Stick jumper Anicka Newell shares her food diary

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Have you ever wondered what a CrossFit champion eats for breakfast? Or how a spin instructor powers himself through several hours a day? Or how an Olympic gymnast snacks? Food Diaries takes you on an inner journey through the healthy eating habits of athletes at the top of their game, because admit it, you’re curious. See more

Pole vaulting is a sport that requires speed, agility and strength. If you do not have all three, you have to fall short – literally. It’s a sport that Team Canada’s Anicka Newell has pretty much perfected. In 2016 at the Port Aransas Beach Vault, Newell vaulted to a height of 4.67 meters (15.3 feet) – the tallest ever by a Canadian woman. Later that year, she competed at the Olympics in Rio – marking her first Olympics ever.

Although she is Canadian, Newell lives in Texas and is currently training for the Summer Olympics, which are still to be held in Tokyo by July. (“I grew up in New Mexico, but my mother is Canadian, so I have dual citizenship,” she explains.) “I train six days a week, anywhere from three to six hours a day,” Newell says. The workout, she explains, is a mix of weight training, cardio and of course pole vaulting.

But her training does not only take place in the gym or on the track; it also takes place in the kitchen. What she eats is crucial to having enough strength and endurance to be a record-breaking athlete. “I do not follow any kind of ‘diet’ per se, but I work with a nutritionist who gives me a checklist of the nutrients I need to get on a daily basis, with foods that have these nutrients,” she says. Her eating habits are not necessarily for the average person – her lifestyle is certainly not the norm! – but below she talks about what works best for her.

What does Olympic pole vaulter Anicka Newell eat on an average day? Keep reading to find out.

protein pancakes with bananas
Photo: Getty Images /
Janna Danilova

Breakfast

Because Newell trains three to six hours a day, she says that when she eats, it’s about her training plan. “I literally plan it down to the minute,” she says. It starts with breakfast, which she eats at. 06.30. On days when she’s pole vaulting, she likes to make protein pancakes with protein powder worked right into the dough. “I make them with banana and oats,” Newell says. And to drink: a great cup of coffee.

Greek yogurt in a glass cup
Photo: Getty Images /
zefirchik06

Snack

After two hours of training, Newell says she will take a break and have either a protein shake or a protein bar. “I make it with Fairlife chocolate milk ($ 30 for a 12-pack), protein powder, almond butter, banana, hemp seeds and flax seeds,” she says. Then it’s back to training.

chicken and rice on a blue plate
Photo: Stocksy / Cameron Whitman

Lunch

Newell says that on super busy days, lunch is either a sandwich or wrap, but when she has more time, she likes to make either chicken or tilapia with rice. “Do you know the rice packets that are ready in 90 seconds in the microwave? I love them,” she says. After lunch, it’s back to work with the team again.

turkey tacos with cheese
Photo: Getty Images /
Maryna Iaroshenko

Dinner

In addition to being an Olympic athlete, Newell is also a track coach at Elite Sportz SA. Exercise is every night from kl. “I always have some kind of protein, carbohydrate and vegetables, but I mix the sources for them,” she says. She grew up in New Mexico and lives in Texas and is a big fan of Mexican food, so she often has tacos for dinner. “I make them with ground turkey, peppers, onions and guacamole,” she says. Even eaten on the sidelines for workouts, it’s still delicious.

Newell says she also always takes a Tohi ($ 29 for a 12-pack) with her, a drink she is an ambassador for. “It’s really important to stay hydrated – especially to be an athlete – and these drinks satisfy my craving for something sweet, but are made with monk fruit, not cane sugar,” she says.

chocolate ice cream bar
Photo: Getty Images /
nito100

Dessert

Dessert is another time when Newell enjoys something sweet. “I like to have either Ghirardelli chocolate ($ 19 for a six-pack) or an ice cream parlor,” she says. But when she’s done with the dessert, it’s time to go to bed. After all, there is another early training day ahead of her. Tokyo is waiting for no one!

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