My name is Lucy and I live on the Gold Coast in Australia. I have a PhD in the field of molecular microbiology and a Bachelors degree in Biomedical Science with First class Honours. I am a research scientist by day, but in the early mornings and evenings, I am obsessed with all things health and fitness related (mostly adventure racing at the moment). I have competed in muay thai (thai kickboxing) and triathlon at the amateur level (top age grouper). I have completed multiple 5km and 10km running races, as well as half marathons (PB 01:27:21) and 3 marathons (PB 03:18:17). I enjoy lifting weights, training with kettlebells and sandbags, camping, hiking, travelling, mountain biking, coffee, red wine, investing, reading, learning, cooking and surfing (when I manage to stay on the board!). So as you can probably gather I am a busy woman and I value my time, but I also value my health. At the moment, my career is very demanding, so my aim is to stay as healthy and fit as possible in the least amount of time. My style of cooking involves quick, easy, basic, mostly low carb, nutritious food, with as little processed ingredients as possible. I use oil as little as possible. I truly believe in making healthy food taste good and I hope that my recipes will have you saying “I can’t believe that’s healthy”. I was vegetarian for 10 years but have reintroduced meat into my diet in the past year. Being vegetarian had many benefits. In particular, I was forced to get creative with preparing vegetables. In 2014, while training for my third marathon, I started craving meat for the first time in many years, so I listened to my body. I have been eating meat ever since.
Why read my blog?
I am not one of those naturally lean people. At the age of 18, I decided that I wanted to lose weight and get fit and healthy. I have had to work at it every day ever since (I am now 30). Needless to say, I have experimented with a range of diets and exercise methods. I have always adapted recipes to make them lower in fat, lower in carbohydrates or without sugar, much to the disappointment of my boyfriend. Currently, I find a whole food diet with carbohydrates relative to my activity levels to be the most effective way to maintain a healthy weight range and keep my energy levels high in order for me to maintain my busy lifestyle. I incorporate high intensity kettlebell and sandbag circuits, hill sprints, running and heavy weights into my training along with more specific training for what ever event I happen to be working towards at the time. I aim to provide useful recipes, cooking suggestions and fitness tips for career-oriented women (and guys too!) who value their time, but equally value their health. I know what it feels like to come home at the end of a busy day and try to put together a nutritious meal. A typical day for me consists of waking up at 5am to train for 1 – 2 hours, then rushing around before work to put a load of washing on while eating breakfast and making lunch, driving to work dealing with traffic, then doing a 10 hour day in the laboratory conducting experiments and finally coming home to a kitchen full of dishes! When faced with this kind of situation, you might be tempted to think that cheese on toast will do for dinner. But you owe it to your body to provide it with something more nutritious. Most of my recipes are designed for evenings just like this where you want a simple, quick nutritious meal. In addition, I was a student for 8 years so I know how to save money. I am still quite frugal to this day, and I can prove that living a healthy lifestyle is possible on a budget. As a scientist, I am always looking for evidence-based answers. I always conduct my own research on topics in health, nutrition and fitness using reliable, peer-reviewed sources of information.
My thoughts on diet
While so called ‘superfoods’ do contain essential nutrients, this term is often used as a marketing tool. And although ‘all organic’ is ideal, it is not always practical or affordable to eat this way. I believe that a diet consisting of predominantly vegetables, lean meats, eggs, fish, beans, legumes, unsweetened diary and small amounts of nuts and fruits is ideal for maintaining a healthy weight range, achieving optimal health and energy levels and providing you with all the essential vitamins and minerals that you need. Carbohydrates provide energy and not much else, therefore, carbohydrate intake should be relative to your activity levels. If you are sitting at your desk all day, you don’t need to eat a huge bowl of pasta for dinner. Of course I enjoy dark chocolate, chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, cider on tap, nachos and fruit cheese. Enjoying these foods is a part of enjoying life! But I do try to eat nutritious, whole foods 80 – 90% of time.
What I am not
I am not a chef, I am not photographer (clearly!), I am not a nutritionist, I am not a personal trainer and while I have the title Dr due to my PhD, I am not a medical doctor. I am a scientist with a passion for health and fitness and I hope I can share my passion with you. Feel free to leave a comment to let me know what you think about any of the recipes or fitness tips.
Disclaimer: The content of this blog is a reflection of the views and opinions of me, the author, and are not intended to constitute medical advice. The use of information on this blog or materials linked from this blog is at the user’s own risk. Before engaging in any exercise or nutrition program you may choose to consult a medical practitioner. I accept no responsibility or liability for any problems you may incur as a result of you taking advice from this blog. Your choices are your responsibility. (Coconut image from freeimages.com courtesy of dini13)