Tuesday 20 February 2018

Make today the day

Don't waste your life away thinking about the changes you'd like to make in your life – get up and do something about it

Running woman
Running woman
Potato and quorn shepherd's pie

Karl Henry

Don't you just love Saturdays? Time to kick back with a nice breakfast and sit down to read the newspapers with a cup of tea before the day kicks off.

It can also provide a great time to reflect and plan. Scary stuff for a Saturday morning, but something that could turn this morning into something life-changing.

Life is short – something that I realise more and more as I get older. In your teens and early 20s, you believe you are invincible, that life is eternal and that you can do anything.

In your 30s you realise that you can overdo it, that time is suddenly speeding up and you are heading toward the halfway point.

Have I grabbed your attention yet?

Take a deep breath and read on, because my point is simply this: life is too short to spend it doing something you don't enjoy, or with someone with whom you are just drifting along.

So as you sip your tea this morning, take a moment to ask yourself: are you happy? Are you doing what you want to do? Remember that you are in charge of your life; only you can move it in the direction that you want it to go in.

Yes, it's scary. Yes, it involves change and, yes, it may be tough, but we only get one shot at it. Why waste that shot by sitting on the fence, giving out about the state of the country or blaming the bankers. All that negative energy will just keep you negative.

As children, we have fantastic ambitions and dreams. As we get older, we hide those dreams as fear takes over. Put that fear to one side and do what you have always wanted to do; whatever it is, why not make today the day that you try?

Track your activity

Have you ever been walking or running and wanted to know how fast or far you have gone, but don't want to splash out on an expensive GPS watch? Fear not, you can simply download the MapMyRun app to your phone and let it do the calculating for you. It's free to download and easy to use. You can even email the details of your session to a friend.

Weekend escape

Any weekend away is as healthy or indulgent as you make it, but the surroundings certainly help.

One of my favourite hideaways in the country is the 'Downton Abbey'-style country estate Hilton Park.

Nestled away on 600 acres in Monaghan, there are paths for walks, cycles and runs, fishing and even a private lake for a swim.

This is not a hotel – it's a family-owned and lived-in estate, and that's what makes it so special. What's more, you will rest your mind and return refreshed and ready to take on the world.

See hiltonpark.ie.

HEALTHY dinner: My mum's sweet potato and Quorn shepherd's pie

Quorn mince is a vegetarian substitute that's low in fat and high in protein. Better still, you won't notice the difference. I use sweet potato as the topping as it's a superfood that's low GI and full of nutrients. This is seriously yummy. (Serves 4)

you will need

I packet Quorn mince

I onion

2 or 3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tin organic chopped tomatoes

1 tbsp tomato puree

Salt, pepper and herbs of your liking For the topping 5-6 sweet potatoes

1 Red Rooster potato

Creme fraiche, if desired

Black pepper


* Heat a little oil in a flat pan. Add the onion and garlic and saute for about five minutes, or until the onion is clear.

* Add the packet of Quorn, and mix until heated through.

* Add the tin of tomatoes, tomato puree and seasoning, then pour into an ovenproof dish and set aside.

* For the topping, peel the potatoes, and cook until soft, then drain, season with salt and pepper and leave to steam for a few minutes before mashing. Add creme fraiche to taste, if desired.

* Top the Quorn mixture with the potato and cook in a hot oven (220°C) to heat through, and crisp the topping, for approximately 20 minutes.

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