Alyssa Vassallo is the definition of dedicated. A talented runner, she balances full-time med school with 12 to 14 hours per week of training. Her demanding schedule makes it imperative that the food she eats provides the maximum amount of energy possible. Alyssa leverages her background in Exercise and Sport Science to get the biggest nutrition bang-for-her-buck from each meal.
Redd HQ connected with Alyssa to learn what a typical meal plan looks like for her. No matter your fitness level, eat like an athlete for a day and get the most out of every minute or mile.
7AM Breakfast (1.5 hours pre-workout):
Oatmeal with Peanut Butter and Banana
Steel cut oats are the best oats. Swapping them for quick oats will short-change your nutrition and fitness goals.
10:30AM Snack (~20 min post-workout):
Protein is necessary post-workout to stimulate muscle protein synthesis. Redd bars also contain 19 vitamins + minerals, necessary micronutrients that support key body functions.
- Cooked Spinach & Peppers
Clean Eating Mag has a fun take on this combo, with Chicken & Quinoa Stuffed Peppers.
- Black rice
(Never heard of black rice? Here’s a balanced review)
Greek Yogurt topped with:
- Chocolate Redd bar
Mid-day mini-meals are crucial for preventing energy slumps. Complex carbs and protein complement the Yerba mate and maca to give an energy boost that is sustained for hours.
- Baked Sweet Potato
- Oven-roasted Brussel Sprouts
- Tempeh – because it’s more flavorful than tofu
- Teff – a recent staple of the western running community
- Butternut Squash
Apple and Salted Caramel Redd bar
Main take-a-ways: High level athletes eat a wide variety of whole foods. Correct timing of complex carbohydrates, protein, and unsaturated fats ensure that each workout has the highest possible effect.
Alyssa completed her undergrad studies in May of 2015 at University of North Carolina (UNC), where she was a two-time NIRCA All-American. She placed 4th at the 2013 NIRCA XC Nationals. The following year, she won the Southeast Region Championship and placed 5th at Nationals. In 2014, she was voted the GSTC Best Elite Cross Country Performance of the Year at the USATF Club Cross Country Championship and held a 5K personal best of 17:16.
Last year, she joined the Saucony Hurricane Team and Garden State Track Club. She is shifting her focus to the marathon and hoping to qualify for the 2020 US Olympic Trials. Alyssa chatted with us in March about balancing a hectic schedule, identity outside of athletics, and the runner’s high.