One way to eat like a champion is to adopt the healthy diet of a champion. Anthony “Fam” Famiglietti, originally from New York, is a world champion steeplechase runner from Knoxville, Tennessee. In a recent seminar held at the Bearden Earth Fare supermarket in Knoxville, Tennessee, Fam spoke about the importance of eating whole foods. His two main topics dealt with energy and recovery.
Fam says that energy is usually depleted in the presence of free radicals. One way to eliminate free radicals from the body is to refrain from eating foods with high levels of sugar and processed foods. High-sugar foods and beverages give the body a quick boost, but then cause fatigue. This causes the athlete to “hit the wall”, or lose precious energy needed for that quick burst of speed. One food that helps Fam sustain his energy levels and fuels his body with stable energy is quinoa (kee-nou). Quinoa is a type of seed that is grown primarily in South America. Another favorite fuel food that Fam consumes is real peanut butter-whole peanuts that are simply crushed with no sugar or salt added. He avoids processed white and wheat breads.
The other topic, recovery, is very important to the athlete’s health. Without proper recovery, the immune system shuts down and problems arise, such as illness, injury, and depression. Some foods that Anthony Famiglietti likes for recovery are dark fruits. Dark fruits, such as cherries, blueberries, grapes, plums, and acai (a-sah-ee) berries, are high in antioxidants. Antioxidants reduce swelling and inflammation, which relieves problems such as tendinitis and arthritis. Fam also drinks green tea for the purpose of fighting free radicals in the body. For hydration, water is a must for all athletes.
Look for Olympic champion Anthony Famiglietti at the half marathon next month on the Knoxville Track Club's website. For details on the half marathon and other events, see the Events page on the Knoxville Track Club's website.