When you’re running long miles twice a day like Olympic gold medalist and triathlete-turned-marathoner Gwen Jorgensen, every meal plays a critical role in the quality of your workouts. While Jorgensen has found the caloric demands of running to be similar to that of triathlon, there is one new twist in her regimen: fighting reduced body fat due to breastfeeding 8-month-old Stanley, who joined the family last August. The new mom plays defense against this challenge by eating three hearty meals a day, snacking three to four times a day and front-loading breakfast and lunch to fuel her daily training load.
So, want to eat like an Olympian? Jorgensen’s husband, Patrick Lemieux—who ably plays the role of chef around their Portland home—put together a sample menu for a day in the life of Gwen Jorgensen.
Who says variety is the spice of life? Certainly not Jorgensen, who says she eats the same meal for breakfast 90 percent of the time. The Olympian likes to add in bananas while her oatmeal is cooking for more flavor, and recommends cooking it the night before to make the hearty treat more digestible before long runs.
2 cups water (or 1 1/2 cups water and 1/2 cup milk)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup rolled oats
1 banana (sliced)
1/4 cup of blueberries and/or walnuts (for a sweet version)
1 egg, poached (for a savory version)
Hot Oatmeal: In a medium saucepan, bring water and 1/4 teaspoon salt to boil. Stir in 1 cup rolled oats and the bananas. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from heat; cover and let stand for 2 minutes before serving.
Overnight Oats (cold): Soak the oats in 1 1/2 cups orange juice; cover and refrigerate until morning. Add a bit of milk and toppings as desired.
Lunch: Bison Chili
Because runners (and distance runners in particular) are at a higher risk of iron deficiency, Jorgensen usually incorporates red meat into at least one of her daily meals. She also doesn’t shy away from products like butter, coconut oil and yogurt, preferring full fat to fat-free options that are frequently loaded with sugar.
1 pound bison
1 whole onion, diced
5 stalks of celery, finely chopped
4 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
3 cups sliced mushrooms
Three 3 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes
Three 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained
Two 15-ounce can black beans, drained
One 15-ounce can navy beans, drained
One 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained
1/2 cup shredded cheese
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1 avocado, sliced
Heat pot over medium-high heat, add the bison and cook until browned. Next add onions and cook until translucent. Keep the pot over medium-high heat and add the remaining carrots, mushrooms and celery. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes with the juices and bring to a simmer while stirring. Add the black beans, kidney beans, navy beans, garbanzo beans. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat; cover and simmer until thickened, about 45 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the shredded cheese and Greek yogurt; add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with a side of rice or potatoes.