Category Archives: Interviews

AN INTERVIEW WITH SVAVA SIGBERTSDOTTIR FOUNDER OF THE VIKING METHOD

You guys probably saw my write up of the amazing Viking Method workout I did this week where I raved about how amazing the workout was (read it here) So following my workout I decided I needed to learn more about the brains behind The Viking Method. Meet Svava the founder, we chat about all things health and fitness from how The Viking Method came about, her exercise regime, favourite eating spots and even some advice for young career women on how to stay fit and healthy. I hope you enjoy reading what this amazing lady has to say x

1. Can you briefly describe what The Viking Method is?

Viking Method  consists of unique functional exercises, worked through within specific time frames. Incorporating a series of switches between functional cardio and resistance exercises, the method forces the body to work to the maximum, achieving your optimum hormonal state; increasing growth hormone , decreasing insulin and cortisol, resulting in mad fat burning. Your metabolism smashes through the roof!

2. Can you describe how The Viking Method came about and where the idea came from?

I have been exercising all my life. Despite all the genres that I did; general weight training, aerobics, kickboxing, yoga, ballet, crossfit, football, I never found that one ultimate type of training that would give me everything I wanted.  There fore I took my life long experience and vast education and combined it with the way training is done in my home country Iceland. Which is all out. High energy, high intensity. Mind over matter.

3. What makes The Viking Method different from other workouts out there?

The Viking Method is different in so many ways. The exercises are different. The way they are done. What I focus on, like hormones and mental aspects.  And it is fun. It is very tough but you will look forward to it. It feels like you are outside just playing with a friend like a child and then BOOM! You have completely smashed a workout and gone further and become more than you ever thought you could. Also what makes it different is that my main objective with my clients is not getting into that dress or down to that weight. That will happen anyway with my method. It is a by-product to me. My main objective is for my clients to experience their power and agility, grace and strength. To become so confident and content with themselves. Happy. To have them feel and know just how magnificent they truly are.

4. How did your love of health and fitness first come about?

I have always loved health and fitness. As soon as I was old enough to do sports, I did. I love playing. Competing. Feeling the power of my body and mind. Once you feel that way, there is no going back.

5. Can you tell us a bit about your background?

I am from Iceland. I moved to London 10 years ago to study, I first did a BA degree in dance then studied to become a  yoga teacher, Personal Trainer and Nutritionist.  I live with my amazing teenage daughter and I truly am very grateful to where I am  in life. Whatever you want to become, do follow your dreams. It is hard work and you will have to put in more hours than the next to end on top but if you do not give up, you will get there. And it will be worth it all and more.  Never stop just because you got a no. Do not give in. Do not let that be in your nature.

6. What’s a typical day in the life of Svava?

Typical day is that I wake up early, around 5.30, have my clients til around 2.30, go home, do some work on the computer, go back to work for few hours, come back home, spend time with my daughter until she goes to bed and then I plan the next days programs and do admin things. I have never needed much sleep, I operate best on  5-6 hours so will go to bed a bit after midnight.

7. Can you describe the kind of food you eat in a day?

I eat eggs and nuts for breakfast, then my lunch box will have chicken and some veggies, when I go home in the middle of the day I always have a smoothie; vegetables with flaxseeds, spirulina powder, moringa leafs and chia seeds. For dinner I have chicken or tuna or salmon or turkey with veggies. I like just simple things. If it gets too complicated, I then cant be bothered on long days.

8.What’s your favourite meal and do you have any healthy cooking tips?

Do love the healthy fats. Always use coconut oil when cooking. Nuts and seeds are a great snack option.  The healthy fats are so good and they will not make you fat.  I have few; I love chicken, goats cheese feta , avocado and broccoli. That is my favourite dinner. But I also love my cheat meal pizza. And I really go for it, four cheese pizza with cheesy garlic bread. Yummy.

9. Do you have any favourite eating here spots in London?

Because of how hectic work is , I want to be home with my daughter when I am off. Therefore, when we go out , we go out in our area which is Belsize Park. I really like the tuna salad at pizza express which I add avocado to, also there is a café here called chamomile that does the most perfect poached eggs in the whole world. Promise.

