A day at the table with Gwen

Ever wonder what a triathlete eats in a day? Well, below is a one-day food diary for Patrick (my fiancé) and me (all measurements are estimates, as we do not measure food). Every triathlete and person is different, and every day for me is different. Below is a day in the ‘food life’ of me from a random Tuesday a few weeks back. This does not include what I drink in a day (lots of water-maybe 3 liters, a sip of Patrick’s coffee, sparkling water, and usually a Silver Edition Red Bull if I have a bike ride). It also does not include treats. I have dark chocolate after every meal (yes, even breakfast). If you see something you like, I encourage you to make it tonight!


Breakfast: Oats with Eggs

I absolutely love this breakfast and never get sick of it! I would say I eat a variation of Oats with Eggs at least six days a week. It is also usually my race morning meal.  


2 cups oats

Handful of walnuts

4 cups water or milk

1 tsp salt

Handful of raisins

2 bananas

2 Tbs coconut oil

4 eggs

Dash of vinegar

Boiling water


  1. Soak the oats and raisins overnight in water or milk (soaking the oats gives them a creamy, delicious texture and makes them easier to digest)

  2. In the morning, slice two bananas and add the bananas and a pinch of salt to the oats with extra water or milk, if necessary

  3. Slowly heat the oats on the stovetop

  4. While the oats are cooking, boil a pot of water with a dash of vinegar to poach your eggs. When the water boils, crack four eggs into the water and cook for 3-5 minutes (depending on how you like your eggs cooked)

  5. Once the oats are cooked and warm, stir in 1-2 Tablespoons of coconut oil, walnuts, and any other mixings you enjoy (some of our other favorite mix-ins: yogurt, berries, dried fruit, nuts, peanut butter)

  6. Top the oats with the poached eggs and enjoy

My sister says "This looks disgusting!" However, I don't think you will be disappointed if you try it!

My sister says "This looks disgusting!" However, I don't think you will be disappointed if you try it!

Lunch: Lamb Beef Curry

I usually come home from the pool and lunch is sitting on the table ready for me to eat (thank you, Patrick!). Lunch is almost always rice-based (Mexican casserole, chicken pesto rice, moussaka with rice, rice/veggies/meat and some sort of sauce). Curry is also a staple and one of my favorites.


2 cups rice

1 pepper

80g mushrooms  

1 large onion

2 large carrots

1 small head of broccoli

80g frozen peas

500g lamb mince

Coconut oil

3-4 cloves garlic

1 Tbs fish sauce

1 heaping Tbs curry powder

1 can coconut cream

2 tsp grated fresh ginger


  1. Cook vegetables (except peas) in coconut oil in a frying pan

  2. Start cooking the rice in a rice cooker or on the stovetop (we use a rice cooker)

  3. Add coconut cream, peas, and spices to the vegetables. The longer you let this cook, the more flavorful this dish will be – patience is a virtue (good thing I don’t normally cook this dish!)

  4. Cook meat in a separate pan with oil.  When the meat is cooked, add to the vegetables

  5. Combine ingredients and enjoy. For a different flavor of curry, add lemongrass to the dish



This lunch (and a piece of chocolate) satisfies me; however, I usually need a snack before the afternoon workout. Today my snack was rice cakes with peanut butter, yogurt, and raisins. 

Rice cake bar: Peanut butter, Greek yogurt, jam, honey.

Rice cake bar: Peanut butter, Greek yogurt, jam, honey.

I did not eat this on this day, however this is a typical snack for me (below is an enlarged photo). Photo was taking by Patrick, who came home and caught me snacking on the couch.

I did not eat this on this day, however this is a typical snack for me (below is an enlarged photo). Photo was taking by Patrick, who came home and caught me snacking on the couch.

Up close photo of a snack I sometimes have.

Up close photo of a snack I sometimes have.

