about being aware of the food and drink you put into your body. It involves looking at how certain foods make you feel, and requires you to really think about how you shop for, cook, serve, and eat your food.

Eating a balanced diet brings many health benefits, such as reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity, as well as type 2 diabetes. It can also give you more energy and boost your mood too.

DECATHLON’S Nutrition and Body Care brand Aptonia provides everything you need to look after your body, before, during, and after sport. And they’ve put together some delicious and nutritious recipes that are easy to integrate into even the busiest of routines, focusing on healthy meals for post-sport recovery, and to help boost your energy and your immune system. With just a short list of ingredients, their aim is to help you develop good eating habits that you can integrate into your daily life.

Pre-training meals

Athletes and fitness enthusiasts are always looking for ways to improve their performance and achieve their goals. And fueling your body with the right nutrients before exercise will give you the energy and strength you need to perform better, while also minimising muscle damage.

One pot prawn, mushroom & cumin pasta

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An ideal pre-competition recipe! This simple pasta dish is very low in fat and fibre, making it easy to digest before exercise. The prawns are rich in protein and very low in fat, and are delicious combined with the cumin. And choose white pasta and cook it al dente for a lower glycemic load and therefore an ideal carbohydrate intake.

Nutritional information (per person):

- Kcal: 525 kcal

- Protein: 42g

- Fats: 5g

- Carbohydrates: 70g

Ingredients:

100g penne pasta, 20g button mushrooms, 1 chicken stock cube, 300ml water, 150g cooked prawns. Cumin, fresh parsley, salt and pepper to taste.

Method:

Wash and cut the mushrooms into small pieces. In a saucepan, add the pasta, mushrooms, cumin, chicken stock cube and water. Cook for 7 minutes from boiling for al dente (add more water if necessary).

Once cooked, add the prawns and heat everything through for 1 minute and serve. Decorate with fresh parsley.

Fragrant chicken dahl

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This dish is perfect for the eve of a competition. The rice provides easily digestible carbohydrates for the body to give you energy. It’s very low in fibre and fats, enabling good digestion for competition day. And the chicken and yoghurt provide the protein your muscles need.

Nutritional information (per person):

- Kcal: 605 kcal

- Protein: 40g

- Fats: 10g

- Carbohydrates: 80g

Ingredients:

For 1 person (multiply according to the desired number of servings), 100g rice, 150g chicken, 1 chicken stock cube, 30g peeled tomatoes, 30ml water, oil, 90g plain yoghurt. Ginger, coriander, turmeric, salt and pepper to taste.

Method:

Cook the rice (according to the directions on the pack). Cut the chicken into pieces and brown in a saucepan in the oil for a few minutes. Add the water (the chicken should be semi submerged). Add the stock cube, ginger, turmeric, coriander and peeled tomatoes. Cover and heat over medium/low heat for about ten minutes (and more water if necessary).

Once cooked, add the yoghurt and heat for 1 minute. Serve the rice and the chicken in sauce, and add fresh coriander on top.

Meals for post-training recovery

Consuming the right nutrients after you exercise is just as important as what you eat before you exercise. Your body needs to rebuild your muscle proteins and glycogen stores post-workout, and eating the right foods can also help stimulate new muscle growth.

Minced veal with pumpkin

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A low-fat post-training meal packed with protein (veal) and complex carbohydrates (sweet potato) to help replenish your energy and protein levels. The pumpkin and lettuce is also easy to digest, allowing you to get a good night's sleep while your body recovers from exercise.

Nutritional information (per person):

- Kcal: 560 kcal

- Protein: 43g

- Fats: 15g

- Carbohydrates: 55g

Ingredients:

For 1 person (multiply according to the desired number of servings), 150g ground veal, 80g pumpkin, 200g sweet potato, 1 garlic clove, 10ml double cream, 7g pumpkin seeds, 15g breadcrumbs, 20g parmesan, 20g lettuce, soy sauce, mustard, vinegar, lemon, parsley, nutmeg.

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Peel the sweet potatoes and the pumpkin and cut them into pieces. Cook the potatoes and pumpkin according to the method of your choice (30 min steamed). Cook the veal in a pan for a few minutes (without oil). Once cooked, chop the garlic and add, along with salt and pepper.

Mash or blend the sweet potatoes and pumpkin with the parsley, double cream, nutmeg, and salt and pepper. Mix the breadcrumbs, parmesan and pumpkin seeds in a bowl.

In a gratin dish, add the veal then the mash then the breadcrumb mixture. Bake for 20 minutes at 180°C. Meanwhile, wash the lettuce. Prepare the salad dressing: mix the vinegar, soy sauce and mustard in a bowl. And serve alongside the veal.

Zucchini soup with mint & lemon chicken

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A delicious creamy soup that you can whip up in just 30 minutes. It’s easy to digest and it also aids rehydration after exercise. The turkey allows you to fill up on proteins for good muscle fibre recovery. And you can adjust the amount of potatoes and bread according to how hungry you are.

Nutritional information (per person):

- Kcal: 660 kcal

- Protein: 40g

- Fats: 25g

- Carbohydrates: 50g

Ingredients:

For 1 person (multiply according to the desired number of servings), 250g zucchini (courgettes), 100g potato, 1 chicken stock cube, 150g turkey, 30g goats cheese, bread, ¼ lemon, oil. Mint, salt and pepper to taste.

