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Celebrity Health – Ciara Doherty

Anchor woman

Ciara Doherty is a broadcaster and new mum. She is an anchor at Virgin Media One’s Ireland AM and an ambassador for the Sudocrem #RealParenting Panel starting a dialogue on the realities of parenting in Ireland today.

Did you find it hard to get back into shape after having baby Renee?

It was hard to go back to work when Renee was eight months old and I was tearful at first, but you get used to it quickly. Ireland AM is a live four-hour show from 7am-11am and I’ve been doing it for three years. I need to get enough rest at the weekend and not to live on black coffee.

Part and parcel of the job is getting back in shape, but I tried not to think too hard about it. I am not on air because I am a model or a clothes horse so I would hope that people are interested in what I have to say. I didn’t spend my maternity leave counting calories and lifting weights in the gym.

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

I got married 18 months before Renee was born and was exercising three to four times per week with a personal trainer doing spin classes, pilates and boxercise - I loved it. I also did a lot of walking.

I maintained this regime in the first four months of pregnancy and felt enthused and energised by going to the gym. I also went for hikes with my husband - we love the outdoors.

Now with a baby it’s more difficult. I am hoping we can get into a better routine and I can make the space for exercise again. I religiously take the baby out for a walk every day - for our mental health as much as anything else.

What sort of foods do you eat to stay healthy?

I love food - I am one of those people who thinks about dinner at breakfast time and I love to cook.

For breakfast I always have a banana, natural yogurt and granola. At the weekend I might make a smoothie for breakfast.

I would drink about three mugs of tea and two mugs of tea during the morning and recording the show to keep my energy up. I nibble what’s cooked on the programme - it’s a challenge not to eat a full dinner at 9am when you’ve been up since 4am!

I do not have a sweet tooth, only savoury. I am gluten intolerant, so for lunch I might have a gluten-free pitta with tuna, sweetcorn, mayo and rocket or rocket and scrambled or poached eggs, or a slice of frittata. I love eggs. I switch to decaffeinated tea at lunchtime.

I try not to snack between meals, but if I do I will eat a pot of humous - it could be chilli, onion or feta humous - and oat cakes.

For dinner now I am back at work I like to batch cook a bit more. We like to eat a lot of fish and vegetables - cod, hake and monkfish about four times per week. I like lots of condiments and flavours on my plate - it could be brie, humous, mustard, chutneys, pesto, mayo. My husband calls me seven flavours!

We eat a lot of vegetables. When I can I go to the farmers' markets in Bluebell on a Saturday. I will spend a bit more for quality.

Do you take any natural supplements or drinks?

I take iron tablets, but apart from that I believe you should be able to get everything from your diet - we eat enough vegetables and fish, I don’t eat sweet foods, processed foods or takeaways.

Tell us about the sudocrem parenting panel

I am a Sudocrem #RealParenting ambassador and was on a panel with Dirtbirds Comic duo Sinead Culbert and Sue Collins and women’s wellness coach and yoga therapist Lydia Sasse to discuss the results of research into modern parenting in Ireland. I thought the research finding that 36% of parents feel online posts portraying a vision of 'perfect parenting makes them feel worse', really interesting. I expected it to be much higher! The fact is that real parenting can be challenging, as well as rewarding and fulfilling. Mums and dads should be encouraged to be more open and honest, rather than showing a picture-perfect version. The true story is often a lot more interesting!

Do you ever worry about your health?

I think it is an occupational hazard when you work on a show like Ireland AM that you meet lots of people who’ve had health conditions and scares. Saying that, I am the kind of person who will avoid going to the doctor. I had meningitis twice as a child. But I am very healthy. I have to park the paranoia.

Do you have any tips for rude health readers?

  • I do not post any baby or family photos online. I avoid social media. I really think that too much time online is the most dangerous thing you can do. It’s better to go out for a walk.
  • I believe in the healing powers of the outdoors - 30 minutes of fresh air a day really can help. When out walking you are living in the real world, meet people, see things and baby loves it too.
  • If all else fails you can always go out for a 10 minute walk and you never regret having done it.


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