herald

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Celebrity Health Check: Alison Canavan, Model and VIP columnist

DO you have any ailments/health concerns?

I have been a long-time depression sufferer and have mild asthma. I also have a bad back.

How would you rate your energy levels?

Pretty good, but I am often tired as I work hard and have long hours. I also have a toddler so I'm kept busy.

Do you get your five a day?

I try, but if I'm honest no, not always. I try to drink smoothies on the run.

How would you rate your stress levels?

Medium. They would be a lot higher if I didn't meditate and try to stay positive.

How's your sleep?

I love my sleep and am a great sleeper if a little person I know would sleep, too! Once a week I go to sleep with him at 7.30.

Do you take vitamins/ supplements?

Yes, I take my MorEPA Omega 3 fish oil supplement, which I believe helped wean me off antidepressants successfully. I take Viviscal since having James which has made an enormous difference to the health of my hair and I take Vitamin D as we have little or no sun here.

Do you exercise?

Yes I do Reformer Pilates with Sarah McLachlan (Pilates Performance Ireland) as it works so well for me.

Do you cook from scratch?

As often as I can, but it's just not possible most days with my schedule.

How many alcoholic beverages would you consume in a week?

I would say around four to eight glasses of wine, depending on the week.

What would you find hard to give up?

Pizza, as it's my favourite food! I'm also a terror for sugar, which the green tea helps with. If I'm working, I'm terrible for bingeing late at night.

Do you have any health goals?

To maintain both mental and physical health at its best and always remember that what you put into your body has a direct effect on how you look and feel which is constant work.

Rate My Diet:

What I ate today:

Breakfast: Banana, toast, mandarin, green tea, two coffees.

Lunch: Big salad with four duck spring rolls and two slices of veg pizza.

Dinner: Chicken, potatoes, carrots, stuffing, gravy. Ice-cream.

Snacks: Pack of Tayto, some jellies, two mandarins, potato farl.

Beverages: Four small bottles of water, three coffees, large Matcha green tea, glass of orange juice.

Elsa's Verdict:

Alison, I'd recommend that you cut down considerably on your caffeine intake. Caffeine revs up stress hormones in the body and wreaks havoc on blood sugar levels.

If you really love the taste of coffee, I'd recommend you try Clipper organic decaf coffee from health stores.

I'd also recommend that you include a good portion of quality protein with every meal, ie fish, poultry, eggs, meat etc. Experiment with beans, lentils, nuts and seeds too.

Protein can be described as 'good mood food' as it provides the building blocks for brain chemicals, which control mood, alertness, concentration and regulate sleep.

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