Meet Team Navitas athlete Andrew Ference, whom is a member of the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins. Andrew has been eating Navitas Naturals superfoods for a couple of years now. We interviewed him while he was getting some well-deserved relaxation time before returning to the rigors of another National Hockey League season. Not only is Andrew a champion athlete, he is also an advocate for many eco-friendly causes.
First off, congratulations to you and your teammates for winning the Stanley Cup, it sure was exciting to watch.
Thanks, the greatest part is winning for fans that care about it just as much as we do as players.
It seems that the NHL season is a long, grinding challenge for athletes: there is a month of preseason, then 82 regular season games and this year the Bruins had 25 high-intensity playoff games. Do you think organic superfoods helped to keep your mind and body healthy to meet that 9-month challenge?
Food is our fuel. It is crazy to think that what you put into your body has no effect on your performance. We need food that can heal our wounds, replenish our muscles and give us the energy to make it through that kind of grind. From what we eat at home to the drinks and bars that we consume during our games, our team is quite forward thinking and acting.
In recent past seasons, you had some significant injuries, was there anything in particular you did this year to help prevent and/or recover from that?
No, injuries are really just a matter of luck, but recovery from them can be sped up I believe by putting the right food and drink into your body and of course external help like ice and muscle compression, etc.
I hear that your teammate, Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas, is into yoga and that it helps with his mindset and flexibility, is yoga part of your training regimen? If not, do you have other "alternative" health and fitness techniques and tips that are helpful but perhaps unusual in the sport of professional hockey?
I have tried yoga a few times but it is not part of my usual routine. My weight training is a far cry from what I was doing at the start of my career, much more progressive workouts with a great trainer in Canada. Outside of the gym I road bike, paddle board, kayak, surf [when not land locked...], trail run, and do some fun balance stuff like slack line or walk fences.
Routines (and superstitions) are very important to many athletes, do you have a specific routine, such as one for meals, and does it change for game days compared to non-game days?
I eat the same throughout the year but do take in a little more on game day. I almost always have a bowl of Acai before games with different stuff mixed in like Goji Berries or, Goldenberries, etc. During games I have Vita Coco and NUUN to drink, ProBar and some fruit.
Is it hard to stay on a healthy diet when traveling to games in other cities? Do you bring your own special foods with you and/or do you have a way to scout out good places for healthy organic food?
I am a heavy user of ZAGAT and am responsible for finding good spots for the guys to eat. We favour the smaller local organic spots which are luckily getting easier to find by the year. I also bring Yerba Mate, Amazing Grass, my coconut water, ProBars and Navitas snacks every trip... I have a heavy bag!
One reason Navitas Naturals is an Andrew Ference fan, is the many green causes that you advocate for such as the Carbon Neutral program for the NHL that you helped create. Is there a cause that you are most active with right now that you would like to tell our fans and customers about?
I try to get involved as much as possible in different ways, but the couple that really stand out right now are getting involved with Boston-based Ceres, a tremendous company, and also trying to help sell LED lighting to some big companies through LED Savings Solutions. I love efficiency and hate waste with a passion! I love when going green makes good business sense.
What is your favorite Navitas Naturals product?
Can you share a favorite recipe with us and our readers?
2 packs of Sambazon Frozen Acai, banana, handful of goldenberries, splash of apple juice, scoop of Amazing Grass, little honey if you want... Blend it all up thick in a Vita Mix or good blender, should be thick like gelato. Put in a bowl and sprinkle Manitoba Harvest Hemp Seeds on it or a little granola. Enjoy! I will throw all kinds of different combos together though, be creative!
Like many of our readers, you have a young family that strives to be healthy and green, where do you shop during the season in Boston, and is there a favorite healthy restaurant that you visit?
Copley Square Farmers Market when it is there, Whole Foods otherwise. I love what they do at Taranta in the North End.
Are most of the athletes in the NHL savvy about nutrition? Do you find that you help set a healthy example for some of the young guys entering into the league?
There are a lot of guys that are clueless but our team has been very good. [Team Captain Zdeno] Chara and [Assistant Captain Patrice] Bergeron are also very big on it so it helps when the leaders...lead.