Finally we have a wonderful member named Ellie Gordon who is 15 years old and is part of the rowing section. She has set up a page on Instagram named Ellie’s Healthy Kitchen and a website www.sportyteensnutrition.com, so Stuart interviewed her to find out more:
Why did you decide to start the Ellie’s Healthy Kitchen Instagram page?
I absolutely love food and nutrition so this was simply an opportunity for me to share my recipe ideas. I also wanted to demonstrate that a healthy lifestyle can be adopted without dieting, cutting out certain food groups or being made overly complicated.
What type of content are you showing?
My content is exclusively food related. I like to post pictures of my favourite meals along with ingredient lists and recipes, often based on the theme ‘Unhealthy made healthy.’
Who is the page aimed at?
This page is aimed at absolutely everyone who has a desire to eat well and seek inspiration for healthy recipes.
Has this made you love cooking and baking even more or did you always have an interest in it?
My love and passion for cooking and baking has definitely grown massively. The great thing about it is that there’s always something to learn and a new recipe to be discovered.
Being a teenager isn’t easy to avoid the high sugar or very caloric meals, especially in groups of friends. Do you find it easy to stick to a healthy regime?
I have trained my tastebuds to enjoy a wide variety of flavours and healthy foods. I like to think ahead and ensure the fridge and cupboards are full of the right ingredients. On a daily basis I cook and prepare most of my meals and I take a packed lunch to school. I will allow myself to indulge every once in a while, whether it’s pizza, ice cream or frozen yoghurt. I believe that you need have the occasional treat in order to make a healthy diet sustainable and well balanced.
Is your page really just for teenage athletes or can anyone of any age or athleticism get inspired?
Initially my page was aimed at teenage athletes however, this is no longer the case. It is for anyone out there no matter how old you are, what size you wear or what fitness levels you have.
Is doing a nutrition course or even a degree to become a dietician part of your plan?
Currently I am not planning on taking a nutrition course or becoming a dietician. At the moment my career ambitions lie within the field of law. However my enjoyment of food and interest in nutrition will always be a huge part of my life.
How do you find your diet and fluid intake affects your own performance in rowing?
I find that my diet and fluid intake affects my rowing performance significantly. Rowing is an intense sport requiring both endurance and power. It is therefore vital that I am ‘fuelled up' properly before every session and that I drink enough before as well as during training. I always like to experiment eating different foods before training in order to see which fuels me up most (currently it’s protein pancakes).
Are your parents and siblings supportive of this venture?
My parents and siblings are really supportive. We as a family enjoy our food and a lot of my inspiration is mainly from my mum and dad’s cooking. They have taught me an awful lot about nutrition growing up and I probably wouldn’t have discovered this passion if it hadn’t been for them. My sisters are always ready to try my foods and give me plenty of critique if necessary!
What’s your favourite meal for one whole day- breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks?
Protein pancakes with fruit and a glass of orange juice or an iced coffee. This pancake recipe was inspired by Vicky Thornley (Olympic Rower) and is made using banana, spelt flour and cacao powder and eggs)
‘Easy pizza’ made from wholemeal wraps, homemade tomato sauce topped with chicken, olives, mushrooms, onions and red pepper
Plant based chilli served with rice and topped with avocado, red pepper, spring onions, cheddar cheese
Protein packed homemade frozen yoghurt topped with fruit and drizzled with 1 square of melted dark chocolate, or simply a handful of frozen blueberries.