We can all learn a lot from this meal-by-meal review from sports nutritionist Lauren Antonucci.

Athlete Stats

Name: Conrad Lee Sanders
Occupation: Student, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Arizona
Age: 24
Height/Weight: 6-feet, 154
Basal Metabolic Rate: 1922
The training week: 21 hours, 48 minutes

“This was from my build up to the 70.3 World Championships,” Sanders says. “This is four weeks out from the actual event, so it’s the last week of my build before I started to taper things off.” (He placed sixth in his age group at the 2017 Ironman 70.3 World Championship with a 4:20:33.)

Monday

The Workout

Swim 4K am, 2K pm

The Food

Breakfast
3⁄4 cup old-fashioned oats, 5 ounces frozen blueberries, 1⁄2 cup egg whites, 1 cup spinach, 2 whole eggs, 2 T olive oil

Antonucci’s Take: This breakfast contains a good mix of carbs, fiber, protein, fat, and adequate calories for Conrad’s first meal of the day. A great start! I’d recommend swapping out the olive oil for nuts and seeds for more omega-3 fats and higher nutrient density.

Lunch
1 cup fat-free Greek yogurt with 1 medium gala apple and 2 tablespoons honey

Antonucci’s Take: This is really only adequate for a snack. I would have loved to see a veggie soup and a sandwich here to better meet his needs then eat this later as a real and sufficient snack.

Dinner
8-ounce chicken thigh, a sweet potato, 2 grilled bell peppers

Antonucci’s Take: Great to see adequate protein, a healthy carb, and a veggie in here. This meal seems to be missing healthy fats; how about adding avocado or olive oil? We need good fats for recovery, hormone production, and adequate total calories.

Tuesday

The Workout

Bike 40 miles, run 2.9 miles, swim 4.1K total

The Food

Breakfast
1 cup old-fashioned oats, 7 ounces frozen blueberries, 1 cup egg whites, 1 cup spinach, 4 whole eggs, 3 T olive oil

Antonucci’s Take: Another great start to the day! Again, I would switch the olive oil for nuts, nut butter, and seeds—three things that taste great in oatmeal and have a host of benefits.

Lunch
4 tablespoons peanut butter, 4 slices wheat bread, 6 tablespoons apricot jelly

Antonucci’s Take: Here is the peanut butter I was hoping for! I would recommend adding fruit and veggies here (hummus and carrots),or cheese and a pear for more fluids, fiber, potassium, and overall produce.

Dinner
8-ounce chicken thigh, sweet potato, 12 ounces steamed broccoli

Antonucci’s Take: Need to add some good fats. It is OK to eat the same thing for a day or two (cook once, eat twice), but make sure not to avoid other foods.

Wednesday

The Workout

Bike 55 miles, run 6 miles, swim 4.2K total

The Food

Breakfast
1 cup old-fashioned oats, 5 ounces frozen blueberries, 1 cup egg whites, 1 cup spinach, 3 whole eggs

Antonucci’s Take: Good on carbs, protein, and fats here. I love that he is including the whole eggs for much-needed protein, fat, and B-vitamins.

Lunch
12-ounce t-bone steak, russet potato

Antonucci’s Take: Protein portion is a bit big here, but sometimes that is OK. Most triathletes need to snack at least twice a day in order to meet their nutritional needs, and I’d recommend that here. I’d also love to see a veggie, ideally cooked in olive oil.

Dinner
8-ounce chicken thigh, sweet potato, 2 cups steamed spinach

Antonucci’s Take: More chicken thigh and potato and spinach? Again, all of these are great, but we need variety. How about fish, quinoa, lentils, cauliflower, kale, or brussels sprouts instead?

Thursday

The Workout

Bike 37 miles, swim 3K, run 3.4 miles

The Food

Breakfast
1 cup old-fashioned oats, 5 ounces frozen blueberries, 1 cup egg whites, 1 cup spinach, 2 whole eggs

Antonucci’s Take: A great breakfast. We could try for variety, but I’ll save that request for lunches and dinners.

Lunch
1 large tortilla, 1 cup cheddar cheese, 2 whole eggs, 1 potato

Antonucci’s Take: I like the variety here (cheese and tortilla) but would love to see more different meats (say fish or chicken tacos). I would highly recommend beans and some veggies—coleslaw goes well with tortillas.

Dinner
8-ounce chicken thigh, sweet potato, 2 cups baked brussels sprouts

Antonucci’s Take: I like the brussels sprouts and hope they were cooked using some olive oil, as he could use more total fat intake on this day. How about a bison burger with sautéed mushrooms on a whole-wheat bun with a side of sweet potato? That would be delicious and more balanced/varied.

Friday

The Workout

Swim 5.1K, run 5 miles

The Food

Breakfast
1 cup old-fashioned oats, 5 ounces frozen blueberries, 1 cup egg whites, 1 cup spinach, 2 whole eggs

Antonucci’s Take: Still good. But how about two slices of wheat toast with 4 ounces smoked salmon and low-fat cream cheese, and a fruit smoothie with 2 tablespoons peanut or almond nut butter, 2 cups of fruit, and 2 tablespoons of Greek yogurt? Even better.

Lunch
1 cup fat-free Greek yogurt with a medium gala apple and 2 tablespoons honey

Antonucci’s Take: Again, this is not adequate for lunch. This would make a great snack. How about sushi? Or a burrito? Or salad with tuna and two types of beans, nuts, and avocado? I’m looking for more variety and more total calories, as well as total fat and total carbs.

Dinner
8-ounce chicken thigh, 1 sweet potato

Antonucci’s Take: Overall this day was very low in calories, fat, and carbohydrates compared to his actual needs. He is eating very healthy foods, which is great, but I’d like to see more calorie intake and variety.