By Victoria Capaccio /23 December 2020/Interview
Hi, I am Sabina, I am Polish, at present based in London where I work with various pro and amateur athletes taking care of their Strength and Conditioning. Over the years, I have worked with various sports including MMA, BJJ athletes, Boxers, as well as Polo players, climbers, dancers, football, rugby and endurance sports. My background is kayaking, as a former competitive athlete, I strongly believe that each individual is truly responsible for the performance potential. We are all capable of limitless possibilities when the mind and correct knowledge are put to work and egos disappear.
What is your daily routine?
During the week, my days are pretty structured. I wake up at 5am Mon – Fri, work with clients until 9.30am. At 9.30 -11am is time for my own training (usually weights or speed or hill sessions). Afterwards, I am back working. I have a short 1hr gap in the afternoon for a run in the park or do Stairmaster. Later, I take over the customer training until about 6 pm. Weekends look different – I try to spend as much time as possible in Wales, in the Lake District or on the coast to train more on the hills. If I am limited in time, I just go to Surrey Hills and run there.
What does your meal plan look like?
I don’t follow any particular meal plan. During the week, the core of my diet is roasted or dry-fried vegetables with vegan sausages or hamburgers with jackfruit. Vegan stews, fresh salads with hummus, fruit (blueberries, raspberries, apples and tangerines) and sometimes a protein drink. The way I eat depends on the training. I don’t like to train with food in my stomach, so even if I do a longer run, I take a little something easily digestible with me (for long hikes or races, “Veggie Colin the Caterpillar” is my saviour). I probably eat too much fruit more than anything else, but it gives me energy, which I need a lot of during the day. Finally, I save my biggest meal after my afternoon run.
What is the first thing a person should do if he/she wants to lose weight?
Take an honest look at their diet, energy expenditure and sleep. We all know what to do, and for most of us (as long as there are no underlying health problems) it’s very simple: burn more than you eat.
Are you for or against counting calories?
That doesn’t bother me either. Personally, I don’t count calories, but I recognize that some people may need them to strengthen discipline and self-control. I follow a simple rule: eat when you’re hungry (don’t confuse hunger with being peckish! 😉
What are your 5 tips for people to manage their daily meals and exercise?
- As above – eat when you are hungry and make sure you eat a large portion of vegetables with your main meal.
- Drink at least 2 litres of water a day, more if you exercise.
- Pay attention to your liquid calories (coffees – lattes, cappuccinos, soft drinks, cordials, etc.).
- Get moving – not just in the gym! Walk, cycle, play football, swim – have fun being active. The human body is not designed to sit in one position.
- Get a good trainer to guide you and make sure your technique is spot on. Lifting weights can make a difference, but only if it’s done correctly.
What are the advantages of being vegan in the practice of sport?
It is difficult to answer this question. I know vegans who eat very poorly and other meat-eaters sound nutrition. Being vegan as such does not help with sport, instead of being vegan who eats well – does. I have always eaten well, even when I ate meat and dairy, hence I have not noticed anything different. I have been vegan for about seven years now. If I’ve noticed any difference it’s probably that I’ve felt lighter and my digestive system was less overloaded. Personally, little has changed, which is in a way a good thing, as it proves that you can grow with any diet, as long as it is reasonable and balanced.
Do you have any motivational quotes?
I am not sure if it is a motivational quote, but it is something I live by “Amor Fati” the love of fate – Friedrich Nietzsche’s formula for human greatness. Treating every and each moment as something to be embraced, not avoided. No matter how challenging – make the best out of the situation, don’t waste your time wishing for it to be different.
Stoics embraced this type of attitude. Quoting Marcus Aurelius: “A blazing fire makes flame and brightness out of everything that is thrown into it”.
If you want to find out more about Sabina and her work, go check her website at www.sabinaskala.co.uk