Mere mortals looking to make eating a healthy diet easier can now turn to the range of excellent meal delivery services that are now available. The likes of Fresh Fitness Food, Allplants or The Transformation Chef will supply healthy pre-made dishes you just need to reheat and enjoy. If you’re a Premier League footballer, however, you may well turn to the services of private chef Jonny Marsh, who’s served up bespoke meal plans for clients like Paul Pogba, Kevin de Bruyne and İlkay Gündoğan.
We met Marsh at an event put on by Sure deodorants to promote exercise, and once we had finished chewing as many portions of the grub he had laid on as possible before being forcibly removed from the buffet, we asked if he had any top tips for non-elite players who needed a bit of help making meal prep a worthwhile way to spend a Sunday.
Marsh recommended a simple technique anyone who’s ever worked in a professional kitchen will be familiar with, but it’s rarely used in domestic settings. “In the industry we call it blanching,” Marsh explains. “When you cook veg, take it out when it’s half cooked and plunge it straight into ice-cold water – ice cubes and really cold water – which is called refreshing. Blanching traps all the nutrients, keeps all the colour, and when it comes to heating up you can either drop it in a bit of hot water or heat it up in the microwave – done.”
Use that alongside this grain bowl meal prep technique and you’ll have a couple of healthy meals in your locker for the week.
We also asked Marsh for his pre- and post-game meal recommendations for your typical Sunday morning 11-a-side player – and once he stopped laughing about the idea of playing hungover (we think he was laughing at himself, to be fair), he suggested starting your day with an English muffin, pan-fried kale, ham or bacon and a poached egg.
Marsh said a lot of his clients craved something sweet after a game or session in the gym, and advised throwing a protein chocolate mousse in your kit bag for immediately after the game (try our easy recipe). The, he says, sort yourself out a Sri Lankan curry with ginger, turmeric and coconut milk, “packed with anti-inflammatories to bring down any swelling you’ve got after the game”. Yep, sounds like Marsh plays Sunday league.
Look out for a recipe book from Marsh later this year.