Spartan diet fuels brutal twice-daily training regime

By Kieran Nash

Reporter Kieran Nash has donned his boxing gloves for a good cause - raising money for KidsCan. He's building up for a corporate fight night in November and is sharing his experiences with readers.

Kieran Nash is detoxing. Photo / Herald on Sunday
Kieran Nash is detoxing. Photo / Herald on Sunday

Boiled eggs. Hummus. Fruit. I thought the torture was over after my first training session last week. I was wrong.

There's this thing vaguely tied to physical exercise that I'm learning about. It's called nutrition. Do not be deceived by this seemingly benign concept. It involves cutting almost every gastronomical pleasure imaginable out of your life.

Don't mind a drink? Too bad. Like waking up to fresh coffee? Oh well. Enjoy the odd pie? Unlucky. Suck on filthy cigarettes? Stub that nonsense out.

One unpleasant factor about twice-daily training is that you can't do it while eating and drinking like a normal person.

Whatever you put into your body affects how well you can cope with strenuous physical activity. Apparently.

Therefore, four cups of coffee and two pies doesn't exactly cut it if you're planning three hours of exercise every day.

So I've been to the nutritionist to get my diet sorted.

Fiona was lovely and very helpful - but it's her job to help me cut down the fat and build muscle.

I got on the scales. 75kg.

Out came the callipers to measure my body fat. Sixteen per cent: surprisingly good, given my sedentary lifestyle. Although I am relatively young.

Fiona issued me a diet plan. Did I mention she was a sadist?

Two pages spelled out my destiny for the next nine weeks.

Breakfast - option 1

* Two Burgen Rye

* Two poached eggs

* Tomato

Morning or afternoon tea - option 2

* Two hardboiled eggs and a piece of fruit

On it goes. Eggs? For breakfast and morning tea? And fruit? I don't have time for fruit. Fruit is for keeping in a bowl until the fruit-flies start hovering.

But if I'm to give this boxing thing a fair go, it's all or nothing. So, no more booze, smokes, fast food or coffee.

Fast-forward a few days and a dozen boiled eggs. My life now consists of food, training, work, food, work, training, food, bed. Repeat.

But it's not bad. In fact, it's great. Now it's my turn to be a smug bastard who trots along on a high horse saying unbearable things like: "Well, actually, I don't need a drink to have fun."

Apart from lording my good health over my friends, the other upside of healthy eating is that training has become easier. I have the energy to get through an hour-long session without wanting to puke or black out. I'm sure I can feel muscle building somewhere.

Which is good, because we're about to start sparring. Tune in next week and I'll let you know what it's like to get punched in the face.

If you'd like to help out my fundraising effort for KidsCan, a charity that helps young Kiwis in poverty, please visit

- Herald on Sunday

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