Katerina Andreopoulou, wakeboard champion of Greece and ambassador of beNatura way of life talks to us for her relationship with nature and her eating habits.
What is your relationship with nature?
I grew up on an island, so my relationship with nature was always immediate. This was mainly due to the fact that in winter there were not many options for fun or other activities compared to city life. Every weekend I remember walking with my family on the mountain or the sea. Also on holidays off the island, we usually combine our holidays with nature and sports, so I learned to love and respect nature.
How the planet will get greener?
At first we need to change eating habits so that we do not have to cut woodland to plant livestock feeds. Vegetarian habits are essential. Also, tree planting is necessary as water is saved, trees absorb the pollutants of the air and they are also a source of energy if they are properly managed. Thus, it is possible to get rid of non-renewable energy sources. I consider, that the most important thing is plastic reduce. More specifically, islanders who see the daily contamination of the sea, such as dead bodies in the sea due to plastic, have to find ways to replace the plastic usage with more environmental friendly packagings.
Which must be the right eating habits of an athlete from your perspective?
Each sport requires different eating habits – needs. I think everyone needs a good breakfast in order to be able to cope with the daily demands of the sport. Moreover, a carbohydrate and protein diet, which does not necessarily have to be of animal origin, is important. Last but not least, water consumption is essential for hydration, as well as the consumption of some intermediate snacks such as cereal bars.
Do you believe that the eating habits of the Greek people have changed? Maybe they eat healthier than before? And if so do you think that this steams from the tendency of our era or is it more of a personal choice?
Both. Unfortunately, young children have not yet understood the importance of proper nutrition in conjunction with sports for their future health & evolution. This is why we are one of the first countries in childhood obesity. The adults have already understood the value of healthy nutrition mainly for preventing and fighting illnesses but also due to the tendency of our era that is displayed alongside sports through the social media.
We would like to describe us what you eat for breakfast.
During the winter, I don’t have the time to eat anything special for breakfast, maybe a fruit or a toast and sometimes nothing. On the other hand during the summer I always eat a rich breakfast. The past few years, I really like smoothie bowls, which combine fruit, seeds and nuts. Moreover, when I eat smoothie bowls or cereals I always prefer milk of plant origin, because I believe, that milk after a certain age does not have many nutrition benefits. From my point of view, the past few years dairy products have led to a wrong way of breeding the animals, in order to fulfil the needs of the market.
Sports at sea or at the mountain and why?
Difficult question, but I would say both of them. On the one hand, sports at sea and especially wakeboard, which I love, remind me of the beautiful moments of summer and on the other hand sports on the mountain give me a sense of freedom that wake can not give me because I always depend on the board.
What do you eat before you go skiing?
Because in Greece, where I train, there are not always ideal conditions in the sea and the training must take place early in the morning I can not eat a heavy breakfast but instead something light with energy, such as a bar of cereal, a slice of avocado bread egg or a slice of bread with honey.
What do you eat before your races?
The races are usually conducted in the afternoon. So the day before, I eat carbohydrates such as pasta and early in the morning of the races a breakfast of energy, which is rich in protein and carbohydrates and shortly before the race, a snack such as nuts, fruit and an energy drink to provide me with physical and mental stimulation.
What is zen for you?
Zen for me is to be close to nature. An ideal example is relaxing at the beach and looking at the sea.
How ‘benatura’ do you feel?
I feel ‘very beNatura’ for many reasons. Initially due to my eating habits, I have a healthy and balanced diet, which is mainly based on fruits and vegetables. Another reason is that I exercise everyday and try to exercise outdoors. Also, when I travel I like to combine my holidays with sports like surf, ski and try to get familiar with different cultures and eating habits.