If you grew up in NZ, you probably remember a kiddie show called Sticky TV
. Even if you were a teenager, you can't deny watching it after school, because the hosts were also teenagers and not just your standard kind, they were pretty cool, fun and not to mention good looking. Fifteen years later and I bump into one of them at an event organised by the New Zealand Business Women's Network. Anna Hart doesn't look like she's aged a day and as soon as I learn about her clean diet and her raw protein bar product range, it becomes clear why.
Meet our August Master of the Month...
Describe your typical day of eating and drinking.
Pretty much every day starts with eggs, half an avocado (when they're in season), and an espresso. Protein and healthy fats in the morning keep me going for soooo much longer than anything else. I'm not a huge fan of sweet breakfasts.Lunch...
Is nearly always a salad of some kind. Loads of greens, some nuts and seeds and usually grilled chicken or fish.
My favourite time of day... 3 o'clock snacks! This is when I'll usually have one of our Native Protein bars. Coffee, maca and cacao is my usual go to, the coconut oil, almonds and protein are really satiating, and with less than one date in each bar they are really low in sugar.
Varies a lot in our household, and Tim eats A LOT. We order a mixed box of meat from Athleat.co.uk, who source organic, free-range, grass-fed and wild game from British farmers. Whatever is on the menu has to be easy and quick to prep and cook because we both tend to work late, and is always accompanied by loads of greens – broccoli, beans, spinach and kale are favourites.
What (or who) inspires you to eat well and stay healthy?
My partner, Tim Blakey is a huge source of inspiration and encouragement. As a Physiotherapist, Trainer and Nutritionist eating healthy is really important to him too. He's also a walking encyclopaedia and my number one go-to if I have ANY health related questions!
What is your biggest weakness when it comes to food and how do you deal with that?
My biggest weakness with food is that I'm a creature of habit, so if I find something that I love – whether it's an ingredient or recipe – I'll tend to make it over and over again! Since cutting out gluten and processed sugars I've definitely found that my repertoire has expanded. As they say, 'necessity is the mother of invention'!
My top tip for:
...improving your diet is:
Reduce sugar. Hands down. Hormones play a huge part in how our bodies perform throughout the day and too much of food on offer, both in supermarkets and cafes, is high is sugar and starchy carbohydrates. Food high in sugar stimulates insulin release, or a spike in blood sugar, once that spike subsides, hunger cravings return with intensity. It's a nasty cycle. For more in depth info about insulin sensitivity check out this post from leading sports nutritionist Phil Learney.
...staying healthy while travelling is:
The same rules that apply day to day at home, apply when I'm away. Stay away from refined and processed food, gluten and sugars. As a rule of thumb, if I don't know how it's made, I won't eat it. Having said that it's always pretty tricky when you want to explore and try new things, so I'm not too hard on myself if the odd gelato slips by.
Drink lots of water and eats loads of green vegetables.
Supplement your diet. I'm guessing that most of you reading this already have a pretty keen handle on the quality of food that you're eating, but that said, unless you're eating home grown organic or wild ingredients in large quantities, you won't be getting all of the vitamins and minerals that you need through diet. Magnesium, B12 and Fish Oils are the top three supplements that I regularly take.
What's the nicest thing anyone has ever said to you?
Every time I catch up with my girlfriends back in New Zealand and there's so much mutual love, and rallies of long-distance adoration down the line that I positively bounce off the phone. Besties always say the nicest things.
How would you like to be remembered?
With a smile.
If you got to keep only 3 of your belongings: 1 thing from your kitchen, 1 thing from your garden and 1 thing from your bookshelf- what would they be?
The food processor from the kitchen, the herb planter from the window (we live in London darling, what garden?!) and my Stephanie Alexander Bible. Literally, name any ingredient and it's in there, along with ways to prep it and enjoy it.
If you could host a dinner party for 3 guests (dead or alive)- who would they be and what would you serve?
Ooo, that's a tricky one. Fortunately I have had a chance to think about it as my lovely friend Tanya Ellison, of The Wellness Hub, asked me the same thing recently! I would definitely have another meal with my Nan. She passed away when I was in my early teens so I never got to really cook for her. I would love to make her my paleo take on scotch eggs, followed by a goats feta, rocket and pear salad, and I'd ask her to tell me more about growing up in London during WW2, and invite my brother and mum along too. We always had a good laugh with Nan, she was such a cheeky character.
Why do you believe that life is Better Raw?
After being introduced to 'the caveman diet', I was in no doubt that Mother Nature provided the best, kick-ass, nutrient-dense food needed to grow warriors with healthy bodies, hearts and minds.
Our Master of The Month shares her favourite raw food recipe...
3PM PROTEIN BALLS
2 teaspoons spirulina powder
1 - 2 teaspoons water
1/2 cup of shredded coconut to coat
Put the nuts in a food processor and blitz quickly until nicely chopped but not so much as to start making meal.
Set aside in a bowl.
Now blend all of the wet ingredients – coconut oil, vanilla, almond butter – and the dates. Blend this reeeeally well.
Add the hemp protein, cacao nibs and nuts and give everything another good blend until a crumbly dough just starts to form. You may wish to add a teaspoon or two of water to help bring it together.
For more on Anna and her Native Protein Bars, visit www.nativeproteinbars.com