16 Questions with Carli Lloyd

Discover the soccer champion’s favorite midnight snack, the five things most often in her basket, and who she’d invite over for dinner.

In the first of a series, we spoke with 2015 FIFA World Player of the Year and Women’s World Cup Golden Ball (MVP) winner Carli Lloyd (of the U.S. Women’s National Team and the NWSL’s Houston Dash) about her day-to-day eating and shopping routines, her favorite foods, and who she’d invite over for dinner if she could.

What do you eat for breakfast? Fried eggs or egg whites, with avocado, fruit and yogurt.

What’s your favorite thing to eat as a midnight snack? Fruit — I love eating fruits, usually with granola and yogurt.

What foods are most important for your training? Fruits are important. They do have sugars, but it’s healthy. I love mangoes, blueberries, strawberries, pineapples, blackberries. I like them all. If I’m feeling a bit lazy or I’m on the road, then I’ll usually just go to Whole Foods and buy the packaged fruits that are already cut up. Vegetables are a great source of nutrients, and it’s better to put that in your system than processed food. Protein’s important. Chicken’s a good one — you can cook it in a variety of ways. I do prefer to get organic chicken. Chicken works really well in salad, and I eat a lot of salads. Also, a variety of nuts are important — obviously, if you’re getting honey roasted or chocolate covered, it’s a little bit different. But it’s a nice snack to help hold your stomach over if you need something in between meals, or if you need something before you train. It won’t make you feel full.  

What do you eat pre-game/post-game (is it different)? For my pre-game meal, I keep it light, usually a salad with chicken, and some fruit. For my post-game meal, it’s important to get protein in, so my muscles will heal, with lots of water. I try to stay hydrated throughout the week.

What’s your favorite celebration food? A burger and fries.

What was your favorite food growing up? I loved eating chicken fingers, and bread.

What five things are most often in your grocery cart? Avocado, spinach, eggs, bananas, chicken

What’s your favorite cookbook? Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa Foolproof is a good one. I also actually get some of my recipes out of People magazine and Nom Yourself. During the season, if I’m home for a week, that’s really long. I try to cook at least four to five days a week, and then go out for a nice meal or two with my fiancé or friends. But it’s hard being on the road so much. I go home and I want to continue to eat out. And I’ll only go out and eat at really good places. I usually do mom-and-pop places, healthy places, local foods, organic foods...

What’s your favorite food tradition? We have an apple crisp family recipe that we save for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The one food rule you always break: The occasional dessert. I love cheesecake. Cookies are a bit of a weakness. Good-quality cookies, though, and cupcakes.

The one food rule you never break: I always stick to my pre-game ritual meal.

Sriracha or no?/Cilantro or no? Yes to both!

The one kitchen gadget you can’t live without: A garlic press. I use garlic with a lot of things. Any vegetables I’m trying to saute, especially mushrooms, I’ll put those in. Steaks with garlic are good. Really, almost anything – I just love garlic.

If you could cook dinner for any two people, living or not, who would you choose and why? Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, because they are hilarious and I love to laugh.

What inspires you daily? To be better than I was yesterday.

What advice would you give to a kid who wants to do what you do? Work hard! It takes a lot of sacrifice and dedication to be at this level, and requires a lot of work. You have to be willing to train every single day and put in the hours to get better. 

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