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Why England footballer Jesse Lingard is moving to a plant-based diet

The England midfielder has ditched the energy gels for plant-based options

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Manchester United footballer, Jesse Lingard is preparing for next season with a plant-based diet

The England midfielder has ditched the energy gels for plant-based options, as he shares his physical and mental tips for keeping match-fit.

As England made it through to the last 16 of UEFA Euro 2020, Manchester United footballer, Jesse Lingard turned his attention to next season.

Admitting it was “emotional” to miss out on Gareth Southgate’s 26-man Euro 2020 squad, Lingard is now fully focused on the new Premier League season, with the aim of plating regular football again.

The opening game will see Leeds United visit Old Trafford on Saturday 14 August.

The midfielder, currently on loan at West Ham United, has started preparation for the season opener with a new plant-based diet, and physical and mental recovery playing a key part in his routine.

“At first, I tried to go fully vegan straight away, but after five days, I found I was starving during a game, Lingard says.

“Plant-based foods are always going to be a good fuel component and put you into a really good mode going into a game, so I’m making sure to have as much as possible.”

Lingard’s typical match day diet consists of a mixture of carbohydrates and proteins; scrambled eggs, chicken, broccoli, pasta, potatoes with bananas and American pistachios as snacks.

During a game, whilst many players use energy gels to aid performance, Lingard sticks to fruit and nuts for protein-powered fuel.

“Ahead of a game I tend to have scrambled eggs and chicken and broccoli pasta,” he says.

“They give us energy gels to take but I rarely do. I take pistachios to games and snack on them at half time to refuel me and give me the good protein I need on a match day.”

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With so many games in a season, to stay fit week-in and week-out, Lingard stresses the importance of recovery between games.

He adds: “Food is very key with recovery. Especially after a game, it is important to get the right food. You have to recover faster for the next game. After a game I get as much food as possible, go to the gym and then have an ice bath.”

The physical demands of professional football are immense but the mental stress can affect players equally, if not more.

Between matches, Lingard admits it’s important to step away from the sport to give his mind a break and has one sure-fire way to deal with stress after a tough match – his daughter.

“She’s a blessing. She takes all the stress away from me. She’s a joy to have and I love seeing her every time I go home,” he says.

“If I’m not doing that then I’m going out on walks, going to the gym or reading a good book.” 

Jesse Lingard’s top tips to get and stay match fit:

Natural snacks for the win

It’s easy to grab a quick energy fix, whether it be energy drinks or gels. Natural options can do everything you’re looking for to give you a burst of energy. Fresh fruit, like bananas and berries, and nuts can give a quick burst of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. 

Plant-based transition

If you’re thinking about trying a plant-based diet, ease your way into it. I tried to rush it but incorporating plant-based alternatives into your diet is a great way to start the journey to a vegan diet.

Take a cold bath

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After intense exercise, a cold bath – ideally an ice bath – really eases any soreness and also helps to fight small muscle fibre damage. It can also help to reduce inflammation picked up from a knock or injury, which is really important for physical recovery after a game. It may give you a shock at first, but it’s well worth it.

Eat complete proteins

When it comes to muscle recovery and muscle growth, you need complete proteins, they are amino acids which your body can’t make, so you have to get them from your diet. American pistachios are an easy form of complete protein because you don’t need to cook or prep them and you can just snack on the go – they’re my go-to, especially on match days.

Make time to refresh

Mental health is so important. Whatever level of sport you play, stress is often high so it’s important to take a step back and away sometimes to regroup and refresh. For me, that’s spending time with my family and giving my mind a rest. Failing that, then a walk and a good book is great down time.

 

Food & Drink

Silly Goose Coffee: Wake up and smell the CBD

The team behind Silly Goose Coffee explores the benefits of taking CBD in your morning cup of coffee.

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Silly Goose Coffee
Silly Goose Coffee

CBD infused coffee is one that often leaves people scratching their heads. Silly Goose Coffee explores the benefits of taking CBD in your morning cuppa.

CBD and coffee seem like strange bedfellows to some, but for Silly Goose Coffee it’s a combination as perfect as honking at strangers and scaring children.

In spite of the recent proliferation of CBD in almost everything (even if you live under a rock there is a pretty good chance it’s CBD infused now), CBD infused coffee is still one that leaves people scratching their heads. It’s easy to understand why; arguably the thing that CBD is best known for is improving sleep quality, and unarguably the thing that coffee is best known for is prying us from our collective daze every morning, so it feels like a tug-o-war in your brain. 

Silly Goose Coffee, is a coffee roaster selling CBD infused coffee direct to consumers, with coffees in compostable Nespresso pods and bags, and founder, Matt Swinburne, is unsurprisingly quick to champion the benefits. 

“Coffee and CBD are fantastic together, far from fighting they actually make each other better,” he says.

