One of our favorite features of our SoCal Rugby Camps is the ‘Food For Champions Program’. It is an opportunity for us to educate young people about nutrition for sports performance and also a healthy lifestyle.
In the second year of the program, our highly trained Master Chef and Head Program Lecturer Phil Lydeard will be serving up a new and improved list of tasty treats at our West Los Angeles Camp from July 11th – 15th.
Phil sat down with us to chat more about his involvement with the program and the delicious menu this year’s campers can expect.
Q. Why did you come on board with SoCal Rugby Camps?
A. First and foremost to help grow the game of rugby in the USA. I have been fortunate to have so many great experiences through rugby over my life and it all starts with youth. The chance to get young people playing rugby is very exciting for me. I have also know Marc and Dallen for a couple of years and anything associated with these two coaches who have such great experience is something I want to be a part of.
Q. What is your role at the camps?
A. I run the ‘Food for Champions’ program that provides everyone at SoCal Rugby camps (coaches as well) with fresh, nutritious snacks and meals throughout the day that will fuel the young athletes with what they need. In addition to this I also offer short nutrition and smart eating sessions with all the students to help give them the information they need to live healthy lives. When I get the chance I also love the to run around and help Marc and Dallen with the excellent coaching sessions.
Q. What makes ‘Food for Champions’ different from other camps?
A. ‘Food for Champions’ is special because we are lucky enough to have generous sponsorship from the Episcopal School of Los Angeles that allows me to provide fresh ingredients, prepared daily and offer a wide range of dishes over the course of the week. We use minimally processed products to create dishes that the kids love and don’t really even notice that they are eating healthy. ‘Food for Champions’ does not provide food focused around kids, I prepare food that I would eat and happily serve to anyone.
Q. You talk about healthy food – what does that mean to you?
A. For me healthy food is a very simple concept, use natural produce and prepare it in simple ways that bring out its natural flavor. I do not subscribe to any specific ‘trendy’ diets that rule out any types of food, especially for young people who are growing and being active. I think it is important to understand what food is providing for your body and build a plate from there. My favorite rule of thumb is the 80:20 rule, if 80% of what you eat is natural, unprocessed food you can’t go to far wrong.
Q. What kind of foods can we expect to see this year at the West LA SoCal Rugby Camp?
A. This year I am building a daily buffet that will center on different world cuisines for different days of the camp. Our snacks will be mainly fresh fruit with the occasional baked treat for when the kids (and coaches) need a little energy boost. See the below schedule for the daily lunches.