Angelina Riccio: My Food & Fitness Regime

Angelina Riccio: My Food & Fitness Regime

After years of running a fast-paced, global modelling agency, Angelina Riccio was on a mission to establish a business that benefited her wellbeing and that of her family. In 2012, Purearth was born and nearly a decade later, it remains one of the UK’s leading juice brands – it’s won multiple awards and is known for its organic, innovative and sustainable juices and cleanses. From how she fuels her mornings to her go-supplements and fitness non-negotiables, here she reveals how she keeps her own health in peak condition.

With a three-year-old daughter, my mornings start early. As a full-time working mum, I have to be pretty organised, especially when working from home. I’m usually up between 5:30am and 6am and start with some stretches and breathing exercises. I also try to write down three to five intentions for the day, and what I’m grateful for – I find this helps keep life in perspective. 

Before breakfast, I drink warm lemon water, which wakes up my digestive system. I then have a small glass of water kefir (a probiotic, naturally fizzy, fermented drink) followed by a smoothie after at least 15 minutes. During the winter, however, I love a warm breakfast. There’s something about the shift in seasons that makes me crave certain foods. I love buckwheat porridge made with almond milk, chia seeds, cinnamon and pears or berries. This is such a comforting dish to eat on a chilly morning, and the fact that it’s rich in protein, zinc, manganese and fibre is an added bonus. 

My immune system is my number one priority right now. During the winter, I make sure I’m taking a vitamin C and bioflavonoids supplement, together with a vitamin D3 and K2 oral drop formula. This combination keeps my immune system strong and aids the absorption of calcium. I also love Bare Biology’s omega supplements, Wild Nutrition’s probiotics and am also taking one of Ross Barr’s fertility supplements. 

I haven’t eaten meat for eight years and avoid dairy where possible. I am now around 80% plant-based, and drink oat milk as a dairy alternative. I was vegetarian as a child and came back to it when I started Purearth. I try to buy organic where possible and am particularly careful around foods like berries and spinach, both of which can contain high levels of pesticides. I couldn’t live without my weekly Abel & Cole delivery for the convenience – it also makes eating seasonally a breeze. 

During the week, I keep meals fuss-free. Whether it’s for lunch or supper, I try to prepare meals that my daughter can enjoy, and which can be elevated for my husband and I by adding things like chilli and garlic. Roasted vegetables, lentils, quinoa, avocado and creamy tahini dressings are staples, and when I’m working from home, lunch is something along the lines of a quinoa salad or hummus with crackers and crudités. I try and add a handful of something green to most meals, including breakfast, and this usually comes in the form of spinach, kale or a baby leaf salad. Weekly regulars in my supermarket trolley include hummus, plum cherry tomatoes, garlic and tenderstem broccoli. 

Jackfruit is a recent favourite discovery. I made jackfruit tacos over the weekend with lime marinated red onions, avocado and spicy salsa – the flavour combination took me straight back to my honeymoon in Holbox, Mexico. It’s great to add to tagines and curries when you’re looking for added texture. I rate Biona’s tinned version.

Being half Italian, cooking is in my blood. I’m happiest when I’m at home with a table full of friends and family and am counting down the days until we can do this again. I’ve always taken inspiration from my Italian roots, as well as my travels around South East Asia and India when it comes to cooking. I love nothing more than preparing a pho from scratch or a creamy Thai coconut curry. Being Italian, I also can’t live without pasta. 

I’ve been filling the restaurant void with the odd takeaway. After living in London for 16 years, I recently took the plunge and moved out to Surrey with my husband and daughter. We’re only a 30-minute train ride from London, so I still feel near the hustle and bustle, but a bit closer to nature, too. Being further out of the city, there are fewer takeaway options (I love a Vietnamese or Thai), but I recently found a great local Thai restaurant that delivers, which is a god send. Pre-lockdown, I would eat out once or twice a week – I love all the Vietnamese spots on the Kingsland Road or Santo Remedio in London Bridge for delicious tacos and a cheeky margarita.

At the start of every year, I embark on a seasonal cleanse. I usually do a five or six-day cleanse, mid-to-late January. Cleansing really helps reset healthier eating habits and helps me re-energise after the festive period – I like to think of it as an internal MOT.

I have a savoury, not sweet, tooth. I’ve never been a huge fan of sweet things – I do occasionally enjoy a piece of salted dark chocolate but would much rather a starter than a dessert. When it comes to snacks, I am all about the savoury. Kale chips or anything nutritional yeast-based are a firm favourite. I also love fermented foods, so often have kimchi (I love Living Food’s kimchi) piled on hummus and something crunchy during the day. On a less healthy note, pickled onion Monster Munch are my guilty pleasure – they are so reminiscent of my childhood although they seem to have shrunk in size since then.

I definitely indulge more at the weekend. Pre-lockdown, I would eat out at least once on the weekend and love discovering new hidden culinary gems. Weekends are also my ‘bread days’ – breakfast on a Saturday or Sunday usually features a good organic sourdough. However, moderation and balance are key. Fuelling my body with nourishing food is what makes me feel at my best – overeating and drinking too much has the opposite effect for me and makes me feel sluggish.

I drink alcohol less and less these days. However, I do still enjoy a glass of good quality red wine with an evening meal and a glass of champagne on social occasions.

At the start of every year, I embark on a seasonal cleanse. I usually do a five or six-day cleanse, mid-to-late January, which suits me better in terms of timing as early January is a hectic time for the brand. I love our new Winter Warmer Cleanse, a delicious combination of green juices and earthy vegetable-based juices, chai spiced nut milks and chaga tea. Cleansing really helps reset healthier eating habits and helps me re-energise after the festive period – I like to think of it as an internal MOT.

As for exercise, I’ve recently rediscovered my love for running. When I was younger, I would train on a regular basis, but have recently got the bug again. I try to run two to three times per week, covering around 6km-8km on each run. It’s the one time in my day that I can forget about everything and find it’s the perfect way to clear my head. I mix up my runs with Pilates sessions at home, which help keep me centred and my core strong.  

I also have regular acupuncture treatments with Ross Bar. Acupuncture is incredible – it works wonders to realign your overall balance. I don’t tend to have massages and facials often, but want to get better at treating myself.

Family is the thing that’s kept me sane in the last year. I moved in with my sister at the beginning of the first lockdown as my husband was away. This meant I could continue to work while she helped with childcare. We would take turns to cook and inspired each other with new recipes. Eating was such a big part of lockdown for us (I mastered sourdough and fermented my own vegetables) and we used the time to reconnect, which was hugely special.

This year, I want to practice self-love. 2021 is going to be about finding more balance in my work and home life by accepting that things don’t always go to plan. Instead, it’s about knowing I’m on the right path – and trusting it. 


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DISCLAIMER: Features published by SheerLuxe are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. Always seek the advice of your GP or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programme.​

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