UFC babe Ronda Rousey is no dime a dozen. The 25-year-old Californian has been on a pedestal for quite some time now, the past month no exception. The MMA fighter graced the pages of ESPN The Magazine’s “The Body Issue,” talked shop with Conan O’Brien on his late night show, and has been making public appearances in heels and skinny jeans, proving louder than words that her femininity has no limits. She even took time to sit down with the UFC and discuss her one-meal-a-day diet, coffee addiction, and how her career has made way for a better personal body image.
In regards to her diet, Rousey said, "It’s kind of a combination of The Paleo and The Warrior diet. I pretty much eat one meal a day – which takes place at night. I usually eat between 4 and 10 (p.m.). As far as supplements go, I don’t take anything that is made in a lab. If it was on earth 10,000 years ago then I will eat it." But the Bantamweight champ reveals she has one morning routine that keeps her going. "I get to have coffee every morning. That’s the only thing I really fudge on. A lot of athletes try to put a bunch of chemicals in their bodies, as much as they can get away with. I try to make everything as clean as possible, you know I even use a water alkanalizing machine and I try to only drink out of glass bottles when I can (to avoid petrochemicals). I try to only drink high quality water as well."
If you're in utter shock that one meal a day is healthy, Rousey explains there is a method to her madness. "A guy named Chad Waterbury handles my nutrition. I got it all from him. The philosophy is, when you’re digesting food then your body wants to rest. If you’re hungry then your body wants to go and get food. So you have more energy when you’re not digesting food. So I can get more out of training on an empty stomach than I would on a full stomach."
Interested in exactly how Rousey incorporates different food groups? The breakdown goes like this:
"I usually eat carbs on alternating days. So it will usually be rice or potatoes or something like that."
Calories per day:
"Pretty much I just eat until I’m full. Since I don’t eat all day my stomach has shrunk so I get full fast. So I don’t count calories at all."
On Red Meat and Chicken:
"If I have red meat it must be ‘Grass-Finished beef’ not ‘Grass Fed.’ Grass Fed could be that they fed the cow grass ONE DAY and then fed it corn for the rest of its life – and that qualifies it to be ‘Grass Fed’. Grass-Finished means it has to eat grass for at least 80 percent of its lifetime … so it has to be very high quality. I also try to eat everything organic, even when I eat dairy."
One wouldn't normally believe the fierce-faced "Rowdy" Rousey would have lack of body confidence, but she revealed to the UFC that that just isn't so. "I had terrible issues with my body when I was younger because I always had to make a certain weight on deadline all the time. So people were constantly asking me how much I weighed and criticizing what I ate – so I felt if I wasn’t exactly on weight then I was ugly. People were like, ‘Oh, you’re heavy, you’re fat, you need to lose weight.’ I would get yelled at for being heavy so I equated the number on the scale with how I felt about myself. It was a hard thing to deal with if you’re a 15 or 16-year-old girl. I had a big problem with that for many years -- I didn’t like how I looked or how much I weighed."
"But once I started doing MMA and got away from that old coaching, starting to do more of it on my own, I started having a healthier self-image. Being in the ESPN 'The Body Issue' is something tangible that I can hold in my hands and be like, ‘OK, I’ve overcome this and I have nothing to be ashamed of because the body that I have now is being celebrated.’"
What do you think of Rousey's daily food routine and journey to a healthier self-image?