Living with an Olympian
By Guest Blogger, Sonnie Boudia, RD, Wife of David Boudia, Olympic Gold Medalist!
Thank you to The Produce Mom for inviting me to be a guest blogger! I hope some of my experience in nutrition and being married to an Olympic athlete can provide some guidance or motivation for anyone struggling to get their kids to eat more fruits and veggies, or even just eating more fruits and veggies themselves! Here are my answers to The Produce Mom’s questions!
When did David start diving?
David started diving at the age of eleven after one of his friends won free diving lessons and David tagged along. He had previously done gymnastics, but had gotten burnt out on that!
How important is nutrition in David’s day-to-day life?
Nutrition is very important in the world of Diving. Many people often confuse Diving with Swimming and assume David needs to eat the large amount of calories that swimmers do. In all reality, the amount of time he spends physically jumping on one dive is very short.
However, divers do require more calories than the normal person because they lift weights and have a couple of practices a day. When David is in “all out” training, he cuts back on portions and incorporates healthy proteins, fruits, veggies, etc. He is very disciplined when he needs to be.
Did David like to eat fruits and veggies as a child?
It was more of a chore. He would eat fruits, but not vegetables. His favorite meal as a child would probably have been pizza. Now he is definitely very flexible and open-minded about vegetables. However, his favorite meal is still probably pizza or beef stroganoff! Luckily, we’ve found ways to make these dishes lighter and more packed with nutrients during his training time.
What’s your favorite thing about living with an Olympian?
Considering that I am a dietitian…I LOVE the fact that eating healthy and staying active is important to him! It makes cooking dinner and buying groceries easy and fun for me. He isn’t picky and trusts what I make because he values a healthy lifestyle. I get to try new things as well as not have to make two different meals for each of us. He will eat almost any fruit or vegetable I put in front of him!
What’s the hardest part about living with an Olympian?
The travel time is bittersweet. We’ve been able to see some amazing places because of his career in diving. I am so thankful this, but he is also gone a lot in mid-season. I know this will be more of a challenge as our family grows, but so far we are thankful for the memories we have made traveling.
Do you have any advice for parents trying to get their kids to eat more fruits and veggies?
I would tell them to “keep trying.” Many kids become more open-minded as they get older. Also, try incorporating finely diced vegetables into pastas, casseroles, omelets etc., where it may not be so obvious to them. Then, very carefully, reveal to them later that they may actually not mind the fruit or vegetable added. Also, consider having them help you prepare food in creative ways. They may be more willing to eat what they help prepare!
Lastly, You are the mama and that means you are helping them understand what is good for them. Make what you decide to make and don’t offer alternatives like fast food. That’s true love. Tough love. 🙂 Teach them to love and value good food.
Besides nutrition, what other lifestyle factors have been critical to David’s success?
David is very active and enjoys sports. He is extremely disciplined and will do yoga or Pilates on the side to stay flexible and strong in the core. If he isn’t already exhausted from his weights or practices, he will play pick-up basketball, soccer or volleyball.
Besides being active, David does a superb job of staying hydrated, stretching and getting excellent sleep. Being married to an Olympic athlete includes going to bed early. This was quite the adjustment for me being pretty fresh out of college! After laying in bed, staring at the ceiling for an hour or two the first few weeks, I quickly got the hang of it and started feeling the wonderful effects of a good night’s sleep! Then I quit asking him “Are you serious? We’re going to bed this early??” 🙂
A huge thank you to Sonnie Boudia for taking the time to be our very first guest blogger! I love the insights she brings and appreciate the thought she put into answering these questions!