Being a four time gold medal winning Paralympic swimmer means Ellie Simmonds probably knows a fair old bit about knuckling down and focussing hard right? Well, basically she knows a hell of a lot more than you and me so we asked her for her top tips on getting your head in the game if you're stuck in revision, work or dissertation hell.
'When you train in the morning you feel more alert and awake and just get on with the day' says Ellie when we tell her that it takes us until about midday to wake up properly. Even longer if it's a day we know we've got loads of stuff on. 'If you do exercise in the morning you can sort out what time you're going to have breakfast, lunch and dinner and figure out the jobs that you've got to do and when you're going to do them that day. I say, get up in the morning and go to the gym or go for a run then get back, have breakfast and start your day of working.'
And, Ellie says, what you eat is a big old help when it comes being productive. 'For breakfast I always have a bowl of porridge and a cup of tea. If I don't have a cup of tea in the morning I'm a bit like "ARRRRRGH"'. To help us useless people out, we asked Ellie what she eats to make sure she stays productive, and while her top tip for a snack was chunck of apple and peanut butter (a HUGE yay if you're a peanut butter fan, but not so much if you aren't... obvs) she also gave us her favourite meal tips too (click on the links to go through to Ellie's favourite recipe for each dish).
'I love making things in bulk and then freezing them. I often make Spaghetti but use wholewheat pasta and add in a tonne of veg including onions, mushrooms and red peppers.'
'I know it doesn’t sound that exciting but I love porridge in the morning as it fills me up until lunchtime unlike cereal. I make mine with oats and semi-skimmed milk and add in strawberry jam!'
'One of my favourite meals is roasted salmon with asparagus. I add garlic, herbs, salt and pepper to the salmon in tin foil and then eat with asparagus, cauliflower, broccoli and brown rice.'
'Omelettes are a lunch staple and I tend to whack whatever is in my fridge in it!'
Ellie Simmonds is a Sainsbury’s Active Kids ambassador, encouraging children to lead healthier lifestyles by eating well and getting active. Active Kids vouchers are available to collect in Sainsbury’s stores and online until 5th May. Click here for more info.
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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.