My Chat With Olympic Medalist Joannie Rochette

Jul 6, 2015
Joannie Rochette: On nutrition, fashion & beauty

A few weeks ago, I was invited by Almond Breeze to meet one of my ultimate idols, Olympic figure skating Champion Joannie Rochette. It's on a rainy Tuesday morning that I sat down with her at the prestigious Mansfield Club located in downtown Montreal. Over a chilled pineapple cocktail, we had a passionate chat about nutrition, fashion & beauty:

Can you tell me about your current projects?
After the Olympics in 2010, I decided to do shows. I can't believe it's been already 5 years! There are many shows, there is one in Switzerland, there are some in China, Korea and Japan. In fact, it's very popular in Asia. There is also the Stars on Ice tour in the USA and Canada. The shows are very different from the competition...there are no judges, it's more about the audience and you are lot more free to express your artistic side. It's much more creative because there are fewer restrictions in terms of music, hairstyles and costumes. I can skate to rock & roll music with my hair down, it's so cool! It's a whole different world. That being said, I still need to be in shape all year because I never know when they might me for a new show or a last minute replacement. This year, it was the 25th anniversary of the Stars on Ice tour. Kurt Browning was the one in charge because he's been with the tour for 25 years. He's like 48-years-old now, so it's very impressive! 

Another thing that's very exciting is that I will be going back to school in the fall at McGill. I am about to embark on a preparatory year for medicine. I have always been interested in science, sport, nutrition and also how the body works. I'm really looking forward to it!

How did the collaboration with Almond Breeze occur?
I once was a big milk drinker and at one point I felt that milk was a bit heavy on the stomach, a bit harder to digest, especially before a training session. So I developed a taste for almond beverage. I initially tried various milk substitutes and discovered that Almond Breeze was the creamiest of all. I really like the taste; it's very close to the taste of milk. At first, I would simply have it in cereals, oatmeal and smoothies. Then, I discovered so many recipes such as the rice pudding with cinnamon, the salad dressing with avocado, cumin and cilantro or the pineapple chiller. It's cool to know that you can substitute milk in most recipes with Almond Breeze. It's great for people who are vegan or lactose intolerant.

What do you usually eat before and after training?
You want to stay hydrated but you also want to have potassium and other nutrients, especially if you are going to sweat. Before a workout usually, I don't want something too heavy because I need to jump and be very mobile. Like if you do yoga or jogging, you don't want to feel it on your stomach. That's why, I recently started drinking this pineapple chiller (recipe at the bottom), which is made with coconut water, orange juice, Almond Breeze, frozen pineapple, mango and lime. After a workout, I can have something similar but I would add hemp or flax seeds to increase my fibre and protein intake. I also like to have healthy snacks throughout the day and try to drink lots of water to stay hydrated.

As I can see, you really try to follow a healthy diet, but do you sometimes have special cravings?
I think it's all about balance. You can't eat only healthy food; you also have to take pleasure into consideration. We need to have fun food, whatever makes you happy otherwise, it's too strict. I love cookies; I'm a cookie girl. And I don't want to restrict myself from cookies so usually, I'll take one or two from the box, put the box away and go sit on the couch to make sure I don't eat the entire box. I think it's also important to add new kind of food to keep our diet fun and fresh. It's like working need to change it up a bit by doing yoga, zumba or something else to keep your motivation up. It's a lot more fun to change it up from time to time.

You travel quite a lot for the shows, how do you stay healthy on the go?
In Japan, it's easier to keep healthy but when we travel to the USA, it can be challenging, especially when you stay at hotels. To avoid that we go the grocery store a lot to have fresh fruits and nuts around. We also stack a lot of Almond Breeze on the bus and try to have vegan meals because that is usually healthier.
You seem to enjoy playing with different fashion styles on the tour, who are your fashion icons?
In the skating world, I admire Tessa Virtue. She always has stylish clothes, jewellery and shoes. She's chic and sophisticated. There is also Cara Delevigne that I have started following on Instagram. I like to see her wear designer clothes one day and wear onesies with a simple t-shirt the following day. I like someone that can mix up styles. I am more of jeans & t-shirt kind of girl at home but I also love designer clothes that fit well.

Do you have any favourite designers?
I like Clover Canyon's wild style with big prints; I also like Jonathan Simkhai's chic and sporty style. In terms of local designers, I like the edgy creations of Denis Gagnon and the t-shirts from La Montréalaise. And I also love the leather coats from Mackage and Rudsak

What are your 3 beauty must-haves?
A good eye cream, no brand in particular, because with the amount of makeup we wear on tour, I like to take care of the sensitive skin around my eyes. I like the Perfect Cleansing Oil from Shiseido and bold matte lipsticks from MAC Cosmetics because they stay put for a very long time.
The pineapple chiller recipe
1 cup of Almond Breeze Sweetened Vanilla Original
1 cup of frozen mango chunks
1 cup of pineapple juice
1/2 cup of orange juice
1/2 cup of coconut water
1/4 cup of lime juice
8 ice cubes

In a blender, combine Almond Breeze, frozen mango, pineapple juice, coconut water, lime juice and ice cubes; blend until smooth.

Catherine xo
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Catherine xo