Happy, healthy and hungry for more

Posted on Thursday, 23 May 2024 under IRONMAN New Zealand

Champion Kiwi kayaker Dame Lisa Carrington talks about her relentless quest to realize her full potential, the value of great nutrition, and her recent culinary collaboration with Angel Bay, ANZCO Foods' premium burger patty brand.

Lisa, you’ve achieved pretty much everything you have set out to do in your sporting career. What keeps you coming back for more? I have a lot of motivating forces, but a big one is curiosity. I want to know what I’m capable of. I want to continually test myself. It’s about realising my potential.

How has your interest in psychology influenced your performance on the water? I have always been intrigued by psychology, which is why I decided to study it. I also work with a psychologist who, along with my coach, has helped me develop a mindset that allows me to meet pressure with courage. It also helps me get the most out of every day – working hard but having fun is important if I’m going to be the best version of myself!

What role does nutrition – and in particular New Zealand’s finest beef and lamb – play in your success? Good nutrition underpins performance and general good health - I don't want to do all that training and be undone by a suboptimal diet. Beef and lamb are a critical part of my nutrition plan. The protein and amino acids from beef and lamb play an important role in making sure my body can recover and get stronger, while iron is so important for female athletes and plays a crucial role in red blood cell formation that is vital for getting oxygen to muscles during exercise. I make sure I’m eating quality beef or lamb at least three times a week.

What’s your favourite beef and lamb recipe? I have plenty of go-to menu ideas, and the choice will often depend on what my training plan is for the next day. A Korean beef bulgogi bowl always hits the spot, as it includes a great mix of vegetables and rice. My husband and I love barbecuing too.

Beef and lamb are a critical part of my nutrition plan. The protein and amino acids from beef and lamb play an important role in making sure my body can recover and get stronger.

Was it that passion for the barbeque that encouraged you to collaborate with Angel Bay to create the new, limited-time-only, Smoky Barbeque Beef Patty? It certainly played a part! I love cooking and consider myself a foodie at heart. Burgers are so versatile and tasty. The chance to put my own spin on a great quality New Zealand made product like Angel Bay was just too good an opportunity to pass up.

How involved in the process were you? I was involved from start to finish. From sharing an overview of my favourite flavour combinations and profiles to taste testing multiple versions of the patty as it was adjusted based on my direct feedback. It was a fun (and delicious) journey. I love bold flavours and I love how the smokiness really shines through.

From training and competing to culinary collaborations, you’ve got a lot on your plate. How do you find balance? It’s definitely a juggle but I’ve got an amazing support team that helps me get the most out of my busy life. I’m lucky to live close to some amazing bush tracks and the beach – that’s my happy place, and I try to enjoy some time there every day, if my schedule permits.

Lastly, what advice would you give young athletes looking to emulate your success on the world stage? If you’re a young person involved in sport, it’s so important to enjoy whatever it is you’re doing. Ultimately, if the enjoyment factor isn’t there, it’s going to be hard to stick with it. Sport has the potential to teach us so much, not just about the game you love, but about ourselves and those that we play with and against. It isn’t only about being competitive and winning – allowing yourself to have fun and make friends is just as important at whatever stage in your athletic journey you may be at.

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