We are thrilled to ask Kirsty Coventry, one of the world’s highest achieving female swimmers and one of Africa’s most successful athletes, about her routines for staying well and eating well. Kirsty hails from and swims for Zimbabwe and lives and trains in North Carolina. Inspired? Read more about Kirsty’s day-to-day healthy eating opens in a new tab, her top tips on workout nutrition opens in a new tab and how she stays healthy opens in a new tab.
Do you research beforehand the cities where you’re traveling?
I do a lot of research into the cities and cultures before traveling. You will often find me stocking the hotel mini fridge with local products I’ve found at shops and markets – mainly different fruits.
Do you get to venture out on your own when you travel for swimming competitions?
Food is such a significant part of people’s culture so I place a huge amount of importance in venturing out and trying new things, but only once we have competed. (Before the competition, I need to maintain a regimented eating program.) Once the competition is over then I’m up for trying anything – one of the most bizarre things I have eaten was steamed sheep’s brains in Tunisia (I only managed a mouthful).
Are they any particular foods you bring from home when you travel?
Depending on travel restrictions and if I am traveling from the US, then I will bring in jerky (I’ll swing by Whole Foods Market to stock up before my trip). If I am traveling from South Africa or Zimbabwe, then I will take Biltong (similar to jerky). I also travel with my smoothie go-to, Manitoba Harvest Hemp Protein Smoothie mixes.
What do you always have on the plane with you?
Tea tree oil balm
Facial mist spray (I like evanhealy Rose Geranium Facial Tonic HydroSoul)
Something to read
What are your must-have travel bodycare, skincare or beauty products?
Must-haves for me are my face moisturizer and hand cream. And I have recently fallen in love with the Mango Butter Body Lotion from Nubian Heritage.
What's the most unexpected item in your carry on or suitcase?
You never know how good or bad the coffee will be, so I like to always have my little hand coffee grinder, beans and French press – I am really enjoying Counter Culture’s “Forty-Six” at the moment.
How early do you like to get to the airport before a flight?
If I could it would be the day before…I don’t want any travel anxiety to add to an already high-pressured environment, so I make sure I get to the airport with plenty of time to spare. It’s a great time to catch up on emails and update social media (remembering to set a boarding time alarm!).
How do you deal with jet lag?
I don’t try and stay awake to “beat jet lag.”
I don’t drink any alcohol – only water-- and that includes after I have landed.
Any other key tips or things you do to make traveling as smooth as possible to arrive at your destination feeling fresh and great?
I always get to the airport early.
I wipe down my seat with cleansing wipes.
I drink lots of water.
I don’t eat anything heavy like potatoes or sauces and gravies but stick to salads and chicken.
I rest and sleep on the plane.
Wake up, wash my face, moisturize, put in eye drops, drink a cup of coffee and drink a glass of water.
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