I’m a former Premier League star but now I’m a Instagram chef… an online course sparked my success

A FORMER Premier League star who scored in all five national football divisions has gone on to become an Instagram chef.

Marc Pugh, 35, was a winger for Bournemouth and QPR before an online nutrition course inspired him to start a new career in the kitchen.

March Pugh starred as a winger for QPR before becoming an Instagram chefGetty

https://www.instagram.com/thefoodiefootballer/?hl=enAfter scoffing heaps of pizza as a young player, Marc now serves up austere dishes on his chopping board[/caption]

He has attracted 85,000 Instagram followers with his snaps of healthy dishes like coconut and almond milk porridge and cucumber, radish and salmon towers.

The ex-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 as a 21-year-old.

“We kept winning games so we thought it was a good omen!

“Before I did 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 helped with recovery particularly.

“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 out his heavily pregnant wife with cooking.

It inspired him to eat more healthily, with cheesy-crust pizzas strictly off the menu.

He said: “I feel better now than when I was 21. Back then I made mistakes going into games and felt lethargic because of what I’d eaten.

“When I was at Bury, we played Weymouth in the FA Cup and I felt horrendous.

“I actually scored but I felt awful. The pre-match meal was pasta and it bloated me. I never do that now.

“To this day, my pre-match meal is salmon, vegetables and sweet potatoes about 3½ hours before kick-off.”

Marc’s Insta page is directed at anyone, not just professional athletes, who wants to eat good food but stay in tip-top shape.

That does not mean it is all kale and quinoa though — even if he is partial to the latter.

He said: “My Instagram page is to show people 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 many of those. Good carbs like quinoa, sweet potato, brown rice and vegetables are amazing for you.

“I do 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 on there because my missus did it for our kids.

Marc added: “I don’t like to call it a ‘diet’. But portion sizes are important.

“Some people look like they could climb their mountain of food rather than eat it.

“I like to get a lot of colour on the plate. And it is good to keep your metabolism guessing, so sometimes I skip breakfast and have more of a brunch instead.”

It comes after a Newcastle United cult hero who starred at the World Cup went on from scoring an iconic goal against Manchester United to become a greengrocer.

Philippe Albert, 55, was a goal-scoring centre-back for Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle side before finishing his Prem career with Keegan at Fulham.

Refer to CaptionMarc still has space for pizza in his health-conscious diet[/caption]

The Bournemouth star sends Aaron Ramsey flyingRex

Marc is a big fan of radishes and cucumbersRefer to Caption

Marc’s wife and kids favour jam sconesInstagram @thefoodiefootballer

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