Soccer Star Carli Lloyd’s Kitchen Essentials

Pop culture has told us time and time again — you get injured and are confined to your house, crazy things will start to happen. Bart Simpson became obsessed with the idea that Ned Flanders killed his wife. Even Shia LaBeouf’s character in “Disturbia” becomes convinced his neighbor is up to no good.

But paranoid behavior just isn’t Carli Lloyd’s style. When the superstar soccer player suffered a knee injury in April of 2016, she didn’t go all “Rear Window,” instead she started cooking.

The two-time Olympic gold medalist, 2015 FIFA Player of the Year and FIFA Women’s World Cup champion wasn’t always into cooking — or really into food, for that matter. Growing up in New Jersey she says her family enjoyed a lot of carb-heavy Italian-focused favorites, an eating style she had to leave behind as she picked up speed on the pitch.

Additionally, the life of an elite athlete like Carli isn’t known for being conducive to spending numerous nights in a row in your home kitchen and she’s had to adapt to eating healthy on the road. However, when she is at home she’s cooking up quality meals — and here’s how she does it.

Were you a cook as a kid?

No, I would say I started getting into food and healthy eating around 2009 and I think that has just kind of made me interested in food and just cooking and being healthy, so it’s something that has evolved over the years.

So when you are home and have the chance to shop for meals, are you a person who goes to the store with a list — or do you like to wing it?

I pretty much go for the essentials. I just kind of start in a specific spot in the beginning of the store, usually at Whole Foods and I just kind of cruise around with what I need to get.

What are your essentials?

Eggs, fruit, avocado and the standard vegetables like asparagus and broccoli. Nothing really processed, nothing where you just throw it in the microwave, everything is just fresh and healthy.

When you’re cooking those essentials, is it a fairly straightforward plate with a protein, vegetable and a carb?

I’ll cook curries, I like Indian food although it’s not something to eat on a regular basis. I’ll do homemade tacos but I would say it’s light on the carb side — more fish, protein and vegetables.

Where do you get recipes?

Actually I’ve gotten some really good recipes out of, like People, in the back of the magazine, or online. I have some cookbooks that I go through, it really just depends.

What would we never find in your kitchen?

I mean, you can get wild and crazy with like tongue, but I’m not into that. I’ll taste it, but I’m not that crazy in the kitchen.

What about food trends? Are you into zoodles or cauliflower rice?

I like spaghetti squash and I’m into farro because you can throw it in salads. I’ll also usually do quinoa.

So, is this how you eat year-round or do you ever have cheat days?

Of course I have cheat days! It’s impossible not to. I mean, after a major championship I tend to eat whatever I want.

What’s a go-to after championship meal?

Fries and a cheeseburger

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