There's no doubt Stephanie Rice is an Australian icon. With a wildly successful Olympic career, and more medals than many other athletes, the now-retired swimming champion is well-versed in the areas of health, fitness, and general well being. What's more, Rice has recently jumped on board with women’s beauty and wellness health supplement brand Unichi as an ambassador—further proof that the girl really knows her stuff.
We sat down with Rice and quizzed her on her diet (she's a vegan), exercise regime now that she's not in the pool 24/7 (Hint: It's still rigorous), and how she keeps her mental health in check. For the full interview, along with a few of her favourite products, read on.
What's your approach to health and wellness?
I believe it's important to listen to your body to figure out what you need in terms of nutrients, self-care, and exercise. It’s important not to restrict yourself too harshly or set unachievable goals. I aim for small changes that are monitored and achievable, and then build from there. For example, I might not set out to do an hour of cardio every single day, because it's unlikely I'll accomplish that. Instead, I might aim for 10 minutes of jump rope, and build form there.
What do you generally eat in a day?
I'll have a vegan protein shake in the morning, and always a coffee! For lunch, I love a huge salad from Dicki’s vegan cafe in Brisbane, with black beans, pumpkin, and tempeh. I'll always have another coffee in the afternoon, and sometimes a post-lunch treat, like a bliss ball or lemon cake (vegan, of course). One of my favourite recipes for dinner is purple sweet potato, spinach, rocket, and avocado salad with roasted almonds and chickpeas in tamarind sauce—it's so good. If I'm having dessert, I'll do a cacao tea, and maybe a piece of vegan chocolate.
And what does your exercise regime look like now, as a retired Olympian?
Right now I am focusing on short HIIT work-outs. I tend to do 15 to 20 minutes of body weight-focused exercise three times a week, as well as two or three sessions where I focus on weight training (I go to my partner's gym, Science of Fitness). It’s better to workout four times a week for 20 minutes, than for two hour blocks twice a week.
Do you spend much time on your beauty routine in the morning?
I don’t wear much makeup, instead I opt for a hydrating moisturiser—my current favourite is Forty Fathoms’ Skin Regenerator ($55), which is made form Tasmania’s brown seaweed.
How was the transition as you left the word of competitive swimming? Did you have difficulty adjusting?
Not anymore as I have been retired for six years now, but back in 2013, it was a challenge to find a new passion and way of exercising that I enjoyed. I think I've finally found my groove, and it feels good.
Any self-care practices you love to indulge in?
Each morning I take time out to do a meditation or visualisation exercise to keep me optimistic about my goals. I think of it as priming my day.
I also love spending time every now and again sitting down and cleaning up my manicure. It’s a very therapeutic task that helps me centre myself.
What supplements do you swear by?
I’ve recently been taking two Saffronia ($48) tablets. They're a natural mood enhancer to make sure I’m kick starting my day with the right attitude.
I take Unichi's Tannat Grape Seed capsules ($30) to help maintain my body’s production of collagen and elastin, which really helps me recover between workouts, and when I’m on the road.
Five beauty products you can’t live without?
Forty Fathoms’ Skin Regenerator ($55), my hair dryer, coconut oil, water, and a nail file. I'm so simple!