As the Olympics begin, Chef and Registered Dietitian Allen Tran’s words come to mind, “nutrition can make a good athlete great or a great athlete good”. I think his view holds some truth for all of us. Allen knows because he is the High-Performance Chef for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association. He is in Sochi preparing meals for our Olympic athletes who are aiming for gold medal performance.
Olympic athletes have amazing nutritional needs, with some like downhill Alpine skiers needing as many calories as football players while others may need far less. Like us, the athletes often base their diets on lean protein, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and lots of nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables. In the Olympic Village, foods are available to meet religious needs like Halal and Kosher foods, preferences for vegetarian diets, and offer flavor-filled options like spicy fajitas, Thai or Cajun items.
The Sochi Olympic Games are a great opportunity to sample regional cuisine, like the nearly 70,000 gallons of borscht that will be served or a delicious salad with diced boiled beets, potatoes, diced carrots, peas, kidney beans, pickled cabbage, onions, cucumbers, and more. Want to see what Team USA athletes might be eating? Check out Chef Allen Tran’s Sample Menu.
- Breakfast – Oatmeal, Greek Yogurt with Fresh Berries, Hard Boiled Eggs
- Post-Morning Workout Snack – Almonds, Banana
- Lunch – Veggie and Beef Texas Chili, Cornbread made with Greek Yogurt, Spinach Salad with Avocado
- Post-Afternoon Training Snack – Chocolate Milk, String Cheese, Applesauce
- Dinner – Grilled Jerk Chicken, Roasted Plantains, Vegetable Kabobs (Bell Pepper, Zucchini, Eggplant)