my health

Salon boss Tara Downes (24) can't resist a burger...

Anna Coogan

What was the last thing you ate?

A chicken salad. Working in a hair and beauty salon, you sometimes don't get your lunch until you have a quiet minute or even until the evening. I always make sure to bring something small like a banana or cashew nuts.

Do you go to the gym or classes?

I've been so busy, I haven't been to Pilates classes for three weeks. I always make sure to get out for a walk with friends during the week, even if it's only a 10 minute fast walk as it clears the head and gets my heart rate up.

Do you take vitamins or supplements?

I take fish oil tablets, great for skin and hair.

What foods always go in your shopping trolley?

Eggs, bean sprouts, vegetables and cheese. I'm not a big red meat eater, so it normally tends to be chicken.

Have you ever been in hospital?

The last time I remember being in a hospital was as a kid. I'm lucky, really.

What was your worst illness?

On holidays a few years back I was struck down with bad food poisoning from chicken in what seemed a lovely restaurant.

There are no photos from that holiday as I spent most of it in bed.

The worst thing about being sick abroad is that you can't be tucked up in your own bed.

What is your favourite cure?

If you are sick with a cold or flu, it's rest, rest and more rest. People always have guilt and think they should come into work when they're really sick but they aren't doing anyone any favours -- just spreading the guilt!

Would you get your five- a-day?

I don't really eat fruit, so my five a day comes from vegetables. I try to eat as much as I can and would get them through the stir fries I cook.

What is your favourite meal to cook?

I love to make chicken stir fry. They are so quick to make and healthy as they are full of vegetables and protein. If I finish late, having a meal with lots of veggies won't sit in my stomach.

Any vices?

I love McDonald's!

Have you ever dieted?

I've tried every diet possible and finally realised the secret isn't such a big secret -- exercise and having three healthy meals a day.

Any family ailments?

My dad has diabetes, he's only been diagnosed in the last couple of years. It has definitely made me more conscious of my lifestyle.

How many hours sleep do you get a night?

It all depends on my working hours, though very rarely would I get less than eight hours.

Do you have any health goals?

I want to exercise more and tone up, especially for the Christmas party season.

Do you smoke or have you ever smoked?

No, I was never interested in trying it when all my peers were. I find it a turn off in men.

Choose one food you would bring to a desert island with you?

McDonald's cheeseburgers, lots and lots of cheeseburgers. I love them.

>Anna Coogan

Tara Downes (24) recently set up Reds at Revive with Alan Bruton in Milltown