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We’re thrilled to partner with you, especially as you are a Juice Plus+ baby. Tell us about your history with the Juice Plus+ community.
I’m excited too! I started Juice Plus+ seventeen years ago, when I was ten years old. As my older sister and I began taking our swimming more seriously in junior and senior high school, our mother wanted to make sure that our nutrition was not holding us back. She became a rep right away and got our whole family on Juice Plus+. My sister and I have become reps in the last year.
Have you always been conscious of the need for a good diet and how it supports your performance goals?
I did not always understand the importance of proper nutrition. Through the guidance of my mother, as well as firsthand experience training as an athlete, I’ve learned how my diet affects both my physical and mental performance. I’ve also learned how my nutritional needs have changed as I’ve grown into adulthood, and as my athletic ability has grown.
Please share with us the details of your diet, both while in training and competition modes. We imagine it requires a lot of discipline and prep!
At peak training volume I consume anywhere between 5,500 and 7,000 calories per day. Can you imagine what putting 7,000 calories of junk food into your body every day would do to you? I eat five perfectly portioned meals every day. Not at any time do I stuff myself while eating. That could prevent me from eating enough at the next meal. Eating too much and eating too little both have catastrophic consequences at practice time.
At a competition I eat considerably less since I’m not grinding through long endurance practices. I still eat four to five meals per day that very much resemble my training meals, just smaller in size.
When I take my Juice Plus+ also changes between training and competition. While training I take my Juice Plus+ before a meal, whereas at competitions I take it right after I race for maximum absorption.
One of my favorite moments at meets is when I take my Juice Plus+ right on the pool deck, dripping wet in front of all the curious eyes watching me. In a moment where many athletes might try to hide their use of supplements for the sake of avoiding skepticism of performance-enhancing drugs, I welcome the inquiries. I have all the confidence in the world in the ingredients in Juice Plus+ and the quality of the product with the NSF Certification.
I take my Juice Plus+ with me to every meet, domestic or international. In fact, at a meet in June 2018 I forgot to pack enough, so I had my sister overnight me enough to finish off the competition. My Juice Plus+ is a training and racing essential.
Tell us about your Juice Plus+ routine. Are there any tricks you use to ensure that you remember to take your Juice Plus+ every day?
During training I aim to take my Juice Plus+ with my second and fourth meal of the day. During competitions I take it directly after my preliminary heats and my finals heats. I keep it square in the middle of the kitchen counter so I won’t forget to take it. And to be doubly sure, after I take my morning dose I flip the bottle over until I take my afternoon dose. That way I can’t go to bed with an upside-down JP+ bottle.
What advice would you give to an aspiring athlete?
My best advice for the up-and-coming athlete would be to bet on yourself. There are many points in life, especially in athletics, where you will doubt yourself. The only way you can be successful is to be your own biggest believer.
As far as nutrition goes, quite often I get asked, “What do you eat before you race? What about the night before?” That question makes me laugh, because they’re always looking for a super food or a “magic” remedy to give them an edge. My answer is simple, “I eat exactly the same thing at a meet as I do while I’m training.” Why would you only eat healthily at a meet? The day-in, day-out training is where you get better. Also, why would you want to change your diet at a critical time of the season? I give myself the best chance possible to succeed by fueling my body with the right foods every single day, training or racing.
What are your goals for 2019 and beyond?
My goals for the remainder of this Olympic quadrennial are short but grand. I want to win a medal at the 2019 World Championships, make the 2020 Olympic Team, and break as many American Records along the way as possible.
One thing that will help me get there is setting short term goals. When I missed the Olympic Team in 2016 (and decided to continue swimming) I had to set a goal I could achieve quickly. If I only set my sights on the 2020 team four years down the road, I would burnout waiting and waiting for any type of return on my investment into this sport. I needed something small that wasn’t too far away. One month after the 2016 Olympic trials, I went to the US Open championship. I won three events and set a new meet record in one of them. After that I told myself, “one season at a time”.