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So Now You Want to Be an Olympian? Start by Eating Like One

So Now You Want to Be an Olympian? Start by Eating Like One

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Health expert Lisa Consiglio Ryan dishes on what now-aspiring Olympians should be fueling up on


So Now You Want to be an Olympian?

As the Olympics came to a close, after we mused over how much we'd missed the Spice Girls, many of us started reminiscing about old high school swim team meets, trophies from gymnastic competitions, and how much we love to run.

Click here to see the So Now You Want to be an Olympian Slideshow

The Olympics are all about personal accomplishments, and throughout all of the gold medals, success stories, and glory, many of us were inspired and now want to pick up a new sporting hobby, or even start training to make it to the Olympics one day.

So of course, here at The Daily Meal, we immediately thought of food, and what we should be eating to become an Olympian. To find out, we turned to certified health counselor and founder of Whole Health Designs, Lisa Consiglio Ryan. With a passion for nutrition and fitness, Ryan knows a thing or two about what to eat when it comes to sports.

To make it simple, she’s taken a look at some of the Olympics’ most popular sports to break down what nutrients are important to eat for specific types of training, and even better, she gave us some recipes that we can enjoy before or after hitting the gym. These recipes are loaded with healthy ingredients and can be whipped up in a snap — and they taste pretty good, too. They’ll help fuel you for whatever endeavor you have in mind, whether it be Rio in 2016 or just a healthier lifestyle.

Anne Dolce is the Cook editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @anniecdolce

The Olympic Diet of Michael Phelps

Questions and answers about the high-calorie diet that fuels the Olympic swimmer's championship performance.

Aug. 13, 2008 -- His body may resemble the trim, athletic figure of Michelangelo's statue of David, but the diet of Michael Phelps sure doesn't sound like the stuff of champions.

The U.S. Olympic swimmer told ESPN that he eats roughly 8,000-10,000 calories a day, including "lots of pizza and pasta." In addition to stuffing down carbs, he's said that he routinely eats foods like fried egg sandwiches.

So exactly how do all those calories help fuel the most decorated Olympic athlete in history? Here are some questions and answers about the Michael Phelps diet.

10 Simple Ways To Start Eating Healthier This Year

Margaret Mead had rightly said, “It is easier to change a man's religion than to change his diet.” For most of us, changing unhealthy eating habits is a Herculean task. In fact, according to a 2012 study, more than 50% of Americans (that were polled) felt that doing their taxes is easier than figuring out how to eat healthy.

From misconceptions like equating healthy eating with bland food and unrealistic fitness goals (think v-cut abs and thigh gap) to contradictory food studies and unsustainable fad diets, there are numerous factors that make healthy eating seem like a complicated affair. But it doesn't have to be so overwhelming. “Healthy eating should be varied and delicious,” says Fiorella DiCarlo, an NYC-based registered dietitian. “ The more stimulated your palate is, the more likely you are to adhere to eating nutritious food .”

Here are ten easy-peasy tips to start eating healthy this year (and actually stick to it):

    Choose whole foods instead of processed. Swap your frozen pizza and instant ramen with whole foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. They are packed with essential nutrients like protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals as opposed to processed foods which contain empty calories. “Commit to adding veggies to your lunch and dinner and fruit to your snack,” suggests DiCarlo.

Other than that, increase your water intake to “at least two liters a day,” DiCarlo suggests. Also, don’t shun fatty food. “Naturally occurring fats like fat in dairy products allow you to feel fuller longer and to better absorb fat-soluble vitamins like Vitamin-D,” she explains.

Start making these simple dietary changes today and make 2018 your healthiest year yet!

2. You have more control over when you eat.

Dietary habits have been found to improve once a temptation is removed. Think about the progress and change you can implement simply from being home more. The lure of the fast food option at every corner, the temptation to order a pastry with your coffee because it just looks so good and the dinners out during the weekend can all be left in the past (for now, anyway).

