With a major focus on health at The Amsterdam Produce Show and Conference it was important to throw the exercise part of the health equation into the mix, so we were pleased to integrate two super elite athletes into the event.
Pundit sister publication, PRODUCE BUSINESS UK, highlighted Olympic champion speed skater Bart Veldkamp in a piece titled Olympic gold-medallist on his marks for Amsterdam show:
Bart was world champion in marathon skating, and won gold medals at the Olympics, beating the legendary Johan Olav Koss in the 10 km race in Albertville in 1992. He is a television presenter/analyst/commentator, and is very well known as motivational speaker. Bart is currently developing a health bar, containing only fruit/vegetables/nut/seeds.
Bart will be visiting stands, talking to the chefs during demonstrations, giving interviews to journalists and signing autographs.
And he won’t be alone.
Also at the event: ELLEN HOOG an active pro hockey player and Multiple world and Olympic champion
Whose slogan is: ‘You are what you eat and what you do!’ is Ellen’s life slogan. She wrote a book about fitness, food and working out. John Aeillo is a Contributing editor at Pundit Sister Publication, PRODUCE BUSINESS and he interviewed Ellen to get a sense of her relationship with fresh fruits and vegetables:
Q: Why did you choose to participate in the Amerstadam Produce Show as an event ambassador?
A: Healthy foods and sports go hand in hand. I have played field hockey at the highest level since the age of 17, so a healthy and nutritious diet was essential [to me]. The longer I played at this level, the more it became apparent that good nutrition was necessary to stay at the top. I got interested in food and learned a lot from books and research. I also learned that I love vegetables and love to cook with fresh products and I try to avoid processed foods as much as possible. When APS16 approached me to be an event ambassador, I didn’t hesitate to accept. I really look forward to the show and all the beautiful produce!
Q: Can you briefly discuss how you became interested in field hockey?
A: My parents and both my brothers played field hockey since as long as I can remember, so I was always walking around at the local club when they were playing. I couldn’t wait to get started myself when I turned seven.
Q: When did you start playing competitively?
A: I was 12 years old when I got selected for the national U16 team and 17 years old when I played my first official match for the Dutch National Team.
Q: What would you identify as your greatest achievement in the sport?
A: I’m very proud of my two golden Olympic medals – Beijing 2008 and London 2012.
Q: Are you still competing?
A: I am retired as international player, but I’m still competing in the Dutch field hockey competition for my club Amsterdam H&BC.
Q: What is your diet like as a competitive athlete and do you incorporate much fresh produce into it?
A: I don’t really follow a diet, but I always want to eat healthy and as natural as possible. I avoid refined sugars and always try to eat fresh, organic produce. I know exactly what kind of foods my body needs right before an important match to get the energy I need. I also understand what I need right after a training session to recover as fast as possible.
Q: Do you have any favorite or go-to fruits and vegetables?
A: When I travel, I’ll always bring my delicious chickpea salad. When I am on a long flight [it helps me] avoid the airplane food.
Q: About how many calories do you consume daily in relation to how many calories you burn during a typical training session?
A: I can honestly say that I have never calculated the amount of calories I eat in a day. When I was part of the Dutch National Team squad, we trained sometimes up to 12 times a week. On top of that, we played matches – so you can imagine that we’d burn plenty of calories. }But ultimately], I listen to my body. When I feel that it needs more energy, I give it more fuel. And the other way around as well.
Q: Can you outline a typical day’s menu – breakfast through dinner, including snacks?
A: I start the day with a porridge, or some homemade granola with fruits, seeds and nuts. A couple of hours later, I will make myself a green smoothie. For lunch, I often eat wraps with things like lentils, vegetables and goat cheese. Then a snack or a sandwich, with avocado spread. And for dinner I like to make a pasta or a soup.
Q: Do you drink socially, or is alcohol a forbidden commodity on your program?
A: I drink sometimes, especially after a tournament, in order to celebrate. And I love my glass of wine during dinner.
Q: Obviously, you stay on a strict dietary regiment. But do you ever pick a day to cheat, to just throw out the calorie counter so you don’t always feel like you’re denying yourself?
A: Of course! I pretty much always eat very healthy, but from time to time I will indulge myself in a guilty pleasure.
Q: To this end, are there any produce items that you’d like to dip into a fondue pot or into melted chocolate?
A: And fresh and raw vegetables into a cheese fondue pot! I love cheese fondue! And perhaps some nuts to dip into the chocolate.
Q: Do you shop for your own food or use on-line services like Amazon Fresh?
A: I always buy my food at the local organic supermarket, or at local specialty delicacy stores. I never use an online service.
Q: What stores do you frequent for your food?
A: Organic supermarkets.
Q: Why these places?
A: In these stores I find everything I need.
Q: Over the last 20 years, there has been a big push in the marketing of organic fruits and vegetables. Do you buy organic? If so, why is it important to you?
A: Yes. I prefer organic food. To me it tastes better, it gives me energy, and it’s healthier. When I can avoid pesticides and/or preservatives, I always do.
Q: Your book ‘In Perfect Condition” (Carrera publishers) shows that you have made the way you eat and take care of your body a real lifestyle and not just something you have to do to excel at athletics. What message do you want the reader to take from your writing?
A: I want to inspire people to live a healthy lifestyle. I try to motivate them to exercise and eat healthy, but also to enjoy. So the recipes are healthy and quite easy to make/ And there’s also room for some guilty pleasures. You don’t need anything for the workouts, so you can exercise in your living room. Besides the recipes and the workouts, I also give some tips about combining nutrition and sports.
Q: Any plans for another book?
A: Not yet. I have just published my second book “Grenzeloos Gezond”. It is a book that will take you an a trip around the world and it will take you to all the countries that I have been to while traveling with the Dutch National Hockey team, or [have traveled to while] on vacation with my boyfriend.
Q: If you had to advise a middle aged person embarking on an exercise program, what would you say? And what diet modifications would you recommend?
A: Listen to your body! Don’t overdo things. Try to set the bar high, but it’s better to raise the bar each time, than to set it too high in the beginning. I’d also tell them to enjoy food, but to also be conscious of what you put into your body. Plus, I’d say that rest is equally important! Try to sleep a minimum of 8 hours a night.
Q: I understand you lost your father to cancer at a relatively young age when you were just starting to enter serious competitive athletics. How has this motivated you? And has the thought of his illness altered the way you eat and take care of your body?
A: His loss has motivated me to always work hard to achieve my goals. He always wanted me to do things I am passionate about, so that’s what I do. He was very enthusiastic about my sports career and I think he’d be proud of what I’ve achieved so far.
Part of The Amsterdam Produce show and conference is very serious, it is commercial engagement and deep learning, but life is too short to not havea little fun, so come meet and great Bart and Ellen and come and celebrateFresh#.
You can sign up at the door or skip the lines by registering here.