Saturday 18 November 2017

Derval's fit food

'When it  comes to fitness consistency is key'

Food by Derval O'Rourke
Food by Derval O'Rourke
Very Berry Overnight oats

My love for running dates back to when I was a child. I ran all the time simply because I loved the feeling of being able to put one foot in front of the other and go as fast as I could. To this day, I have never lost that childhood sense of running just for the sheer fun of it. I spent 12 years competing as a professional athlete at sprint hurdles. I competed in three Olympic Games and was World Champion.

My life is completely different now to what it was when I was a professional athlete. These days I'm juggling working with being a mum and trying to stay fit. This means that staying fit can be a challenge! I have decided to set myself a goal of running the SPAR Fitlive 5km this summer, this is a major shift for me as I'm used to running for 12 seconds! I've started training twice a week with a few friends and I must say I'm enjoying it. It's given me a reason to run consistently, and when it comes to fitness consistency is key. My friends and I have swapped our tea meet-ups for jogging dates. It's a great time of year to get started. The mornings are brighter, there is a stretch in the evenings and the weather is generally a bit more forgiving.

Mass running events are great goals for anyone starting out on their running journey. The aim is simply to take part, do your best and have fun. There is no pressure to compete and no need to be intimidated as they are designed for all abilities.

I love running because there are very few barriers to getting started. All you need is a good pair of runners, some clothes you feel comfortable jogging in, and a water bottle!

This week I wanted to share my favourite breakfast recipe. I believe a good breakfast sets you up for the day. My little run group love these overnight oats, they have fuelled many a jog for us!

* Very Berry Overnight oats

Very Berry Overnight oats

This recipe is one of the simplest breakfast solutions around, they can be made the night before, ensuring you have a healthy breakfast ready and waiting for you on rising. I like to make my overnight oats in a jar that I can grab and go out the door with. I usually end up eating them after I've left the house (often sitting in traffic!). A kilner jar is perfect for this, just make sure that it doesn't leak or spill. Stale milk in your bag or car is never good!

These are fantastic for fuelling up before or refuelling after your run. They really taste great and pack a nutritional punch.

They include:

* Oats - slow release carbohydrates and fibre, which means they keep you feeling fuller for longer and prevent crazy spikes in blood sugar levels.

* Milk - a great source of calcium and fat soluble vitamins plus protein.

* Berries - rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

* Nuts and seeds - a perfect source of healthy fats and protein.

A complete breakfast, in a jar and the perfect base for a whole host of delicious toppings.

Serves: 1

Prep time: 1 minute (and then popped into the fridge overnight)


240ml milk

50g jumbo porridge oats

40g frozen mixed berries

1 tsp chia seeds

1 tsp honey

2 tbsp nuts/seeds (optional)


Combine all of the ingredients, except the honey, in a bowl or container. Mix gently with a spoon. Place in the fridge overnight. Next morning, drizzle with honey and eat.

Toppings ideas:

* Mixed Berries (blueberries/ raspberries) & seeds (sunflower/ pumpkin seeds)

* Chopped banana, pecan nuts and a drizzle of honey

* Grated apple, cashew nuts and a drizzle of honey

• Derval O'Rourke

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