After my afternoon workout, I ate muesli for a protein-packed snack.  Fellow Wollongong Wizard Charlotte McShane shared with me her tip for delicious muesli: Use orange juice instead of milk to hydrate the oats. It adds a sweetness without having to add sugar or other sweeteners. 

Snack: Muesli

One of the things I love about the muesli I make is that every batch is different (and delicious!). I always have a batch in the fridge. It’s perfect when I come home after a session or as a snack before bed.   


1 cup oats

Dried fruit (raisins, dates, dried apricots, prunes, dried unsweetened mango, etc.)

2 cups juice (I use orange)

Chopped nuts (macadamia, walnuts, almonds, etc.)

1 to 2 cups yogurt

Fruit (bananas, grapes, peaches, fresh berries, or whatever you have on hand)

Peanut butter


  1. Pour oats into a large storage container

  2. Fill the container with juice so there is about double the amount of juice to oats

  3. Add a little yogurt, and a lot of dried fruit, fresh fruit, and nuts

  4. Let the mixture sit at least overnight before scooping into a bowl with extra yogurt, peanut butter and some honey if you need more sweetener (I find the honey is not necessary when using orange juice)

My sister says this also looks disgusting, but it is delicious! I was actually just in Auckland with Team USA and Joe Maloy asked Patrick and me "Have you ever heard of this Bircher Muesli?? It's amazing!"

My sister says this also looks disgusting, but it is delicious! I was actually just in Auckland with Team USA and Joe Maloy asked Patrick and me "Have you ever heard of this Bircher Muesli?? It's amazing!"

For dinner, we usually have some sort of potato dish – I love when we have mashed sweet potatoes; however, tonight we had a typical Patrick one-pot dish.

Dinner: Salad without Lettuce

When we make a salad, the ingredients always change, but feta, meat, potato and veggies are always used.


1 large or 2 medium sweet potatoes

1 pint cherry tomatoes

1 large red onion

1 large cucumber

4 big stalks celery

1 pepper

1 avocado

Coconut oil

Brussels sprout

2 chicken breasts

Olive oil

Balsamic vinegar

200g feta cheese  


  1. Chop vegetables

  2. Fry sweet potato, brussels sprout, chicken, and onion in coconut oil

  3. When cooked, combine chopped fresh vegetables with cooked vegetables, feta cheese, and chicken. Add a generous amount of balsamic vinegar and good quality extra virgin olive oil

Salad for dinner.

Salad for dinner.

Tonight’s dinner was finished with a special treat Patrick brought home (see picture below).  Before bed I had a bit of muesli and a sip of Patrick’s beer. 

Two desserts from a local Mediterranean restaurant

Two desserts from a local Mediterranean restaurant

And that concludes one day at the table with me. Hope you enjoyed!


It's Not Every Four Years, It's Every day

It’s Not Every Four Years, It’s Every Day

-USOC Moto

Watching the 2014 Winter Olympics has a new meaning for me after competing in the 2012 London Games. I have a new respect, outlook, and appreciation for the athletes. In order to be successful, athletes must not only be excellent once every four years, but also excellent every day for four years. Athletes make daily investments with the focus on a one day event sometimes four years away. These athletes train for years for one event, and many of the competitions or races finish in less than a minute. The training in cold, wet, miserable conditions when your body can barely get out of bed, time spent away from home, missing holidays and valuable time with close friends and family is all invested for a single event that happens once every four years. Every athlete has come to the Games as prepared as they can be and ready to thank their support groups through performance.

Watching the Olympics with my new outlook has caused me to relate to and feel for every athlete: the one who succeeds, and the one who makes a millisecond mistake that costs him or her the race. I have a new appreciation for the profile stories about the athletes. I love learning about who the person is behind the ‘athlete.’ But I also understand the time and energy athletes put into interviews. Interviews are one way for athletes to communication with the public however, if an athlete is in a spotlight, numerous interviews may be requested. Phone interviews can take five to sixty minutes, email interviews can take an hour, and TV or filmed interviews can take eight hours. Often an athlete is asked the same question they have been asked in other interviews, but must respond like it’s the first time they’ve been asked. It’s not always easy, but it’s one small way athletes can give back to the public.