10. Can you describe your exercise regime?

I do a lot with me clients as my program is often interactive. With that I train 4 times a week  where I do my method.

11. What’s the best thing about your job?

When a client can do something he/she could do before. The feeling it gives them. When they see results. Become more confident.  That is the reason a do my job. Such huge food for the soul when you see people reaching their goals and witnessing and being a part of brining that amazing positive effect out in them.

12. Do you have any advice for young career women trying to keep fit and healthy?

Don’t always feel you have to do everything. It is impossible. Do not start your health regime by going to the gym in the first week every day for 2 hours a day and doing a 180 flip on your diet. Because then you will do it for few weeks and then stop. And feel like crap that you stopped, which does not do you any good.  You want this to be for long term. Therefore do what you realistically can do every week. Consistency is really the key. That´s why there is the saying for it.  Quality is also more important then quantity. Know what you are doing in the gym. Go hard. Sweat buckets. Be dead when you finish.   And a crucial part, do try to find both training program and a diet program that you actually like.  Have fun in life. We grown ups so often forget that, so at least in the gym, try to grow down a bit and play.

AN INTERVIEW WITH SADIE MACLEOD FOUNDER OF HIP & HEALTHY

Sadie Macleod is the founder of Hip & Healthy the UK online store for stylish activewear, and one of The Nutritionistas favourite online destinations for all things healthy. Hip & Healthy not only sells amazing activewear it is also a digital wellbeing website which covers a variety of areas including fitness, fashion, travel and recipes. So the brains behind this fantastic brand is Sadie Macleod who is such an inspiration to me and The Nutritionista I love her determination, drive and the success she has had with her wonderful brand. Which is why I was so keen to pick Sadies brains about all things health, fitness and Hip & Healthy related. I hope you enjoy what Sadie has to say as much as I did x

1.Can you describe how Hip & Healthy first came about and where the idea came from?

About 4 years ago, I was lucky enough to be granted a sabbatical from my full time job at a travel magazine to go Hong Kong with my husband. Whilst there, I had the time to think I about what I really wanted to do and having always been into health and fitness (I was a green juice fiend long before they became popular) it seemed like a natural step to re-pitch myself as a health and fitness writer. It was then, whilst researching magazines I could write for, that I realised there weren’t any digital wellbeing publications, so I taught myself how to build a website and embarked on the first version of Hip & Healthy! It wasn’t until a year later though that we launched the activewear store.

2. Can you tell us a bit about your background?

I started my career at Conde Nast Traveller Magazine, where I learnt so much about how magazines were run. I also had once started a very small publication about health in my local town, which was pretty amateur but taught me a lot about how to run a business.

3. Where did your love of health and fitness come from?

My mum has always been into health and I’ve been eating organic food since I can remember, so I’m sure she’s partly to blame. My sister is also really into healthy food, and has her own vegan blog, so I guess it must run in the family! When i was a school though i wasn’t at all into sports (which is crazy as i would love to do them now) and it wasn’t until university that I discovered running which then changed my whole perspective on fitness and now i can’t get enough of it! Im still not great at team sports though!

4. Can you describe Hip & Healthy in a nutshell?

Hip & Healthy is an online health and wellbeing magazine and stylish activewear store. We strive to inspire people to be the best versions of themselves.

5. Have you got any exciting future plans for Hip & Healthy?

We are currently doing a range of inspirational printed vests and t-shirts and we are always signing up new brands to the store that we think our readers will love. Plus, we’ll be doing a bit of a redesign on the website next year to make it much more user and mobile friendly.

6. How do you think the attitudes towards health and fitness have changed in the UK over the last few years?

I definitely think health and fitness has become much cooler in the past few years. When I first started eating healthily and running it was always so much of a struggle to convince my friends that doing stuff that was good for you is a good idea they much preferred the thought of  big nights out and sleeping till noon. But that really has all changed now, grabbing a green juice in a local vegan cafe is way more exciting than going for a coffee in Starbucks these days and much easier to do than ever before because the other big change that we have seen is the dramatic increase in the availability to be healthy with the arrival of superstore Wholefoods, high street lunch places bringing in green and red juices and there are even  more yoga studios, gyms and run clubs than ever before. Its fantastic.

