McDonald’s may be the most notorious cuisine inside the Olympic Village—track star Usain Bolt revealed in his memoir Faster Than Lightning that he inhaled approximately 1,000 Chicken McNuggets during his 10 days at the 2008 Beijing Olympics—but many athletes require more wholesome sustenance during competition to perform at their peak.
While the Village does offer a variety of cuisines to accommodate all the different cultures and dietary demands at this international event, the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) has taken steps to make sure its athletes have access to the same meals and snacks they ate during training. The USSA commisioned Chef Allen Tran, a registered dietitian with a background in sports nutrition, to travel with the alpine ski team throughout the season, and this February he will be stationed just outside the Olympic Village at a nearby USSA campus, cooking up a storm for superstars such as Julia Mancuso and Mikaela Shiffrin.
So what fuels these gold-medal bodies? “It's important for athletes to get enough protein to support their performance in training and competition. Because some are vegetarian, I have to use plant-based protein sources. While beans are a good option, it gets boring. So I like to use almonds instead to keep it fun—they don't just add nutrition, but also flavor,” says Tran.
Here, Chef Tran shares five healthy recipes he will prepare at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi so you, too, can eat like an Olympian.
Related: Who are the hottest athletes to watch for in Sochi? Find out here!