Plus a peek into her training schedule heading into the Tokyo games.

No big deal, she's only the most decorated female track athlete in Olympic history -- with nine medals, including six gold. And now she's got her sights set on Tokyo. But Felix also has a secret talent that EatingWell wanted to know more about: baking. We can smell the cinnamon rolls from here. Read on for our interview with Olympic track star Allyson Felix.

Finish this sentence: To me, cooking is ...

Love. Just because of how busy I am, when I do get time to cook or bake for family or friends, it's very thoughtful -- it's an expression of love.

What food says home to you?

Soul food. Black-eyed peas, mac and cheese, rice and gravy, catfish. All of that. My mom and my grandma (who lived with us growing up) would always make a big dinner Sunday after church. It brings back memories of those dinners when we would all just come together -- family and friends -- and connect over food.

We heard your secret talent is baking. What are some of your favorite things to make?

My family really loves my cinnamon rolls, so that's one of my go-tos. They also love my pound cake and German chocolate cake.

A portrait of Allyson Felix on a designed background
Credit: Getty Images / Harry How

What's your workout schedule like?

I train about five hours a day. Three of those hours are on the track -- warming up, stretching, doing drills and then the actual workout, which may be anything from very technical work on the starting blocks to speed work. From there, I go to the gym and spend a couple of hours doing strength and conditioning.

Wow, we want a snack just hearing about that. So what's your diet like?

I usually keep breakfast light: yogurt and granola. In transit to the gym, I'll have an acai bowl or some type of smoothie. Lunch is a salad with protein and fruit. And then or dinner (that's my biggest meal) I eat a lot of fish, brown rice or sweet potatoes and veggies. Asparagus is one of my favorites. And zucchini.

We think Felix would love one of these high-protein salad recipes to fuel her active days.

Beer, wine or cocktail?

Wine. It's always a treat after a hectic day: a perfect way to unwind. In the summertime I love a sauvignon blanc.

Is there a kitchen gadget that you can't live without?

My slow cooker -- definitely! I just love that you can throw in your favorite ingredients, hit the road and when you come back, that smell and warmth just fills your home -- like you've been cooking all day. With my lifestyle, it's a lifesaver.

What makes you so passionate about running?

I'm super-competitive, so I love that running is something that is not subjective. You can know on that day who is the best! And I love how personal and individual it is. You can constantly challenge yourself.

What are you most looking forward to about being at the Tokyo Olympics?

Experiencing it with my 2 1⁄2-year-old daughter and husband. One thing I'm really excited for my daughter to try is shabu-shabu. I think she would really get a kick out of the hotpot. And then the culture -- there's just so much to take in, so much color and so many things to see!

To learn more about all the Olympic hopefuls, visit The Tokyo Olympics begin July 23rd on NBC.

This article first appeared in EatingWell, July/August 2021.