Welcome to my Friday Foodie series, where I interview my favourite health and wellness stars. Each week, they share their tips for healthy living and their favourite recipe.
This week I am featuring Sally O’Neil (aka The Fit Foodie). I have been following Sally’s amazing blog for quite awhile now. Her recipes are amazing and her photography is simply stunning.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, what you do and what inspired you to lead a healthier lifestyle?
I’m Sally. Self-confessed fitness and foodie addict.
Born in the UK, I moved to Australia a few years ago to enjoy a little more sunshine. Living near Bondi will tend to have you review your bikini body once in a while, but in my attempt to ditch the apple crumbles and focus on nutrition I was subjected to a lot of plain low-calorie food. After a few months I learnt one thing: life is better with chocolate. And apple crumble. So my experimenting began and The Fit Foodie was born.
I generally focus my attention on concocting high-protein foods packed with good fats and nutrients. This helps me to maintain lean muscle and sustain my energy levels. Processed foods that are high in salt, sugar and trans-fats are out. Unfortunately not a lot of supermarkets cater for this, so my inner city Sydney apartment holds my rather tiny test kitchen. It doesn’t always go to plan, but when it does I share the recipes on my blog to inspire other clean-eating journeys
What tips would you give to someone who has just commenced living a healthier lifestyle?
Make small, sustainable changes. If you love chocolate, it’s not a great idea to cut it out of your diet. Be open to experimenting with delicious alternatives, such as homemade raw chocolate.
Approach it as a lifestyle change, rather than a diet, and learn to read ingredients labels. There is so much hidden junk in our foods, as consumers we have to vote with our money and understand what we’re putting into our bodies
Do you have any tips for eating well on a budget?
- Stock up on fresh vegetables
- Buy in bulk: I will often go direct to meat wholesalers and freeze it into portions.
- Opt for cheaper, high quality sources of protein, such as sustainably caught tinned tuna and free-range eggs.
How do you deal with food struggles from your children and/or family?
I’m really lucky in that regard. I live with my partner (who eats anything and everything) and my family live overseas, so I don’t have many food struggles to deal with. I cook for myself, being wary of my own food intolerances (dairy) and he will happily chow down.
Eating out can be much more of a challenge though, and i’ll generally review menus of any restaurants we visit beforehand.
What is your favourite food?
Salmon, hands down. Smoke it, poach it, sear it – I’m one happy foodie.
Who is your favourite foodie and why?
I’ve got so many people I could list here, it’s quite impossible to choose. My newest love is Kate Bradley from Kenko Kitchen for her wonderful approach to whole foods with a Japanese twist. More commercially, I really admire Jamie Oliver for the role he is playing in battling obesity worldwide, and for teaching families how to cook basic, real food.
What is something that you enjoy doing when you have some ‘me’ time?
That’s a hard one – I don’t get much ‘me’ time! I love going to the gym, and train 6 times a week. If I get some spare time, I like to go out walking with my partner or indulge in a little relaxing yoga.
What is your favourite recipe to cook? Can you share the recipe with us?
My Crispy Skinned Salmon makes a weekly appearance. Its so simple and quick to throw together – real fast food for busy week nights.
Would have to chase it down with a serving of my Healthy Rhubarb and Ginger Crumble
The perfect dessert to warm your soul. Skip the traditional crumb of butter/sugar/flour and replace with these healthy alternatives to ensure you’re not left feeling bloated and guilty. Bonus: The added ginger will help to boost your metabolism!
For the filling
- 6 sticks of fresh rhubarb
- 1 cup boiling water
- 2 tablespoons Norbu*
- 3cm piece of fresh ginger, finely grated
For the crumble
- ½ cup almond meal
- ¾ cup rolled oats (gluten-free as needed)
- 1 tbsp Norbu*
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 3 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp himalayan sea salt
- 2 tbsp rice malt syrup (or additional Norbu)*
- 3 tsp solid coconut oil or grass-fed butter
- Preheat oven to 160º.
- Cut leaves from rhubarb and discard. Wash and chop sticks into 1cm pieces.
- In a pan over a medium heat, add water, ginger, rhubarb and Norbu (or alternative), and gently simmer for 5 minutes until rhubarb is soft.
- Taste the mix to check for sweetness, then add to a medium pie dish and set aside.
- To make the crumble, add the dry ingredients into a large bowl and stir.
- Add oil or butter and sweetener, then rub the mixture between your hands until a crumb forms.
- Spoon the crumb over the rhubarb mix, and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until crumble is golden.
- Remove and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Serve with a scoop of frozen coconut cream or a dollop of plain Greek yoghurt. No custard here!
If rhubarb isn’t in season, you can swap for apples, berries or stone fruit of your choice.
A little more about Sally and where you can find her
Sally (aka The Fit Foodie) blogs on all things health, wellness, fitness and nutrition at the-fit-foodie.com. Taking inspiration from not-so-healthy favourite foods, she ‘healthifies’ them and shares her recipes online. Sally is a superfoods columnist for both Nourish and Australian Natural Health Magazines, and is also a regular contributor to publications such as Yum. Glutn Free Magazine, Yahoo!7, Sweeter Life Club and MindBodyGreen. For those that don’t have time to get creative in the kitchen, Sally recently launched her own popular range of DIY Protein Ball Mixes.