11 foods successful people eat every day
Is there such a thing as eating for success? Can the food you eat really help you achieve your goals? Whether you’re saving lives, smashing world records, styling the stars or conquering the corporate world, getting the best out of your body definitely depends on what you put in. We spoke to some successful Aussies to find out exactly what they eat to stay on top of their game.
“I love it in my smoothies, salads and as a base for delicious raw desserts,” says Layne Beachley, seven-time World Champion and the most successful female surfer of all time. “It’s one of nature’s super foods rich in vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin B, C and potassium.”
Award winning beauty editor and founder of Gritty Pretty, Eleanor Pendleton, also rates avocados. “When it comes to breakfast, I prefer savoury over sweet and have a soft boiled egg with avocado and toast at home.”
Why: According to nutritionist, Louise Cavanough, avocados are completely deserving of their superfood status. “Rich in monounsaturated fats, fibre, potassium and vitamins, their creamy, richness makes them uniquely satiating, meaning they keep cravings at bay, and keep you fuller for longer.” As a general life rule you should load up on this indisputably awesome fruit at every chance you get. Just don’t start eating the seed. You don’t want certified health “nut” status, do you?
“I love eggs,” says Australian netball team captain and Commonwealth Games medallist, Laura Geitz. “If I don’t have them in the morning, I’ll have them for lunch. I have them every day basically. I really enjoy the way they taste, but they make me feel fuller for longer. I feel like you can do so much with them.”
Australia’s most sought after hairstylist with clients like Cate Blanchett, Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, Renya Xydis from Valonz, also kicks off her day with eggs. She likes them hard-poached with avocado, accompanied by a chamomile tea and a carrot, beetroot, ginger, orange and mint juice.
Why: Whether you like yours fried, scrambled, poached, boiled, baked, curried, pickled or green with ham, it’s no secret that eggs are as versatile as they are nutritious. As Cavanough puts it, the humble egg is a “nutritional powerhouse” containing various fats, nutrients, cholesterol, lecithin and providing a very good source of affordable, high-quality protein. “Their protein content helps the body with growth and repair, their high cysteine content is used for detoxification, and if the eggs are from pastured chickens, they will also contain anti-inflammatory omega-3s.”
3. Protein smoothie
If anyone knows how to whip up a protein smoothie that packs a punch it’s got to be World Champion Boxer Danny Green. With over 25 years experience as an elite athlete, Green says that maintaining proper protein levels and replenishing the body is essential to performance and success. His favourite smoothie recipe includes two eggs (one yolk only), frozen mango, blueberries, almonds, banana and water. “This is a great post workout shake, or alternatively a great meal replacement to start the day if you are in a rush!”
Lizzie Renkert, director and head designer at We are Kindred also digs a morning protein smoothie. “I can’t get going in the morning without my banana, chia and egg smoothie. It’s a great protein fix and gives me the energy I need.”
How: If you’re looking for some nutritious autumn smoothie inspo be sure to check out these recipes by Naturopath, Anthia Koullouros.
4. A ‘Big Breakfast’
We’ve all heard the saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so it’s a no brainer to have some quality fodder on your morning menu. Kirsten Carriol, entrepreneur and founder of Lanolips cosmetics needs a “power breakfast” to get her going each morning. Her current go to consists of “All Bran with sultanas, coffee and apple juice with a teaspoon of The Beauty Chef Inner Glow Powder added in.”
Andrew “Reidy” Reid from Bondi Rescue, on the other hand, can’t go past a more traditional big breakfast after a big pool session. “It usually consists of 4 strips of short cut bacon, 3 eggs, 4 squares of halloumi, all fried in coconut oil. Served on a plate with an avocado.”Just make sure you don’t give the man bread. “It’s the devil. It has no nutritional value and just bloats your stomach.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. When I’m caught out at sea gasping for air it’s paramount that my future saviour has washboard abs.
5. Health bars
When you make a living from being an ultra mega-babe, like former Miss World Australia Erin Victoria Holland, it’s important to eat foods that keep you looking good. To satisfy her sweet tooth, self-confessed sugar addict, Holland, gets creative. “I have been obsessed with creating my own healthy muesli bars of late! They vary every time I make them, but they are basically dried fruits such as apricot and blueberries, almonds, rolled oats, almond meal (instead of flour) and a bit of honey to bind them! Incredibly delicious, and they keep me going in between those crazy, time-poor work days!”