Method:

Cut the turkey into pieces. Put it in a bowl and add the lemon juice, salt and pepper, and let it stand while you prepare the rest.

Wash and cut the courgettes (zucchini) and potatoes into pieces.

In a saucepan, add the zucchini, potatoes, chicken stock cube and a little water. Heat over a medium heat, covered, for about 20 minutes (add more water if necessary). Mix the contents of the saucepan with the goat's cheese and the mint. Add salt and pepper.

Cook the turkey pieces in the oil in a pan over high heat for a few minutes. And toast the bread. To serve, add the zucchini purée, then the lemon chicken on top. You can decorate with

mint and lemon zest. Dip the bread into the mash and enjoy!

Quinoa meatballs with salad

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This simple recipe, with quinoa, cumin and the sesame seeds, provides a great source of magnesium. This is important for muscle and nerve function and energy production, and can help prevent cramp after exercise. It’s an ideal post-workout meal - light but providing enough energy to keep cravings at bay.

Nutritional information (per person):

- Kcal: 473 kcal

- Protein: 10g

- Fats: 30g

- Carbohydrates: 32g

Ingredients:

For 4 people: 200g quinoa, 1 onion, 1 large egg, 2 avocados, 80g lamb’s lettuce, 100g plain yoghurt, 10g sesame seeds, olive oil, cumin, mint, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste.

Method:

Preheat the oven to 210°C. Cook the quinoa (rinse in a colander then cook it in twice its volume of simmering water, without a lid, for 15 to 20 minutes). When the quinoa is cooked, drain it if necessary. Leave to cool to room temperature or run it gently under cold water in a colander.

Peel the onion and cut into very thin slices. Then mix the onion, olive oil, quinoa, egg, cumin and sesame seeds together to form balls. Arrange the balls in a baking dish and bake for 15 minutes.

Cut the avocados in half, remove the stones and remove the flesh without damaging it. Cut the flesh into slices. Arrange the lamb's lettuce and avocado slices on the plates.

In a bowl, mix the yoghurt and mint. Keep some mint aside to decorate the plate. In a small bowl, mix the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper to make a vinaigrette, and pour over the lamb's lettuce and avocado on each plate. Arrange the hot meatballs on top of the salad. Decorate with a little mint, sesame seeds and cumin and serve immediately with the yoghurt to dip the meatballs into and enjoy!

Nutritious meals for general health

We all need a good balance of vitamins, minerals, protein, fat, carbohydrates and fibre in our diets to sustain a healthy body. But you don’t need to completely change your diet overnight. Making small changes by introducing a few well-balanced nutritious meals into your lifestyle can help you achieve more in the long term. And as your small changes become a habit, you’ll be able to include more healthy options as you go.

Polenta gratin with pumpkin and camembert

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This gourmet vegetarian recipe is a great source of calcium and protein, enough to maintain your bones and muscles during the winter. Hazelnuts provide good fats. And the pumpkin is rich in fibre, and helps to absorb the carbohydrates from the polenta.

Nutritional information (per person):

- Kcal: 351 kcal

- Protein: 7g

- Fats: 10g

- Carbohydrates: 50g

Ingredients:

For 6 people: 1 pumpkin, 300g polenta, 200g camembert, 30g hazelnuts, 120g green salad. Nutmeg, turmeric, salt and pepper to taste.

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Peel and cut the pumpkin in half using a large knife. Remove the seeds and fibres with a spoon, and cut into pieces while removing the skin. Cook the pumpkin in a pot of boiling water over medium heat or steam for about 20 minutes.

Blend the pumpkin purée with the turmeric, nutmeg, salt and pepper. And mix it with the polenta. Arrange everything in a casserole dish.

Cut the Camembert into slices and arrange on the gratin. Bake the gratin for 15 minutes at 180°C. Then crush the hazelnuts and spread them on the gratin, before putting back in the over for a further 5 minutes. Serve the gratin with a green salad and vinaigrette.

Lemon-carrot and lentil soup with smoked salmon

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A recipe rich in iron (lentils) and vitamin C (parsley and lemon zest) which also allows increased absorption of iron. Salmon, rich in omega 3, is an excellent source of “good cholesterol”. This dish is also very hydrating and energising, with a low glycemic load.

Nutritional information (per person):

- Kcal: 330 kcal

- Protein: 26g

- Fats: 5g

- Carbohydrates: 40g

Ingredients:

For 1 person: 60g lentils, 300ml water, 100g carrots, ½ an onion, 1 garlic clove, 50g smoked salmon, 1 vegetable stock cube, fresh parsley, lemon zest, salt and pepper to taste.

Method:

Peel and cut the carrots into rounds, and peel and cut the onions into pieces. Put the carrots, onions and lentils in a saucepan. Add the water and the vegetable stock cube. Cook for 30 minutes over medium heat, covering the pan.

After 30 minutes, stir the soup and add water if it is too dense. Pour the soup into bowls. Cut the smoked salmon into strips and mix with the fresh parsley. Arrange the strips of salmon with parsley in the centre of the bowl. Add the lemon zest and season with salt and pepper.

From nutritional supplements to recovery and rehabilitation essentials, discover the Aptonia Nutrition and Body Care range. Whether you enjoy gentle daily walks or intense contact sports, we have just what you need at DECATHLON.