At home with… Alex Blackwell

Captain of the NSW Breakers and LGBTQI rights advocate, Alex Blackwell,  lets us in on her favourite treats when she’s not too busy hitting a sixer.

As a professional cricketer, what is your relationship with food like? Do you have much choice in what you eat?

I love all sorts of food and given that I train everyday I am lucky I get to eat lots of good food to ensure I’m adequately fuelled for the demands of each day. We are fortunate to be guided by sports dieticians who have helped me understand how food and fluid intake can assist me in performing my best on the field.

What is your food philosophy?

Always have a good breakfast like eggs on toast. Don’t be worried about good fats such as avocado, nuts and full-fat yogurt. Buy unprocessed foods and don’t have junk food in the house. Have healthy options for dessert such as yogurt with mango and berries or a single fun-sized Freddo Frog. Make sure there is adequate protein in each meal and, at lunch and dinner, half your plate is salad or veg.

Where are your favourite place to eat out in the Inner West?

My favourite cafe for breakfast is Cafe Plunge in Summer Hill. Amazing poached eggs and a lovely Middle Eastern flavour to the menu. As a treat you can’t go past the the ricotta hot cakes! One Penny Red in Summer Hill is fantastic for a special dinner. [They have] interesting small plates with intense flavour and lovely service and decor.

Do you have any childhood memories that are linked to food, or a comfort food that you can’t resist?

I was always intrigued by the bubble and squeak served by my Dad at breakfast time. It’s flavour was superb but the description of the ingredients was somewhat wanting. Left over veggies smashed together and fried with an egg!

What challenges have you faced being a woman athlete? Has anyone ever told you to go back to the proverbial kitchen?

Having to balance everything! This is not necessarily a female athlete challenge but female athletes are less likely to be able to earn a living through their sport hence the need to be studying or working throughout their athletic careers. This is my 13th year as an Australian cricketer and as of this year I’m finally able to choose a life as a full time sportsperson. The inequity in remuneration of male and female elite athletes within the same sport and the continued lack of media coverage for women’s sport is the result of historically negative attitudes toward female athletes.

What have you learnt about your body from being an athlete? 

I’ve learnt that I like the feeling of completing physical activity. It hurts at bit at the time but I’m invigorated after a workout. My moods are better if I’m regularly active and I’m eating well. Being strong empowers me as I feel capable to get things done, like moving furniture between rental properties or carrying all the shopping bags up the stairs in one go! Being fit also means that I can enjoy a healthy social life and bounce back quickly after a late night.

What would be the perfect celebratory feast after winning a match? Who would you ask to join you?

I would go to a top seafood restaurant like Doyle’s at Watsons Bay and we would share their magnificent paella, my favourite dish. To join me would be Magda Szubanksi, David Attenborough and Sia.

Recipe -Banana Naan Booster

This is a snack recipe I use on various cricket trips to South Asia, and have eaten it many times during the lunch breaks of matches in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

1. Spread your favourite peanut butter generously over a fresh naan bread (or slice of bread)

2. Slice or mash a whole ripe banana over the peanut butter

3. Sprinkle chia seeds over the top

4. Eat as a quick snack pre or post-workout