World Food Day: Vittozzi – Eating like a Champ
October 16th is the World Food Day and for this occasion we travelled (virtually) to one of the world’s most renowned countries when it comes to cuisine: Italy. Lisa Vittozzi, whom most know for her sniper shooting and tenacious skiing, is also a very talented chief and like all professional athletes knows what she needs when it comes to food. For biathletes, indeed, nutrition is one of the key moments in their daily lives and finding a balance between following a diet and allowing room for comfort food is as important as the long hours of training sessions.
“I believe that nutrition is fundamental for an athlete because it is the basis to have energy for your trainings,” explained the 25 years old: “To know what to eat is just as important following a session as it is beforehand. For us biathletes, it is key to know how much calories you need, since being at your target-weight is a great starting point for a news season.”
Following an healthy and balanced diet is clearly essential, but one should not make this an obsession or even worse. Vittozzi believes that allowing yourself some little “cheating” every now and then is the best way to keep it all within normality.
“In order not to make it an obsession, you need to find your own balance and eat the things that make you feel well. For example, if you have some issues with your stomach, eating in a certain way will help you feel better and therefore it is not hard to follow such diet. Thus said, it does not have to become a fixation and you should always allow yourself some ‘cheatings’ so that it’s easier to keep in line with it without being too hard on your mind,” she told us.
“I don’t think there’s anything I really gave up when I became an athlete. Obviously, anything deep-fried is to be limited as much as possible, since it is very fat. But overall, I do not think there’s anything I gave up, it’s just about minding what you eat overall, nothing extreme.”
So what are those comfort food she allows herself every now and then?
“The ‘out-of-diet’ cheating I allow myself consists of chocolate and some desserts, but always within reason! I am not so bad at cooking, especially first courses: pasta, gnocchi, risotto… but what really helps me relax is baking”, she revealed with the promise to share a slice with us.
Life on the world cup tour is not so easy when it comes to following a certain diet and surely is not made for relaxing while baking. Vittozzi knows about that, but she admits this is not quite a problem within the Italian team:
“To follow a diet during the season is never easy, since we go through so many travel days and changes of venues, but us Italians are lucky because we travel with our own chief. This way, he can always prepare what we need at all times.”
Photo Credits: Header, Petr Slavik
Other photos, courtesy of Lisa Vittozzi, including the following example of her baking skills