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Mark International Day of the Girl with a virtual event celebrating NI sport and learn top tips from the experts


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Food for thought: Jane McClenaghan

Food for thought: Jane McClenaghan

Food for thought: Jane McClenaghan

A virtual event to celebrate women and girls who are changing the game for women's sport throughout Northern Ireland is to take place tomorrow ahead of International Day of the Girl.

Aimed at anyone who is interested in sport, the event will allow attendees to learn from experts and sportswomen who are at the top of their game. Those attending will also have the chance to have their questions answered on topics as diverse as the best approach to post-training recovery to dealing with body-issues.

Presented by Electric Ireland, the sponsor for women's and girls' football at every level across NI, the Game Changers NI event will take an in-depth look into how nutrition, psychology and changing attitudes towards women's sport are driving females to get involved.

There will be cooking demonstrations, question and answer sessions with leading sports stars including hockey player Katie Mullan, rugby player Claire McLaughlin and the first NI woman to scale Everest, Hannah Shields.

Also speaking and answering questions will be nutritionist Jane McClenaghan from Vital Nutrition, who says: "I will be hosting a sports nutrition seminar as part of what is set to be a fantastic event celebrating women and girls who are changing the game for women's sport throughout Northern Ireland.

"I'd love if you would join us live from 4pm tomorrow."

Here, Jane shares her top sports nutrition tips and three delicious recipes.

1. Learning how to cook is one of the best things you could do for your health. Start with really easy ideas like a post-training smoothie, or overnight oats to have before a match. Then think about some of your favourite dinners and check out some recipes online. Chicken noodle stir-fry, home-made curry or a veg packed chilli are packed with flavour and so good for your sport and your health.

2. If you really want to be match fit, think about what you are fuelling your body with. Choosing foods that provide you with slow and steady energy release are perfect to help sustain you through your training and help keep you at the top of your game. Porridge or overnight oats are a great way to start your day - whether before school, or before a Saturday match. Switch from white bread to wholemeal (or if that is a step too far, at least go for 50:50) and try wholemeal pasta and brown rice. They don't taste much different to the white stuff, but will power your energy for a lot longer than the fast crash-and-burn of white and refined carbs.

3. Healthy fats from foods like nuts and seeds, avocado, olive oil, salmon, sardines and trout will help oil your joints and promote recovery after a hard training session.

4. Protein is talked about a lot in sports nutrition, and for good reason. You need protein to repair muscles and help your body recover. Eggs, lean meat, fish, chicken, nuts and seeds, beans and lentils, dairy products are all good protein sources.

5. Keep well hydrated. Replenish the fluids you are losing in sweat by drinking enough water. Add a pinch of salt and a little bit of cordial to make your own energy drink.

The event will be live on www.gamechangersni.com from 4pm tomorrow

Banana breakfast smoothie

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Banana breakfast smoothie

Banana breakfast smoothie

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Banana breakfast smoothie

WHAT YOU'LL NEED

1 banana

200ml milk or almond milk

30g jumbo oats

Half teaspoonful ground cinnamon

1 tablespoonful natural yoghurt

1 dessertspoonful chia seeds

METHOD

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Add more milk if you like a less thick consistency.

Pour into a large glass and enjoy as a healthy breakfast, or post-workout snack.

Quick & easy Thai curry

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Quick & easy Thai curry

Quick & easy Thai curry

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Quick & easy Thai curry

WHAT YOU'LL NEED

1 dsp coconut oil

1-2 dsp Thai curry paste

1 carrot, shredded

3-4 scallions, chopped

Half a head of broccoli, finely chopped

Red pepper, chopped

1 tin coconut milk

1 can chickpeas

Juice and zest of 1 lime

Brown basmati rice to serve

METHOD

Heat the coconut oil in a saucepan and add the curry paste. Cook for two minutes and add the vegetables and the chickpeas. Stir-fry for three minutes until the vegetables start to soften slightly. Stir in the coconut milk and lime zest and juice and simmer for two minutes.

Carrot cake energy balls

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Carrot cake energy balls

Carrot cake energy balls

Carrot cake energy balls

WHAT YOU'LL NEED

1 small carrot, finely grated

100g dates (without stones)

150g cashew nuts

40g oats

Zest of 1 large orange

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

Grated nutmeg

METHOD

Place all the ingredients in a food processor until well mixed and the ingredients start to stick together slightly.

Roll the mixture into bite-size balls - about a teaspoonful for each ball.

Belfast Telegraph