Five-Time Olympic Medalist Janet Evans Talks Nutrition

Janet Evans, Olympic gold medalist and world champion swimmer, recently came out of retirement and qualified for the 2012 Olympic trials. Now a businesswoman and mother of two, Evans knows the value of healthy eating.  She is constantly learning and struggling with what today’s food marketers are pitching as “healthy” and “natural.” “I’m always trying to get my kids to eat a healthy dinner,” said Evans at a recent Natural Products Expo.


Eating Healthier Now

Evans avoids the “crash and burn” of sugary foods and follows the advice of her registered dietitian who recommends she include plenty of vegetables and fiber in her diet. “We didn’t have nutritionists on the US Olympic team,” said Evans. “As a mom, I learn more every week. I eat healthier now.”


Morning Kick Start with Fruits & Fiber

Before her morning workouts, Evans starts with a banana, adding an egg white cooked in olive oil. She also likes to add a psyllium fiber like Metamucil to a glass of water, which fills her up and contributes to her heart health (her family has a history of heart disease).

To keep her morning energy level up, Evans will eat an apple—she keeps plenty in the kitchen.


Veggies & Bean Burger for Lunch

At lunch, she prepares a  bowl of mixed greens and a small black bean burger packed with vegetables, including an avocado slice for healthy fats. To make sure she has enough energy to keep her going the rest of the day (picking up her kids from school and back to the pool for training), she’ll snack on a blueberry topped yogurt.


Fajitas & Maybe a Cheeseburger (to Satisfy Cravings)

For dinner, she likes to prepare grilled chicken fajitas with fresh vegetables and salsa wrapped in whole-wheat tortillas. This satisfies her meat protein cravings. If she feels a little bit weak, she’ll indulge in a steak or even a cheeseburger, because,  as she put it, “I feel like my body craves it.”


Staying Hungry for More Information

When shopping for her family, Evans says she tries to be informed about her food choices. “I want to walk into my local store and have the option to choose healthy food.” Sometimes that’s not so easy, she admits. “We’re hungry for more information, yet I don’t want to be upsold on claims. I want to be a mom that learns and understands what I’m serving my kids.”