Australian swimming legend Elka Whalan on juggling motherhood with her career

Scott Gooding

It's not every day a former Australian swimming legend stops by to share a smoothie with you but that's exactly what happened to me when medal-winner Elka Whalan dropped in to try out my Skin Tight Smoothie.

It may seem like being a former professional swimmer is enough to keep you fit and sprightly but my smoothie is packed with collagen, almond butter and blueberries, which is exactly what someone like Elka needs to keep her energetic and healthy with her active lifestyle as a mum-of-three.

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Whalan and her husband, Australian water polo player Thomas Whalan, are parents to Nevada, Edison and Presley, and while she says her day may be packed full of work and parenting commitments, she told me she can't understand why people claim they are constantly busy and has replaced that word in her vocabulary with 'full'.

Elka is pictured with her three kids and her husband, Thomas Whalan.
Elka spoke to me about her daily routine, which sees her getting up and putting on her workout gear at 5am.

“We have 86,400 seconds in every day and we have 172 hours in the week, so when people say to me now that they’re busy it’s like an instant shut off because I think how are you more busy than what I am?," she says.

"We still have the same amount of time."

The 34-year-old, who retired from swimming in May 2006, says she gets her alone time first thing in the morning when her kids are still asleep, popping on her activewear and delving into her workout routine.

"I’ll also be honest, some mornings I put on my activewear and I take myself down to a coffee shop and I’ll sit down and have breakfast by myself from 5:30am to 6:30am. Just to have some me time," she says.

The medalist spoke all about how she juggles motherhood with her career.

One thing she doesn't do is indulge. Elka doesn't believe in cheat meals and prefers full-fat milk to low-fat.

How to make the Skin Tight Smoothie

200 mls coconut cream/nut milk
1 tbs almond butter
2 tbs chia seeds
1 tsp collagen
1 tbs psyllium husk
pea protein
handful baby spinach
handful frozen blueberries
splash water

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