Olympic Rower Mary Whipple Fuels with a Vegetarian Diet

By Brandi Koskie for DietsInReview.com

Mary Whipple is in London to defend these US Women's Rowing gold medals.Fueling an Olympic athlete is no small task. During the Beijing Olympics, news broke that Michael Phelps' diet averaged about 7,000 calories a day (the media exaggerated it to 12,000 calories a day). Even 7,000 calories isn't the norm for these athletes, but their daily consumption is certainly outside the bounds of mere mortals like the rest of us cheering from home.

Tiny and mighty at 110 pounds, US Women's Rower Mary Whipple has to keep a close and conscious eye on her food in take. For races, she and the rowing team weigh-in only two hours before. They work closely with the Olympic sports dietitian team to make weight in a healthy way.

She also works closely with the dietetic team to manage her vegetarian diet.

"Because I'm a vegetarian, I keep a fairly constant diet of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. I don't keep a daily food journal but I do a self-check with my favorite app (Lose It!) on a weekly basis," Mary told us in an interview before she headed to London.

She calls smoothies her go-to snack/breakfast before a training session. Her favorite combination includes almond milk, egg white powder, banana, kale, and any in-season fruits.

Try these Official US Olympic Team Smoothie Recipes

After a training session, which happens six days a week for five hours, Mary has a personal recipe that helps her to refuel.

"My favorite breakfast I love to make is the MWhip special of Huevos Rancheros - corn tortilla, beans, jack cheese, over medium egg, salsa, steamed kale and some avocado," she shared.

To keep her energy up, Mary admits that she and the entire team snack throughout the day, sometimes with something as simple as chips and salsa.

In addition to the rigorous training schedule of Mary and her rowing team, she is also a runner and does a lot of lifting and core strength work - a necessity to keep the boat balanced during training and races.

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