7. What’s a typical day in the life of Sadie Macleod?

Now i have a newborn son my day has changed quite a bit! I like to get a bit of a workout in first thing – a quick jog always starts my day off well.  Then its back home for some brekkie and a green juice before sitting down to a few emails. Ill then head into the office for a half day and get home to my babe just after lunch where i then try and master the art of multi-tasking! When my husband comes home in the evening I will quite often do a bit more work before settling down to a good movie with him or a bath – bliss! It goes without saying though that not every day is like this at all and sometimes its hard to find the time to shower let alone go on a jog or grab a green juice!

8. Congratulations on becoming a mother! How has it been juggling motherhood and work?

I am still relatively new to being a mum so am yet to practice my juggling skills. It is hard work trying to fit it all in but somehow it happens. It helps that I have a amazing girls in the office working their hardest right now for which I am so grateful for!

9. What do you typically eat in a day?

I like to start every day with a hot water followed by a green juice. Then ill have porridge with berries for breakfast. Lunch will include avocado, quinoa and salad most of the time and supper is often fish and lots of delicious veggies or gluten-free pasta with vegan pesto – something easy yet healthy as i don’t get much time to cook these days. And i snack a lot – on healthy nut bars, energy balls, kale chips, chia seed pods and fruit and veg!

10. Do you have any favourite healthy recipes?

Anything cooked by my sister, Saskia!

11. Do you have any favourite eating spots in London?

I love Wild Food Cafe, Detox Kitchen and Retreat Cafe in Soho and Le Pain Quotidian is baby-friendly and organic so brilliant!

12. Do you have a particular exercise routine?

I love to run in the mornings and do yoga in the evenings.

13. What motivates you in the morning?

My job – I love it!

14. Do you have any advice for young entrepreneurs?

Stick at it! We all want things to happen quickly but great things take time. Don’t let a little hard work and patience get in the way of your dream!

15. Do you have any advice for young working women trying to lead a healthy lifestyle?

I think preparation and planning is so important when you are busy and wanting to live healthily. Small things like laying out your running clothes before you go to sleep, or preparing your breakfast ingredients the night before really go along way. Also, schedule your fitness classes – put them in your calendar that way you are less likely to cancel on them or double book yourself. See it as important time for yourself.

To find out more about the wonderful Hip & Healthy head on over to their WebsiteInstagramTwitter and Facebook

THE NUTRITIONISTA GETS INSPIRED BY RENS KROES

Sometimes in our lives and careers we come across people who just inspire us, whether it be through what they do in their job, what they have achieved or maybe just their personalities. As a blogger I often look for inspiration from other like minded people within the health industry from all over the world. I find that there are so many incredible people out there who share the same passions and goals as I do and it can be a really amazing experience to be able to talk to the people who inspired me to start what I am doing today and hear about their wonderful journeys.

Rens Kroes is one of the many wonderful people who have inspired me along the way, I have followed her story through her website and social media for such a long time now, way before I started The Nutritionista and always loved her approach to healthy eating. So I recently got to chat to Rens to discover a bit more about her background, what started her love for health and nutrition her job and much much more.

Firstly let me say that Rens is the most lovely person, I feel as though we could of spoken for hours about all things health and wellness. Which is what I love so much about being in this industry, its the people you meet and being able to share the same interests and passions.

So firstly we chatted about her background, for Rens her journey into health came from a very young age. Surrounded by a family where health and nutrition was of paramount importance. Her grandmother was actually a herbalist, her mother a nutritionist and grandfather was the first organic farmer from the north part of the Netherlands which I am pretty impressed about! Then along with her sister Doutzen Kroes the Victoria Secret model I would say they are one healthy family right? Rens explained that her mother always taught her the importance of healthy eating as a child. It seemed like the passion for teaching about health has passed down the generations.

So what exactly does Rens do? Rens is herself a health coach, she also blogs about healthy eating for Glamour and shares her wisdom through her website. Then on top of all that Rens has released a book called Power Food which is a best seller, which unfortunately not yet available in the UK but is something that Rens is working on, fingers crossed ey. You see what I mean about inspiring, if I was to look at my long term plan for myself and The Nutritionista I would want to follow a similar route too Rens. Nothing like some good long term goals!

