Elite athletes keep a pretty rigid schedule. From training to what they put in their mouths to sleep. It’s all carefully mapped out. As Marc Mundell told us “Nutrition plays an incredible role [in training and racing]”. But once they’ve crossed the finish line, celebrations are in order and just like the rest of us they have their favourite cheat meals that they can’t wait to indulge in.
Marc Mundell, 50km race walker – T-bone Steak
In training Marc Mundell follows a largely gluten free diet and reduces his sugar intake. He has also dabbled in Banting which he says was eye opening. But when training is done and he wants to indulge it’s a T-bone steak he craves.
“I’m a big fan of having a T-bone steak with potatoes. For me that’s a nice meal with friends to braai at home with salads and fruit for dessert. I’m not big on pastas because of the gluten so I try stay away from that”
Dominique Scott-Efurd, 10000m sprint – Burger with Bacon, Cheese and Fried Egg
Dominique tries to eat as healthy as possible but allows room for treats (even during training) “Everything in moderation is my philosophy”. Her favourite food is a burger “I love a good burger with bacon, cheese and a fried egg on top. That is definitely my guilty pleasure!”
Lebogang Shange , 20km Race Walker – Pap and Steak
Lebo’s quick to tell you what he thinks of diets – “they’re crazy” – and was on a high carb diet prior to the O-Games. Missing from his pre-competition diet was his favourite food and no doubt one he’ll be indulging in now – “Pap and steak”
“The only thing here [Switzerland, where he was training prior to this year’s O-games] is polenta and couscous and It’s not the same. It’s not the same as pap. It’s not white”
Mari Rabie, triathlete – Carrot Cake
During training Mari Rabie is all about clean eating, removing sugar and alcohol. “I try to eat balanced and fuel, refuel for training. Sugar is an absolute no-no as well as alcohol. You generally just feel better when you eat “clean” too”
Her favourite foods don’t stray far from that. It’s a salad and a good South African venison steak. But to indulge she loves a piece of carrot cake.
Chad Ho, Marathon Swimmer – Sushi
Chad Ho doesn’t follow a diet when training but rather tries to make sure he’s getting the nutrients he needs .
“My girlfriend and I live together & our general diet is fairly healthy. We always make sure we have a protein, carb & vegetables. She has a diploma in nutrition & is currently studying sports nutrition which is a bonus for me as she does keep a watchful eye over my diet without making me feel “forced” or “restricted” to certain foods.”
His weekly indulgence is sushi.
Wenda Nel, 400m hurdles – Pasta
Aside from being an athlete, Wenda is a Dietitian which means linking her nutrition with her sport is important to her. “I believe in a balanced diet, getting in all the different food groups and I do try and stick to my specific diet routine”.
Her favorite food is pasta “Pasta! Specifically my mom’s lasagne”
Henri Schoeman, Triathlete – Chocolate Brownies and Pizza
During training Henri tries to cut down on sugar and carbs but allows himself cheat meals on his rest days. Like Chad, his favorite food is sushi