Monday 9 December 2019

I eat healthy...but cider and yeast spell trouble

'I always follow the protein with carb rule' Author Patrick Holford talks about creative writing in the morning, supplements and chocolate peanuts

Chocolate peanuts which the author has a weakness for.
Chocolate peanuts which the author has a weakness for.
Author Patrick Holford who has a weakness for chocolate peanuts but enjoys oatcakes

DO YOU consider yourself to have a healthy lifestyle? I've certainly got it covered on regarding nutrition but waver on the exercise front.

Do you exercise regularly?

I aim for three 30-minute 'aerobic' exercise sessions a week – anything that gets my heart rate up. This often turns into a long walk, a bike ride and a 30-minute run. I do some 'resistance' exercises from my Burn Fat Fast book. There are four that take a minute each so I do a couple twice when walking or running. Also I sometimes do a four-minute sequence with a set of springs.

Do you do it willingly or begrudgingly?

To be honest, I love being out in nature but hate gyms. So I often get fit on holiday or in the summer but sometimes struggle to maintain a routine in the winter if I'm in London or on a lecture tour.

What time do you go to bed?

Almost invariably between 10 and 11pm. I am not a night owl.

What time do you get up in the morning?

When I'm working on a book I'm up at 6am or earlier, otherwise between seven and eight. My most creative time is in the early morning.

What do you have for breakfast?

Either a shake with fresh berries and chia seeds, or scrambled eggs either with smoked salmon or chives from the garden.

Sometimes I have oats with grated apple, nuts and seeds or a kipper with oat cakes.


This is often snackish when I'm working. If not some of last night's dinner. I often grab hummus, oat cakes, a carrot, greens such as rocket from the garden, and get on with work.

Other days I make something like a mackerel salad with avocado and tomatoes, plus greens. I like to eat some-thing from the garden every day.


This is usually more substantial. Often some fish or some kind of bean casserole, or a wholegrain pasta mediterranean style.

Always with salad or vegetables. Right now I've been eating purple sprouting broccoli from the garden.

We make a kale salad, marinated in lemon juice and cider vinegar, with olive oil and garlic.

Once a week I'll eat Thai or Indian food either out or takeaway.

Any snacks?

I always follow the protein with carb rule so might have an oatcake with some hummous, or a slice of rye bread with almond butter or half an apple with some nuts. If I'm on the road I grab a packet of peanuts. I never buy sweets as such.

Do you take any supplements?

Everyday I take two strips of vitamins (my 100pc Health Pack) which is a vitamin C tablet, high strength multivitamin, essential fats and alternating antioxidants and brain food (phospholipids).

I'm prone to allergies and if I'm reacting I take extra Allex, which contains quercitin (from red onions) among nutrients.

I also take 3 Carboslow glucomannan fibre capsules just before my breakfast. This makes you feel fuller for longer.

How much water do you drink?

I'll usually have three glasses a day, three cups of tea, my favourite being Rooibosch Chai and strong Ginger tea, and one shot of Cherry Active concentrate in a glass of water. This alone has the antioxidant power of 103 carrots! Sometimes I have Blueberry Active. These are pure fruit concentrates – no sugar.

Do you have a skincare routine?

I use Environ AVST. This is a transdermal vitamin A cream that I apply to my face most days. It really works. I also use their RAD sun cream on sunny days.

Any allergies?

I'm allergic to dairy products. They give me sinus problems and headaches. I suspect I'm allergic to yeast and certainly feel worse after beer and sadly cider and occasionally wine, although organic wines and champagne method (virtually yeast-free) or spirits are often better. I buy yeast-free rye bread although eat more oat cakes than bread anyway.

Any vices?

Chocolate peanuts! I like chocolate but have to stick to the dark stuff. And I love peanuts, especially with a good cider! There's one place in London where you can get dark chocolate peanuts. I purposely don't go past there too often!

If I could change one thing about my lifestyle it would be ...

I feel better when I'm exercising and meditating regularly but I find it hard to stick to a routine.

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