Q&A with We Heart Living’s Joanna Knight

18 October 2017 by
First published: 15 October 2015

Q&A with Jo Knight, Editor of Women’s Fitness and We-HeartLiving.com

Read our Q&A with Jo Knight, Editor of Women’s Fitness and We-HeartLiving.com.

Have you always enjoyed sport and fitness?

I started ballet when I was two and a half – a looooong time ago! And was sporty at school – athletics and hockey being at the top of the list. But I had quite a hiatus when I went to uni. I was part of the cheerleading squad, but only after I’d spent the first few years eating and drinking whatever I liked. I was enjoying the freedom of not living at home and with that, being able to eat what I wanted! Fast forward to post-uni and I was not the runner bean – literally – that I had been. I kicked off my love of fitness and food, albeit some healthier choices – when I started working in lifestyle magazines, and it’s just kept giving since then!

You’ve got some great pics on Instagram of delicious looking, healthy food, but what are your top three ingredients to cook with and why?

When it comes to healthy eating it’s important to keep your store cupboard stocked up. It’s all well and good having expensive superfoods in the fridge but sometimes a tin of tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, a pouch of quinoa and frozen peas really can be golden. A slow-roasted, homemade tomato sauce can be enjoyed with anything. Balsamic vinegar jazzes up a variety of sauces but is also a good way to dress a variety of salads – and sometimes even fruits like strawberries for a twist on a healthy dessert.

Quinoa is my go-to-grain, along with freeka (a Middle-Eastern grain). It’s high in protein and is delicious hot or cold, it takes on a variety of flavours and can be used in sweet and savoury dishes. And finally, frozen peas are easy to cook. They can be smashed for a side with fresh mint and black pepper, whizzed up into a tasty soup, added to risottos, curries and stews and even added to bruschetta as a simple topping.

What is your favourite healthy snack to have on the go?

Nakd bars pretty much top my handbag and gym bag snack list. They’re super tasty, come in a variety of great flavours and the nuts are full of healthy fats and protein – so perfect if you’re working out too.

And what cheat treat can you not resist?

As if I can only pick one! Although I’m currently addicted to Marks and Spencer’s Luxury Italian Chocolates. They come in quite sizable bags too!

How did you come up with the concept of We-HeartLiving.com?

We wanted to create a site where women like us could get their fitness fix, healthy eating inspo and wellbeing injection all in one place. Like you, we want to keep our workouts interesting and we want to keep seeing the body and mind benefits too, so we seek out the latest classes and moves for you to try. When it comes to food and drink, we’re all about healthy eating but we love our cheat days (or weekends) as much as you do, so we like to track down the most delicious recipes for your to get your teeth into.

How did you first get into the world of journalism and end up running We-HeartLiving.com?

I studied Contemporary History and Journalism at uni. During my studies I worked at Olive magazine and when I graduated I started working full time on consumer lifestyle titles including another food, drink and travel magazine, Fresh and Fresh Escapes, and then Women’s Fitness. I loved working across all these mags and became editor of Women’s Fitness about two years after I started.

About 18 months ago the WF team and I left its larger publishing company and set up on our own. It gave us the amazing chance to bring a brand new website and idea to the health, fitness and wellness side of journalism. A website which is for women just like us – we like to work out and eat well but we love a (large) glass of wine as much as the next girl! Hopefully We-HeartLiving.com is your one-stop shop for all your wellness needs, from that healthy dessert recipe, to our pick of the hottest workout leggings for AW15.

What is the best thing about working at We Heart Living?

We scour the worlds of fitness, health, wellbeing, beauty, healthy eating and food to bring it to you, it’s hard to pick what bit I love doing the most! We meet a lot of inspiring contributors, which help form the wider WHL team, and that’s a pretty awesome part of my job.

What is your favourite way to work out at the moment?

I’m recovering from a pretty bad head injury so I’m taking things a lot slower at the moment. I’ve started running – but only with others in case I feel dizzy. And I’m gradually getting back into weight training. I can’t wait to be fully back to normal as I really miss training hard!

What, in your opinion, is the best feel-good workout tune?

I love anything cheesy and dancey to work out to. My musical knowledge and prowess is so limited it’s a running joke with my friends and family. To give you a look at my running playlist, it looks like this – judge away!

Call Me Maybe (Carly Rae Jepsen)

Midnight City (M83)

I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Whitney Houston)

Where Have You Been (Rihanna)

How would you feel about taking George (the office Frenchie) to a Doga class (Yoga with dogs, obvs)? And how do you think he’d feel about it?

Hahaha! We could try! He’s incredibly well behaved but last time I did a workout at home and he was there I was in a bridge and he took the opportunity to kiss (slobber) all over my face! To be fair, he’d probably quite enjoy Doga… watch this space!

For more…

Check out our Ultimate Fitness Guide for great tips and motivation and find out why you should take up boxing.