Sally O’Neil is a woman with many talents. The 31-year-old is a blogger, social media influencer, food photographer and food stylist. She’s the passionate voice behind The Fit Foodie and author of Love Move Eat. We caught up with Sally to discover when her love for wellness began and what some of her favourite foods are.
Tell us a little bit about yourself …
After learning to cook when I immigrated to Australia seven years ago, I started a blog to share healthy recipes with my mum back home in the UK. Fast-forward to a book deal, a 90K strong tribe on social media, and a health food product line later, I’m here now working as a commercial food photographer and stylist for dream brands and restaurants. I’m now currently penning cookbook number two and still sharing healthy recipes, along with girl boss tips on my website.
What inspired your passion for health and wellness?
When I took control of my own diet after leaving home and learning to cook, I dropped 14 kilograms in eight months. I realised how great my body was supposed to feel and I had to find a way to share that with others. I hoped to inspire people to start or continue on their health journey.
What’s your food philosophy?
I’m all about balance. I’ve tried every diet under the sun, and realised that my body is happiest when I allow myself a little bit of everything. I move my body when I feel like it – which is most mornings, and I’m naturally drawn to simple, whole foods 90 per cent of the time. I eat small amounts of dairy, gluten and white meat, and seafood. No restriction. Ever.
So I’m laid in the bath, full of cold, taking heaps of Armaforce and wishing I had this super-fruit platter being fed to me. Rice paper rolls aren’t just for sushi you know 💁🏼♀️🌿 Recipe in my cookbook (which is now available in eBook version 😱 – link in profile). ps. When are red kiwis coming back into season? That needs to happen. Stat.
Walk us through a typical day in your life …
6am: I start my morning with an almond piccolo and get ready for a workout. They prep my mind for the day ahead.
8am: When I get back from weights training or spin class, I’m straight into a protein shake to help with repair. My current favourite is salted caramel or I’ll keep it plain with just 35g vanilla pea protein, water and ice, before I hop in the shower.
9am: I’m not one for surviving on shakes and juices. I need sustenance, so after I have a shower I’m straight into some overnight oats (my favourite is my Brownie Batter flavour). If I haven’t prepped the oats the night before, I’ll usually have Greek yoghurt with berries, stevia, cinnamon and a handful of almonds or walnuts.
11am: For snack time, I’ll usually have a few boiled eggs with sea salt, or a protein bar if I’m on the go. I try not to skip snacks because I like to eat smaller, regular meals. It keeps my blood sugar in check and stops me eating huge portions at main meal times.
12:30: Lunch is often a salad with lean protein and some avocado. Chicken, tuna, barramundi or tofu are my faves, but I’ll have more eggs if the mood takes me. I’m not one for limiting eggs – they’re incredibly nutritious and delicious to boot. I usually finish with some mints or a liquorice organic tea because I have a terrible sweet tooth.
2pm: I’ll have a small almond dandelion latte (great for the liver!) and some raspberries with protein balls or a tablespoon of peanut butter. Let’s be honest, my portion control with peanut butter is not my best strength.
Need some dinner inspo? Cook 30g oats in 1/2 cup fish or chicken stock. Top with avocado, kale sautéed in coconut or olive oil, and add protein of your choice (I chose tinned tuna). Add any herbs 🌿 I had dill and sorrel in my fridge so went with that. Drizzle a little Tamari or sprinkle with sea salt. 💚 Dinner assembled in ten.
5:30 / 6pm: I’m a bit of a workaholic, so I usually drag myself away from my computer to get food. When I cook, it has to be quick and nutritious so I can get back to life. I love Asian food, so turkey lettuce cups are often on my plate or these delicious spiced prawn skewers with mango from something a little different.
9pm: Before bed, I love warm milk. I’m a bit of a child that way, but I’m sure it helps me sleep. I’ll usually have almond milk heated with chocolate stevia. I don’t count calories. After a poor relationship with food in the past, I work with no rules or restrictions, just awesome quality food, plenty of movement, fresh air and sunshine! That’s how I live my best life, right now.
🥦 My go-to vegetarian recipe: delicious roasted veggie bowls – this one is roasted paprika cauliflower, salted pumpkin, crispy kale sweet onion and yogurt drizzle with poppy seeds.⠀ 🥙⠀ Fun fact: Did you know that if you swap beef mince for a meat-free meal just once a week for a year, it saves greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to enough electricity to charge your phone for two whole hours?! RANDOM.⠀ 📲⠀ How often do you aim for a meat-free meal?⠀ A) Once a Week⠀ B) Twice A Week⠀ C) Never⠀ D) I’m Vegetarian / Vegan⠀ 🍍🍍🍍🍍⠀ Next week is WORLD MEAT FREE WEEK! Excited (and totally intrigued) to be attending the @quorn_au Meat Free BBQ this Friday. If you are in Sydney come down to Wynyard Park and enjoy a complimentary meat free breaky or lunch!⠀ Sal xo⠀ 🥗⠀ #onemealforahealthierplanet #spon #QuornAUS #worldmeatfreeweek
Coffee or tea?
I enjoy an almond milk latte in the morning and an organic herbal tea in the afternoon or evening.
What is your indulgence of choice?
Halo Top Ice-cream or raw chocolate. I can’t get enough!
💕On a Sunday it is TOTALLY acceptable to eat healthyish Almond Joy bars for breakfast (recipe on the blog). Particularly when you’ve had an incredibly shit week – probably one of the top 5 shit weeks in history. EVER.⠀ 💩 ⠀ Thanks to all my incredible friends who have got my back. I owe you one of these ☝🏼 @tastefullytash @spoonful_of_sarah @missaliciaportelli @eatprayworkout @fitnessinthecity_ @herbnerdreece @hollyvbrooke @carolinehgroth. You guys are beyond. ⠀ ✨⠀ TAG A FRIEND WHO’S ALWAYS GOT YOUR BACK.
What are three foods you can’t live without?
Avocado, eggs and dark chocolate
What’s your go-to snack when you’re on the run?
I love boiled eggs with pink Himalayan salt. I boil up a dozen at the start of the week and leave them in the fridge ready to grab for snacks or to throw on top of my lunch. I also love my own protein balls, Cookie Dough Fit Mixes, for a sweet treat.
Could totally smash some of these Salted Peanut Caramel Bites RN. 🙋🏼 Travelling makes me so hungry!! Off down south to LONDON today to hang with my brother in Greenwich for 5 nights. SO STOKED. Last day with my Poppa in Yorkshire though – so bitter sweet. P.S. Recipe on the blog xo . . . . . . #healthyfoodshare #gloobyfood #healthyfoodporn #letscookvegan #foods4thought #wholefoods #ahealthynut #heresmyfood #huffposttaste #feedfeed #thekitchn #f52grams #yahoofood #lifeandthyme #eattheworld #foodblogfeed #hautecuisines #rslove #tastemade #mycommontable #buzzfeedtasty #forkyeah #howisummer #onthetable #blissballs
What advice would you give to someone who is starting out on their health journey?
Don’t be afraid to tell people about your pitfalls. There’s strength in your authenticity. It’s okay if you eat a bar of chocolate or a tub of ice-cream – people will find you relatable.