Megan Craig & Sophie MacKenzie are two NZ elite athletes who together founded the wholefood online platform Megs and Soph. They both love health, wellness, the outdoors, food and their wonderful families. Both are qualified personal trainers + health coaches, and Soph is a qualified Nutritionist.
Soph is currently training full-time for the NZ Olympic Rowing team and Megs having completed 6 years on the Professional Squash tour and welcoming her daughter Ameika into the world, is now running her own personal fitness business. They inspire their community with super quick and easy recipes, because they know how important it is to ‘get the job done’ when you come home from training tired and hungry = hangry, and all you want to do is to eat straight away.
We caught up with Megs and Soph to chat about living healthy and how they keep the balance. They've also shared their favorite raw chocolate slice (which is super delish!), so grab a cuppa and join us for their inspiring stories.
What does health & wellbeing mean to you?
Soph: Fueling myself with mostly wholefoods, being kind to myself and practicing self-compassion, but ultimately it’s what I do to feel my best, have lots of energy and how I create a positive attitude towards living my best life.
Megs: Living a happy, purposeful and balanced life. I'm a mum and own a Personal Training business, so things can get pretty hectic if I don't keep things in check. Making sure I'm looking after myself is key. I do things that I love daily, laughing, eating good foods, exercising, breathing, getting fresh air, gardening are all so important to me, so that I can show up and be the best version of myself for myself, my family and my clients each day.😃
What triggered your wellness journey?
Soph: It was a natural progression after high school when I started training more for rowing and needing to be lightweight (rowing). I wanted to learn about nutrition and the positive impacts I could have on my body and performance. I also had terrible stomach pains and wanted to get to the bottom of those as well.
Megs: I've always been into everything sports since a young age and decided at the age 12 that I wanted to take my squash more seriously and be the best in the world (haha very ambitious 12-year-old). I dropped the majority of my other sports and concentrated on my squash. As things got a bit more serious I decided I was going to play on the world tour once I left school. My training, sleep, and fueling my body with the right things all became really important to me as I wanted to give it my best shot and I've never really looked back since then.
What do you wish you'd known when you first started your wellness journey?
Soph: I wish I didn’t demonise foods and think there were good and bad foods as this over the years started to impact my mental space.
Megs: How important fueling your body truly is!! Even more so if you're young, still developing, and training a lot. I was lucky my dad was always on my case before we had squash each day, but I definitely under ate and over trained for a while there. It really mucked with my hormones, strength on court and injuries. Once I understood how important nutrition was before and after training + eating good food throughout the day, my squash improved a lot!!
What has been your biggest wellness struggle?
Soph: Hmmm this is a tough question ... I think when I started out there was a lot of confusing information, for example ‘carbs are bad’, which is a really big no-no for a female endurance athlete like myself. My recovery from training, my mental/emotion head-space and periods were definitely impacted in hindsight.
Megs: Over committing myself to far too many things at once. Causing me a lot of extra stress and not being able to give my full potential in the areas that mean most to me. Still a work in progress but I'm getting there haha.
How do you overcome setbacks and stay motivated?
Soph: I’ve overcome a few setbacks. Most recently I've had a lingering knee injury since the middle of 2019. It took me out of international competition to return home to NZ and undergo A LOT of rehab drills and a slow build up back into full-time training.
What got me through this time:
returning home to the family farm and surrounding myself with loving people
my fiancé who always encourages and supports me but also has the voice of reason and practicality to bring me out of being a Negative-Nancy
knowing and being clear on my goals and knowing deep-down I didn’t want to just give up.
Megs: As hard as it may be at the time, I always try to take at least one positive from the situation. I re-evaluate, remind myself why I'm doing what I'm doing, and focus on the next stepping stone to move forward.
What would your ultimate healthy day look like?
Soph: Hmmm another tricky one because it would kind of depend on my moods haha. Right now it would be waking up having GF toast with tahini and jam, 1-2 hours training, big bowl of porridge with berries and cream or yogurt. Then doing some study or reading or a nap. Big Lunch bowl depends on my mood + a bit of chocolate. Another training session followed by a yummy smoothie either choc, berry or my current fav is @Nuzestnz Vanilla Caramel Kids Good Stuff. Walk Eddie at the park, dinner and a movie. Do some stretching / yoga. Bedtime to read or chat to family.
Megs: My days have changed a bit since becoming a mum but I love it! Early morning circuit, yoga, or run before my daughter wakes up (when things go to plan lol). Protein smoothie and porridge party with Ameika. Some kind of walk, park, adventure outdoors with Ameika + a picnic.
Meal prep a wholesome meal at lunch for dinner while she sleeps + organize my clients sessions for the following day. Evening game of squash with my dad would be the ultimate but only happens every now and then. After dinner stretching, reading or pottery, tea and dark chocolate 👌
What is the one thing you do that makes the biggest difference for you and your health?
Soph: My attitude. Sometimes I just can’t be bothered organising healthy snacks and lunches so it all goes to very basic and often not the healthiest options. But this all has a roll on effect and then I can’t be bothered stretching, getting outside and doing all those small things that make me feel good, relaxed and energised within myself. So making the conscious effort to choose healthier food options, getting outside daily for a decent time, stretch which really helps me unwind or to read a book rather than scroll Instagram which can put me in a funk. My attitude towards living the day makes a big difference to how I finish the day feeling.
Megs: Being organized! Crucial for mine and my family's health. Making a list the night before of a few things that need to be done the next day has been life changing. Far better than having a never ending list that I can never get through.
Chocolate Base 1 ½ cups oats 1 cup coconut ½ cup dried dates ¼ cup cocoa or cacao powder 2 Tbsp.’s honey (optional) ½ cup coconut oil, melted dash of water, if needed to blend into a base-dough better
Blend first 4 ingredients together in a food processor until you have a fine crumb. Melt honey and coconut oil together. Then add to the food processor. Blend until mixture comes together nicely otherwise add a dash of water (or more) if needed.
Chocolate Icing ¼ cup coconut oil ¼ cup thick coconut cream 1 Tbsp. nut butter (any works) 1 Tbsp. honey or pure maple syrup 2 Tbsp.’s cocoa
Mix everything together in a jug until it’s nice and smooth (unless you used crunchy nut butter like me and have small nuts-lumps haha). Spread over base and let set in the freezer or fridge.
Ingredients 1/2 block of tofu. 1tsp cumin 1tsp turmeric 1tsp smoked paprika Dash tamari Salt and pepper
Method Mash tofu in bowl and add in the spices mixing well. Fry in a pan like you would scrambled eggs, with a dash of coconut oil. Serve with your choice of toast, avocado, fried mushrooms, spinach 👌
Wrapping it up
Thanks so much Megs and Soph for being so open and candid about your wellness journey. Your passion for health and your fantastic recipes are such a blessing to us all.
If you're keen to get baking that delicious raw chocolate slice, then Megs and Soph highly recommend Tanna Farms coconut oil. You can use their special discount code MEGSANDSOPH to receive 20% off the best coconut oil in the world. 😉
You can also connect with Megs and Soph on Facebook and Instagram at @megsandsoph or head over to their website.
Till next time, take care and live healthy.xx
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