If you’re struggling with changing the types of foods you're eating, perhaps you can focus on the frequency. Time-restricted eating, a form of intermittent fasting, has been shown in multiple studies to benefit health. Reductions of cravings and hunger, weight loss and even improvements in blood sugar and lipid profile have all been demonstrated. Time-restricted eating involves eating during a “feeding window” of eight or 10 hours a day. One study, in fact, showed that delaying breakfast by 90 minutes and eating dinner 90 minutes early helped to reduce overall fat mass in participants — regardless of what they ate.


Health & Wellness 10 cheap and healthy foods to stock up on when money is tight

So You Want To Start Eating Healthy. 10 tips that will get you started and keep you on the right path.

Anytime you can incorporate more whole foods and eliminate refined and processed foods, you are doing a great service to your body. But if you want to experience life changing health benefits, avoid sickness and disease, be at your ideal body weight and enjoy a lot of all day energy, it’s best to make a lifelong commitment to healthy eating. Making this big commitment can seem like such an overwhelming task and you might not know where to start. These are the tips that I came up with that I wish I knew about when I began my transition into the healthy eating lifestyle.

1.) Go through your entire kitchen and get rid of ALL processed foods, refined sugars and any foods containing gluten.

I know what you are thinking right now – “But, that’s a lot of money being thrown away!” Yes, it is, but I firmly believe that you will not succeed if there is still food in the house that is not healthy. You can always donate the food to a shelter or a neighbor in need. This is my #1 tip because I didn’t start fully committing to healthy eating until my kitchen was cleaned out of all processed foods. When I first wanted to eat clean, I just couldn’t bring myself to throw all that food away so I held on to some items. I am a type A personality and have a stronger willpower than most, and guess what I ate when I had a long day, was hungry, and didn’t feel like cooking? You guessed it. I went straight to the box of organic granola bars that I didn’t throw away that were loaded with wheat and sugar. Fail. After that happened a few times, I put on my big girl panties and went through my entire kitchen and got rid of everything that was processed, refined and contained gluten. This was the biggest step I made in being successful at this lifestyle.

2.) You need to restock your pantry with clean eating items.

This can be the expensive part, but you are making a commitment to your health and it will be worth it and save you so much money in the long run, I promise. No more (or far less) doctor bills (I haven’t been to the doctor in years), co-pays, over the counter cold medicines, etc. Sounds good, right? Just remember that when you are buying these new items for your pantry!

Fats and Oils: Coconut Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and Sesame Oil are good oils to have on hand. Grass-Fed Butter and Bacon Fat are also a staple in my home.

Sweeteners and Baking items: Almond and Coconut Flours, Pure Maple Syrup, Raw Honey, Molassas, Cocoa Powder, Dark Chocolate, unsweetened coconut flakes, dried unsweetened fruits, Almond Butter

Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, Walnuts,Macadamias, Pecans, Pistachio, etc. **Peanuts are not nuts. They are legumes and should be avoided** Sesame, Sunflower and Pumpkin Seeds

Canned whole food items, such as: diced tomatoes, tomato paste, etc, canned pumpkin, tuna, salmon, capers

Sauces (read labels carefully and make sure they are all natural and contain no gluten): tamari or coconut aminos (a soy sauce replacement without wheat), fish sauce, hot sauce, mustards, and vinegars

Plenty of spices and sea salt

Frozen fruits and vegetables

On the go, quality packaged items such as: Steve’s Original Beef Jerky Packets, Larabars, etc.

3.) Locate farms and farmer’s markets in your area.

Locate a farm or farmer’s market in your area to get the freshest and healthiest foods. is a good site if you are not familiar with the organic farms and farmer’s markets in your area. There are numerous farms that are not on this website, so if you know of a farm near you, call or stop in to visit the farms and talk to the people there. All of the farms I’ve dealt with are super friendly and helpful and enjoy talking about their farm. If they can’t provide what you need, most are more than helpful to point you to another farm who can help you. You will need to find a farm to provide you grass-fed beef, free-range poultry and eggs and chemical free produce. Most farms can provide everything, but not always. If there are absolutely no farms in your area, visit: for great quality meats and service.

