Olympic athletes debate whether it is possible to go to Subway and not end up with the cheese-and-meat-laden versions. Plus: Lifehacker's editor tries to make a sub at high speed after being instructed by a champion snowboarder.
Subway held a media event yesterday to announce its new "famous fans": swimmer James Magnussen, hockey player Casey Eastham and snowboarder Torah Bright. All three testified to being regular Subway consumers, which makes sense: when you're travelling regularly, Subway is one of the few options visible everywhere that offers fresh vegetables. Magnussen noted that during a two-week training session in Hawaii, he ate Subway every day (he maintains the Australian version tastes better).
As we're fond of pointing out around here, Subway is one of the healthier takeaway food choices, but only if you make the right topping selections. Should you succumb to the lure of a foot-long meatball sub (heck, it's only $7), you'll be pulling in at least twice the kilojoules of the healthier sub-6 gram options.
So the question I wanted to ask these Olympic athletes was simple: how do you keep yourself to the healthy selections when meatballs are crying out to be eaten? Magnussen immediately laughed and recounted a story of his 13-year old self, visiting a Subway for the first time while away from his Port Macquarie home (the city didn't have a Subway then). "My eyes lit up, and I went for a foot-long double meatballs with double cheese. It was all over the change rooms a few minutes later." Olympian vomit story alert!
That said, there's no big secret to sticking to the salad-centric straight and narrow, as Magnussen went on to explain:
We live a disciplined lifestyle. Everything we do is about discipline and about choices, and we wouldn't be athletes otherwise. It's not a hard sacrifice to make.
Bright agreed, though she added: "You've got to reward yourself and go for the meatball sub sometimes." One advantage of being a professional sportsperson is you can consume more kilojoules than the average sedentary Australian. Bright favours the turkey sub, Eastham's a fan of chicken teriyaki, and Magnussen goes for the Club Sub ("lots of protein"). Mmmm, protein.
To maximise the embarrassment value, Subway then staged a competition where each athlete coached teams of volunteer journalists in "Subway jamming — making subs to Subway specification as quickly as possible. Despite being completely uncoordinated, I ended up on Bright's team, applying slabs of meat and tomato at a high-rate in a five minute race. We didn't win, but it was fun.