derval puts food in the fast lane
FORMER star athlete Derval O'Rourke has turned chef for her latest venture, a new book packed with healthy recipes for people who want to do "a bit of running and cooking".
Launching her book Food for the Fast Lane, O'Rourke said she was both "nervous and excited" embarking on her first outing as a culinary author.
"I am very, very excited. It took my experience as professional athlete, a full-time course in cookery school, pitching it to a publisher and a huge amount of time to pull it together," she said.
"I had an idea years ago about writing a book that combined tasty, healthy recipes with practical tips and lots of fitness/motivation."
The holder of four European Championship medals launched her cookery book yesterday.
In amongst the pistachio and harissa are sweet and sticky pecans and brownies.
Derval says she is a firm believer in having the odd sweet treat and that life cannot be about punishing food regimes.
The former sprint hurdler says life is too short to exclude the foods she loves.
Rather than having a list of meals that are off limits because they contain certain ingredients, she finds ways to adapt her meals to incorporate healthier alternatives.
"I love to take a recipe and make substitutions for any of the ingredients that could do with a healthier alternative.
"So rather than using white flour and white sugar, I'll try the recipe with spelt flour and agave syrup.
"Many of the recipes in this book came about because I was experimenting in this way. It works brilliantly and it's a guilt-ree way of eating any meal I want."
Derval announced in June that she was retiring from athletics. She has relocated from Dublin to Fountainstown, Co Cork with her husband, Olympian sailor Peter O'Leary.
The pair married in September of last year. They got to know each other on the flight home from the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
Derval participated in two indoor World Championships, the last five outdoor World Championships, and the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics.