It’s been almost 10 years since Nicola Adams OBE became the first woman and first openly LGBTQ+ person to win an Olympic boxing title.
Four years later, she became the first women’s double Olympic boxing champion, and just last year she became the first celebrity to be paired with a same-sex partner on the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, shaking up a format previously unchanged for 17 seasons.
Now, Adams has her sights set on an acting career and continuing to act as a role model and force for good.
A lot has changed since Nicola’s days in the ring, but having freedom and autonomy over her diet choices has been one of the Olympian’s biggest wins.
Adams said, “When I was at the peak of my career, my diet was very exact and what I ate wasn’t really up to me.
These past few years, I’ve been able to decide for myself what my diet looks like – it took a bit of trial and error, but I’ve landed on a more balanced approach to eating and working out, and plant-based food and drink is a huge part of that.”
When it comes to her diet, it’s just another area Adams feels she can be a force for good, saying, “I’ve definitely become more aware of how my food choices impact the planet and looking to plant-based food and drink as a way to do my bit.
When you talk about plant-based, people think they’ll have to give up everything they love but that’s not what it’s about. If we all just made a few simple swaps it would make a big difference.”
With nutrition being such a big part of her life, the former athlete has teamed up with Alpro to share her top fitness and nutrition tips – and lay down a challenge for the nation to take on.
Never one to shy away from a challenge herself, Adams is encouraging the nation to push outside of their comfort zones in an intense skipping challenge, set by the Olympian to show how plant-based protein is helping her to stay fighting fit. Adam’s said:
“I’m a big believer in pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone and always striving to be better.
Moving towards a plant-based diet and using plant protein to help in fuelling my training has been a real game-changer for me, and I’m keen for others to try it out for themselves. Fuel up and give this skipping challenge a go – you can do it!”
As a role model for people from an array of different backgrounds – made official when she was named Role Model of the Year at this year’s British LGBTQ+ awards – Adams hopes to continue to use her voice to help others reach their goals by bringing visibility to spaces she didn’t envision herself inhabiting as a young girl growing up in Leeds.
Adams said, “During my boxing career, I learned the power and importance of taking pride in what makes us unique. Growing up, there wasn’t anyone like me standing on a winner’s podium at the Olympics or shown regularly on the telly, and my goal is to show people that just because it hasn’t been done – doesn’t mean it can’t!”
Nicola Adams OBE has shared her top training and nutrition tips to stay at the top of your game:
Rest & Reset: Rest can often be looked at negatively in the go-go-go world we live in, but it really is one of the most important parts of training. More isn’t always better!
Water is key: It might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people forget to hydrate properly. Water is super important for your health and a KEY part of training – if you’re even slightly dehydrated, it impacts your performance, so staying on top of your water intake will help you stay top of your game!
Just whizz it: It’s no secret that I love my smoothies – they’re a great way to pack lots of good stuff into your diet in such a quick, easy, and delicious way. I use Alpro Soya Original as my base for a hit of high-quality plant protein, and build it out from there depending on how I feel or what I have in the fridge.
Nicola Adams OBE was speaking on behalf of plant-based pioneers, Alpro. To learn more about the nutritional benefits of Alpro – including its high in plant protein Soya drinks – go to alpro.com