A Day in The Diet Of Max Lahiff

Max Lahiff is a professional rugby player who buys his venison by the carcass and isn’t afraid of gladiatorial confrontation. Here’s what he eats in a day.


A typical breakfast will start with five to six eggs. That could be as simple as a plate of fried eggs but I quite like omelettes at the moment – I'm on a real six-egg-omelette kind of vibe. I'll usually have a steak or some sausages with that and I'll try to get a little bowl of porridge in with it as well if I'm still hungry.

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Lunch is generally about an hour before training, at around 1-ish, which I find to be a real nuisance because I don't like running around with a food baby. But it is what it is. A typical lunch at the club will be something like a lamb korma with rice and something from the salad bar – that kind of thing. I go in fairly diplomatically there because I know I have to be able to move in training but some guys will go HAM sandwich on it and go really big. They seem to function okay but I get the worst stitches in my tummy so I have to be fairly conservative. Obviously, there are some guys on the team with dietary needs where if they so much as look at a milkshake their ass will be jiggling for days. There's a nutritionist who keeps a few boys who need to be on the straight and narrow on the straight and narrow and then there's guys who are underweight – usually academy players who are still growing into men – that are on a massive calorie surplus.

I have a shake after training as well which can be a bit of a nightmare. If I'm at the club, I'll have a normal whey from the supplements provided for us – and who knows what devilry is in them, really, you're probably just knocking days off your lifespan drinking those. If I'm at home, though, I usually make a shake out of eggs, fresh fruit, and some cream with a little whey isolate and raw honey. It's quite delicious. I use frozen fruit and it makes it semi-puréed so it's actually quite nice in the hot weather.

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I'm eating around 4,000 calories a day and I've got to the point now where I know how much I need to eat, so I'll usually just have one large and in charge meal in the evening. I made this unbelievable butter chicken yesterday, for example. And when I say butter chicken, I didn't actually have it with chicken. I had it with about a kilo of diced venison. I get my venison from this guy who's a hunter round here in the West Country – I've got a deal with him where he just sends me the meat at a discount because I'll buy the whole 35-38kg carcass off him for about £5.50 a kilo. It’s unbelievable value for money. You also get the neck and you get all these other cuts that are quite fun to cook with. The offcuts are tricky beasts so you have to try and get interesting with them. I like doing rendang with the shanks.

As for the butter venison recipe, it was: garam masala, ground coriander, chilli powder, ginger, onion, garlic, olive oil, about 500ml of double cream, and 125g of butter, old boy. Oh my God, it was ridiculously tasty. It was amazing. I was very, very pleased with it. I've been tinkering with a few different butter chicken recipes; the Action Bronson one is quite good; Matty Matheson's one is also very good.

Desserts-wise, I like making this sort of mango sorbet. I mix full-fat Greek yoghurt with frozen mango chunks and lime juice, and it just comes out perfectly every time. It basically tastes like Solero ice cream – it's a nutty thing. I just eat it straight out of the VitaMix and spoon it in while watching American Gods.

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