Sally Edwards lives in Perth with her two dogs and is living well with a chronic illness. Now 42, Sally was diagnosed 8 years ago with cystic fibrosis, an incurable genetic condition in which thick, sticky mucus builds up in her lungs and causes irreversible lung damage. We sat down with Sally to learn more about her life, staying healthy and how she uses Boomers Protein to support maintaining a healthy diet.
Why is staying healthy important to you?
It's super important for me to stay healthy as I have a chronic illness called cystic fibrosis. My lungs have sustained significant damage from years of repeated infections and now that I'm in my 40's my life is all about working hard to maintain my health and give myself the best possible chance at longevity.
What does your ideal day consist of?
In an ideal world where I didn't have to work haha it would be eat, sleep, beach, train, repeat! And also hanging out with my two awesome dogs, Belle & Buster, and doing twice daily nebuliser and airway clearance treatments.
How did you become interested in protein as part of your health and fitness journey?
I was diagnosed as an adult so once I became aware that exercise was a necessary part of my treatment, I started training regularly and adding protein supplements to my diet. Because that's what everyone did right? When you train you take protein! Thankfully I've learned a lot about nutrition since those early days and I have a good awareness of how much protein I need to maintain a healthy diet and fuel my body to support the amount of training I do.
What's your favourite type of exercise?
Crossfit. It's probably the best decision I've made for my health. With 45% lung function, it's really tough on my body, but it's made me physically strong which assists recovery when I'm unwell.
What is your preferred Boomers product and why?
I love Boomers Organic Brown Rice Protein. Over time, I have developed an allergy to whey protein, so your rice protein is perfect.
What are the benefits to you of Boomers products?
The fact that Boomers products do not contain artificial fillers is a big drawcard, as is the fact all products are unflavoured. It's also important to me to support a local family owned and run business.
What are some ways you add Boomers products to your diet?
I'll admit, I don't consume protein supplements every day as I try to make an effort and get everything I need from food. However, having a chronic illness means even my best intentions can be difficult to maintain. Having Boomers protein at hand is brilliant for when I'm too tired to prepare enough food to get me through the day, particularly as I train most days a week. I also spend a fair amount of time at the hospital for clinic appointments and the like, so will usually miss lunch. On those days I'll prepare a shake in the morning to take with me. When I'm unwell and unable to stand in the kitchen for long periods, it's easy to whip up a protein shake and know that I am getting sufficient calories in.
What is your advice for someone thinking of using Boomers products?
I highly recommend Boomers products to anyone, not only because of how clean they are, but also being unflavoured means there are endless flavour combinations to create.
What are your top 3 workout tunes?
Anything old school metal... and bangers!
What are your fitness goals for the next year?
It's all about maintaining my health, and training is a huge part of that so I just want to be able to keep up my current level of fitness. If I can get through the next twelve months without getting sick, I want to complete a triathlon. So that's a massive goal I really hope I can achieve.
If you could give your younger self any advice about nutrition and training what would it be?
I wish I'd known about my illness years earlier as I'd never have taken my health for granted. I'd have focussed on the things I can control to stay well, which is essentially nutrition and training. Perhaps my lungs wouldn't have sustained as much damage as they have.
What keeps you motivated?
Living life to the fullest and being the best version of myself as I can is what keeps me motivated, as I feel like I have a lot to give. I always like to have something to work towards, such as completing my nutrition coaching course or training towards being able to finish a triathlon.
What is your proudest achievement to date?
Where do I start! There are a few equally important achievements for which I'm immensely proud -
- I'm so proud of how strong my body is from crossfit training, despite having significant physical limitations.
- I've been invited by Cystic Fibrosis WA to become a mentor for other people struggling to manage their cystic fibrosis.
- I've recently begun sharing stories of my life with a chronic illness on social media. In fact, one of my stories is about to be published by an online site where people with disabilities share their stories. This level of self-exposure is quite confronting and not something I've ever done before.
What do you think are your biggest nutrition blunders?
That's easy! Too much chocolate and sugar! I really need to focus on using nutrition to reduce inflammation in my body. Not so easy when you have a sweet tooth haha
What do you think is the most important think you've learned about nutrition?
I'm actually currently studying sport and exercise nutrition which is important for my own health. Learning about how the body processes what we put into it, how it breaks proteins, fats & carbohydrates down for distribution to cells, is just fascinating!
Can you share your favourite Boomers recipe you've made so far?
My go-to Boomers recipe is a simple shake:
Thanks Sally for sharing your story and allowing us to gain an insight into living well with a chronic illness.
Boomers Organic Vegan Brown Rice Protein is our most unique product, and one that we are very proud of for two main reasons... One is that most brown rice protein sources available are sub-optimal in terms of their amino acid profile compared to whey protein but ours is not - This is due to our source using the whole grain of brown rice during manufacture. Buy Now.