We then moved onto to talking about her views toward healthy living and Rens mantra is a great one, she described it as ‘The Triangle’ and the three corners of the triangle are healthy food, exercising and relaxing, Rens stressed to me that for her its all about balance. If someone is too focused on one corner of that triangle its not healthy, if you are really pushing the healthy eating but not exercising and taking time to stop and relax that isn’t a healthy lifestyle. Life is all about balance and this is something that I strongly agree with, you need to be able to strike a healthy balance between all these elements to lead a healthy and happy life and sustain this lifestyle. I am a big fan of the triangle way of thinking and think that we all should focus on making sure we are balanced in our approach to a healthy lifestyle.

So talking of balance how does Rens workout? A combination of hit training, yoga and weight lifting, we spent a while discussing how much we love lifting weights. I am such a convert to lifting weights its my new favourite exercise! So its nice to find another woman with a similar view. Girls go lift some iron, trust me it will change how you exercise!

So finally I asked Rens if she had any advice for young working women who are trying to live a healthy lifestyle. And she had some good advice,

  • Healthy eating takes time its a whole lifestyle, its no quick fix
  • Make a schedule and plan your meals

So there you have it, my wonderful chat with the equally wonderful Rens Kroes. Hopefully this will give you an idea of exactly why I find her so inspiring. Below are two recipes from Rens, they look delicious and I can’t wait to try them.

Check out Rens on her websitetwitterfacebook & Instagram

Power Food by Rens Kroes

 


 

Recipes by Rens Kroes for The Nutritionista

Kick start 

This is probably the tastiest and healthiest breakfast ever! It’s very filling and is deliciously creamy. It’s a perfect pre-workout breakfast, a quick snack to give you a boost or a kick start for a long, busy day.

Total preparation time

4 hours or overnight

Active preparation time

10 minutes

Ingredients (serves 4)

130 grams whole oats

100 grams raw cashews

80 grams dates, pitted

1 tablespoon coconut oil

2 tablespoons dried coconut

2 teaspoons vanilla powder, unsweetened

Method

Soak the oats and cashews in a bowl of water for at least four hours or over night. Then drain the remaining water and put everything in the blender. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until creamy. You can garnish this breakfast with some berries, if you’d like.

Zucchini boats

The finish product looks so fantastic, which makes it even nicer to eat! How food looks matters. If something looks good, you’re likely to eat more of it. And that’s no problem here since we’re so healthy! 

Ingredients (serves 2) 
200 grams organic chicken breast
coconut oil, for baking

100 grams brown rice
2 large or 4 small zucchinis
1 tablespoon olive oil 
1 small red onions
8 large mushrooms
handful of parsley
handful of basil leaves
2 cloves of garlic
50 ml pre-made, organic tomato sauce
leaves of 4 sprigs fresh thyme 
1 teaspoon of curry powder

1 teaspoon of turmeric

1 teaspoon of laos powder
pinch of cayenne pepper
 
pinch of sea salt and black pepper

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Rinse the chicken with water, cut into small pieces and cook in 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a frying pan at low heat. Stir well occasionally. Rinse the rice and cook it in water in a small pot with a stock cube. Meanwhile, cut the zucchini in half, length-wise, spoon out the flesh and set aside and brush the four zucchini halves with olive oil. Put them in an ovenproof dish in the oven for about 10 minutes. Next, chop the onion, mushrooms, parsley and basil and put them in a bowl with the zucchini flesh. Then add the chicken, spices, tomato sauce, sea salt and black pepper. Finally, press the garlic into the mixture using a garlic press. Toss the mixture to combine and ensure that all the ingredients are evenly dispersed. Remove the zucchini boats from the oven and fill them with the filling. Put the boats back in the oven at the same temperature for another 10 minutes. Then, remove them from the oven and sprinkle four tablespoons of rice over each of the boats.

