Cheerios, Shreddies, Coco Pops.. My cupboard was always packed with sugary cereals. Back in the day, my mum was the face of Shredded Wheat and they asked if I could ‘star’ in one of their adverts. I was dressed up in a little tartan skirt and placed into our ‘kitchen’. It’s the first and only advert I’ve ever starred in. I had hit the pinnacle of TV advertising – age six. It was extremely cheesy (more on that later..) but the director had me running towards my mum gleefully, she picked me up and gave me a big bowl of Shredded Wheat which I then happily wolf down at the breakfast table. However, and this is a big however, I categorically refused to eat shredded wheat. I was so used to sugary cereal, it had no appeal. I wanted the frosties with added sugar on top, in the microwave. So instead, they filled my bowl with Wotzits, cheesy Wotzits Crisps!
Thankfully, I’ve grown up a little over the past nine years and although my TV appearances have dwindled – I appreciate the healthier things in life and can’t remember the last time I stuffed my face with Wotzits.
Porridge is an athletes staple. My mum used to take bags of oats with her all over the world with the instructions of how to make them in six different languages! She said that sometimes the food was so horrific in certain countries that she would eat three bowls of porridge every day for her main meals. It’s such a clever thing to do though as food can make a huge difference to performance – especially when it’s not cooked correctly! At my first ever championship abroad, the Commonwealth Youth Games in India, back in 2008 – I was treated to a lovely fish curry… at 5am in the morning before my 3000m. That was an experience.
I have now become fully reliant on my porridge like a true athlete. I love it. I also add a little bit of protein powder into it in order to make sure I’m hitting my protein intake throughout the day. It depends on what I have in the fridge ( or what’s on offer in the supermarkets!) but generally I’ll have a mixture of skimmed milk, almond milk or coconut milk, alongside a banana and again a mixture of berries. Blueberries are a brilliant antioxidant. Greek currants also add another texture to the mix. It is morning bliss in a bowl.
After following the advice of some other female athletes – they suggested I try adding a small amount of Maca Powder into my porridge. In the past, I have struggled with low oestrogen levels and Maca is (supposedly) a natural way of regularising your hormones – so I thought I would give it a go! It’s lovely tasting and so an easy addition to my morning routine.