bRaw Ambassadors' Chat
We sat down with bRaw ambassadors, Nicky Bell, Lisa Nicolaisen and Sarah Kay, to chat about food, fitness and health. They shared how they started in the fitness and health industry, what’s their favourite food and what they do on the weekends.
Here’s what it went down.
Tell us how did you get into fitness/health/food blogging?
Sarah: It’s a long story but long story short, I started food blogging and creating recipes because I was trying to recover from an eating disorder (I skipped breakfast, ate the exact same sad salad for lunch and had the same crackers and apple “dinner” for 2yrs straight). I guess creating recipes, researching and writing about food helped wrap my head around the fact that no food is the enemy and challenged me to switch up my diet every day
Lisa: Growing up I was always really active and loved living a fit lifestyle. I danced every day and loved athletics during school. My dream for a long time was to be a dancer, but that changed a little after school finished. I joined a gym and not long after I knew that I wanted to enter the industry and further my knowledge by studying to be a personal trainer. Since then I have been working in the industry for just over 6 months, currently a coach at F45 which is and has always been my favourite way to workout. I started to really care about my health and diet when I was about 17, I did unfortunately at some stages create an unhealthy relationship with food because I didn’t understand balance at the time. I eat clean majority of the time for the way it makes me feel and for my health, but I also learnt along the way you can still enjoy life and be healthy by creating balance!
Nicky: I’m quite a big advocate for health and fitness. Currently, I work out 4-5 times a week and aim to stick to a very basic diet of fruits, meats and veggies. My health and fitness journey has taken a huge turn since moving to Sydney and being exposed to a really negative and toxic working environment. I never realised how much exercising and eating well affected my mental health until going through the tough situation I have been through. Exercising daily has helped me to stay positive and keep a healthy mental state. I am so thankful every time I get to work out because it puts me in such a great headspace.
What’s your morning routine like?
Lisa: Every morning is different for me because of my work. If I’m on the go because of an early start with work, I like to have everything ready the night before, so I’m organised in the morning. Most of the time I’ll have a coffee or a green tea to wake me up, have a healthy breaky and do my work out! My favourite time to train is definitely the morning as it actually gives me energy for the rest of the day and puts me in a good head space! If I don’t have an early start, I still like to get up relatively early and get my body moving!
Nicky: I wake up at around 6am and head to the gym. After the gym, I go to work and have breakfast.
Sarah, what’s your favourite recipe that you have created?
Sarah: Ohhh that’s a hard one! I think it would have to be my vegan cookies and cream protein doughnut recipe!!
What does a day on a plate look like?
Sarah: Each day is pretty different for me now because I am still trying to challenge myself to each different foods. I prefer to have 4 big meals rather than numerous smaller meals because I don’t have time to snack at the hospital. Yesterday’s day on a plate was:
Breakfast: overnight chia protein oats
Lunch: vegetable and potato curry with couscous
Dinner: pasta with a vegetable stir fry
Snack while making dinner: salted caramel banana smoothie bowl with bRaw Salted Caramel Protein
Dessert: stack of pancakes with a choc protein brownie
Nicky: For me, my days are always crazy busy and diverse. As I am in marketing, I am usually dealing with many different departments which I love! I work 8-6 usually and then head home to relax and eat dinner!
Lisa: A day on my plate changes every day and really depends on the weather! For breakfast, I enjoy different things such as smoothies, oats, eggs on toast with avocado and protein pancakes, which all depends on how much time I have. For lunch, it’s usually leftovers from dinner, so a good source of protein (chicken, fish or occasionally red meat) with rice and vegetables (I always remind myself to eat the rainbow as much as possible). With my lunch and dinner meals, if I have time, I try to get creative as I love cooking. I will use lots of herbs and spices to create healthy tasty meals such as curries, tacos, pasta etc. Throughout my main meals, I snack on things like fruit, protein balls, rice crackers, protein smoothie etc. I usually always crave something sweet after dinner, so I like to enjoy some dark chocolate and my favourite snack of all time... popcorn!
Tell us about your fitness routine
Sarah: I love lifting weights and running, so I do a mixture of bodybuilding/powerlifting styled workouts and HIIT. My workout schedule changes each week depending on how I feel or what I have planned. But I try to follow this split:
Monday: heavy deadlifts and glutes
Tuesday: heavy back and Triceps
Wednesday: volume legs or rest
Thursday: light shoulders and biceps
Friday: volume back and triceps or rest
Saturday: heavy squats and glutes
Sunday: heavy shoulders and biceps + 6-10km run/sprint HIIT
Lisa: I like all my workouts to be quick and efficient mixing it up with cardio and weights. One thing I’ve found that works best for me so that I don’t get bored of training is that I have to keep my workouts fun and interesting by incorporating other types of training that I enjoy like Pilates or going for a run!
Nicky: I usually work out Tuesday - Saturday in the mornings at around 6.30am. I am a morning person, so I find it better to work out before work as it sets me up for the day.
Where do we find you on the weekend?
Nicky: I’m usually at the beach, spending time with my partner or with friends! I am always down for a cheeky afternoon wine or cocktail.
Sarah: Hahaha you’ll find me either in the kitchen cooking, in my study doing assignments or at a cafe with friends.
Lisa: On the weekend you’ll find me usually at work coaching classes in the morning, hanging out with my boyfriend, going out for a nice meal and just relaxing with my family and friends! Sunday’s are usually my rest day from the gym, but I always like to stay active, so I enjoy taking the dogs out for a walk or to the beach!
And to finalise our chat what your fave motto to live by
Lisa: “The happiest people don’t have the best of everything, they make the best of everything’ & ‘As long as you’ve got passion, faith and are willing to work hard in life, you can do anything you want in this life.’
Sarah: As cliché as it is my favourite motto is “you are your only limit” because it’s so true. No one is telling you that you shouldn’t or can’t eat that. No one is telling you that you can’t wear that. No one is telling you that you can’t do it. No one is telling you that you aren’t worth it. 99.9-100% of the time, it’s your mind telling you can’t! And if there is that 0.01% being an actual person telling you that you can’t, tell them to bugger off, do it anyway and prove them damn wrong!
Nicky: Everything happens for a reason!