4.) Pretend that grocery stores don’t exist.

People always look at me like I have two heads when I tell them this one. It’s very rare that I step foot into a grocery store. When you are eating clean, you are doing the majority of your grocery shopping at a farm or at the local farmers market. I only have to go to a regular grocery store when I run out of olive oil or mustard, or something like that. When you do have to stop into the grocery store, only shop the perimeter and avoid the center aisles, which contain mostly processed foods (exception: when you have to buy canned, whole food items).

5.) Plant a garden.

Planting your own garden is the best way to get inexpensive, organic fruits and vegetables.

This is a great way to get chemical free produce and herbs. You can’t beat the price and high yields of quality, organic vegetables and fruit when you grow your own. If you don’t have the land to plant a garden, grow herbs and other vegetables in containers. If this is not possible, join a community garden or just support your local organic producers.

6.) Have a weekly meal plan.

Creating a meal plan a week in advance makes eating right so much easier and is the only way I found that I can stick to eating healthy.

You will be most successful with healthy eating when you plan your meals out at least weekly. I write a meal plan every Sunday night for the following weeks worth of meals. I take into consideration my family’s plans and activities and plan my menu accordingly. Most of the time, I head to the farmer’s market on Monday and get everything I need to cook for the week. This works very well for me and the only way I can stay organized and be committed to eating healthy.

7.) Have a few good quality, packaged food items available to you at all times.

You can plan your menus in advance all day long, but let’s be real: stuff happens and life gets in the way. I am always on the go and sometimes unexpected stuff comes up and I need something to eat in a pinch. Before I carried items with me, I had to make the best choices I could at places like McDonalds, Wendy’s etc. Even though I didn’t want to eat at these places, I needed something quick. Now I don’t have to be forced to eat burgers without buns at fast food places. I make sure I have a baggie of almonds, some beef jerky, Larabars, and my favorite Steve’s Originals Paleokits with me at all times. I have some in my purse and some in my car so I have no excuses. I can still eat healthy even when I’m on the go.

8.) Cook extra for dinner so you have enough for lunch the next day.

Pretty self-explanatory, but it’s a great tip and leaves you to only have to plan out your breakfast and dinners from now on.

9.) Find other people who share similar views on health and nutrition.

Finding friends who share and support your healthy lifestyle is important so you can help each other stay on the right track. Plus friends make life more fun!

Try to find others in the area who are already eating clean or have the same desire to eat clean and healthy. You can share your favorite recipes, tips, articles, books and resources and maybe even workout together. It’s easier to stay on the right track when you have friends that are supporting you.

10.) Don’t ever give up or feel like a failure if you eat something you know you shouldn’t.

No one out there is perfect and eats perfect 100% of the time – that’s just unrealistic. I like to view my nutrition as a commitment. I am committed to my health and eating clean. Does that mean that I am perfect at it 100% of the time? Heck no. One of my favorite blogs, Health Bent, compares the commitment of eating healthy to the commitment of marriage and I love that comparison. I am committed to my marriage, but that doesn’t mean I am 100% sweet and loving to Zach all the time. At times, I can be mean and a brat. (I thought brat was a nicer term for the other B word that I was really thinking.) But, this never alters our commitment to love and stay with each other for as long as we live. It’s the same way with nutrition – if I screw up and eat something I know I shouldn’t, I am still committed to eating well for the rest of my life. No big deal. I just dust myself off and keep at it. If you are eating well the majority of the time, be proud of that!

Don’t be too hard on yourself. If you are eating well and practicing a healthy lifestyle the majority of the time, you deserve the I AM AWESOME trophy!

