My son Michael and his National Championship Ring. Roll Tide!
This list probably won't help you get in the kind of shape the Olympic athletes are in . . . but it might get you a little closer. "EatingWell" magazine asked a bunch of them for health advice. Here are the top six tips they got.
--You've probably heard some of this stuff before. But it might help to hear it from actual OLYMPIANS.
#1.) Don't Eat Anything That Comes in a Package. This one's pretty hardcore. But it's worth it, according to former Olympic gymnast Nastia Liukin, who has five Olympic medals.
--She says it gives her more energy, and that eating healthy is, quote, "not just about being in shape. It also makes you feel better."
--She also says that if she wants a cookie, she has one. She just doesn't have FIVE.
#2.) Eat 30 Minutes After You Work Out. That's what swimmer Eric Shanteau does. Obviously it should be something HEALTHY, not junk. He says it helps with his NEXT workout, and it's changed the way he trains.
--Swimmer Dara Torres . . . who has 12 Olympic medals . . . says now that she's 45, it's harder for her to recover after she trains. So she tries to eat more lean proteins, like chicken and fish.
#3.) Eat Every Three Hours. Kerri Walsh won gold medals in beach volleyball at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics. She says that when she eats every three hours, she can focus better, she feels stronger, and she has more endurance.
#4.) The More Colorful Your Food Is, The Better. That's according to Walsh's teammate, Misty May-Treanor. She says she eats as many fruits and vegetables as she can. But when she needs an energy boost, she goes for Greek yogurt and honey.
#5.) Grow Your Own Produce. Swimmer Natalie Coughlin . . . who has 11 Olympic medals . . . says the best part about it is being able to grow a variety of fruits and vegetables that you can't always get at the grocery store.
#6.) Before You Start Taking Supplements, Fix Your Diet. That's according to Bryan Clay . . . a decathlete and a two-time medalist.
--He says to, quote, "do the best job you can to get all your nutrients from your food." Then if you ALSO think you need a supplement, go for it.