Healthy Protein Meals – Like you have never seen them before. At Aflete we love looking good, almost as much as we love good food – so when we came across the Protein Chef and her ‘Meals with Muscle’ we had to find out more. Protein Chef is the brainchild of Heather Davies – a truly inspiration foodie and fitness enthusiast from the UK. Heather puts together her own incredible recipes, as well as taking guest features from other top health cooks. All of the Protein Chef’s recipes have a recurring theme – high protein for the gym junkies and great taste for people who love to eat. Her social  media accounts have many followers, her Twitter @protein_chef has 18,100 followers, her Instagram @proteinchef has 24,700 followers which makes her a massive influence on social media, make sure to check out her accounts for tips and recipes!

Can you tell us a little about yourself and where does the name Protein Chef came from and what does means to you?

Hello! My name is Heather (better known as Protein Chef) I have a passion for all things health and fitness. I also have a passion for cake… and biscuits. Well food in general really.

I am an absolute training junkie and I enjoy nothing better than hitting the gym and lifting heavy stuff around. I love the feeling being fit and healthy gives me. Watching my body change shape and my strength increase is addictive! I strongly believe that a healthy body and a healthy mind go hand in hand.

Food also plays an extremely important role in my life. Growing up food in my house was loved, great emphasis was placed on meal times and I have fond memories of cooking with my family. In a quest to enjoy the great food I love that would not sabotage my training efforts I began to experiment in the kitchen. Adding protein powders to cakes and removing the unhealthier parts of recipes and replacing them with healthier alternatives. My partner (ex rugby player and equally as nuts about training as I am) was my critic – he has had to endure many a ropey protein cake in my journey I can tell you! Don’t worry, I got better! My family, friends and work colleagues began to make requests for my protein based creations and I began to give out my recipes, it was then Protein Chef was born.

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We can see that you like to add protein to your recipes? Do you do this to balance your foods or for some other reason?

I began adding protein to my recipes as a high protein diet supported my training goals, I also prefer to eat my calories rather than drink them so I wanted some more enjoyable ways to get the protein I know I needed.

Do you count calories? Or follow any other methodology?

I don’t count calories. I follow a macro based plan that uses carb cycling and changes depending on if I am training that day. I have just completed a 3 month bulking phase and I am now a couple of weeks into my fat loss plan ready for the summer.

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Who is your inspiration?

I am inspired by anyone who actively pursues their dreams. It’s not easy to be different from the norm and those who have the courage to inspire me every day. My partner being one of them!

If you could only pick 3, what are your favourite healthy foods?

Salmon would have to be one. I love it steamed, grilled, pan fried, smoked – just lots of it! The second would have to be nut butters. I absolutely adore almond butter but I am yet to find a nut butter I don’t like. And the third would have to be authentic Greek yoghurt. It’s fantastic just on its own with some toppings but I love how versatile it is. I use it to thicken sauces, to add creaminess to dishes without all the fat and to replace sour cream in things like fajitas. I can honestly say I have all three of these nearly every single day.

You like to use a lot of health brands, which are your favourite?

There are so many fantastic health food brands around, and it’s great to see more and more popping up and providing such awesome products. But if you MADE me choose I would have to say Meridian – there 100% natural almond butter is my all time favourite. Fage Total Greek yogurt – they produce hands down THE best Greek yoghurt. Quest Nutrition because I’m yet to find a high protein bar that beats them on taste & nutritional (although some are giving them a serious run for their money!) and Smart Protein who make the nicest tasting vanilla whey protein I’ve ever had (and I’ve tried ALOT!) – I could go on and on…

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What advice you have for people who are trying to get healthier / improve their lifestyle?

Start slowly! I see so many people trying to change everything overnight. This is unsustainable and slowly old habits will creep back in as the change is too drastic too quickly. Adopt one good habit and keep doing it until it becomes ‘the norm’ then add another one. It might take longer, but in 6 months/ 1 year you will have transformed your lifestyle without it feeling like you’ve had to make sacrifices.

What have you learned the most in your journey of being healthy?

I’ve learnt that it can be lonely. People will judge you, they will question you and you will need to continue despite all of this. But I’ve also learnt the power of good food. It can make you feel like an entirely new person. A healthy body leads to a healthy mind and a healthy attitude to towards others and life.

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What are your thoughts on UK’s obesity issues?

The only thing that will change the obesity issue we have in the UK is food companies producing the unhealthy foods people pile into their bodies. These multibillion £ companies run this country, despite what the politicians will tell us.

What’s next for Protein Chef?

So much! But you can be sure of lots of new recipes, lots of new videos and perhaps even a Protein Chef cook book!

Is there anything you would like to say?

I would like to say a huge thank you to those taking the time to read this interview, to those who follow and engage with me on a daily basis and for supporting both me as I try to pursue my own fitness goals, and supporting Protein Chef. You all absolutely ROCK!

How can people keep up with you and contact you?

I am a social media fanatic so you can always contact me on:

Twitter – @protein_chef

Instagram – proteinchef

Facebook – Protein Chef

Aflete– @protein.chef

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