October 30, 2009

After yesterday’s brief introduction, we’re moving on to some more practical fitness/food stuff today. In honor of Garrett and his love for good, healthy food, we’re going to be showing off some of his tasty, easy and most importantly healthy food choices.

How does some chicken breast stuffed with spinach and Gorgonzola sound? Good enough for an Olympian or Popeye, it’s easier than it sounds and, when made with the right ingredients (like low-sodium salt) it might just be the healthiest thing you eat all week.

Not ready for a full-on cooking adventure?  Take the easy way out with one of Garrett’s easier recipes that’s got plenty of protein and calcium, with some carbs for that workout later in the day (right?). Yes, it’s cottage cheese, but it’s good (I promise) and good for you.

And if you’re craving for that touch of sweet, there are ways around it without ruining a day of healthy eating in one moment of weakness: our old friend, fruit. If munching on an apple or a bannana isn’t your thing (and it really should be), add a little flair.

Never tried grilled pineaple or peaches with cinnamon or brown sugar? Now is the time.

Now that you’re well fed, it’s time to hit the pool for some laps. Whether you’re ready to challenge Garrett in the 100 freestyle or just worying about floating, swimming is one of the absolute best things you can do for your body. The key is to know what you’re doing (if you don’t, ask), and know what you can handle.

Here is a great guide to workouts of all sorts and all levels. Just enter your experience level and go from there.

That wraps up our GWG experience. Keep an eye out for Garrett around campus or if you find yourself watching the Food Channel a few years from now. You can get all of his recipies and much more at his site.

Off to swim a few laps at the Rec Center.


Meeting Garrett Weber-Gale

October 29, 2009

It’s not too often you get to meet and talk to an Olympic gold medalist, especially one involved in a race as memorable as that 400 freestyle relay last summer. Add in that he is a food and fitness freak, and that we just happen to  blog about that, it seems too good to pass up. So here is a brief story of meeting GWG and his advice for the fitness/food enthusiasts.

First off, a big thank you to Melanie Hauser for setting up the interview, as me, Austin and few other Sports J students had Garrett to ourselves for more than an hour.  And of course, thanks to Garrett for being so gracious with his time. If everyone was so honest and open during interviews, our jobs would be a lot easier and a lot more rewarding.

For those who don’t quite know who I’m talking about, Weber-Gale was one of the four swimmers (including Michael Phelps) who took the gold in one of the greatest races ever swam, the 400 freestyle relay at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

Garrett’s two passions in life are pretty simple: swimming and eating, two things that when done correctly can turn anyone into an Olympic gold medalist. Not really. But you can improve your life with a few good changes to your lifestyle.

For GWG, that started with his diet. Early in his college days, he found out he had high blood pressure. A quest for healthy, delicious, low sodium food later, he’s now a budding chef who has studied under some cooking masters and makes food almost a big a part of his daily life as swimming.

Which brings us to the basic formula: eat healthy and exercise. And whenever possible, seek council from those who know.

“Seek the advice from the experts,” Weber-Gale said. Going to a nutritionist helped him realize how much protein he needed to keep or build muscle mass. “People don’t realize how protein they need. Eating healthy is all about little choices.”

As for the exercise, good luck trying to keep up. After an extended break following a disappointing World Championships outing in Roma, Garrett is back in the pool around 30 hours a week, with some time in the weight room for good measure.

We’ll have more tomorrow on Mr. Weber-Gale, including some healthy eating recipes, and maybe some water workouts, so stay tuned. Until then, get your GWG fix at his blog.