Moving to Sydney from the UK in 2011, it wasn’t long before the pressure of Bondi life had Sally “reviewing [her] bikini body” and making changes to her diet.
“But in my attempt to ditch the apple crumbles and focus on nutrition, I was subjected to a lot of plain low-calorie food,” she says. “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.”
Sharing her mouthwatering recipes, fitness motivation and healthy eating tips through the popular blog and on Instagram, Sally hopes to help others on the same clean-eating journey. Offering fit-food inspiration in the form of simple, delicious and honest food without over-complicated ingredients, the focus is on high-protein nourishment packed with good fats and nutrients that is designed to support an active lifestyle.
With everything from supercharged post-workout snacks to lean and delicious dinners as well as nutritious versions of everyone’s favourite sweet treats (think drool-worthy Chocolate Rolos, High Protein Rocky Road, ‘Snickers’ Chocolate Bark and Salted Caramel Slice), Sally’s recipes well and truly bust the myth that if it tastes good it must be bad for you.
Having quit her job in public health to focus on The Fit Foodie full-time, Sally also writes articles and recipes for a number of Australian health and fitness magazines, and spends her days re-working her favourite not-so-healthy recipes to share with her loyal followers.
She also recently launched The Fit Foodie Nutrition Bar where eager Foodie fans and first-timers can sample a selection of sugar-, gluten- and dairy-free delights including nourishing breakfast pots, muffins, raw cheesecakes, brownies, seed slices and protein balls at the iconic Bondi Farmer’s Market.
We are beyond thrilled to be welcoming Sally to the Vitality show this October where she will be sharing some of her awesome healthy recipes during a live cooking demo. We took five with her ahead of the health, wellness and beauty event to find out what makes The Fit Foodie tick.
How did The Fit Foodie come about?
It began in 2012 as a New Year’s Resolution to clean up my diet. I started by cutting out the majority of processed foods, which meant I had to learn to cook. I pulled out the recipe books, and began swapping out some of the low-nutritional ingredients for some healthier options.
Six weeks in and I was starting to see some real changes in my body shape. Six months later I had lost over 10 kilos and felt amazing. My recipe note-taking began to outgrow my tiny study, so I recorded my healified recipes online. Within a few weeks the site had received over 3,000 hits, and I knew then I had found my passion.
“My recipe note-taking began to outgrow my tiny study, so I recorded my healified recipes online. Within a few weeks the site had received over 3,000 hits, and I knew then I had found my passion.”
How would you describe your food philosophy?
I want to help people recreate awesome, healthy recipes at home, so I try to keep things quick, easy and simple.
No diet will do for you what healthy eating will do, period. That’s why it’s so important to make nutritious meals truly accessible for those who can’t cook / won’t cook / don’t have time.
When I started out on my health food journey, I tried a number of approaches that have left me hungry and tired.
I’ve now come to a great balance on my Fit Foodie journey, and believe everything should be eaten in moderation, with two exceptions: processed sugar and veggies.
It’s really important to consider the nutritional value of each meal rather than worry about calories. If it’s nutrient dense, then it should be included in your diet!
“I’ve now come to a great balance on my Fit Foodie journey, and believe everything should be eaten in moderation, with two exceptions: processed sugar and veggies.”
What would be your perfect day on a plate?
Breakfast: Anything with peanut butter!
Morning snack: A soft-boiled egg with a few Himalayan sea salt flakes
Lunch: Poached chicken salad with fresh figs and a drizzle of balsamic glaze.
Afternoon snack: Lightly salted popcorn or a homemade protein ball.
Dinner: Crispy skinned salmon with steamed broccoli and asparagus dressed with freshly squeezed lemon.
Dessert: Home-made raw chocolate.
You describe yourself as a ‘fitness addict’ – do you have a strict regimen?
I like to get moving at least once a day – it helps me to keep me focused in life and work. My current routine consists of three weight training sessions a week, two cardio sessions on the bike or cross trainer, and at least one session of yoga. I also like to go for a brisk walk at lunch time – gets the blood pumping when you’ve been sat at a desk for a few hours.
How do you relax/de-stress?
I find creating new recipes very therapeutic for me. If I’ve had a hectic day, I like to take a break and get stuck into something new and exciting in the kitchen. It tends to start with me sticking my head in the pantry and mixing together whatever takes my fancy. If you only keep good ingredients, you only create good food. I can’t deny I love the taste-testing part too!
“The best change I made to my diet was to swap store-bought sugary foods with home made treats so that I could control the ingredients.”
What are your top tips for anyone trying to get in shape and eat well?
1. If you only keep good food in your house, you will only eat good food.
Donate those chips, chocolate bars and sugary treats in the cupboard to a willing recipient!
2. Read nutritional labels.
Ingredients are listed in descending order of predominance. This means that the first ingredient is the most prevalent in the product, while the last ingredient has the least amount in the product. If your grandma wouldn’t recognise something on the list, it’s probably not something you want to be eating lots of.
3. Cut out processed sugars.
Processed sugar makes us fat. It has no nutritional value and is highly addictive. The best change I made to my diet was to swap store-bought sugary foods with home made treats so that I could control the ingredients. I love to use a blend of different natural sweeteners such as rice malt syrup, stevia, and mesquite powders. Raw honey, dates, maple syrup and even cinnamon are also great alternatives to traditional white sugar. Don’t forget – sugars also regularly find their way in to savoury foods such as breads, pasta sauces and condiments, so be sure to follow Tip #2!
4. Preparation is key: make sure you have healthy options ready to go.
On a Sunday I like to pre-boil eggs, poach some chicken and cook a bowl of quinoa. I keep them ready in the fridge so I can throw a salad or snack together at a moment’s notice. It stops me from reaching for something unhealthy.
5. Move daily.
Even if it’s just a brisk walk in the park, or taking the stairs, every little counts.
“I think there’s a general shift in our attitude towards food – people are becoming more inquisitive and educated about what they put in their bodies.”
Are you a juice/smoothie fan? What do you put in yours?
I prefer to eat my veggies rather than juice them, but I do love a good smoothie. If I can get a few greens in there, all the better! Frozen banana, spinach, fresh mint leaves and raw cacao powder is my current favourite.
Do you have an all-time favourite Fit Foodie recipe?
The Deluxe Nut, Cherry and Cacao Torte has to be my favourite. It’s actually really simple to make, and bursting with nutrients. Perfect for a special occasion!
Congratulations on The Fit Foodie Nutrition Bar – how’s that going?
Thank you! The Nutrition Bar has had some great support from the lovely folks of Sydney so far. I’m loving meeting new people and seeing their faces when I tell them my creations are healthy. The variety of people interested in my food has amazed me – from parents wanting to feed their kids brownies with secret veggies in, to muscly guys leaving the gym. I think it’s reflective of a general shift in our attitude towards food – people are becoming more inquisitive and educated about what they put in their bodies. It’s a joy to see!
And finally, what’s your mantra?
LOVE. MOVE. EAT.