We interviewed, Danica Patrick, NASCAR's most health-forward driver, and asked her the hard questions. You know, what food couldn't you do without, what's your ideal cheat meal—that old chestnut. The results? Well, if you're hoping to catch a glimpse of Danica outside the track on a race weekend, your best bet might just be Waffle House...
One Food Danica Can't Do Without: "If I had to pick one simple ingredient that I think you could eat, one thing that would be delicious, satisfying and filling... I feel like if you had a sweet potato, you'd be good to go. It tastes really good, it's kind of sweet, it's super healthy, and all you need is a microwave. I think if you had a sweet potato, you wouldn't die."
Sweet Potato Inspiration. They're sweet, they're savory, and oh-so versatile. Take a page from Danica's book and try incorporating some of these recipes into your recipe wheelhouse.
Danica's Ideal Cheat Meal: "I don't ever have a purposefully set cheat meal. If I'm going to have one though, I love to go out to a really fancy meal where it's like 15-20 courses and wine pairings. If I'm going to have a big cheat meal, that's one where they'll come around and ask if I have any dietary restrictions and I'll tell 'em, 'Nope!'" [Laughs]
Danica's Favorite Comfort Food: "I love breakfast. My favorite thing to do after a night race is find a Waffle House—get some eggs and hash browns and bacon. I like the hash browns plain, because otherwise they don't get as crispy. I like 'em crunchy."
How You Can Exercise Like Danica: "You can definitely do yoga. You can definitely stretch, and you can do simple, non-weighted exercises like burpees and lunges, air squats, sit-ups, push-ups, and step-ups. You can do all that stuff in a small amount of space."
Danica's 3 Tips to a Successful Race Weekend:
1. HYDRATE. "Hydration is probably the most important thing in stock car racing because it's so hot inside the car. So I'd say hydration is the first thing we focus on."
2. SNACK RIGHT. "Having good snacks while you're on the go is very helpful, just for staying fit. You know, you are what you eat, so eat well. That's why it's perfect to have Nature's Bakery fig bars around to snack on."
3. RECOVER. "I use the weekends—Friday and Saturday—to recover from the workouts I've done on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and then do the race on Sunday. So the beginning of the race weekend is more about recovery for me."
Earlier: How Danica Patrick Stays on Track