I am thankful for triathlon after watching some of the Winter Olympic sports. I’m thankful I don’t have to wait for a score after I compete; instead, I cross the finish line and know where I stand. I would be anxious waiting for someone else to judge my race. I also love triathlon as I have three different disciplines, and you never know what may happen. Each race is different, and each athlete has to be prepared for any race situation.

My coach, Jamie Turner, is helping to prepare me for any triathlon situation: we must be strong enough in the water to swim in the front pack, responsive to spikes in power on the bike in case a domestique or strong rider starts to control the race, and able to run faster than anyone else once off the bike. Every day of training is a challenge and an education. This year is easier than last year in the sense that nothing is new. But this doesn’t mean the daily grind gets any easier.

At this time of the year, many triathletes are in a building and base phase of training. Every day our bodies and minds are tested under fatigue. When struggling, I look to the USOC motto (It’s Not Every Four Years, It’s Every Day) to gain composure and focus on creating excellence in everything I do. I know when the big race comes practicing under fatigue and pressure will have been good preparation.

While watching the Olympics I became eager to race. Thankfully my first race of the season is fast approaching. I will race the World Cup Triathlon in Mooloolaba, Australia on March 15th.

Flashback to London Olympics. Spending time with my family.
Flashback to London Olympics. Spending time with my family.
Flashback to 2012 Olympics
Flashback to 2012 Olympics
Flashback to 2012 Olympics with Evelyn
Flashback to 2012 Olympics with Evelyn

Jan 2014 Update

On January 2nd, I nervously arrived in Sydney, Australia. I shouldn’t have been nervous because I had Patrick by my side; however, I was out of shape after taking full advantage of the off-season. As we headed to Falls Creek, Australia, I had no idea what kind of shape my training partners would be in and I didn’t know what Jamie Turner had in store for us. After a few days, my nerves were eased. We were running easy (at a 5:30km pace) in the morning, having technique focused swims and a few rides down the mountain. There are a few new faces in the Jamie Turner/Wollongong Wizards group. Falls Creek is a perfect place to get to know everyone. We live together in a big ski cabin (we have two houses and each house holds 12 people). I love being able to go to the third floor (where the kitchen/living area is) to have family meals with the other Wizards. Four times a week we go down the mountain to Mount Beauty where we swim outside. My favorite part of Mount Beauty is the Butcher. They have the best meat – I (or, maybe Patrick) now know how to cook a rack of lamb to perfection. Patrick and I talk about and look forward to the Mount Beauty Butcher all year. When we walk in the door of the butcher, we never know what we will buy; but we always know we will have a warm welcome.

Getting back into shape wasn’t something to be nervous about, but it was a bit exhausting. I was sleeping nine to eleven hours a night and taking mini naps during the day as my body adapted. It felt great to get some solid base training in and to get back into a routine.

On January 24th we left Falls Creek and headed back to Wollongong where we will be based until Yokohama WTS (on May 19). From Yokohama, we will travel to our (third) home, in Vitoria (Basque region of Spain) where we will be until the WTS final in Edmonton (on September 2).

Last year, everything was new and I had to adapt to new training and living situations. This year, having familiarity and normalcy allows me to enjoy and maximize my training that much more.

This year, I plan to do an early season World Cup in Australia and then complete the WTS series. The schedule can be found at: www.triathlon.org I have a few goals this year. I want to  Become stronger in the swim and on the bike; Focus on the processes of each discipline during each race with the end goal of winning the WTS Series Overall; Better adapt to change; and Have a stress-free, fun wedding after the WTS Final

Thank you for taking time to read my updates. I’m excited for this year and the road to Rio.

Swimming in Falls Creek
Swimming in Falls Creek
Dinner in Falls Creek
Dinner in Falls Creek