When world-champion figure skater Ashley Wagner first moved to California six years ago, her go-to meal was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Not exactly what first comes to mind when you think of a meal fit for an Olympic-level athlete. But paying for coaches, ice time, and rent out of pocket was no easy feat.
So Ashley learned to value simple foods that guaranteed a burst of energy for her gruelling training sessions—three to four hours on the ice and two hours in the gym doing cardio or resistance a day, to be exact. “Right off the bat, I felt like I really needed to be efficient with my nutrition,” Ashley tells Women’s Health. “I learned to enjoy the basics like grilled chicken breast, wild rice, and veggies. That’s a well-balanced meal that can fuel me throughout the day.”
Now, the 26-year-old figure skater has a World Silver Medal, Olympic Bronze Medal, and five Grand Prix medals under her belt, along with two back-to-back U.S. Championship wins—and the luxury of choice and variety when it comes to her meals.