“I think the confusion is that people think of CBD like a traditional sleeping pill that basically knocks you over the head with a giant cartoon mallet but that is not the case.”

It’s an amusing analogy, but he’s right (warning nerdiness follows). Rather than wrestling your brain to sleep, CBD works with the natural endocannabinoid system, which is involved in governing all sorts of rhythms and cycles. Essentially it improves your natural cycle, which means better sleep quality when you should be sleeping, and can actually make you more alert during the waking part of the cycle. Nature is awesome.

“Our customers also find that it improves the coffee moment,” adds founder, Patrick.

“Smoothing the caffeine hit, so you don’t get so much of a spike and crash. They tell us it delivers more prolonged focus and mitigates the anxiety and jitters some people get.”

Patrick is quick to point out that it’s not a one-way street: “CBD definitely improves the coffee, but to coffee’s credit it’s good for the CBD too. Because it has a cumulative effect, the key to getting the benefits of CBD is to take it every day. I don’t know about you, but I have a shelf full of supplements I forget to take, but I can’t imagine a world where I neglect to drink my morning coffee.”

There are a few CBD coffee companies around now, so what makes Silly Goose different?

Well for one, they offer a range of CBD free coffee.

“We love CBD but we’re not just a CBD coffee company, we are a coffee company that does CBD,” says Patrick. “It’s paramount that the coffee is as good as any of our competitors that don’t offer CBD.”

That commitment to the quality of the coffee led to them developing a method to infuse the CBD into the beans in a way that delivers the best CBD but doesn’t affect the flavour.

“We found that some products can taste a bit weird. Our method leaves the coffee delicious and ensures that the CBD makes it to the cup as nature intended, terpenes, essential oils, and other cannabinoids intact. By preserving their natural form, they work together, having a multiplying effect to provide you with maximum benefits,” explains Patrick.

They are also committed to responsible practices. As well as offering their coffee in compostable Nespresso pods and sustainable packaging, Silly Goose likes to partner with organisations to make a positive impact. Project Waterfall is a charity that builds clean water infrastructure in coffee farming communities, and they work with Ecologi to plant trees to offset their carbon impact. Matt is also quick to point out that they don’t have a private jet – “not even a small one”. 

Jokes aside Matt is keen to say that their guiding principle is simple.

He adds: “Every day we make sure everything we are doing is good for our customers, our community, and our planet, and if it’s not, we stop doing it.”

Sounds good to us.

Silly Goose Coffee is available in compostable Nespresso Pods, and bags of whole beans or ground coffee. You can order it straight to your door one off, or by subscription at sillygoosecoffee.com.

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Cannabis and alcohol: What effects does CBD have when mixed with alcohol?

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How Rebel Wine is starting a conversation about CBD

At the end of festival season the Rebel Wine team reflects on changing attitudes towards CBD

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Rebel Wine CBD
Rebel Wine has been spreading the word about CBD this summer

The team at Rebel Wine have been at festivals up and down the country this summer, starting conversations about the benefits of CBD products.

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Team Rebel have just come back from our last festival for the season and whilst we are celebrating with a 15 percent discount on all our products, we are also reflecting on the conversations we had in the last few weeks.

We were pleasantly surprised. We know the CBD movement is gathering momentum. We also know that CBD is good for you. What we didn’t know when we set out for our first event was that in general people are CBD aware and intrigued by its beneficial properties.

Some of our conversations have been with people taking CBD to manage conditions such as fibromyalgia and arthritis. One conversation was immediately followed by another with an NHS nurse who recognised the benefits. Although they can’t openly recommend it, they were delighted to see us having frank and open discussions about CBD.

Other conversations were with those who want to try it, but perhaps feel a little too shy to ask, or those who think they will become addicted, which of course you won’t. We are thrilled to have those conversations, to reassure, affirm and gather more CBD followers.

We had chats with serving armed forces personnel, a tube driver working for Transport For London (who have a zero tolerance on CBD products) and police officers who are all aware of the benefits but unsure how this will translate when regular drug testing is carried out. Will it appear or not?

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We know that CBD is legal, but could you lose your job if you take it as part of a holistic lifestyle choice rather than conventional medicines? This of course will be down to each individual employer, we can’t comment and this topic certainly needs more in-depth work.

Then there are those who enjoy a glass of wine and are curious about the CBD element and how this affects the taste – it doesn’t in any way. Why put CBD in wine? Our wine is delicious, while CBD can taste bitter and earthy.

In summary, CBD chat is great and it’s clear that we need more to support the growth of the industry, to remove the myths and reassure the public.

CBD will become a more standard solution to everyday aches and pains for longer sustained periods of time. It’s a natural product used for thousands of years and its gathering momentum. The public are curious, let’s all continue those chats and stay informed to be informative.

For more information visit www.rebelwine.co.uk 

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