We've partnered up with Exeter Chief's Welsh International Tom Francis, to bring you his signature meat box so you, too, can eat like a Chief.
Read the following interview to discover more about Tom's relationship with food and why he chooses Pipers Farm for his meat.
TOM, AS AN ATHLETE...
Why is nutrition important to you?
Nutrition is a vital cog in performance for a professional athlete, making sure you are fuelling your muscles with good quality and enough food! Some people think it's as important as the training nowadays!
What do you eat pre-match?
On game day it's all about the big breakfast for me: eggs, bacon and toast! Then a small bowl of a left over pasta dish 3 hours before KO!
What does your post training recovery meal look like?
For me as a larger gentleman I try to stay away from carbs during the week, a standard meal it would be a chicken breast, green veg and some sweet potato, maybe some asparagus wrapped in Parma ham to make it more exciting!
Favourite ‘cheat’ meal?
I'm a home cooking kind of chap, so for me a hearty pie, chips and gravy also puts a smile on my face! Maybe a cheeky apple crumble with a delicious homemade custard after (depends if the nutritionist is listening).
TOM'S EATING HABITS
What’s your favourite meal?
That's a tough one, I'm a meat lover, so hard to look past a perfectly cooked bit of steak with all the trimmings!
What’s your signature recipe?
Signature is a good homemade chilli made with lean beef mince. It's a good healthy mid-week meal with cauliflower rice or a good snack during training when put in a burrito!
Do you have any cooking tips?
Don't be scared to experiment with new things and when cooking meat ask the butchers how they would cook it, they normally know best.
How do you like your steak?
Rare, no other-way to have it!
How much meat do you eat in a typical week?
That's tough, I aim to eat 5 meals a day and have meat in at least 3, so probably 21 times a week! Average of 200g a meal let's say, so about 4kg!
Do you have any nutrition tips?
Yes, whether you are trying to lose those Christmas pounds or gain some lean muscle mass, smaller meals more often are the key! All that should change is the make up of those meals - carbs/ protein/ veg!
WHY PIPERS FARM?
How did you first hear about Pipers Farm?
Through the boys when I arrived at Chiefs.
Why is sustainable meat production important to you?
When I arrived at Chiefs I started taking my nutrition more seriously! I asked around the boys and the nutritionist recommended I took a trip to the Pipers Farm shop (which has sadly shut down now). From that first trip I was hooked and looked forward to my weekly trip to the Pipers Farm shop to see what new thing the butcher recommended for me! And I have never looked back. Peter’s thoughts on how better nurtured animals produce more nutrient rich meat really has me hooked! I can eat less Pipers Farm meat for the same nutritional value! This also helps with sustainable meat production as Pipers Farm use every bit of the meat they produce! From bone broth to sweetbreads! As well as producing meat in the proper way it was supposed to be, not like battery farming that is so readily used now a days to keep up with meat demand!