Meg is next up in our 3rd issue of Friday Feature. So far we’ve had Steph Einhorn from The Wellness Web, as well as Nic Burden a professional sprint kayaker.
Meg Mackenzie is a South African trail running superstar sponsored by Salomon, GU Energy, Suunto Fitness and Oakley.
Please tell us a little more about you and what you do:
I’ve always loved running and sport, and I come from a very adventurous and outdoorsy family so the type of lifestyle I lead is not entirely different to how I grew up. I think it’s just a bit more extreme now! I started competing in trail running in 2012 and after winning a few races, I found that its all I want to do at this stage of my life! I love the places it takes me, the people I meet and the mountains I get to explore. I’m busy training for World Champs that are going to be held in Colorado in August.
Your journey to health and why you eat the way you do?
As an athlete it is so important to be constantly in tune with your body. What you eat affects a large portion of your performance so its important for me to be conscious without over analysing ever bite that I take. I’ve found that becoming obsessive about what you eat and how it affects your performance can be dangerous. Its important to be and feel light and comfortable in your body. If you eat what a particular diet is telling you to eat instead of going with your intuition, you might not get this syncronised feeling.
I don’t like to cook, I prefer to eat raw food as far as I can. It works for me! I eat lots of raw mushrooms, marrows, pattipans and spinach. I try to include more protein if I’ve had a hard training week or a race but I don’t over analyse each meal.
What does it mean to you to be healthy? What’s your food philosophy?
I believe that everyone’s bodies are different. This might sound obvious, but you need to listen to your body and all its cravings. What works for someone else, won’t neccesarily work for you so I don’t follow any strict diet. I also try not to listen to other athletes and all the different diets they are trying. I eat according to this mentality. If I’m hungry, I have a little something to eat. I stop when I’ve had enough. If I’m not hungry, I won’t eat. I keep it simple!
What does your day on a plate look like?
I start with rolled oats, almonds, natural yogurt and a dollop of peanut butter. Its my favourite meal of the day! If I’m in a rush and I’ve had a hard training session I settle for a protein shake but I try to avoid this as I prefer to eat naturally. I eat FutureLife before a race, its quick, easy and gives me the initial kick of energy I need.
For lunch I usually have raw spinach salad with lots of raw veges, carrots, baby squash, pattipans and marrows. I eat this with cottage cheese or hummus. Its delicious AND I don’t have to worry about cooking! Simple and easy.
My dinners are often the same sort of thing. I might try to add in some tasty (cooked) butternut or aubergine. I’m not strictly vegetarian but I don’t eat meat a lot, only when my body tells me it needs some!
Any healthy snacks that are your fave?
Bananas and almonds. Or a tasty teaspoon of peanut butter for that afternoon slump.
How do you stay healthy whilst travelling?
Its quite easy to stay healthy whilst travelling because I’m always with like-minded people. And we are all there to race or train so everyone is very conscious. The key is to plan ahead a bit. I always carry a tuppaware of mixed nuts in my bag. Instead of grabbing a sandwhich at the airport I have a handful of nuts and wait until I can rustle up something more healthy. I also carry ginger wherever I go. So instead of drinking cup after cup of coffee, I have some ginger tea which hydrates me and can keep hunger at bay. Its also good for imflammation which is part of my every day life!
Your favourite healthy recipe
My favourite ‘recipe’ is my breakfast.
Oats, seeds, dried blueberries, a banana and a dollop of peanut butter. Its warm and comforting and so delicious!
Contact Meg at: