What healthy food essentials does Olympic champion Dame Kelly Holmes swear by? Healthista’s Vanessa Chalmers found out for our new Healthy Food Essentials series
Since retiring from athletics in 2006, life has been a whirlwind of exciting projects for Dame Kelly. She focused her attention on her charity, The Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, which has impacted the lives of 200,000 young disadvantaged peoples (and counting) since 2008. As a motivational speaker across the world, aacross the world, raises awareness of mental health issues, has opened two cafes under the name of Café 1809 (her race number) in Kent, and still finds time to squeeze in exercise up to six times a week, with spinning, outdoor cycling, weight training and circuits. ‘They call it HIIT now, but I have been doing circuits for decades and it’s exactly the same!’, she says.
With all that training, a wholesome and nutritious diet is key, and I was eager to find out what Kelly always keeps at the ready in her kitchen.
‘I think everybody probably cooks with fats at home, and I think there are better choices we can make. In my café we don’t fry anything, we bake it. It’s the same in my home, I bake or griddle everything. I do eat fats that aren’t so good for the body, and if I’m cooking I want to use some form of fat. Some such as coconut oil are trends and I do turn to the ‘in’ thing to have from a health point of view. 20 years down the line it will be something else! Almond oil or sesame oil is good, too’.
A massive jar of nuts and seeds
‘I eat them all the time. I eat them as a snack as well as within recipes. I don’t have the roasted and salted ones – I used to eat them like billy-o! Then I looked at the packaging and I thought ‘Jesus’. I’m not very protective about my calorie count because I train a lot – if I train I can eat more things I like. I have raw cashews, almonds brazil nuts, walnuts, pecans, and a multitude of seeds; pumpkin, sesame, sunflower. I just enjoy them as a snack and also in stir-frys. Sometimes I’ll use them in flapjacks or oat cakes. I love adding cacao too. I’m a pomegranate freak so I try to add that in too – I’m a throw everything in type person!’
A Nutribullet (blender) is just right for my smoothies in the morning – literally the best thing ever! People think smoothies take a lot of effort, but in this day and age its so simple and convenient.
Some people can have really thick beetroot juices, but I just cant do the whole earthy thing
Because I’m away from home a lot, I will buy a load of fruit, chop it all up, put it in bags, pop it in the freezer and then use them for my smoothie with almond milk. I prefer a veggie one, with spinach, kale, apple juice, lemon juice, a high protein yoghurt and sometimes spirulina. I have to throw fruit in too, such as strawberries, grapes or apple, because I cannot stand vegetables on their own. Some people can have really thick beetroot juices, but I just cant do the whole earthy thing. If I want a thick shake in the morning, ill have banana, oats, seeds, nuts and yoghurt.
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