If you have any other tips that will help us all out, please share by posting a comment here. I’d love to hear what has helped you in becoming a healthier you!

The No-Diet Diet

No gimmicks, no pills. One expert explains how to eat what you love and lose weight without dieting.

No gimmicks, no pills. One expert explains how to eat what you love and lose weight without dieting. See an EatingWell Diet Club Story Here!

Evelyn Tribole, M.S., R.D., may be one of the only dietitians to tell you to eat French fries and chocolate cake. But her advice is sensible and practical when applied within the context of her ­intuitive-eating principles-a way of eating that emphasizes a healthful mind-set about food versus focusing on "good" and "bad" foods.

A competitive runner who qualified for the 1984 Olympic marathon trials, Tribole&aposs interest in nutrition stemmed from wanting to know what to eat to run faster. It wasn&apost until the early 1990s, when she was working with celebrities at Columbia Pictures and was frustrated when they regained weight they lost, that she looked into the psychology behind eating. Now, rather than suggesting diets where people can only eat this and not that, she tells them to eat anything. The catch: they must recognize when they&aposre hungry, eat only when they are and then stop when they feel satisfied.

Evelyn Tribole answered some questions on what intuitive eating is and how to get started.

Illustration by Andrew Bannecker

What is intuitive eating?

It&aposs an approach that helps you have a healthy relationship-­mentally and physically-with food. Intuitive eating is the opposite of dieting: you reject rules for what to eat and not eat. Instead you listen to and trust your body&aposs natural cues of hunger and fullness. In other words, you eat when you&aposre hungry and stop when you&aposre full. If you&aposre following dieting rules and feeling unsatisfied, chances are you&aposre constantly thinking about food. When you eat intuitively, you pay attention to whether a meal was enjoyable and whether it sustained you for the next few hours.

Can eating intuitively help someone lose weight?

Well, first I want to say that research suggests that dieting doesn&apost work-many studies have shown that even when dieters lose weight they often end up regaining what they lost, and sometimes even more. But a series of studies done in Italy that taught people to essentially eat intuitively found that people who needed to lose weight lost and those who didn&apost need to lose maintained their weight eating this way. I&aposve seen this in my patients too.

If they&aposre already at a healthy weight, then their weight stays in the healthy range, and if they need to lose, they naturally do. The problem is a lot of people still want to be thinner, even if they&aposre at a healthy weight.

How can someone start eating intuitively?

A few questions to ask yourself are: Do you have rigid rules about food? Are you an emotional eater? Can you recognize hunger? Generally I find that hunger is a good place to start. If someone doesn&apost know how to recognize when they&aposre hungry or full, it&aposs going to be hard to tackle the other principles, like ditching strict food rules. A lot of people are good at the extreme-"I&aposm going to pass out, I&aposm so hungry"-but they miss gentle hunger signs and as a result they get too hungry, which makes it easy to overeat. And often people don&apost pay attention when they eat, so they eat well past the point of being satisfied.

How can people cue into feeling full if they&aposre not used to doing so?

Start by taking time out to listen to your body and what you need. In the beginning pick one meal a day to really pay attention to-while you&aposre eating truly taste the food and notice what&aposs going on in your body. Ask yourself how the food tastes. Is it meeting your expectation? Where&aposs your hunger level? Where&aposs your fullness? Are you satisfied? All of this can be incredibly difficult to do. People are so used to checking e-mail, reading or having the TV on that eating a meal without any distraction is a good first step. Doing so can be very freeing.

Intuitive eating includes this idea of "unconditional permission to eat," meaning no food is taboo. But will this lead people to eat too many "forbidden" foods?

I hear this a lot. When you remove the guilt from eating certain foods and know that you can have it again another time, you get to ask yourself, "How does the food taste? Am I satisfied? Do I like how I feel physically?" I had a patient who was addicted to French fries, and what she discovered by giving herself permission to eat them was "while I do love French fries, I&aposm no longer willing to have them when they&aposre cold and limp" and she ended up having them less and less ­often and only when they were perfect. Even if someone&aposs been eating this food for a long time, when they give themselves permission it&aposs often the first time they&aposre truly tasting it.

