herald

Friday 23 February 2018

CELEBRITY HEALTH CHECK: REBECCA LEE Radio presenter, Dublin's q102

Do you have any ailments/health concerns?

I find I am always tired and that my energy levels vary a lot. I constantly crave sugar.

How would you rate your energy levels?

I find I tend to have an outburst of energy between 6am and 11am so I try and fit in an hour's nap after that. If I don't get a rest I find my energy levels crash at around 4pm.

Do you get your five a day?

I try to, I tend to eat a lot of vegetarian food as my sister doesn't eat meat and we cook together.

How would you rate your stress levels?

I am most stressed when

I am double jobbing which can see me work a 12-hour day. As well as being on the airwaves, I'm also studying a Master's part time.

How's your sleep?

All over the place! As I work early I find that if I nap during the day, I don't sleep well at night, whereas if I skip the nap I find it really difficult to get out of bed.

Do you exercise?

I enjoy exercise a lot but find I don't have enough time to do as much as I want. I go to the gym twice a week and would go on two 40-minute walks.

Do you cook from scratch?

During the week I make a lot of spaghetti dishes, Thai green vegetable curry, marinated chicken and salads.

How many alcoholic beverages would you consume in a week?

I don't drink much during the week. I go out once at the weekend and usually have seven or eight vodka and diet cokes in one night

What would you find hard to give up?

Crisps and chocolate. I only eat them once per week but I could never in a million years give them up -- what normal person could?

Rate My Diet: What I ate today

Breakfast: A bowl of Special K Red Berries with low-fat milk

Lunch: Wholemeal pitta bread with salad, feta cheese and low fat mayo

Dinner: Quorn spaghetti bolognase

Snacks: Low fat chocolate mousse and a Go Ahead snack pack

Beverages: Two cups of tea with low-fat milk and one glass of blackcurrant diluted drink

Elsa's Verdict

Rebecca, I think you would benefit greatly from including more protein in your diet.

You should have protein with every meal. Protein can be from animal sources, ie fish, poultry, eggs, meat, dairy, or from vegetable sources, ie beans, lentils, tofu, nuts and seeds. Ideally, aim to strike a good balance between animal and vegetable protein. Protein will help stabilise your blood sugar levels and thus keep you fuller for longer and craving sugar less. Protein also provides the building blocks for brain chemicals which control mood, concentration and regulate sleep.

Also, it's worth knowing that a lot of 'low- fat' cereals, yoghurts and biscuits contain high amounts of sugar. One teaspoon of sugar is equivalent to 4g. So, if a cereal contains 12g of sugar per bowl that's equivalent to 3 teaspoons of sugar, which is a lot.

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