Swimmer Janet Evans knows about the power of proper nutrition. Without the right fuel, the five-time Olympic gold medalist, who recently came out of retirement and qualified for the 2012 Olympic trials, can't perform at her best—as an athlete, mother, or businesswoman.
"As someone with a family history of heart disease, I know that it's the small things in life, like taking Metamucil to increase your fiber intake and lower your cholesterol, that really make a difference in your health," she says.
Ashley Koff, a registered dietitian who's worked with Evans, agrees. "Janet knows she needs fuel for her best athletic performance but can't afford to crash and burn when she needs to perform on the home front, so she practices some key principles of nutrition like making sure to get enough vegetables and fiber for better energy," Koff says.
To give us an idea of how an Olympic champion stays in tip-top shape, Evans agreed to snap a photo of every bite that passed her lips during one 24-hour period. Read on for an inside look at her healthy diet.
Breakfast: Banana, Egg White, and Metamucil
"Before I head to my morning training, I usually grab a banana to get my metabolism going. After I'm done I like to refuel with a little protein by eating an egg white cooked in olive oil. I also kickstart my fiber intake for the day by adding a psyllium fiber like Metamucil to my glass of water. This fills me up and keeps my heart healthy."
Mid-Morning Snack: Fresh Fruit
"I live in California, which means I always have access to great fresh produce. I make sure to keep plenty of apples in my kitchen so I can grab one for a quick pick-me-up."
Lunch: Black Bean Burger
"For lunch I love to fill a bowl with bright mixed greens, add a small black bean burger, and then pack it with veggies. I'll also add a small slice of avocado to add some healthy fats and a creamy texture so I'm not just eating a dry salad."
Afternoon Snack: Greek Yogurt with Fresh Blueberries
"If I'm in need of an energy boost while I'm running around picking up my kids from school and getting ready to head back to the pool for more training, I usually reach for a Greek yogurt. I love throwing in fresh blueberries for a flavor and a nutrient boost."
Dinner: Chicken Fajitas with Whole-Wheat Tortillas, Fresh Veggies, and Salsa
"Dinner is usually when I like to have a meat protein, and grilled chicken fajitas are always a hit with my family. I can sneak in veggies like zucchini and mushrooms that my kids might not go for otherwise. They love all of the colors and we make a little game out of mixing and matching the ingredients."