Samantha is a British athlete accomplished in Taekwondo and triathlon, representing her nation in both sports.
She enjoyed sports through childhood and at age 16 started competing internationally in Taekwondo. This was just two years after starting her first class in the martial art. Sam was successful and brought home medals at European and World Championships.
Also studying hard towards qualifications in Business and Psychology she found it hard to continue with the sport. After returning to it later she then changed to triathlon. Incredibly she qualified for the British team in 2017 – just three months after taking up the sport.
Sam competed at the World Sprint championships and achieved a world ranking of 29. In the next year she competed at world level at the standard distance, finishing 41st . In 2019 she again competed in the standard distance, taking 17th in the European Championships.
Most of these achievements have been as a vegan as Sam made the change aged 25 in 2014. This was before her international Taekwondo medals.
“When I transitioned to a plant-based diet in April 2014, I immediately noticed an impact on my health” she says.
“At the time, I was competing in martial arts which meant I had to diet to make it into weight categories. Taking on a plant-based diet meant that I could still eat and fuel my body while successfully making the weight categories.
“The other main change I noticed was that my recovery rate improved. This is even more evident now I compete in triathlon and no longer need to cut down for weight categories.”
Samantha’s interest in food is evident, and she researches it and eats well.
“Becoming a plant-based athlete encouraged me to do more research into what I put into my body, versus what my body needs. I mainly do this to make sure I get enough of a nutrient variety within my diet. This means colourful plates full of seasonal food including carbohydrates, fats and proteins.”
Typically she’ll start the day with hydrating fruit such as melons, grapes or berries before her morning training session.
Breakfast is often “a big smoothie with lots of fruit, something green (spinach, kale etc), healthy fats such an avocado, chia or flax and Indigo Herbs of Glastonbury superfoods organic Maca and Moringa powder. Maybe in a smoothie bowl with some added extras at the weekend.”
At mid morning she may eat some dates or dark chocolate. Then lunch is likely to be a “huge” salad with as much variety as possible in it.
There will be another training session later, and then she may have a raw veg salad. She often sprinkles it with Indigo Herbs of Glastonbury super vital powder. Afterwards Sam has an organic turmeric latte.
“Along with of course lots of water to keep me hydrated.”
Vegan cyclist, runner