Eating Advice from Female Olympic Athletes


If someone can please explain to me why we are so obsessed with what the Olympic athletes, I’d love to hear it. I am just as intrigued as anyone else as to how these elite sports figures eat to stay healthy, look amazing and stay at the top of their game.

Mary Lou Retton

From Michael Phelps eating his victory meal of a cheeseburger and fries on Saturday night to Dara Torres’s favorite training breakfast of a citrus berry smoothie, the interest of what these athletes nosh on is captivating.

For women, learning the nutrition tips and secrets of some of the United State’s most powerful and accomplished Olympic athletes is like learning how to put on mascara from your older sister. The sharing of beauty and health advice is our way of connecting with one another, supporting each other and educating one another. No matter how old we are, we never tire of swapping advice with one another.

Two former and current female athletes give us their inside scoop on how to stay healthy, look beautiful and keep their bellies full and satisified.

Even though Dara Torres and Mary Lou Retton are not similar in height, they both have similar eating styles. Neither of them count calories. Instead, they rely on eating everything in moderation, eating small amounts of indulgent foods and relying on lean proteins and plenty of fresh foods to fuel their day.

Retton who is a busy mother of four girls, eats to be healthy even though she still works out everyday. Also, as a mother of four impressionable young ladies, she keeps words like “skinny,” “fat” and “thin,” out of the daily vocabulary of her female household and instead talks with her children about the importance of being “strong,” “powerful” and “healthy.”

For Torres and Retton, counting calories, measuring fat grams and hopping on scales sets the groundwork for unrealistic body size expectations, unhealthy body images and potential eating disorders. Torres, who herself wrestled with bulimia for many years, focuses now on eating what she wants, when she wants, but exercising a lot so that she can have her cake and eat it too.

Here is a recipe of Torres’s favorite breakfasts: A citrus berry smoothie that packs fiber, protein and taste into a satisfying meal and great post-workout snack that was created by Eating Well magazine.

Citrus Berry Smoothie

1 1/4 cups fresh berries
3/4 cup low-fat plain yogurt
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons nonfat dry milk
1 tablespoon toasted wheat germ
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place berries, yogurt, orange juice, dry milk, wheat germ, honey and vanilla in a blender and blend until smooth.

NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per serving: 432 calories; 3 g fat (2 g sat, 0 g mono); 15 mg cholesterol; 77 g carbohydrate; 20 g protein; 7 g fiber; 250 mg sodium; 617 mg potassium. 8 Weight Watchers Points.
Nutrition bonus:
Vitamin C (175% daily value), Calcium (63% dv), Potassium (18% dv), Magnesium (16% dv).
4 1/2 Carbohydrate Servings
Exchanges: 3 fruit, 2 low-fat milk

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