When watching our stalwart winter Olympian athletes tearing down the slopes or speed skating the oval like there was no tomorrow, have you ever wondered where they get that supreme energy?

“The key is in what they eat,” says Rose Reisman, a Toronto nutritional consultant, cookbook author, restaurant and catering business owner.

“And non-Olympians can learn from those athletes because no matter what you do in terms of an active lifestyle we should all be eating the same as they,” she says. “The only difference with an Olympian is that they are going to consume double the calories we are because by nature they are more active.”

With the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics just over two months away, Reisman thought it a good time to put a challenge to not-so-active Canadians to get fit not only through exercise, but when choosing meals as well.

“The old days where the belief was protein, protein and more protein or maybe a bowl of pasta before a run are past,” she says. “Now it’s a matter of following Canada’s Food Guide and snacking every two to three hours five times a day so you can fuel your body properly.”

Reisman starts her day with a snack to “kick-start her metabolism” because after sleeping six to eight hours the metabolism is at its slowest rate possible, she says. Then she works out at her home gym “religiously.”

“Later I make myself a simple breakfast with something from the four food groups. So that might mean a piece of whole-grain toast, peanut butter, a banana, yogurt or milk.”

She finds that prevents her from getting hungry and overeating.

Finally, she urges proper hydration as a key to good nutrition.”

The majority of hydration should come from water, she says.

A light and healthy recipe from the menu at Reisman’s Toronto restaurant Glow Fresh Grill and Wine Bar.

Lobster Macaroni and Cheese
Makes 4 servings

INGREDIENTS:
Macaroni:
• 500 ml (2 cups) cooked macaroni
• 165 g (6 oz) cooked (canned) lobster meat, diced
Cheese Sauce:
• 500 ml (2 cups) milk
• 22 ml (11/2 tbsp) all-purpose flour
• 60 g (2 oz) grated old white cheddar cheese
• 30 g (1 oz) grated Gruyere cheese
• 30 g (1 oz) grated Parmesan cheese
• 0.5 ml (1/8 tsp) cayenne pepper
• 0.5 ml (1/8 tsp) nutmeg
• Black pepper, to taste
• 5 ml (1 tsp) chopped tarragon
Topping:
• 50 ml (1/4 cup) panko crumbs
• 5 ml (1 tsp) olive oil
• 15 ml (1 tbsp) grated Parmesan cheese
• 50 ml (1/4 cup) grated old white cheddar

METHOD:

Spray 4 individual baking dishes with vegetable oil. Preheat oven to 220 C (425 F).

Cheese sauce: In a saucepan, combine milk and flour until smooth.

Heat over medium heat and whisk until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.

Add 3 cheeses, cayenne, nutmeg and pepper and mix just until cheeses are melted.

Add tarragon, cooked pasta and lobster. Pour into baking dishes.

Topping: Combine crumbs, oil and both cheeses.

Sprinkle over top of pasta and bake for 10 minutes just until hot and topping is browned.