Today’s guest interview is with personal trainer and cycling coach Emily Cox. Emily also specialises in health and sports nutrition advising people on all levels, from athlete to the “Average Joe” (like me!), to ensure they are in the best possible condition to reach their health, fitness and sporting goals.
Name: Emily Cox
Home city: Bedfordshire, UK
Occupation or services provided:
I work as a personal trainer and cycling coach, offering remote, online training programmes as well as face-to-face, one-on-one sessions. I also provide nutritional advice to my clients to help them achieve their optimal body composition and feel their best. Whether it is for health reasons, weight loss, or sports performance, it is important to have good energy levels for workouts and recover as quickly as possible for the next training session. I provide clients with diet plans and analyse their daily macronutrient and calorie intakes.
What is your speciality/what makes you different?
I like to design simple recipes that taste naughty, but are actually nutritious. Healthy food can still taste amazing and make you feel amazing without making people feel like they are missing out. I explain the benefits of a recipe and how it relates to an individual’s goals whether it is to lose weight, have more energy, or perform better in a particular activity or sport. I believe that certain foods can heal the body. Wholesome foods can serve many purposes whilst also being delicious! I use a lot of raw cacao powder and virgin coconut oil and avoid refined sugar, always looking for a healthier alternative in recipes. I like to show people that they don’t have to miss out on those flavours that they love or spend hours cooking to get the results that they want.
What sparked your interest in cooking?
My mother and grandmother are incredible cooks; they make everything from scratch. It wasn’t until I moved away for university that I really appreciated their quality cooking. I missed it and needed to learn how to cook as well as them! I wasn’t eating processed or packaged foods; I wanted to know how to make things from scratch like they did. My interest in nutrition and healthy eating started when I started training. I wanted to get the best out of my body whilst still enjoying sweet treats.
How did you turn your passion for food into a career?
I re-trained as a personal trainer after working in Banking. Although I already had a vast knowledge of nutrition, my studies made me even more aware of the value of healthy eating and the job of each macronutrient in how the body performs and feels. I now have a client base with which I can share my recipes and tips. It’s so rewarding to see people enjoying their food and achieving their goals.
What is your proudest achievement so far?
Helping people reduce their body fat percentage and feel better just by tweaking what they eat for breakfast. It really is the most important meal of the day and there are so many choices.
What is the best aspect of your job?
Helping others achieve their goals without having to sacrifice tasty food.
What is the worst aspect of your job?
Sometimes not getting enough time to bake!
Sweet or savory?
Sweet. I enjoy eating both as much as each other, but I find sweet recipes more satisfying to make. Maybe it’s got something to do with licking the bowl and utensils afterwards!
What’s your favorite dish to cook?
Chocolate avocado mousse. There are so many variations to try such as chocolate orange or hazelnut to wow my guests.
What’s the best recipe you’ve ever made?
I like trying out different curry recipes and there is a delicious simple, One-Pot Coconut Peanut Chicken Curry that I like to make, served with cauliflower rice. I finely grate cauliflower and fry it in coconut oil and spices – it’s really refreshing and cooling alongside the heat from the curry.
What’s your guilty food pleasure?
Chocolate desserts. My taste buds have changed over the years from craving milk chocolate to really dark, rich, bitter chocolate. My mother makes a beautiful dark chocolate torte with a crushed hazelnut base. She knows that that is going to get me every time! Either that or her giant pavlova with fresh berries and whipped cream!
Where do you get your inspiration from when creating a new recipe?
Trying to satisfy cravings for naughty things by creating a more nutritious version that tastes even better than the real thing! Sneaking vegetables into cakes is a great way to experiment!
What food could you never live without?
There so many daily staples I couldn’t live without. It would have to be eggs or salmon for savory; peanut butter and cacao for sweet.
What piece of cooking equipment could you never live without?
My food processor. It is so satisfying to see things ground to a pulp within seconds!
What’s your best cooking tip?
Invest in good-quality cooking oils and don’t be afraid of consuming plenty of healthy fats. I opt for coconut oil or grass-fed butter when cooking and save extra virgin olive oil for drizzling over salads.
Where are your favorite places to eat?
There’s a restaurant in a village nearby where my husband and I went for our first date three years ago and we still go once a month. If we try somewhere else, we both say it’s just not the same! They make absolutely everything from scratch on-site, which makes a big difference. The food is wholesome, filling and delicious. Their ingredients are sourced from local farm shops.
However, the best food I’ve ever eaten was in the Maldives on our honeymoon. The flavours were so clean & fresh with a natural sweetness. I loved the beautiful, colourful salads and locally-grown fruit.
Who is your favorite chef?
Ella Woodward has a great book called Deliciously Ella, but I do not follow a vegan diet so I sometimes adapt her savory recipes to suit me. I also enjoy Jessica and Melissa Helmsley’s ideas in their book. For me, great cooking is about using quality, nutritious ingredients to create delicious food, and these chefs do that.
What’s next for you?
Writing articles and blogs on nutrition and training.
If you’re inspired by Emily’s interview, want to gain further information, or would like to work with Emily to further achieve your health, nutrition and sports goals, simply visit her website, or Facebook Page, or email Emily directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.