Mikaela Shiffrin loves pasta. In fact, the 22-year-old alpine ski racer is so fond of the stuff she eats it for lunch and dinner.
“Pasta is my superfood!” Shiffrin, who is headed to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, tells GoodHousekeeping.com. “Balance and moderation are the basis for my diet, though, so I also make sure to incorporate plenty of protein, fruits, and veggies throughout the day.”
The downhill prodigy takes in roughly 3,000 calories a day (!) and makes sure carbs are a part of her every meal.
“They’re essential in providing the energy I need, especially on race days that can last 12 hours,” she says. “I wouldn’t eat a 1,000-calorie bowl of spaghetti for dinner, but I’ve always loved pasta and think it’s a good addition to any meal and a great base for pretty much any vegetable. It’s also great when I have a nervous stomach before race day.”
Snow-queen Shiffrin, who is expected to dominate at the Olympics in February, likes to mix up her meals, she says, but a “typical day” could look something like the below.
“I’ll do two eggs and two pieces of whole-wheat toast and sometimes, cereal or oatmeal and fruit, says Shiffrin. “I rely on breakfast to give me a kickstart of energy in the morning, so I choose my foods accordingly.”
The Olympian sticks to lean protein, like chicken or fish, for her midday meal — but she always makes sure to get in salad and a serving of carbohydrates.
“I really rely on carbs because I expend a lot energy during the day,” she explains. “I especially love Barilla pasta because it has a lot of options that complement my activity level. They have a great veggie line that provides one full serving of vegetables per portion, but my favorite is probably their multigrain ProteinPLUS because it gets in fiber, ALA omega 3, and protein from simple ingredients like flaxseeds, chickpeas, and egg whites.”
Functionality is key for Shiffrin, who likes to munch on a mix of nuts and seeds while she’s on the mountain.
“They not only fill me up, but are convenient to carry around all day,” she says. “Dried mangos are always a good bet, too.”
Pasta, pasta and, you guessed it, more pasta!
“I do chicken or steak, pasta, and salad or steamed/roasted vegetables,” says Shiffrin.
“My whole thing is simple, well-balanced meals,” she says. “I have to say, though, that I really like dessert. I try not to eat dessert every day, but I’ll have dessert every now and then.”
Her favorite sweet after a big bowl of pasta?