Dawn Burrell shares tips and recipes for eating like an Olympian

Dawn Burrell shares tips and recipes for eating like an Olympian

Former Olympian-turned-chef — and a finalist on this season of “Top Chef” — Dawn Burrell is joining TODAY to teach us how to eat like an athlete. She shares her winning tips on what to eat while training and shows us how to make protein-packed smoothies, a versatile ginger salad dressing and spicy mango chutney.

Level-up your breakfast.

Here are three ingredients you want to incorporate in your breakfasts, whether you use them in smoothies, add them to your yogurt or top off toast.

  • Nuts: Macadamia, almonds and cashews serve as a great source of protein for an early morning practice. Pair with dates and bananas in a smoothie, toast and blend for a flavor-packed nut butter on toast or chop for a tasty nut crumble topping for yogurt.
  • Grains: Oats and fonio are awesome superfoods for much-needed fuel in both porridge and granola form.
  • Good fats: Avocado is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Throw sliced avocado on toast and top with almond chili crisp for a healthy on-the-go breakfast.

Step up your lunch salad.

  • Choose greens like collards or kale as your base. They’re nutrient-dense, filling and packed with great antioxidants.
  • Add seeds: They add an additional source of protein to the meal and provide healthy oils for the body.
  • Use a dressing that boasts as many health benefits as the salad itself. My ginger vinaigrette is one of my go-tos because the ginger provides a flavorful yet wholesome effect — giving an immunity boost, aiding in digestion and acting as an anti-inflammatory and anti-pain agent — a win-win when training.

Do dinner right.

An evening meal is a great opportunity to replenish your body. Focus on lean proteins and ingredients that promote digestion. A well-balanced meal that’s easily digestible will help your body create energy efficiently for peak training.

Power Smoothie

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

These smoothies are great anytime of the day. They make an awesome on-the-go breakfast as well as a great midday snack. I love smoothies so much because of their versatility — the ingredient possibilities are endless.

Ginger Dressing

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

This recipe is great because of its sheer versatility. I love to use it on chicken or fish and in warm grain or couscous salads as well. The sharp ginger and tart vinegar wake up the palate which makes any dish more exciting to eat.

Mango Kuchela (Chutney)

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Kuchela is a Trinidadian condiment by way of India. I first made this lovely sauce a few years ago and put it on a pan-seared white fish I prepared. I realized how many ways I could actually use this sauce when I used it as an ingredient for a glaze. Pureeing it with a little vinegar, honey and water makes a fantastic sauce to glaze chicken and pork.

If you like those healthy recipes, you should also try these:

Arugula, Roasted Bell Pepper and White Bean Salad

Carl Tremblay / America’s Test Kitchen

Vegan Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Joey Skladany