I’m a former Premier League star, but now I’m an Instagram chef… an online course sparked my success
Marc Pugh, 35, was a winger for Bournemouth and QPR before an online nutrition course inspired him to start a new career in cooking.
She has attracted 85,000 followers on Instagram with her snapshots of healthy dishes like coconut and almond milk porridge and cucumber, radish and salmon towers.
The former footballer told the Sun: “Ten years ago, I was a terrible cook. I wish I had educated myself more when I was younger.”
“I used to have pizza as a pre-match meal when I was at Shrewsbury when I was 21.
“We kept winning games, so we thought that was a good omen!
“Before taking my course, I didn’t know how important nutrition was.
“Now I take it very seriously, both for myself and for my family.
“As a professional it has particularly helped me with recovery.
“During this lockdown, when we have all the time in the world, what better way to spend it than learning to cook! It could improve your game and your fitness.”
Marc took the online course so he could help his pregnant wife with the cooking.
It inspired him to eat healthier, with cheese crust pizzas strictly off the menu.
He said: “I feel better now than I did when I was 21. Back then I made mistakes going into games and felt lethargic from what I had eaten.
“When I was at Bury we played Weymouth in the FA Cup and I felt horrible.
“I actually scored, but I felt horrible. The pre-game meal was pasta and it bloated me up. I never do that now.”
“To this day, my pre-game meal is salmon, vegetables and sweet potatoes about three and a half hours before kick-off.”
Marc’s Insta page is for anyone, not just professional athletes, who wants to eat well but stay in top shape.
However, that doesn’t mean it’s all kale and quinoa, even if he’s a fan of the latter.
He said: “My Instagram page is to show people that they don’t have to eat like a rabbit to be fit and healthy.
“Refined carbs give you sugar spikes, so I don’t use a lot of those. Good carbs like quinoa, sweet potatoes, brown rice, and greens are amazing for you.
“I have a bit of a sweet tooth, but mostly I use natural sweeteners like dates and honey.
“There are some scones with jam and cream because my wife made them for our children.
Marc added: “I don’t like to call it a ‘diet.’ But portion sizes do matter.
“Sounds like some people might climb their food mountain instead of eating it.
“I like to put a lot of color on my plate. And it’s good to keep your metabolism guessing, so sometimes I skip breakfast and have brunch instead.”
It comes after a Newcastle United cult hero who starred in the World Cup went from scoring an iconic goal against Manchester United to becoming a greengrocer.
Philippe Albert, 55, was a goalscoring centre-back for Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle before ending his Prem career with Keegan at Fulham.