When it's all go, it's food on-the-go
Juan Sepulveda is a 37 year old Argentinian ‘pilot’ - a professional Polo player. He’s come to Stewarton Polo Club, South Queensferry, to help build the club’s ambition to make polo a more accessible sport to all. Juan is a superb player. But tournaments happen just a few times a year, while training happens every day: that means sustained energy from early in the morning til evening. At home, Juan’s wife Stella supports Juan at the polo yard but also with their two small children Bauti (4) and Sara (20 mths). Life is full on for both of them.
Juan’s day starts at around 0700 hrs when he and Stella start their day with a breakfast of either porridge or poached egg on toast. By 0830 some mornings Juan can already be seen in the arena exercising 3 horses at once – riding one, towing two. After another set of three horses, it’s onto the challenging work with young horses on a one-on-one basis. Physically the mornings alone can burn 2000 calories. Then there’s paddock checking, fence posts to be re-implemented, polo arenas to be rolled and fields to be cut - alongside lots and lots of stable duties. When you add lessons, matches and chukkas into the mix Juan’s days can last from 8 am until 8 pm.
Juan’s favourite product is the On-the-go Mini Cheese Oatcakes. He loves that they are individually packed and he can ride with them in his chest pocket and grabs some between rides: they are filling and energising but don’t make you feel uncomfortable when you’re really active. Juan and his Argentinian family are getting to know the wide range of our famous Scottish brand. So far the Cheese Oatcakes and the Oats & Chocolate Chip Biscuit Breaks have become staple items in their weekly shop, with Stella keeping the Rosemary and Sea Salt Flatbreads to herself – she loves to have these with Avocado or Hummus.
For Juan, a good food mood is all about energy. “Working with horses can be challenging, frustrating, and requires a lot of strength - so you need to have a consistent level of energy. It’s also colder here than I’m used to, so feeling satisfied throughout the day keeps you warmer and stronger,” Juan says. Juan keeps himself topped up with his Cheese Oatcakes throughout the day, alongside his flask of Mate the Argentinian Tea. “It’s an acquired taste for Brits, but we Argentinians love it. It’s a hot drink which is simply dried yerba leaves brewed in a tea bag. It’s very herby in flavour and full of beneficial plant nutrients and antioxidants. And goes down really well with those oatcakes.”
Nutritionist Fiona Lawson says: As Juan is burning up to 2000 calories before lunch, it’s essential to make sure he’s eating enough. Both porridge and poached egg on toast are wise breakfast options, as they help to balance blood sugar and stabilise appetite. Juan has no time for hunger pangs! It’s important he also eats a hearty lunch with a good source of protein, but snacking on Nairn’s Cheese Oatcakes is also a smart tactic to make sure he maintains sufficient energy to carry out his job. For an extra nutrient boost, Juan could carry some further easy snacks: vegetable crudités, nuts and fresh fruit are all good options. Mate is full of antioxidants, but it’s also fairly high in caffeine. Every now and again, he may wish to experiment with swapping Mate for energising ginseng tea.