A little while ago I brought a new section to the blog called Friday Feature. The first one up was the lovely Steph Einhorn who is a holistic Kinesiologist based in Perth, Australia and is the founder of The Wellness Web.
Today I feature Nic Burden who is a sports enthusiast and has been a professional sprint kayaker partaking in numerous events and has also raced in the Junior World Sprint Championships.
Nic grew up in the Natal Midlands and as a youngster was always into sport but mostly focused on canoeing. He obtained a degree in Human Kinetics and Ergonomics and shortly thereafter moved to Johannesburg to start training with the national coach with the ambition of going to the Olympics. He raced and trained professionally for four years and also managed to obtain a Master’s degree in Sports Science in that time.
Please tell us about your journey to health and why you choose to eat the way you do?
From a young age I never drank any fizzy drinks or ate much junk food- and this was before I was aware of any of the health benefits! My body has a way of telling me what food agrees with me and what doesn’t.
I eat simply and like the concept of putting pure food into my body. My stomach has given me quite a few problems which can probably be attributed to IBS or a food allergy which has perpetuated my awareness and conciousness of my body.
I eat what works for my body and I believe our bodies influence us or direct us to the type of nutrients that they need. I am aware of all the latest diet fads such as LCHF (low carb high fat) and if it makes sense to me and if my body needs it then I will try it.
What does it mean to you to be healthy? What’s your food philosophy?
“You don’t put petrol in a diesel engine”
Being healthy is a holistic concept based on the balance between your physical, psychological and spiritual well being. They are all interlinked and influence each other. My daily outlook is to minimise stress and keep balanced. The human body is amazing and very resilient but not invincible. Eating a diet that is incorrect is like flicking a grain of sand into a car engine every day- eventually it will pack up.
I don’t believe one diet works for everyone, each one of us is different. The key is awareness and understanding what works for you.
My general and simple approach to my diet is no processed sugar, no wheat or gluten based products and limited dairy. I also try avoid artificial food packed with preservatives and colourants.
What does your day on a plate look like?
My day on a plate usually starts off with a power smoothie containing a bunch of healthy ingredients (see recipe below). What I eat first depends on which type of training I’ll be doing that day. A filling protein packed smoothie is a perfect energy booster to get my body ready for the day.
Snacks are usually fruit and nuts which I activate and sprinkle with Himalayan sea salt.
Lunch and dinner are combinations of some type of fish (tuna, salmon) with sweet potato, avocado, lentils, chickpeas and roasted vegetables. I also eat a lot of quinoa, chicken liver and samp and beans. I try and stay away from red meat. I also eat raw honey, peanut butter and multigrain rice cakes. A little dark chocolate is my indulgent treat after dinner.
How do you keep healthy whilst travelling?
My habits tend to be very simple and if travelling to another country I usually adapt to eating the local food. I have created a ‘travel tub’ that I take with me when travelling which contains all my healthy ingredients so that I can make sure I’m well prepared. My ‘travel tub’ consists of my smoothie ingredients as well as healthy snacks.
A healthy recipe that you would like to share?
My daily smoothie
- 5 ice blocks
- 500ml water
- 1 banana
- handful of coconut flakes
- dash of nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon raw honey (from our own bees)
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- handful of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, goji berries and raisins
- dash of maca powder
- hemp powder
- cacao powder
- Raw vegan protein powder
Blend together and enjoy a nutritious breakfast!