Interview With James Haskell: Cooking For Fitness Book

James Haskell has been at the top of professional rugby for 15 years and in his quest to improve as an athlete, he discovered that diet is the key ingredient. Few people realise that 75% of any successful exercise plan is about eating the right diet.  

Enter Omar Meziane, a master at devising delicious and nutritious dishes for the country’s elite sports teams, He has been executive chef for Wasps rugby team the England Football team, and the GB Olympic rowing squad.

Cooking for Fitness is about guiding people to eat properly in order to fuel their body to train and exercise effectively. This recipe book shows the reader how eating the right combinations of protein, fat and carbohydrates at the right times yield the best results.

Scroll down to read my interview with James Haskell!

Book First Impressions

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of the book ahead of it's release,  AND got to ask the rugby legend some questions! 

I really love the layout of the book, and the vibrant and delicious looking photos. If you're someone that eats with your eyes, then you're in for a very tasty read.

It includes 79 everyday recipes to fuel your training that are all quick and easy to prepare and cook. Each recipe has been tried and tested by James Haskell himself. It's also full of clear and authoritative advice from Omar Meziane.

The 79 recipes in the book are carefully split into low-carb and high-carb meals, to reflect different training days, while Omar also provides healthy easy to make pre and post work out snacks. They layout of the contents makes everything really easy to find.

There are so many recipes in the book that I want to try out myself, and can't wait to give them a go. This book is perfect for anyone that has an interest in their fitness. I know that when I work out, I never change the food I eat to suit the exercise I have completed. I really think I can learn a lot from the lads and the book!

James Haskell Interview

Having toured the world with Rugby, what was a food highlight for you that you'll never forget?

The whole experience of living in Japan and trying so many new flavours really changed my perception of food. 

What's your cheat meal of choice?

Definitely pizza! 

How difficult is it to get back on plan for preseason training, both with your diet and your fitness?

My job is about performing, so success depends on staying fit and in shape. You’re given one body treat it with respect, so this keeps me in check.

You seem to have a lot going on at the moment. You're rehabing from your injury, you're working as a Sky pundit, you're recording the House of Rugby podcast, playing with diggers and very recently got married to lovely Chloe! How have you managed the time to release your third book on top of all that?!

I love to keep busy and the responses to my first two books made me realise lots of people already had great exercise and training plans but struggle to create delicious and nutritious meals. Often the recipes you come across online for healthy eating can do you more harm than good and end up being needlessly complicated and expensive. It really motivated me to create something that explains how you can eat simple, delicious food and still get the results you want, and I felt it was a very worthwhile project.

Following on from that, what are your tips for training with a busy schedule?

I think it’s important to remember to use food to fuel your daily training properly. If you don’t, you will be tired and lose focus. Eating healthy, nutritious food will give you the energy you need to perform well so I never underestimate the importance of cooking for performance. It’s also important to find the time of day that suits you best to train and fit that around your meals.

Which recipe from the book is you 'go to' meal?

Massam Beef curry - This dish is a winner at the end of a hard training day. It hits the spot every time and is awesome for recovery and the spices in this are an unbelievable combination. People demonise red meat but it’s s an incredible source of protein, and for me it’s a vital part of my diet in getting enough protein.

If you could only eat 1 of the recipes for the rest of your life, which would it be and why?

Duck and Aubergine salad - it’s a winner every time.

The book is available now on Amazon and all good book stores, RRP £19.95.

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