5 minutes with Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill
Three-time World Champion and ultimate superwoman, Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill has teamed up with Mindful Chef to help busy parents eat like a champion too.
From Mexican Style Steak with Avocado Salsa and Brown Rice to Beef Bolognese with Sweet Potato Mash, Ennis-Hill has designed meals that will give customers great tasting food that is nutritionally balanced.
We sat down with the World Champion for an insight into how her diet and exercise has changed since retiring and becoming a mother.
HOW DO YOU FIND TIME TO COOK AS A BUSY MUM AND PUBLIC FIGURE?
I like to know where all my ingredients come from hence why we have Mindful Chef meals. They are such a refreshing change and there are so many meals to choose from.
I tend to have a couple a week and, in between, we have a few family favourites. I am always browsing through cookery books and I like meals that are super tasty but take less than 30 mins to cook during the week.
WHAT DOES A BALANCED DIET LOOK LIKE TO YOU?
I have always followed a diet that covers all food groups – as an athlete you need to have a combination of foods that give you energy but also that contain protein. I am not afraid to have treats in moderation either.
ARE THERE ANY NUTRITION PRINCIPLES YOU TRY TO FOLLOW?
I follow a principle of moderation and variety – I cook meat, fish and vegetarian food. I think one of the most important things for me is good ingredients and no hidden sugars, fats or additives which is why I like to make meals from scratch.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MINDFUL CHEF DISH?
Now that would be hard to call but I am a huge fan of Asian food so it would have to be the Lemongrass and Coconut Chicken Curry or any of the delicious Teriyaki dishes.
HOW HAS YOUR EATING CHANGED SINCE BECOMING A MOTHER?
I pay more attention to where foods have come from and what is in them. I don’t think my eating has changed much but I do study labels more. We introduce our children to lots of flavours so they can eat what we eat as a family.
LIKEWISE, HOW DID YOUR EATING CHANGE WHEN YOU RETIRED?
Since retiring I have had to watch what I eat more than before as I am not training 6 hours a day. I certainly eat less than I did but really it is my focus that is now on eating a balanced diet and not so much on muscle recovery and fuel for sessions.
WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO TRAIN AND EAT WELL NOW YOU DON’T COMPETE?
I have trained for as long as I can remember and it is part of who I am – I love the way being fit makes me feel and I know the health benefits of being active. I find it hard to find time but if I can train 3 times a week for 20 minutes and work as hard as I can I am a happy person!
What you put into your body is equally as important – I like fresh simple food that gives you energy and tastes good. The years of eating well as an athlete are ingrained in me – but I will always love a bit of chocolate or a piece of good cheesecake!
ON INSTAGRAM, YOU SAID YOU HATE BURPEES. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE WAY TO TRAIN NOWADAYS?
Funnily enough – I used to also say I hated hill runs but now I do both those and burpees as they are really great ways to get an overall fitness in a shorter time. My focus is on training smart in a shorter time to get maximum value – 20 minutes here and 20 minutes there!