Friday 30 January 2015

Emma Hannigan: "I’ve never had tea. I can’t bear the smell of it."

Emma Hannigan "I would become a gym bunny and have toned thighs."
Fresh juice

Author, chef and cancer survivor, Emma Hannigan, talks about her health, lifestyle, diet and fitness

Do you consider yourself to have a healthy lifestyle?

I try to live as healthily as possible. I trained as a chef and I understand the importance of fresh home cooked food. I make fresh juice every morning and that makes me feel quite virtuous, even if it’s not! I try to take at least half an hour of exercise every day too.

Do you exercise regularly? If so, what do you do?

I detest exercise! But I know it’s good for me. I try to walk and once I’m finished my latest radiation treatment, I hope to go back to swimming. I’m what could be classed as a reluctant exerciser but I also love eating so I’ll walk if it means fitting into my clothes!

Do you do it willingly or begrudgingly?

Absolutely begrudgingly! My hubby is a triathlete and owns Base2Race sports emporium. He eats, sleeps and breathes exercise… Opposites attract, I guess. He gets such a buzz out of exercise and it helps that he’s really good at all three sports. My favourite type of exercise is probably dancing, which I should do a lot more of.

What time do you go to bed?

During the week I’m always in bed by 10 at the latest. That sounds so rock ‘n’ roll, doesn’t it?! I usually read until at least 11pm. It’s my way of unwinding while keeping up with the latest novels.

What time do you get up in the morning?

During the week, 7am, which is always a struggle — I’m not a person who jumps out of bed. I always want to stay there for another few minutes. At the weekends, if I don’t have to bring one of my children to an activity, I’d get up at around 10am.

What do you have for breakfast?

Fresh juice (cucumber, beetroot, carrot and orange is a current fave) with porridge trickled with honey and toasted almonds. I love my coffee but can’t drink it until I’ve eaten first.


It varies, but it’s always a family friendly meal such as roast chicken, potatoes and veg. My favourite meals are simple ones such as fish, boiled spuds and a home grown green salad.

Any snacks?

I’m not a massive snacker actually. I try to avoid dairy, and chocolate was my biggest weakness. Every now and again I break out and have some. I could happily live on chocolate, eating it for every meal. No matter how much I eat, it never makes me feel sick. I’m not a crisp fiend so I’d usually have dried fruit or a rice cake. I’ve never eaten biscuits or cakes that much either.

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