You&aposve talked about how it&aposs OK to eat French fries and chocolate, but where does healthy eating come in?

Once you&aposre in touch with your hunger, fullness and satisfaction, then you integrate health. You can think about what your body might need nutritionally. When people are attuned to their bodies, healthy eating actually feels good and is not done out of penance.

You consume a trans-fat-heavy diet.


Though food manufacturers were required to remove trans fats from their recipes, these unhealthy, syntheic fats are still used in some restaurants to deep fry foods—and eating them could send your cholesterol skyrocketing. (For examples, see these 30 Sneaky Restaurant Foods With the Most Trans Fat.)

"Trans fats are found in 'partially hydrogenated oils,'" Kimberly Marsh, MS, RD says. "Eating a large amount of trans fat each day can increase your LDL, or 'bad' cholesterol."

For more ways to reduce your cardiovascular risk factors, cut out these 50 Foods That Can Cause Heart Disease.

Cheeseburger Soup

Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

If you're on the keto diet, but getting tired of the same old recipes, this cheeseburger soup is the one for you. Not only is it keto-friendly, but it's incredibly easy to make and can be done in under 20 minutes. We swapped out the potatoes normally found in cheeseburger soup recipes for lots of healthy veggies—and you'll be shocked at how filling it remains.

Get our recipe for Instant Pot Cheeseburger Soup.

6 Health & Fitness Tips From Olympic Athletes

Are you so excited for the 2018 Olympics that you wish you could, like, become an Olympian yourself? We&rsquove got your back. Here are the top health and fitness tips used every day by our favorite Olympic athletes.

Mornings matter

According to American swimmer Natalie Coughlin, it&rsquos time to become a morning person. This 12-time Olympic medalist takes breakfast very seriously and considers it to be a critical foundation for the rest of your day.

“If you start your day off with a doughnut, you kind of trash that day,&rdquo Coughlin told SheKnows. &ldquoBut if you start on the right foot, with a healthy breakfast, you’ll be much more likely to continue making healthy choices the rest of the day.&rdquo

So do your future self a favor and pair your morning coffee with a balanced breakfast of good carbs and healthy proteins. Satisfied and energized, you&rsquoll be able to fearlessly conquer the midday munchies later.

Schedule meals around your workouts

Unlike Kerri Walsh, we can&rsquot all fit in a daily beachfront workout. However, we can still steal her killer meal-prep tips. For this Olympic volleyball star, fueling your body before, during and after your workout is essential for optimal performance and recovery.

Walsh suggests eating an hour to an hour-and-a-half before a workout and immediately consuming protein afterward. In between your squats, burpees and power jams, don&rsquot forget to pay attention to your body too. Often reaching for sports drinks like Gatorade while competing, Walsh reminds us to monitor and maintain our energy levels while working out to ensure a strong &mdash and safe &mdash finish.

Become friends with carbs

In the face of the extreme dieting trends we tend to see today, it may come as a shock that carbohydrates aren&rsquot the enemy of serious athletes, but rather an important ally. In fact, professional soccer player and gold medalist Abby Wambach wouldn&rsquot be able to get through warm-ups without them. “Human beings need carbohydrates,&rdquo Wambach told SheKnows. &ldquoIt’s our fuel. It would be like getting into a car with no gas. It’s the energy that makes you go.”

Wambach warns against low-calorie “quick-fix” diets and instead suggests maintaining a more individualized nutrition plan and experimenting to find the right amount of healthy, complex carbs for your body type and fitness level. Hear that? It&rsquos time to end the feud with carbs.

Make fitness a family affair

We often forget that Olympians are parents too. So how exactly do they squeeze fitness into their full-time schedule of parenting? A busy mom of two, Olympic curler Erika Brown suggests integrating health and fitness into family time in any way you can.

