By Megan Steintrager
Unless you spend an average of three and a half hours a day doing hardcore athletic training, you probably think you have little in common with swimmer Cammile Adams, who is competing in her second Olympic Games now in Rio. But in three key ways the butterfly-stroke specialist is probably just like you: She’s pressed for time, she wants to eat healthily — and she does not have a personal chef.
Here Adams shares her top strategies for eating healthy and staying on top of her athletic game:
- Prep Ahead: “Planning is the biggest thing when it comes to nutrition,” says Adams, adding, “I live on the go a lot.” On Sundays, Adams hits the grocery store to stock up on what she’ll need for healthy meals throughout the week. She also does any meal prep ahead of time that she can, including washing and cutting up fruits for smoothies and snacking. And since she tries to get a proper meal in within 25 to 30 minutes of finishing a workout, she cuts up veggies and seasons chicken or fish before she heads to the pool so she can get straight to cooking when she gets home. She’s also a fan of the busy cook’s favorite, the slow cooker — the Texas native likes to make a big batch of Crock-Pot Tex-Mex-style chicken to toss into fajitas and salads.
- Pack Healthy Snacks: Adams keeps protein-rich almonds and athlete-favorite chocolate milk (which contains protein, easy-to-digest carbs and antioxidants) on hand so she can start refueling immediately after a hard workout. “I like to get some protein in right after practice,” she says.
- Refuel with Real Food: Rather than obsessing about a certain fad food for recovery or fighting inflammation, Adams simply focuses on eating an all-around healthy diet that includes “tons of fruit and vegetables,” healthy carbs like brown rice and quinoa, lean protein such as fish and chicken — and the occasional treat, too (dark chocolate and Milano cookies are favorites).
- Get Inspired: Noting that plain old chicken can get a little boring day after day, Adams says she seeks inspiration on social media, searching Pinterest for healthy recipes. One of her favorite finds is 10-minute Parmesan Zucchini and Corn from Damn Delicious.
- Stay Hydrated: Adams says that one of her top healthy eating habits is a liquid one: “I drink a ton of water.” She keeps it interesting by adding lemon and lime to plain water and generally steers clear of traditional sports drinks, which are loaded with sugar and extra calories she says she doesn’t need.