Lisa Messenger, the founder and editor-in-chief of Collective Hub also enjoys munching on health bars. When short on time, Messenger snacks on a Matcha Bar from the Yellow Deli in Katoomba. “A friend got me hooked over Easter and we bought bags of them!”
6. Lean meat
When you constantly push yourself to your physical limits it’s essential to get your diet right. Endurance athlete and SKINS ambassador, Andrew “Pap” Papadopoulos says “I honestly believe you’re what you eat and your body shows signs of this in so many different ways. It can be displayed in your state of mind, energy levels, performance, odour, urine, bowel movements.” Pap’s approach is simple but effective. “I’m an advocate of fresh produce, lean meats, as little preservatives as possible,” he says. You only need to look at Pap to know he practices what he preaches. I aim to look at him at least once per day. It keeps me honest.
Why: Lean meat is rich is high quality protein, iron, zinc, selenium and vitamin B12, says Cavanough. “The overconsumption of meat increases the risk factors for cancer and cardiovascular disease, but the moderate consumption of organic, grass-fed, meat is a valuable part of a healthy diet, increasing energy, lean muscle mass, immune function and cognitive ability.”
7. Green Juice
“Green juice” and “success” go together like me and Andrew Pap (#kidding!). In fact, green juices and smoothies are pretty successful in their own right. Did you know that “green smoothie” was one of the biggest trending words of 2015? Their rise to popularity can no doubt be attributed to the fact that they are a quick, delicious and nutritious tummy filler.
“I am obsessed with green smoothies and can’t get enough of them,” says Lisa Messenger. Her favourite tonic consists of “loads of baby spinach, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, half a banana, water and ice. The BEST!” Erin Victoria Holland also roots for team green, “I have, and will always be all about the green juice. My fave mix at the moment is fresh Spinach, Kale, Apple, celery, lemon and a bit of banana. I can literally feel it nourishing my insides – it’s amazing!”
Interior stylist, author and creative consultant, Jason Grant can’t get through his day without a trusty banana. “It gives me a kick start in the morning and is also the perfect snack on the run.”
Why: Grant is definitely onto a good thing. Bananas are rich in an array of nutrients, most notably potassium, a vital electrolyte involved in heart function and fluid balance, says Cavanough. “Their pectin content is soothing to the gastrointestinal tract, while their fibre regulates bowel function.”
9. Noodle Soup
Photographer, stylist, writer and creative consultant, Margaret Zhang is one multi-talented lady. Career wise she has her finger in many pies. But when it comes to staying nourished when she’s on the road, Zhang prefers a noodle soup. “I love all varieties of vegetarian Asian soup noodles e.g. soba, udon, ramen, phở for the concentrated nutritional value and the comfort of it feeling home cooked.”
Why: The ultimate comfort food – vegetable noodle soup is just as much about nourishing the soul as the body, says Cavanough. Soup cooked low and slow provides digestible nutrients that can be easily absorbed. Cavanough suggests supercharging your vegetable soup by making it using a base of bone broth – the healing powers of bone broth will work wonders for the immune system and gastrointestinal tract.
Luke Mangan is a world renowned chef and restaurateur with a host of successful haunts under his belt such as Glass Brasserie, Salt Grill and Mojo. He creates culinary delights for a living but he still enjoys the simple things in life. “I’ve always liked vita weats for a snack and now they do them with chia and flaxseeds, so I’ll have a few of these some slices of avocado, tomato, a good drizzle of olive oil, sea salt & cracked pepper.” Snacking between meals can curb cravings and give you a much needed energy boost. Just make sure you top your crackers with healthy toppings so you’re not just chomping on empty carbs.
While it’s not exactly “food”, one thing repeatedly came up when we asked our successful contributors what gets them through the day. Yep, you guessed it. COFFEE. I for one am totally hooked on the stuff. In fact, don’t even talk to me until I’ve had my first dose. Turns out Geitz is hooked too. “I can’t get through the day without coffee,” she says. Messenger, prefers her caffeine cooled and can’t go past an iced latte. “I never drank coffee in my life until about a year ago – I blame all the time I spend in NYC for this indulgence.”
Why: Thankfully, for all us coffee-addicts, recent studies have shown that this gift from the gods can actually do us a world of good. A recent Harvard University study of more than 200,000 people over a period 28 years discovered it can actually lower your mortality. So get slurping and start kicking those goals!
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