Celebrity fitness guru calls out our massive portions sizes
Celebrity fitness trainer to the stars Simone De La Rue touched down in Dublin this weekend with a message of health and wellness and was quickly taken aback by Ireland's portion sizes.
The guru to A-listers including Khloe Kardashian, supermodel Chrissy Teigen and actress Jennifer Garner, said the fact that Irish men and women will be the fattest in Europe in 15 years is both "frightening" and "heartbreaking".
Speaking after her stint on the main stage at WellFest 2018 in association with KBC, the ultra-toned trainer told the Sunday Independent: "I need to put Ireland high on my list of places that I need to come back to."
After pumping sweat in front of scores of her healthy fan base for almost an hour and barely breaking a bead of sweat, Simone, also known as the brand 'Body By Simone', drew attention to Ireland's portion sizes.
"I think Ireland's portion sizes are now the same size as the US," she said, "I can barely get through a main course. Last night I had a deal that was three courses and I was full after my soup. The soup was a massive bowl. So we have to be cautious about cutting our portion sizes down."
She also pointed to Ireland's alcohol consumption and says her first tip to famous clients is to watch what they drink: "I always say to my clients that the first thing they should give up is alcohol and I know this is a place where everybody drinks and I like to drink as well, so just leave it to twice a week and have something to look forward to." Pointing to Galaxy bars as her weakness when she is on this side of the water, Simone, who works out for up to five hours a day alongside her clients, says traditional Irish food has been taking her fancy.
"I love Irish stew and sausages. I had Guinness the last time I was here. Last night I had beautiful Irish beef, so I am all about eating. My advice would just be to eat well and keep the portion sizes down."
She also says people need to avoid faux-health food: "Have eggs rather than a protein bar. Eat real food," she stressed.
Meanwhile, speaking about her celebrity clientele, she said they are "absolutely" just as vulnerable as the rest of us: "They go through stages where they say 'oh I feel fat today'. I might have to talk them off the ledge about what they ate the night before. They are only human."
Giving some insights into the habits of her supermodel client, she says: "At the moment Chrissy is pregnant so she eats whatever she wants. But she is a tough one. I am always like 'don't eat that' and then she'll Instagram herself eating McDonald's and I am like what are you doing to me?" she laughs.
"She's naughty but she has got very good genetics and she is tall and she has a high metabolism, but she has to be careful because she is a role model to women - so she can't be eating all that junk food." Over the course of the weekend, the meadows at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham have been transformed into 15 stages all dedicated to different areas of health, fitness and well-being - and will continue today. Headliners include presenter turned fitness guru, Davina McCall; Joe Wicks, aka The Body Coach, the man behind the 'Lean in 15' phenomenon - who is on the main stage today - and fitness professionals Alice Liveing and Bradley Simmonds. While stands at the free-tasting food academy include Homespun Quinoa Crunch, Sushi King, Irish chocolate firm Milsean, Fiona's Nutterly Nutritious, and Ballyhoura.
Food tents include Blazing Salads and Glenisk Yogurt, while Dubray are running book signings for a range of top stars all day again today.
Also at the event, which has attracted 5,000 people, was Roz Purcell who encouraged fans to only pick a healthy diet and exercise plan that suits their own taste and body type. Mind guru Gerry Hussey also reminded people not to forget to focus on what nourishes their spirit and soul, as well as their body.