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My Daily Diet – Patrick O’Leary, Paralympian

Organisation is key!

Balancing a busy training schedule with working full time in NUI Galway and home life with two young kids is a constant challenge. Generally I train early in the morning and at lunch time for my two main training sessions in the day. Nutrition before the first session is a challenge as you try to eat at least an hour before the session. I have always been a fan of oats and porridge as a source of slow release energy but time to eat a hot breakfast proved challenging timewise and won’t work in Rio temperatures. So I need something quick to make and quick to eat with a full balance nutritionally.

A couple of years ago I invested in a Nutribullet blender and it has proved a great investment. I now have a smoothie for breakfast at least 5 times a week. Easy to make, quick to eat and brilliant nutrition.

Breakfast Smoothie (variations are infinite)

  • 50g Evergreen oats
  • 10g Chia Bia chia seeds (loaded with fibre, protein and good omega fats)
  • 5g root ginger with the skin removed (anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant)
  • Fruit (small apple peeled or small banana or handful of chopped pineapple or handful of soft fruit)
  • Almond milk (sufficient amount to cover the other combined ingredients)


  • Blend till smooth and you have a great quick breakfast. Sometimes I will add a natural/flavoured yogurt.


Taking food on board after training is as important as before and particularly after a tough session you want a good balanced snack/meal. Again time is an issue after that first session of the day as invariably I need to get to my desk at work. I generally use oats again as my go to main ingredient. I will make up bircher muesli the night before for this purpose. It takes 2 minutes at night to start preparation and 5 minutes in the morning to finish it off.

I make it up in a large jar so I can eat it on the move. Also I know how the amounts look like in the jar so I no longer weigh the ingredients saving more time.


Bircher Muesli


  • Combine and add almond milk to just cover. Leave in the fridge overnight. The oats will soften and puff up.
  • In the morning add a strong flavoured fruit like pineapple or kiwi and if you want some natural yoghurt. Mix completely before eating.


This bircher muesli is really tasty, filling, replenishes your energy and has lots of protein which is recommended in the 30 minutes after exercise.

The advantage of both recipes is that by changing the fruit you use or adding in or leaving out the yoghurt you can change the taste so you can have them every day without getting fed up of them.

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