At just 18 years old, gymnast Laurie Hernandez has already earned quite the impressive resume. She's a New York Times bestselling author, she won Season 23 of Dancing with the Stars, and she's the newest co-host of American Ninja Warrior Junior — oh, and she also won gold and silver medals while on the U.S. gymnastics team at the 2016 Summer Olympics.
So, what exactly does a gold medalist eat while balancing Olympic training with a whole lot of other hustles? Laurie recently spoke to The Feast about what diets she follows to prepare for both her Olympic training and her new gig at ANWJ... and they're surprisingly similar!
"During training it’s really just making sure that you’re eating clean and that you’re eating enough," she said. "We burn so many calories training every single day and it’s making sure that you have the proper complex carbs or proteins that you need throughout the day but I’ve never been extremely strict on what I’m eating, it’s really just making sure that what I’m eating is clean and good for my body."
As it turns out, eating "clean" isn't as hard as it may seem. Laurie went on to break down exactly what she eats in a day: "For breakfast typically it’s some sort of scrambled eggs... a lot of times I like to add cheese or, like, a turkey slice in there," she said. "And then for lunch it’s something typically kind of light. Maybe it might be like salad with grilled chicken or just a lot of protein in there, somehow. And a snack, which I had yesterday, could be like, I have these little rice cake crackers and I cut a banana and put peanut butter on it. And then for dinner, typically, I’ll have some sort of main protein, chicken, fish, and a side of vegetables and complex carbs, so like brown rice, quinoa, anything of that type."
Of course, she can't go a day without caffeine, either. "I have to have coffee, because I run off coffee," she spilled. "I’ve tried to wean off of it for training, but it’s really good." (SAME.)
But despite her dedication to maintaining a balanced diet, Laurie is still human, after all, and her fast food cravings are all too relatable. "I guess I’m kind of a burger gal but I don’t have them often, just because of training. But I think your standard burger and fries has to be one of them... If it’s a burger, as long as it’s good... that’s all that matters."
Ultimately, she's all about eating what feels right for your own body. "I think it’s making sure that you’re doing something that works for you and something that can be seen as a lifestyle rather than just a diet... at the end of the day getting moving and exercising, finding a workout that you really like but also making sure that what you’re eating is a lifestyle and it’s good for your body and it’s making sure that you take care of it," she said.
To see more of Laurie, tune in to American Ninja Warrior Junior on Saturdays at 7/6c on Universal Kids. And to watch her tackle the ANWJ course herself (including the 13-foot wall!), press play on the clip above.
—Reporting by Chantel Morel
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