Athletes & Celebrities

HOW TO EAT LIKE AN OLYMPIC HOPEFUL

Heptathlete Tiffeny Parker serves up some helpful tips.

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HOW TO EAT LIKE AN OLYMPIC HOPEFUL

6. Spice things up with fresh herbs.

CB: Other than adding ingredients for texture, what do you do to make your meals more exciting?

TP: I season everything! Over the past 3 to 4 years I really learned how to use spices together and that was the game changer. For some people, they like to eat things bland but that's just not me. My food has to have some type of a flavor. I’ve learned that there's definitely a difference between having fresh ingredients, like basil and cilantro, and having it in Mrs. Dash powdered form. It totally changes the way your meal turns out, even though it’s a little more expensive.

7. Get creative in the kitchen.

CB: Do you have a signature dish or something you really love to make that you think is just awesome and sticks within your diet?

Spaghetti squash is my go, but outside of that my go-to is these coconut chicken strips I make. I bake them and, oh God, they're so good. You take little pieces of chicken and dip them in coconut milk, then roll it in almond powder and coconut shavings. You can use unsweetened, but I use sweetened because it just tastes different. You bake it in the oven and it's... You will never eat chicken strips the same! I make honey mustard with it, just mixing some honey and regular mustard and it's a godsend.

8. Plan ahead.

CB: Do you have any tricks that make it easier to stay on track with your nutrition?

TP: You have to have a prep day and you have to know what you're going to eat that week. You have to actually sit down and write out a weekly plan for the stuff you’re going to buy. When I go to the grocery store, I don't just go there aimlessly. I go to the grocery store to have food for two weeks and I know exactly what I'm going to buy so that I can cook it. Just making time for that preparation is probably the biggest thing that's helped me. When you just go to the store and buy things, you end up with stuff that doesn’t necessarily go together and you end up either not wanting what's left in your refrigerator, or you feel like you don’t have anything to eat and want to go out.

9. Make the freezer your friend.

CB: How do you make sure the food you buy doesn’t go to waste?

TP: I break my shopping into 2 week spans, so the first time I go shopping I usually buy more meats, which I divide up, put into Ziploc bags and put them in the freezer. The second time is usually more vegetables and whatever else my sides are going to be, just because they go bad faster unless you freeze them, so I freeze a lot of my vegetables. I even freeze my spinach just because when it gets at its end and I don't necessarily need spinach anymore, I’ll have it to throw it in smoothies. You just figure out a way to reuse it and it’s a great way to not waste your food.

Literally, I freeze everything – even down to the zucchini or something that I’m not going to use. I just cut it into pieces and then, say, I have random chicken left over but I don't have anything else to serve with it? I just go to my freezer because I know I have some type of vegetable there.

10. Use common sense.

CB: How much does a shotput weigh?

TP: Our shotput is 4k, which is like 8.2 pounds.

CB: What’s heavier: A shotput or 8.2 pounds of Quest Bars?

TP: Ummm… [laughing] They should be the same weight!

CB: Good answer.

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