Remember: Your decision-making leaves an impression on your children. The earlier you establish healthy habits, the better. So, whether it&rsquos running around with the kids in the backyard, volunteering to coach their little league team or simply sitting down for a healthy dinner, you are exemplifying the importance of leading active lifestyles &mdash and that deserves a medal in itself.

De-stress & decompress

After a lifetime spent on balance beams, gymnast Nastia Liukin knows a thing or two about stability. For this five-time Olympic medalist, fitness is all about seeking balance.

&ldquoMake sure you are getting plenty of sleep, taking time to exercise and taking time to do the little things that make you happy, whether it’s getting a fun manicure or reading a great book or just taking a bubble bath,&rdquo Liukin told SheKnows.

Feeling stressed out can easily lead to impulsive, unhealthy decision-making. So go ahead: Treat yo&rsquoself with some daily me-time it&rsquos the Olympian-approved safeguard for your health goals.

Remember to rest

Our vision of an Olympic athlete often involves an alarm clock ringing at an absurdly early hour of the morning followed by an unimaginably grueling workout framed by some version of the infamous phrase, &ldquono days off.&rdquo

This myth is busted by Olympic swimmer Summer Sanders, who stresses the importance of recognizing the difference between feeling the burn and feeling a pain.

&ldquoA large percentage of running injuries need rest from running,&rdquo Sanders, who now runs marathons competitively, told SheKnows. &ldquoWhen an injury occurs, runners needs to stop and listen to their bodies, force themselves to take a break from their training schedule and take care of themselves.&rdquo

Even if you’re not a runner, give yourself a break. To prevent overworking your body, experiment with cross-training to give your muscles, joints and bones some recovery time. If you&rsquore lifting weights several times a week, try yoga. If you often do high-impact workouts, incorporate swimming into your workout regimen. In addition to mixing up your workouts, Sanders is also a huge advocate for getting a solid night&rsquos sleep. Permission to get in bed before 9 p.m. granted.

Got all that? Good &mdash you&rsquore one step closer to being a gold medalist. Now you’ve just gotta get yourself to Pyeongchang.

How to Eat Like Olympian Shalane Flanagan

Elite runner Shalane Flanagan holds multiple American records, she won the bronze medal in the 10,000-meter race at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and she&aposll represent Team USA in the marathon at this summer&aposs Rio Olympics. So how does Flanagan fuel while running 120+ miles a week? In her forthcoming cookbook, Run Fast, Eat Slow, Flanagan shares the surprisingly delicious-sounding recipes she swears keep her satisfied and largely injury-free. (A few examples: Long Run Mineral Broth, Can&apost Beet Me Smoothies and her go-to Race Day Oatmeal.) For the book, Flanagan partnered with former college teammate and graduate of the National Gourmet Institute, Elyse Kopecky, to create nourishing recipes for runners that dispel food myths (like fat is bad) and embrace nutrient-dense whole foods. We caught up with Flanagan and Kopecky on their favorite recipes from the book and what Shalane is most looking forward to eating in Rio.

Shalane, you kept a food journal leading up to the Berlin marathon. What did you learn from it?

SF: When we first kicked off our cookbook project, Elyse asked me to keep a food journal so she could study what I ate and translate it into nourishing recipes for the everyday runner. It was great inspiration for the book, but it also helped me improve my own diet. Elyse showed me I wasn’t getting enough healthy fats and taught me to make simple switches like buying whole milk plain yogurt instead of low-fat sugary yogurt. Getting more fat in my diet has enabled me to feel satisfied, more energized, and now my racing weight comes naturally—no deprivation needed.

How does Run Fast, Eat Slow differ from other running-related cookbooks?

