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Refrigerator Look Book: Dara Torres

The five-time Olympian finds time to stock her Massachusetts fridge, cook family dinners at home—and thinks not exercising is a cop-out.
(Photo: Appcession)
(Photo: Appcession)

On a recent Friday in September, five-time Olympic swimmer Dara Torres was getting ready to drive up to her family’s home in Vermont. She had taken her stepdad to the hospital earlier in the week and her kids were making some noise—it’s safe to say she was having a busy day (and week).

“Sorry, can we talk later? Just text me if I forget!” So, I shot the Olympian a text (cool!) and we hopped on the phone a little later, after she arrived to Vermont. There was still noise in the background, cable guys interrupting her, and she couldn’t find a spot to talk in quiet.

But the Olympian handled it like a champion.

Torres, 47, became the oldest swimmer to compete in the Olympic Games in 2008 when she took home three silver medals. She’s the author of Gold Medal Fitness: A Revolutionary 5-Week Program and Age is Just a Number—and she even has an app with workout videos.

Torres has learned how to find that sweet spot of juggling family, fitting in workouts, cooking at home—all in-between tons and tons of laps.

“Not finding time in your day to work out is a cop-out,” says Torres. “There are always ways to get exercise in.”

Find out how she makes time to do it all—and stock her Dover, Massachusetts, fridge. —Molly Gallagher

Are you training for anything right now? I’m nursing a knee injury. I used to run, spin, and box, but I can’t right now. I swim three times a week.

(Photo: Dara Torres)
(Photo: Dara Torres)

Feel better! What’s your go-to meal or snack before working out? It depends what I’m doing. I like to swim in the morning, and when I do that I have fruit, cereal, yogurt, or a protein shake.

I don’t limit my carbs. It’s not to say I eat all carbs, but I need them for energy. Because I’m in shape, people assume I must be a vegan or eat raw. I’m not strict about what I eat.

That makes sense. How often do you cook? I cook about three times a week. The other day, I made turkey lasagna. My kids love taco night, which we have every couple of weeks. I’ll do a yummy chicken avocado soup or make a pot roast. It depends what everyone wants. My husband loves to grill.

Great way to tag team. You have a lot of beverages in your fridge. Tell me who drinks what? On the side of the fridge is organic strawberry and chocolate milk for my daughter and stepdaughter. There are juices and coffee on the top shelf. The bottom drawer has some Gatorade and Poland spring water.

I don’t drink alcohol at all. We have a little bar off the side of our kitchen, my husband will have a martini (we have olives in the fridge for those) and guests will have a glass of wine.

Nice. What’s on the bottom shelf? There are some eggs. I keep tortilla shells so I can make a quesadilla for the kids if they are on the run. There are also lunch meats for the kids or for the dog.

Tell me about the Tupperware. What’s stored in it? One container has cut-up watermelon. The second shelf is mostly my daughter’s: The Go-Gurt and apple-sauce squeeze things are hers (the bagels are for the kids, too). We usually have raspberries and blueberries, too. But the Dannon and Fage yogurt is mine. We like those. There’s never one thing we all have!

I noticed the berries. Do you eat them alone or with something? I eat them by themselves. Some of the kids like the berries on the cereal. We have basket filled with peaches and bananas right now, too. I also have bowls of raw almonds, pistachios, and gluten-free pretzels, so people can grab and go.

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