Fueling My Performance by Eating Clean

Photo provided by Indy Eleven and taken by photographer Matt Schlotzhauer

Professional soccer in many ways is just like any other career when it comes to being successful. Obviously, a select few in the soccer industry have an unparalleled natural talent, which often propels them to greatness. However, most individuals are not born with such a gift and the difference between prosperity and mediocrity for these individuals is less than marginal. The secret to tipping these scales in your favor is to be relentless in the pursuit of bettering yourself no matter how trivial any benefit may seem.

I became a professional soccer not because I was born with an incredible gift, but because I had an insatiable appetite to be the very best at everything I did. If the coach said to do 10 sprints, I would do 11. If the trainer said to 25 sit ups, I would do 30. If I found out one of my teammates spent an hour doing extra work on their own, I would do 2 hours of extra work. It began as a byproduct of my competitive mindset and then turned into a habit. A habit, in which I attribute all my success.

However, I’ve learned over the years that putting in physical work is not the only way to tip the scales. For example, things like preparation, nutrition, recovery, tactical understanding, mental analysis, and even networking are all keys that open locks to doorways of success. Finding these little benefits in myself has become an obsession because no matter how hard I worked, prepared, or meal-prepped, I knew there was always something more I could be doing. For that reason, I never stop looking for ways to better myself and I am obsessed with it.

Photo provided by Indy Eleven and taken by photographer Trevor Ruszkowski

Arguably the greatest of all these benefits is nutrition. For the longest time, I always believed that if I wasn’t eating fast food or drinking lots of soda that I was eating healthy. Throughout college, I would eat whatever was at the cafeteria and truly thought that because it was cafeteria food it was healthy. After college, I was drafted to Houston and nutrition took a whole new meaning! The team employed a chef who made us locally sourced, health-conscious pre-training and post-training meals every day. At first, I couldn’t believe that food with that much green could taste so good! And after 3 months with the team my body fat percentage reduced by 50%, I had infinitely more energy during trainings and games, my body fought off illnesses quicker, and believe it or not my skin began to clear up.

Once I realized that all of these benefits were because of proper nutrition, I knew I had found an incredible way to better myself! I started to cook meals for myself with a lot more vegetables, healthy grains, super foods, and lean meats. Still to this day I am amazed that I lived the majority of my life not knowing how much better I could have felt or how much more energy I could have had. However, even though there are an immense amount of benefits from eating healthy it does come with a few pain points.

First, having a clean living with a healthy lifestyle has proven to be quite time consuming. It requires lots of trips to multiple different grocery stores to replenish fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats. Secondly, in comparison with the groceries I was purchasing for myself (i.e. processed and packaged produce) the shopping cart becomes a little more expensive.

I recently signed for the professional soccer team in Indianapolis, Indiana which ironically enough is also where I went to college at Butler University. Due to my obsession, I was on a mission to find a way to get all of my fresh produce and proteins without having to sacrifice multiple afternoons a week. I researched many grocery delivery service companies and even some meal prep services. No service had the variety of foods at the price point I was comfortable with paying.

However, a couple of month after moving back to the Midwest, I found the grocery delivery service, Green Bean Delivery. I was attracted to the service initially because I loved the idea of getting the majority of my groceries from local farmers and artisans in order to assure freshness and help stimulate local business. After looking deeper into the service, I realized that Green Bean Delivery solved each pain point of my clean-living lifestyle. I couldn’t believe that I could have fresh produce, lean meats, and other crucial groceries delivered right to my doorstep at the same exact price that I was paying after multiple trips to the grocery store throughout the week.

I save hours each week which would otherwise be spent wandering the aisles of the grocery stores. This time is imperative for me because now I can utilize it to find other ways of bettering myself, whether that is more film analysis, yoga, or even helping out with the local boys and girls clubs. None of this would be possible without Green Bean Delivery!