Neighbours star Saskia Hampele (who plays bubble Georgia Brooks) always glows on screen. No wonder she's eyeing a career in Los Angeles where she's represented by Untitled Management who also rep Sofia Vegara and Olivia Wilde!
In between her starring role on the long-running soap, starring in films including Blame, which was selected for Toronto and Cannes Film Festivals and getting engaged to long-time partner Kayne Tremills (who is a television host on ABC's Studio 3)... the Perth-born actress is studying the same Health Coaching course as me with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.
I couldn't resist a chat with the avid foodie and 'health nerd' to find out how she stays on top of her game.
How do you start your day?
Often it's a 5am wake-up for filming so I will drink a green tea on my way to work and have breakfast about an hour later - poached eggs with mushroom and tomato or steel cut oats that I've soaked overnight with berries, chia/sunflower/pumpkin seeds, coconut flakes and some coconut milk. If I have a later start at work, or on the weekends, I try and get to the gym for a workout before a late breakfast around 10am. My go-to breakfast is sautéed kale, mushrooms, organic nitrate-free bacon and spring onion with fried eggs on top, or in summer it's a Greek breakfast of soft boiled eggs with fresh cucumber, cherry tomatoes, feta and herbs with papaya and mango.
What does a typical day on set involve?
It can really vary from day to day, ranging from 14-hour days of non-stop filming, to days where we are in and out in 1 1/2 hours (an hour of that being in the makeup chair!). It's also common for us to shoot early in the morning and then have breaks throughout the day of up to 4-5 hours, so on those days I try to get out and do some exercise or I catch up on study for the nutrition course I am doing. Apart from filming we have lots of commitments like costume fittings, publicity, rehearsals and drama sessions.
How does having a healthy lifestyle help with your odd work hours?
My health is really important to me, not only so I have the energy to work long days, but it also shows in my skin and body. I try to be someone who approaches every day with positivity and vitality, and if I'm not looking after myself and eating lots of crap I notice that I'm not as bright and I can feel moody and tired.
What is your go-to workout?
My fitness routine changes frequently. At the moment I'm working on getting really strong so I'm at the gym once or twice a week lifting heavy weights and doing body weight movements like chin ups, as well as doing sprints in the park or on the rower. I do infrared Yin yoga on a Sunday morning and play netball when I can. I also really enjoy less structured exercise like 'No Lights No Lycra' dance sessions and going on walks (generally in the direction of a delicious cafe for brunch).
Do you work out with your fiancé?
Kayne is really into fitness and is a newly qualified personal trainer, so he really motivates me to get off the couch and into the gym. Sometimes he will train me on the TRX in the park, but usually we do our own thing. I'm always going to him for new ideas for my program at the gym, and he comes to me for advice on what to eat. It's a great partnership!
What’s your favourite meal to cook? Do you eat out much or dine in?
We live right in the heart of foodie central in Melbourne so we do eat out a lot. I love going to raw vegan restaurants like Yong Green Food and Monk Bhodi Dharma with my girlfriends. Kayne and I love going out for lazy brunches and splurging on fancy degustation menus on the weekends. During the week I mostly cook, and keep the leftovers to take into work for lunch. My go-to meal is raw pad Thai in the summer and slow cooker Moroccan chicken in winter.
Do you prefer to buy organic or locally produced food?
I converted to organic produce quite a few years ago when I was a vegetarian and noticed that organic veggies were far more filling and delicious. Although I eat some meat now, my love for organic has stuck and I also try to buy local where I can. I get a box of organic seasonal fruit and veggies delivered to my house each week from Victoria Organic Delivery so I always have fresh food in the fridge, even when I'm really busy. I love the local farmers market at the Collingwood Children's Farm for things like raw dairy, olive oil, honey, and turkey and get my fresh seafood at the Queen Victoria Market. I avoid processed foods and rarely have to go to the big chain supermarkets anymore.
What do you like to snack on?
I always have a bag of raw nuts in my car to avoid any spontaneous unhealthy snacking on the road. I love snacking on raw veggie sticks with homemade hummus, slices of cucumber with nut butter, or freshly made Paleo banana bread with butter.
How important is wellness to you in daily life?
To me, wellness is not just about looking after our body, but also our mind and spirit. I have done a lot of reading about the connection between diet and mental health and believe that by changing our relationship with food, we can live happier more fulfilled lives. Working on ourselves, practicing mindfulness and gratitude, and being a good human can also be a great motivator for living a healthy, active lifestyle. Health is paramount in my life, but I also recognise that balance is equally important. I love food, and eating delicious food brings me a great deal of joy, so I will happily eat a salted caramel donut any old day!
Try Saskia's Hot Chocolate!
Raw Cacao powder
Cacao butter (melted in the coconut milk)
Splash of maple syrup and cinnamon to sweeten