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Bodyclock: Lorraine Keane - ‘I feel hard done by if I miss lunch’

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7.00AM I get my girls — nine-year-old Emelia and six-year-old Romy — up and make breakfast and their lunches.

7.30AM We sit and eat, and this morning I have a cup of tea with milk and a slice of brown bread toasted with lots of real butter. I’m not really a breakfast person, but I eat something to get my metabolism going. I also like to set a good example for the children. Peter does the school run in the morning, which is great because it gives me time to have a shower and go out for a walk.

9.00AM I take a bottle of water with me on my walk.

10.00AM Once I’m back home, I go straight to my office. I try to either walk or cycle each morning. I spend the rest of the morning at my desk replying to emails, catching up on stuff in the diary, making phone calls and writing.

11.00AM I have a coffee with loads of hot milk and one sugar. I also have a square of dark chocolate because I feel like I need a sugar boost. I don’t have a typical day. When I was working full time I always used to eat lunch on the move, but now I can take time to sit and eat. I love wraps and will normally make one using whatever I happen to have in the fridge. Today, I make chicken Caesar with crispy bacon. I actually feel hard done by if I miss out on lunch. My husband Peter, who’s a musician, has a studio at the house and so sometimes he works from home. This afternoon, he joins me for lunch. I have a glass of water with my wrap.

1.30PM I love interiors and architecture and I’m currently renovating the house again, so after lunch I spend some time working on that project.

2.45PM I collect the girls from school and we go to visit one of my sisters. Family’s important to me and we’d often visit my mum or my gran in the afternoon.

5.00PM We eat early on this night, but the girls are really hungry around this time anyway. Tonight, I am attending a fashion event a friend of mine is running. I often make the dinner, but when I have an evening function Peter will cook. Peter pan-fries hake that he bought fresh in Dun Laoghaire, does boiled potatoes and we’ve also roasted parsnips and carrots in olive oil.

6.30PM I drive to the event in town and stay for about an hour. I have a sparkling water. I don't eat anything and normally make a point of having food before going to events so I'm not tempted by the tiny hors d’oeuvres. I find they taste fantastic, but I don’t feel satisfied afterwards even though what I would have eaten probably contains the calorie content of an entire meal. 8.30PM Back at home, Peter and I sit down and watch a box set. At the moment, we are engrossed in ‘Homeland’. I try to stay away from the office at this hour.

12.00AM I do some reading and then go to sleep around 1 am.

Lorraine Keane is in Guatemala with Trocaire to see their human rights and maternity healthcare projects supported by the Irish public. One of Trocaire’s Christmas ‘Gifts of Change’ this year is ‘Safe Motherhood in Guatemala and Somalia’. www.trocaire.org/gifts.

How does Lorraine's routine rate?

LORRAINE has a healthy, balanced approach to her meals and sets a good example for her children too by eating family meals together.

One aspect of her diet that she could improve on is her fruit and vegetable intake.

Topping her brown toast in the morning with a banana would be one option; adding tomato, peppers and cucumber to her lunchtime wrap and perhaps a snack of fruit mid-morning for a natural sugar boost would help her get her recommended five or more a day.

Lorraine’s calcium intake is a little low on this day. Calcium is imperative for good bone health. As the bone is a live tissue, we need a daily supply of calcium to protect against bone diseases such as osteopaenia and osteoporosis.

Having a milky drink before bed can be a good idea — milk is a rich source of calcium and also contains an amino acid called tryptophan that helps release serotonin which, in turn, helps us to sleep.

Including a yogurt with breakfast could be another option for Lorraine, or perhaps trying some high-fibre cereal with low-fat milk and fruit in the morning. These are small changes that would improve the nutritional balance of Lorraine’s diet without making huge changes to her routine.

AVEEN BANNON, CONSULTANT DIETICIAN, DUBLIN NUTRITION CENTRE

FOOD HEAVEN & HELL

DESCRIBE THE MENU OF YOUR FAVOURITE MEAL?

Thai curry with a glass of wine.

WHAT ARE A FEW OF YOUR FAVOURITE FOODS AND BEVERAGES?

Sushi, water, wine, roast chicken.

WHAT THINGS WON’T YOU EAT OR DRINK?

Organ meats.

HOW MUCH SLEEP DO YOU NEED?

I would be okay on six hours, and if I got seven or eight that would be amazing.

DO YOU CATNAP?

No, it’s bad enough having to wake up once in 24 hours!

DO YO U TAKE SUPPLEMENTS?

Omega-3, primrose oil, vitamin C, lysine.

HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR BODY FIT

I only enjoy exercise with a purpose, so I’ll cycle or walk to places like the shops. I also go to my personal trainer and friend, Karl Henry, when I need to.

HOW DO YOU KEEP CENTRED AND MAINTAIN CALM?

I factor in time to spend with my girls every day.

DO YOU HAVE A SWEET TOOTH?

I like my chocolate and I have a small chocolate drawer in the fridge, but I’m quite able to take a couple of squares and be satisfied.

YOUR PET HATE? Bad manners.

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO CHANGE ABOUT YOUR DIET OR THE WAY THAT YOU TAKE EXERCISE?

I wish I enjoyed going to the gym. I’m so happy with myself after I’ve finished my workout, but I really dread having to do it.