The US Open Tennis Championships began this week and we’re not only excited to be serving up healthy and organic food on site at the Stonyfield Café but also to be working with one of our favorite stars: Tracy Austin. Tracy shared how she and her family get ready for the game – in tennis and daily life.
I am big on preparation. The next two weeks in New York covering the US Open for the Tennis Channel is going to be tough and I need to bring my A-game. But I can’t just show up and expect my work at the Open to just happen and for me to perform at my peak. I didn’t do that when I was on the tennis circuit or when I won the US Open, and I can’t do it now. I spent much of my week last week getting prepared. Being unprepared is no excuse. In my playing days, that would mean making sure I had enough racquets strung and ready to go, making sure my practice times were booked, and having enough clothes and shoes to last through a tournament, and of course practicing many hours so I felt grooved and ready for any style of play over and over so I was ready for any shot sent my way.
Today, being the mom of three very active boys, I am constantly trying to stay ahead of the game. That means I am prepared for each day as it comes. It involves a variety of activities, including making sure I have food for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, getting them ready for school, organizing their school and extracurricular activities’ schedule, helping them with their homework, eating dinner together, and most importantly, spending quality time together as a family.
For work, the Grand Slams can be a real grind, particularly at the US Open where I am on the air commentating most of the day and then doing corporate work at night and weekends. I am constantly on the go and have to make sure that I am ready for whatever comes my way. Before flying out to New York from LA, that means packing more outfits than I would care to admit to (I do need a new outfit for every day I am on air), getting my busy schedule together, being rested, and reading up on all of the latest tennis happenings, scores, head-to-head match-ups, etc. so that I am prepared for my commentary.
Another very important part of my preparation is planning for my meals. My husband always jokes that he can’t mess with my food or my sleep if he wants to keep me happy and he is not far from the truth! I know my body, and I know what it needs, and I prepare as best as I can whether I am at home or on the road. At home, I am at the supermarket 2-3 times per week to try to keep fresh fruits and vegetables and yogurts in my fridge to make sure my family has and makes the right food choices.
On the road, I know I rarely have time for a sit-down meals so breakfast, lunch or dinner are often grab-and-go. While muffins or a pizza slice may be easy or convenient for on the go, it is not the best food choice so I always keep protein bars in my bag. I always go to a grocer near my hotel and stock my room with fresh fruit and yogurt for snacks and breakfasts. I also try to find organic products to keep in the room or if I am lucky, there are restaurants that specialize in organic food.
Over the past few years, I have really tried to go organic after learning more about what is used or is in making and growing our foods, and it is important to me to know that what my family and I are putting into our bodies is healthy. It can be tough eating organic while I am on the road. And finding organic foods and restaurants nearby takes some preparation. (Luckily at the Open, I can stop by the Stonyfield Café to grab a sandwich or salad.)
In the end, all the effort is worth it. With just a little preparation and practice, I can keep my health strong and my game at its top level.
Try our family recipe smoothie to stay ahead of your game:
Tracy Austin’s Smooth Serve Family Smoothie
1 cup Organic Yogurt
1 cup Orange or Apple Juice
1 Banana (peeled)
1 cup Fresh fruit in season (or frozen berries)
Blend all ingredients in a blender, pour into a glass and enjoy!
How do you prepare for healthy eating at work, at school, or on the road?
Tennis prodigy Tracy Austin stormed into women’s tennis in 1977 and just two years later, became the youngest player to win the U.S. Open. She earned the title of youngest #1 ranked tennis player in history and went on to win a second US Open title and many dazzling matches.
In 1992, at the age of 29 years, 7 months, she became the youngest inductee into the International Tennis Hall Of Fame. In 1979 and 1981 she was also named Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year, and in 1980 she was named Women’s Sports Foundation Sportswoman of the Year.
Tracy currently lives in Rolling Hills, California with her husband, Scott Holt and their three sons. She provides tennis commentary for the Tennis Channel and BBC.