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Celebrity Health - Camille O'Sullivan

A photo of Camille O'Sullivan

'Peak Performer'

Camille O’Sullivan was born in London and grew up in Cork. She studied fine art then graduated as an award-winning architect before running away with The Famous Spiegeltent circus. After a long recovery from a car accident she became inspired to become an actress, musician and singer and has had sell-out seasons in London, Edinburgh, New York and Sydney and acted at the RSC and in movies. She lives in Dublin.

What sort of exercise do you do to keep in shape?

"I love to cycle, I like swimming and yoga. I have just started pilates – I do some at home while my daughter who is nearly two is napping and take some classes. When she was very small I used to take her to mum and baby yoga classes. I get a lot of exercise and energy from performing on stage. When I am touring I do some yoga and mindfulness exercises. I was given a travel hula hoop for Christmas that came with a DVD of exercises so you can use it when you are moving around a lot."

What sort of foods do you eat to stay healthy?

"My breakfast is usually porridge or an egg and I like to eat Thai and Japanese food. I try to carry hazelnuts, cashews, oranges, apples, avocadoes and would often just eat them rather than make a salad. I try not to eat anything heavy before going on stage. The real danger can be after performing when you are wound up and the only places open are take-aways selling unhealthy food."

Is it hard to be healthy when you have to travel for work?

"It can be hard to eat healthily when you are on the road. If you are staying somewhere for a while you can get into a healthy routine, but if you perform then the next morning get up and move to the next place it‘s harder. I find it’s best to eat the same every day so you don’t get into bad habits. Some places are better than others and I always ask for fresh fruit and vegetables and ginger and green tea. Breakfast in hotels can be very dangerous with fries etc. I have to be strict with myself. The hardest thing is not drinking too much after a show, but I do enjoy a glass of red wine."

Do you take any natural supplements?

"I take an omega 3 supplement as well as vitamins C and B. When I started going to health stores the staff explained about getting the right strength of supplement, which is something I had no idea about before. I take echinacea if I feel a cold coming on. If I’m under the weather and I’m worried it could wreck a performance or even a tour, I peel ginger and garlic, cut it and let it oxidise for 30 minutes. Then I stick it under my tongue and suck it for a while before eating it. It has definitely stopped me getting ill."

Do you ever worry about your health?

"Yes I do. With the pressure of having to perform you realise you have to take care of yourself. With having had a baby you can suffer from a lack of sleep. I worry about being ill on stage and off-form. Getting older too you become aware you are not as agile as you used to be. I find health stores helpful – they help you to see what you can take to help yourself and support your body. This has made me more aware of what I am eating and how supplements can help."

How do you relax when you are not in the public eye?

"Sleeping! I take long walks to Poolbeg lighthouse. Sketching and painting; walking round town and dropping into exhibitions; reading in the park. Having solitude is very important for me with no musicians and no audience."

Do you have any healthy tips for Rude Health readers?

  • I was in a big car crash some years ago and learnt that it’s important to take care of your mind as well as your body.
  • Try to be very aware of what you eat and when you need a break – your body will tell you.
  • Don’t shop for food on an empty stomach or you won’t buy the healthy stuff. Decide what you are going to buy before you go shopping.
  • Make little changes to your habits that you can keep.


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