AN INTERVIEW WITH ROSEMARY FERGURSON

Rosemary Ferguson is one interesting lady, with a background as a high flying model, Rosemary is now a trained nutritionist with a passion for healthy living. My kind of woman! Which is why I was so keen to chat to Rosemary and interview her for The Nutritionista. And so here is it, Rosemary sheds some light on her busy schedule, what inspired her to study nutrition, her favourite recipes, some cooking tricks and much much more for The Nutritionista. I hope you enjoy finding out about this inspiring lady as much as I did 🙂

1. How did your journey into health and nutrition evolve?

I have always enjoyed feeling good and I have always been interested in how foods can help you to achieve that feeling of well-being. This lead me through all sorts of different ways of eating from juicing, to raw food and  super powders.

2. What inspired you to study nutrition?

When I decided I wanted to work in this field I thought I had better learn the science and really understand the effect food have on our bodies and that is when I went back to college.

3. How did your time as a model help shape your views towards health and nutrition?

Travel helps, you see so many different places and try all sorts of cuisines. Because you are working with a quite health conscious crowd there is a lot of chat about beauty products, and the latest food fads. It was great for me and I could try out all the new things that were going on, I remember buying my first juicer and being amazed by it…. that was many years ago now! X

4.What’s the best thing about your job?

When you  help someone get back to full health and vitality, I feel grateful to be a part of that, it is so amazing and super satisfying. Also people are really interested in nutrition now, so I love talking to people and hearing their thoughts too.

5.What do you aim to offer through your consultations?

I try to get to the root of the problem, the symptoms that a person come in with may be a sign of a problem that goes a lot deeper. It should be team work, so I try to explain to my clients what is going on, why I think they should increase some foods, or take a certain supplement…. Knowledge is power, and if you can give your client an understanding of the processes in the body, people are more likely to make changes and stick to them!

6. What’s your favourite recipe (s)?

I don’t know, I go through phases, I like mung dahl with coriander seeds, cumin, turmeric. I also love simple avocado and garlic on toast .

7. What’s a typical day in the life of  Rosemary Ferguson?

Oh a right mish mash, of kids, a bit of exercise, probably quite a lot of time in the car, clients, meetings with a bit of social thrown in for good measure .

Every day is pretty busy, I get up at 6.45 do the school run at 7.45, ride at 8 then see clients and do my meetings (either in London or Gloucestershire). The days when I don’t work I love having time to potter in the kitchen and I love I getting cosy with my girls in the evening,or seeing my mates….

8. How would you describe your approach to living a healthy lifestyle?

Not obsessed, balanced, a bit of everything is great. I find if I am too extreme about health foods and too controlling about ‘being good’ I end up going mad, so just keep a good balance, I think you can make little changes and see big effects. I like to feel well so I treat my body with respect most of the time…. and when I don’t I give it a hand to get back in balance!

9. Do you have any cooking tips and tricks?

It’s just little things like be prepared, have healthy snacks with you so that you don’t eat rubbish. Don’t starve yourself, that is a sure fire way to end up eating a burger and chips. Make each food or drink decision the most nutrient dense it can be… add seeds to a salad, have a herbal tea instead of a coffee, have a salad instead of chips, rye bread instead of wheat, brown rice pasta instead of white pasta, snack on fruit and raw veg instead of crisps. By doing these sorts of things you will be amazed at how much it can help.

10. What do you usually eat in a day?

Now there’s a question…. ! I start most days with a metabolic shake which has Metagenics ultra clear, spirulina, maca, a probiotic powder, some milk thistle and some red clover in it. Then I have porridge or a boiled egg or avocado on rye toast, for lunch a substantial salad with pomegranate seeds, hummus, carrot, beetroot, something like that. For dinner a bean or lentil stew or a squash risottos are hitting the spot at the moment. I do eat meat but my husband and 2 out  of 3 of my children don’t so I don’t cook it very much, but I do love a roast at this time of year, with lots of fresh green veg and cooked with coconut oil.

11. What are your favourite healthy eating spots in London?

I am a big fan of the good life eatery and Tanya’s, I also like the Juice Well, or there is a lovely company called Potage that will deliver to you if you order before 11.30in the morning!

12. Do you have an exercise regime?

It changes all the time, I like doing different things to keep it interesting. I ride 3 times a week if I can ( I am a bit fair weather!), I try to run twice a week and I do a metabolic exercise class in the village hall which is hilarious, I usually try to do some yoga, but time seems short at the moment so i haven’t  for a while!

