Race car driver Danica Patrick credits her success on the track to her busy and healthy lifestyle off the track. Whether it’s practicing yoga or eating nutritious meals with vegetables, the 34-year-old IndyCar Series winner knows that fueling her body is like fueling a high-performance vehicle.
As a result, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pro has many exercise and healthy eating secrets to share. Here are some tips from Danica Patrick:
- Eating healthy begins with balance: Patrick’s menu includes a balanced combination of protein, fat, carbohydrates, and nutrient-dense foods.
- Three nutritious meals daily are key: Patrick prides herself on eating healthy all day. For instance, breakfast may include a chia pudding, lunch is a salad with a protein source such as chicken, and dinner focuses on vegetables with zucchini or squash.
- Eating healthy is about preparation and pairings: She focuses the best way to prepare food, for instance, roasting squash to get it golden brown, not mushy.
- Season your food right: Patrick believes that food tastes even better with the right seasonings. She also believes in eating local food that’s in season.
- Greens and grains are essential: Patrick’s go-to ingredients are greens such as kale or spinach, and grains such as granola.
- Exercise is important: When she only has 30 minutes to work out, her go-to exercises include jump squats, burpees, and interval sprinting.
- Fuel properly before and after workout: Patrick eats fruit before her workout, and has a protein shake afterward.
- Yoga is great, but not the most beneficial: She loves yoga, but thinks that there are better exercises you can do if you only have 30 minutes. She does yoga for flexibility, not fitness, and thinks it’s great for slowing down and focusing on breathing.
- Exercise and eating healthy is about feeling good: Exercise and diet are more than just about appearance for Danica Patrick, saying that eating healthy has definitely helped with her daily energy levels. Eating better combined with regular exercise means she’s no longer tired in the middle of the day.
What Do Nutritious Meals Look Like For Danica Patrick?
- Day 1: Breakfast includes oatmeal with hemp, chia seeds, cinnamon, blueberries, granola, almond butter, and a protein powder. She also has two eggs with cherry tomatoes and spinach. Lunch is grilled zucchini and squash with salmon. Snacks include a rice cake with almond butter, and a green smoothie with apple, kale, spinach, and banana. Dinner is a chicken salad with kale and butternut squash.
- Day 2: Oatmeal again for breakfast, but some new ingredients including blackberries, raspberries, and sliced almonds. She may also have a half a banana with a handful of almonds. Lunch includes a grilled chicken salad with kale, spinach, cucumbers, avocado, and cherry tomatoes, along with a bowl of mixed berries with cinnamon, groats, and chia seeds. Snacks include hummus and tortilla chips, and some almonds, tangerines, and chicken. Dinner is a slice of gluten-free pizza, and a chicken salad with kale, grapefruit, and avocado.
- Day 3: For breakfast, two eggs with tomatoes and spinach, along with oatmeal. Lunch is chicken thighs, brown rice, carrots, and green beans. Snacks may include oatmeal, a fig bar, and rice cakes. Dinner may be something different such as a waffle with banana and peanut butter.
Danica Patrick loves eating healthy with tons of vegetables. Yoga is also a big part of her overall fitness routine. For Patrick, life is not a race, it’s about balance, and combining regular exercise with healthy eating. That’s how athletes like Patrick come out on top.
Sources for Today’s Article:
Silvers, A., “Danica Patrick’s 9 Fitness and Food Tips for Becoming a Healthier You,” Elite Daily, April 12, 2016; http://elitedaily.com/sports/fitness-food-yoga-danica-patrick/1452457/, last accessed June 24, 2016.
Mandell, N., “How to Eat like a NASCAR Driver, According to Danica Patrick,” For the Win web site, December 4, 2015; http://ftw.usatoday.com/2015/12/how-to-eat-like-a-nascar-driver-according-to-danica-patrick; last accessed June 24, 2016.