SF: This is the first cookbook for athletes that doesn’t obsess over macronutrients measurements and instead teaches runners how to simply fuel their bodies with real food. We intentionally left calorie counts out of our book because calories are not a good measure of the nutrient quality of food. Instead we want to teach people how to be in tune with their energy needs.

EK: When I was running competitively in college, I suffered from athletic amenorrhea, which is when you don’t get your period. It&aposs a problem that&aposs common among female runners and there&aposs a lot of misinformation when it comes to nutrition. I think we still have a fear of fat in the US and counting calories doesn&apost tell you anything. When I moved to Europe after college, my diet changed I was eating less processed foods and more healthy fats from nuts, cheese and whole-milk. I approached food with a healthier mindset. Shalane and I connected over this when I moved back to the States, and we wanted to bring the idea of "indulgent nourishment"�ting whole foods—to our teammates and fellow athletes.

Is there a recipe from the book that you&aposre particularly attached to?

SF: My body needs more iron while training at high altitude and I crave red meat. I love to make the Greek bison burgers and bake wholesome treats to devour after a hard training session. Most people don’t realize a burger is actually a healthy indulgence when you take the time to prepare it from high quality grass-fed meat.

EK: It&aposs too hard to choose just one! For my family, it&aposs more of a meal (3 recipes from the book) that I make at least once a week. I have a toddler, and they need a lot of really good fats as their brains develop. Saturated fats get such a bad rep in our culture, but they&aposre essential and really important for active people. My daughter, Lily is a total carnivore. I&aposll make the grass-fed burger with Greek bison from the book, which is really rich in iron and good fats. We&aposll have it with sweet potato fries and a grain salad. I like to use the leftovers for burger bowls with brown rice or quinoa and some stir-fried veggies.

We got into making bone broth before [Shalane ran in] the Olympic trials. I invited Shalane over to show her how it&aposs made, how to pour it out and properly store it. I had her hold the strainer while I poured the broth into the bowl, and unbeknownst to Shalane, I&aposd put chicken feet in to scare her. She screamed! "What is this? A witch&aposs brew? Are you a witch?" It was hilarious and we still laugh about it.

What tips do you have for busy runners when traveling?

EK: I always keep a healthy snack stashed in my bag such as roasted nuts with different seasonings. I dedicate one day a week to make big batches of things𠅊 big tray of veggies, grains for salads and a full pint size mason jar dressing. Making food in advance is important it&aposs easy to grab [a less healthy] packaged bar if you don&apost have something already made. In the summer we&aposll throw extra meat on the grill and in the winter we&aposll do roasted chicken—that way we can take advantage of leftovers for quick meals during the week.

SF: Always pack your own snacks! I’m hooked on baking a batch of our Ginger Molasses Granola or Superhero Muffins before I travel. Bring along your race day fuel so you aren’t trying anything new on race day. I bring my own oatmeal and nut butter so I can make my Race Day Oatmeal in my hotel room.

Elyse, you have an adorable daughter! Did she help with the recipe testing?

EK: Yes! We started writing the book a few months after Lily was born. We actually never fed her baby food, we let her learn to explore all of the foods we were eating. Lily [now 2] is obsessed with the Beet Hummus! We took her to a restaurant recently where we ordered hummus (a classic version) and because it wasn&apost bright pink she wouldn&apost even touch it!

You&aposve known each other since your college days at UNC did you learn anything new about each other while working on Run Fast, Eat Slow?

SF: Since our days at Carolina, I&aposve always known that Elyse was a focused and driven woman, but working on our book together my mind was blown. I surround myself with passionate and dedicated athletes everyday (so I have high standards!) but I can honestly say Elyse is the hardest working woman I know. Her commitment to excellence and giving her absolute best can be seen in every aspect of her life, whether it&aposs the tiniest details of our book or raising her daughter.

