Dinner with Lewi Brown

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On Sunday morning I headed down to the French Markets to pick up some supplies for dinner - I was cooking for Lewi and his one request was "a nice piece of steak".  At the markets I found a stand selling Organic New Zealand Beef, Lamb and Pork.  Perfect! So I picked up an eye fillet. The season is over for the Warriors however Lewi says that doesn't stop him from eating healthy or exercising.  While cooking dinner I asked him a few questions to give you a little insight into the life of a professional athlete.

You play league professionally and have just finished up with the Vodafone Warriors - how many games did you play for them and how does it feel to be leaving a team that has been such a big part of your life?I was with the club for four years getting my first opportunity to play with them in 2009.  I ended up playing 84 games.  It's going to be pretty emotional to leave the club as I class the players as my brothers and the club as my family.  In saying that, I'm looking forward to my move to the Penrith Panthers and relocating to Sydney later on this year.  The Warriors is a club that I hold close to my heart so hopefully one day I will be able to come back in either a playing, coaching or training role.

You and the team have to keep fit throughout the season - what does a typical day at training look like? A typical day at training is usually made up of with a mixture of weights, field work, skills, video review and massage. The day will start with video review from the game we had just played, that way we can work on things that went wrong and help fine tune the things that worked well for us! Then we'll have weights for about one hour and this is made up of all different lower body, upper body, core and functional exercises. We'll then have a lunch break and a bit of downtime before heading out on to the field and working on your ball skills, fitness and plays which we use in the game - we spend up to 2 hours out on the field but some days if we have had a long week they will measure our training by making some of the boys wear a GPS system to see how far they have travelled throughout the session! Three times a week we finish training off with a 45 - 60min massage (my favourite part of a long day of training) helps get rid of all those bumps and sore muscles.

As well as training with the team is there anything else you do to keep fit?Training takes up most of my time and recovery in our sport is a massive factor considering how much travel time is involved - we are overseas every second weekend - so usually I just try and get a lil nap in in the afternoons.  Also alot of stretching and hydration and diet!

Do you follow any particular diet or are you relaxed and eat what you want when you want? As majority of the season is during Winter I try and keep a low carb diet from Monday to Thursday - this is to manage my weight.  Personally for myself my body feels a lot better having the carbs the night before the game, Friday to Sunday - I feel that it gives me energy to provide that impact on the field.  After a game that's my time to treat myself with whatever I want, as long as I keep my fluids up to help maintain my hydration which is very important for recovery and to help get my body right for the following week of training.

Do you have any pre game rituals? If so, what are they? I only really have two rituals - The first is to always talk to my Pop on the phone last before i take the field.  He's been a big part of my life and helped me get to where I am today so by calling him he helps calm the nerves and gives me confidence. The second ritual is I always put my right boot on first, not sure why I do it but i've done it since I was a lil kid haha.

What do you like to do in your down time? Downtime is made up of hanging with my lovely girlfriend, also with mates, listening to music and sleeping.

If you weren't playing league what do you think you would be doing? If I wasn't playing footy I would hopefully be doing something in the fitness industry. Whether it be owning a gym, personal training or even coaching league.  As long as I was doing something that was keeping me active and I liked, I would be happy.

If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be? This question is a hard one for me, but I'd have to go with chocolate (cadbury of course) always had a sweet tooth and chocolate is my favourite.

So as Lewi requested I cooked him his meal of choice - Eye Fillet, Mushrooms and Broccoli.  He said the Eye Fillet was a 10 out of 10.  I guess that poses another question - is Organic Meat any better for you? In the next few weeks Libby and I are going to visit a family run Certified Organic Farm just out of Auckland.  They use herbal and homeopathic remedies on their animals which is something we are really interested in learning more about.

Julia x