Mikaela Shiffrin has been hailed as the best slalom skier in the world.
The 22-year-old is expected to dominate at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, where she will be defending her slalom crown from the Sochi Games.
Shiffrin, who has notched 40 World Cup wins in her career, fuels on 3,000 calories a day as part of her training for competition. The downhill prodigy makes carbohydrates a part of every meal, though Shiffrin credits “balance and moderation” as the foundation of her diet.
“I feel like I have the metabolism of a pregnant woman,” Shiffrin told Clean Eating magazine in 2015. “I have to watch what I eat. It’s important.”
On a typical day, Shiffrin starts the morning with two eggs and two pieces of whole wheat toast. She might add cereal or oatmeal and fruit for an extra kick of energy.
Lunch consists of lean protein, like chicken or fish, leafy greens, and a serving of carbs. Some of her go-to recipes include a farfalle pasta dish topped with edamame and pecorino cheese and apesto spaghetti made with basil leaves and spring peas and served with cherry tomatoes.
Shiffrin likes to nibble on nuts, seeds, and dried mangoes when she’s on the slopes.
Carbs are on the menu for dinner, as well. A bowl of pasta topped with chicken or steak and served with a salad or steamed vegetables round out the day for the Olympian.
Research shows that eating too many highly processed carbs may contribute to weight gain, promote diabetes and heart disease, and cause a hormonal response that makes you crave more sugary foods. High-carb diets have even been associated with a 28% increased risk of death.
But Shiffrin isn’t ashamed to admit her love of pasta and other carbs.
“They’re essential in providing the energy I need, especially on race days that can last 12 hours,” Shiffrin told Good Housekeeping in January. Shiffrin calls pasta her “superfood.”
During the off season, Shiffrin trims back her carb consumption. She fills up on more salads and her favorite vegetables— tomatoes, celery, and peppers.
Still, she won’t deprive herself the indulgence of Thai food take-out or chicken parmesan.
“Everything in moderation. I’m not afraid of carbs,” Shiffrin told Clean Eating.