EK: I used to think, oh Shalane must have these amazing days she gets to go on runs and see new cities. But really, it&aposs incredible to understand what an elite runner like Shalane puts into her career she&aposs busy all day long—whether it&aposs running, going to the gym, cross-training or getting a massage (and not the relaxing kind, it&aposs super painful!!). Shalane even has to answer her phone no matter what time of day! She&aposs one of the most [drug] tested female athletes and they even showed up at the house once when we were recipe testing. I didn&apost know this part of the sport that was always following her. I&aposm thankful that the they do that it though, it&aposs important to keep the sport clean. She&aposs incredibly dedicated and a huge inspiration to me. As busy as Shalane is, she was super involved in the book every step of the way, testing each recipe while on the road. When I get nervous or stressed out I think to myself, "just be like Shalane."

I&aposll also never forget visiting Shalane at her house in Portland and being surprised that none of her medals or accomplishments were on the wall. Shalane keeps her Olympic medal in a sock drawer, and when I asked her why it wasn&apost on display she told me, she "doesn&apost want to be complacent." Shalane wants each race to be better than the last. No matter what she&aposs always onto the next accomplishment. We actually had her bring the medal for the [cookbook] photo shoot and my daughter (who was one at the time) put it in her mouth and started teething on it! Hopefully that means she&aposll get some athleticism!

Shalane, how has your food mentality changed going into this training season and the Rio Olympics?

SF: Elyse taught me how to embrace delicious, healthy food. In the past I would feel a burden with my "diet." I worried about whether I was eating the right foods and how it would affect my performance. Now I feel like I have been given such a great tool, I know how to cook indulgent recipes and don&apost have to worry about counting calories!

What&aposs the food like at the Olympic village? What food(s) are you looking forward to trying in Rio? Anything you&aposre avoiding?

SF: The Olympic village cafeteria contains every food imaginable!! They literally are feeding the world. I&aposm most looking forward to all the fresh fruits that Rio has to offer.

I will be avoiding the tap water. Every country has different filtration systems and I may not be accustomed to Rio&aposs. So I will be consuming lots of bottled water while I&aposm there.

How will you celebrate after race day in Rio?

SF: With a beer and burger and of course a doughnut (or two!) when I return to Portland.

What&aposs your favorite food indulgence?

EK: Shalane and I bonded over beer! Most of my girl friends drink wine, but Shalane and I definitely prefer beer. A lot of runners drink Coors Light or Bud Light, which is stripped of anything nutritious. But local microbreweries—there are great ones in Oregon—make awesome nutrient-packed beers. I love drinking an IPA after a long hike—it&aposs super refreshing and hydrating!

Where are your favorite places to eat and drink in Oregon?

SF: Since I’m away from home [in Portland] a good part of the year, I prefer to hit up the Portland Farmers Market to pick up inspiring ingredients to cook at home. Portland has incredible restaurants…too many to choose a favorite. Last time Elyse and I were together in Portland we went to Oven and Shaker, love their pizza and salads, and the owner, Chef Cathy Whims, is a fellow UNC Chapel Hill transplant (she contributed a pasta salad recipe in our cookbook!).

EK: Yes—the fennel sausage pie with caramelized onions and the kale salad at Oven and Shaker is to die for! Cathy also is the chef at Nostrana, which is incredible. I live in Bend, OR now, and I&aposm hooked on regular stops at Paradise Produce, a farmer&aposs market stand that has local fruit and veggies. Next door is Primal Cuts meat market, where you can pick up local grass-fed beef. The area is really a one-stop-shop where you can get everything at once𠅊mazing sandwiches, appetizers and of course bring a growler to fill it up with local beer!

For brunch, I love Chow, they have an amazing polenta cake topped with seasonal veggies and a fried egg. On weekends there&aposs live music and they are dedicated to using local produce. For a date night, Ariana&aposs is a little fancier.

One of my favorite local breweries is Crux—the beers are delicious and they have an awesome outdoor space for kids to run around.

Run Fast, Eat Slow is available August 9. Preorder here.

Watch the video: SNIK - ETSI Official Music Video


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