For our second installment of Day In The Life, The Urban List met with Sally O'Neil, AKA The Fit Foodie; a woman whose moreish healthy recipes and unique brand of aspirational wellness advice have garnered her many a fan (check out her Instagram for some out of this world healthy dessert porn), and earned her a spot in our most read blogs list—no small feat! Sally gave us a peek into the life of a busy health blogger, from her morning coffee to her fave Sydney healthy haunts, where she sources her recipe inspo', and how she manages to stay looking so good when she's surrounded by gorgeous food!
I always wake up and straight head down to the gym for a short session of fasted cardio, and then word on body weight movements and free weights. That first hour is my time to switch off and forget about pressing tasks. It sets me up for the day ahead with a clear mind.
I find fitness easy to fit into my schedule as I do it out of habit. I think of it as an appointment with myself that runs at the same time everyday. I block out that time to dedicate to myself, and make sure everything else fits around it. My health is a top priority.
I generally work out in my apartment gym but in summer I love to take it outdoors to Hyde Park or jog around the wharfs at Pyrmont.
When it comes to my health I don’t like to be perceptive with rituals or rules. No day is the same for me so I have to be pretty flexible, but I always make sure I move my body every day, and make smart choices when it comes to food. I always opt for high quality proteins, low GI carbs, and healthy fats to keep my body running at its best. When it comes to eating right I'm a fan of Youfoodz because it takes the guess work out of eating clean, it’s supplied in perfect portion sizes, and it’s all delivered fresh to your doorstep. It's a lifesaver for anyone who’s got a lot going on!
I love strength training. Free weights, body weight training and small bursts of cardio (such as skipping)—switching things up keeps it interesting.
I feel my best when I’ve hit a new PB or pushed myself that little bit harder. It’s important to celebrate your achievements to keep yourself motivated. Knowing I’m getting stronger or fitter really spurs me on.
After the gym, I go back home for breakfast, which is normally a protein shake and a bowl of oatmeal. If I’m extra hungry, I tuck into some of my homemade Cookie Dough protein balls.
Proteini Cafe is my favourite Sydney café for breakfast at the moment. It’s packed full of out of this world, nutrient-dense dishes. Try the Caveman Bowl!
I moved to Sydney four years ago in the midst of travelling the world. I instantly fell in love with the place and vowed never to leave. I love Bondi beach for the relaxed vibe (insert English stereotype here!) and health food eateries. Potts Point is great for the weekend farmers market and abundance of cool cafes. Surry Hills is my usual weekend hang spot; I love the leafy streets, bookshops, and boutique home stores.
Brunch has to be at The Grounds of Alexandria. Their fresh produce and pop-up markets rock my world.
I never have a lot of time to get ready—I usually give myself 20 minutes to throw on some clothes and makeup, then I grab everything I need for the day head and walk over to my office on William Street, where I share a space with other creative businesses.
On my way to the office I’ll grab a coffee. There’s so many choices for coffee being in the centre of the city, but Workshop Espresso serves up a mean cup and it’s very close to home. If I’m working out of the office, Flour + Stone in Wooloomooloo is my next point of call. Long black, splash of hot almond milk, please!
Then it’s onto emails to reply to anything urgent—usually a looming magazine deadline makes the top of the list!
Then it’s onto to Instagram to post a new recipe or share some other healthy tid-bits.
I’m get inspiration for my blog and recipes from everything around me, but mainly I pull from traditional meals I enjoyed back home in the UK. As these are all typically indulgent recipes, I love the challenge of re-working them into something that’s just as tasty and delicious, minus the guilt. My favourite at the moment in this cold Sydney weather is my Healthy Rhubarb Crumble.
I’ll spend some time sourcing ingredients, props and fabrics for my next food shoot before planning the next round of healthy recipes for the blog.
Lunch is usually leftovers from the night before or a big salad from Venus Wholefoods. Without time for forward planning, it’s too easy to fall into the trap of buying a pre-packed sandwich at lunchtime or a pizza slice on the way home.
I love cooking up a storm in the kitchen and creating new recipes for the blog but when I'm dipping in and out of meetings I need something quick and nutritious; Youfoodz is a great option for lunch when I’m short on time. I don’t have to consider the nutritional balance of each meal because I know its been pre-planned by a dietician, and I love the Superfood Winter Salad + Barra Mix. Having a super quick lunch option like Youfoodz means I can actually get to meetings on time (it’s a miracle) and frees up my day so I can respond to some emails—those things never seem to go away!
Afternoons are reserved for working on my own health food product line, Fit Mixes, talking to distributors, organising shipping and working on promotion.
Youfoodz whole almonds are a favourite snack of mine. Nuts are a great way to starve off that 3pm slump.
If I want a cheat meal, Sadhana Kitchen in Newtown has the most divine raw lasagne + rich nut-based cakes. I can’t go past their Raweo's for the ultimate treat!
I normally leave the office around 6pm and walk home, ready to whip up dinner. It’s usually something quick and nutritious, like crispy skinned salmon, brown rice and steamed greens, or a turkey bolognese.
I love to cook! Being a food blogger, my life revolves around it. I’m always conjuring up new recipes of investigating new ingredients. My favourite dish of all time is probably the simplest…Crispy Skinned Salmon with steamed greens. For something sweet, homemade raw chocolate is my fail-safe. My favourite dessert at the moment is a couple of my Cookie Dough protein balls and a glass of almond milk.
When we go out, my partner and I love Chiswick for its seasonal produce its beautiful grounds. It’s the perfect setting for a quiet night together to enjoy good food and catch up on the week’s events.
The evening is then spent packing the day’s orders of Fit Mixes and touching base with distributors.
I try to set aside an hour before bed to read and relax, ready to do it all again tomorrow!
I’m not really the relaxing type—I prefer to be firing on all cylinders and working through my task list! I try to relax through Sunday morning yoga sessions at my favourite light-filled studio HOM in Darlinghurst, and then head to AboutLife for a nourishing snack.
I would love to spend some time everyday on yoga, or even just basic stretching, but I never seem to fit it all in! I make sure I get to a hatha class on weekends at HOM, just to unwind and de-stress from my busy week.
The Fit Foodie's Tips for Healthy Living
1. Keep it simple. Rather than setting big goals of running a marathon, wake up just 30 minutes earlier, and strap on your sneakers, cycle to work, or schedule a lunchtime walk with a colleague. Walking meetings are an awesome way to get out of the office and get moving.
2. Batch cook everything. If you find you don’t have time on Sunday to prep everything for the week ahead, double your ingredients from dinner and save it for a healthy lunch the next day. If you're stuck for ideas, I’d recommend Youfoodz to anyone who doesn’t have the time to think of new and healthy, tasty dishes every day.
3. Learn what’s in your food. When you’re out and about, respect your body by knowing what you’re putting into it. It will repay you by giving you more energy for all that running around.