What She Likes: Food for Fuel

A local nutrition expert shares her favorite food, including how she fits cupcakes into her diet

Megan Nechanicky grew up immersed in athletics, particularly endurance sports like swimming and running. As she got older, Nechanicky realized more and more how the proper fuel made a difference in athletic performance. “When I was younger, I made mistakes,” she says. “I remember one time I had a daylong swim meet and right beforehand, my brothers and I begged our babysitter to take us to get fast food. I got nauseous before swimming.”

Learning more about food and the influence it had on the body led to an undergraduate degree in food marketing, followed by a dual master’s degree in nutrition and exercise physiology. Nechanicky, who lives near Gaithersburg, gives presentations to training groups, sports teams, summer camps, and anyone else in need of advice for leading a healthy lifestyle. Today, she’s giving us the scoop on some of her favorite foods and workout threads.

“I’m always experimenting with new products, so I’m not eating the same food all the time,” she says. Right now, one of her favorites is Eros Greek Yogurt. Compared to regular yogurt, it has more protein, plus it’s high in calcium and has a richer texture. “I buy the vanilla kind and top it with fresh berries and granola,” Nechanicky says.

She also likes the honey-whole-wheat bread from Spring Mill Bread Co. in Bethesda. “You can buy it while it’s hot if you time it right,” says Nechanicky. The bread is a favorite for peanut-butter-and-jelly or turkey sandwiches.

One of Nechanicky’s favorite places to get moving is Swain’s Lock along the C&O Canal. She says the area is beautiful and quiet, with a soft running surface that’s easier on the joints. She also likes the Capital Crescent Trail, which becomes paved as you run through Bethesda. Her go-to running clothes include the Wunder Under Crop pants from Lululemon.

After a race—Nechanicky has been competing in triathlons since 2005 and averages eight races a year—she chugs a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice from Wagshal’s Delicatessen. “I get sick of water during the run, and I don’t like the sweetness of sports drinks,” she says.

Another favorite snack? A sweet treat from Georgetown Cupcake. “My favorite is a vanilla-and-chocolate cupcake with a chai tea from Starbucks. I also like the pumpkin spice,” she says. “People are shocked I would eat junk food, but you don’t have to have a perfect diet.”

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