As a competitive swimmer, Janet Evans knows a thing or two about staying in top shape. The distance freestyler won gold medals at both the 1988 and the 1992 Olympics. After the 1996 Olympics, Janet Evans decided to retire. But like many who have reached the pinnacle of their profession, Evans found it difficult to stay in retirement. After a 15-year hiatus and as she was approaching her fourth decade, Janet Evans kicked off a 10-month training spree in hopes of qualifying for the 2012 London Olympic Games. Her coach noted that despite her long break and her age, Janet Evans’ physical condition was exceptional. Although Evans ultimately failed to qualify during the Olympic trials, she didn’t use that disappointment as an excuse to sit on the couch and eat junk food. When she emerged from the pool after the qualifying heats, Janet Evans said, “I can’t wait to go take a yoga class.”*
Despite the disappointment of not qualifying for the 2012 Olympic Games, Janet Evans still maintains a positive spirit, noting that she is proud of herself for having the guts to try it after such a long break. To fuel her attempted comeback, Janet Evans filled her diet with lean protein and plenty of veggies. She is also mindful to get enough fiber in her diet, as she has a family history of heart disease. Janet works with a registered dietitian.
Evans will typically eat a banana in the morning, followed by a workout. After training, she’ll usually eat one egg white cooked in a little olive oil, along with a fiber supplement in a glass of water. Her midmorning snack features fresh fruit. For lunch, Evans usually fills a bowl with salad greens, tops it with a black bean veggie burger, and then adds other assorted veggies. Instead of using salad dressing, Janet adds a small slice of avocado for flavor and healthy monounsaturated fats. If she gets hungry in the afternoons, she reaches for Greek yogurt with added fresh blueberries. Janet’s dinner typically features grilled chicken fajitas with lots of fresh veggies, like mushrooms and zucchini.
Janet Evans maintains a generally well-balanced diet with plenty of fresh produce. The only glaring omission seems to be that her breakfast is quite tiny for an athlete who burns so many calories, but at least she doesn’t skip it entirely. She also makes up for it by eating small, healthy snacks throughout the day to maintain her energy levels. However, this diet could also use some whole grains to help support heart health.
When Janet Evans decided to emerge from retirement, she maintained a grueling workout schedule. She left her home for the pool before 5 a.m. every morning to swim 8,500 yards in less than two hours. Janet preferred to stagger her laps in a “ladder” fashion. She’d aim for a certain distance within a certain time, then move on to the next distance. After her time in the pool, Janet did a dry land workout for strength training. She did squats with a BOSU ball and some core strength training work.
Janet Evans Sample Daily Diet Plan
- Snack: Banana
- Breakfast: Egg white
- Snack: Fruit
- Lunch: Salad & veggie burger
- Snack: Greek yogurt
- Dinner: Chicken fajitas