13. Do you have any advice for young career women who want to lead a healthy lifestyle?

Batch cook and freeze in lunch size portions, then you can eat well at work! And it is cheap. Take 5 pieces of fruit to snack on, 5 may sound a lot but of you are a picker you will probably get through that amount in a day!

Check out Rosemarys website here-http://www.rosemaryferguson.co.uk/

**Credits to Storm Artist Management and photo credits to Pietro Birindelli **

AN INTERVIEW WITH GEORGIA CUMMINGS FOUNDER OF POTAGE

A little while ago I tried Potage a fantastic healthy food delivery service who pride themselves on their freshly prepared 100% organic pots of goodness delivered to your door. I fell in love with Potage and the delicious food they serve up in the little pots, read my write up here. So it seems like its not just me who love Potage, Vogue recently listed Potage in Calgary Avansinos favourite new discoveries in healthy eating, read it here. After I experienced the Potage delivery service, I decided to talk to Georgia the girl behind this great company, we chat about the idea for Potage, healthy meals, what makes Potage unique and much more. I hope you enjoy what she has to say 🙂

1. Can you describe how the idea for Potage first came about?

On a walk in Hyde Park with one of my brothers when we stopped for a hot winter stew and chunk of bread. A very simple, nourishing bowl but we both agreed how amazing it would be if you could eat like that everyday. I then spent any spare time over the following year testing recipes, collecting packaging samples, thinking about logistics, learning to build a website and slowly creating a brand.

2. What makes Potage unique?

All our food is served in a pot (as the name potage suggests ‘food from a pot’). Our meals are freshly prepared by hand each morning using organic meat and eggs, and fresh veg from the local market. The menu changes daily with a different choice of pots every week and all our food is delivered chilled for customers to heat in 5 minutes at a time that suits.

3. Did you always know you wanted to work in the food industry?

I’ve always wanted to work with food in some shape or form. Every meal at home was an occasion growing up, whether a quick Monday morning breakfast before school or weekend lunch with lots of people, my parents would always make sure we all sat together around a table and enjoyed homemade food. I love experimenting with ingredients and two fussy brothers often made for an interesting challenge. I trained at Ballymaloe when I was 18 and afterwards went to work on an Italian farm and then in a kitchen.

4. What’s a typical day in the life of Georgia Cummings?

On a typical working day, the radio goes off at 6.30am and I bicycle to work via the market to collect any herbs or veg we need for the day. I’m at my desk by 7am and it’s all go until 2.30pm when Clara and I have lunch together which is usually a recipe we’re testing. In the afternoon I try to leave the office to go for a walk around one of the local parks or meet a friend before the evening deliveries start at 5pm. I finish work around 9.30pm and usually bike to a friend’s house with some pots or grab a quick drink in a local pub.

5. Describe what you typically eat in a day?

Today I woke up before the radio went off so had a strong, milky coffee before leaving home. For breakfast I had an apple & cinnamon compote we’re testing with some natural yoghurt and our nutty granola. We eat lunch as a team around 2pm, taking it in turns to make, today we had a chicken tikka massala with some flatbreads. Our spinach & nutmeg soup is one of my favourite pots; the recipe is based on something my granny always made us as kids and I have it about three nights a week with some nutty bread or cheese.

6. What’s your favourite meal and do you have any healthy eating tips?

I like simple food made with good quality, seasonal ingredients. At this time of year my favourite meal is a slow cooked stew with freshly baked bread. My tips for healthy eating would be to eat in season and pay attention to portion control.

7. Do you have any favourite eating spots in London?

Lots. Books for Cooks on Blenheim Crescent, Tsiakkos & Charcoal just off Harrow Road, the tea house at Petersham Nurseries next to Richmond Park, the Morrocaan lentil soup van on Golborne Road, The Cow on Westbourne Park Road.

8. Do you have a particular exercise routine?

I bicycle and walk everywhere.

9. Do you have any advice for young business women on setting up their own business?

Enjoy yourself, “it’s not how great you start – it’s how great you end up”.

Check Potage out on Twitter and Instagram 🙂