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Celebrity Health - Deborah Somorin

Image: Barry McCall

Deborah Somorin spent her teenage years in the care system, was homeless for some time and had her son. Now 26, Deborah is a management consultant, chartered accountant and founder of Empower the Family Ireland, a non-profit that helps single parents and care-leavers. Deborah also currently sits on the board of the RTÉ Youth Advisory Committee. She has appeared on radio and TV in Ireland to share her story and inspire others, in particular the Late Late Show.

Her new book Believing in Me is an incredible story that will inspire people everywhere to reflect on how we can positively affect the lives of others. Her debut picture book for children I Believe in You, illustrated by Grace Enemaku, brings her empowering message to a new generation.

Tell me about your new book Deborah

I am excited about the publication of my book Believing in Me. In it I talk about my experience of growing up in care in Ireland and all the people who helped me. I hope readers will be able to see how kindness can affect someone’s life in a positive way. One example, is that when I was 13 and living in a night time homeless hostel a woman from Focus Ireland really helped me out by bringing me to their offices in the day so that I wasn’t wandering the streets. She could see that I needed support.

You have written another book too

I wrote my children’s book I Believe in You after an African American friend noticed that there were no black children in their illustrated books. I chose a black Irish illustrator, Grace Enemaku. She is also Nigerian-Irish and I think it was important to have another Irish woman of colour illustrate the book. I want to help children to learn to believe in themselves.

How has education helped you?

Education was important to my mum and I have given that to my son Liam who is a great young man. She instilled it into me at a young age. I went back to school a few weeks after Liam was born to do my Junior Cert mocks. I realised that it was down to me to support my son and I wanted to provide stability for him. He has grown up with my studying.

What exercise do you do to keep in shape?

I mainly walk and it can be great for clearing your head, especially when doing accounting exams. I am always rushing around and my plan is I want to start walking halfway to work or then get the bus the rest of the way. It is quite a distance so I think this would give me a good walk.

What sort of foods do you eat to stay healthy?

I am a fruit for breakfast person, but I don’t always eat in the morning. Instead I will have a big lunch which might be a home-made burrito bowl. I love grilling chicken, in fact anything I can grill. For dinner my son is growing fast and taller than me so I make hearty dishes like spaghetti bolognaise, casserole or shepherd’s pie.

Do you take any supplements?

Myself and Liam take Floradix multivitamin with iron. We really like the taste of the orange one and we keep it in the fridge. We find it is good for winter immunity. My next plan is to start taking multivitamin jellies as my brother recommended these to me.

Do you go to health stores?

I like to go to health stores to buy natural products as I am careful with Liam’s skin. I don’t like to buy anything with harsh chemicals, so I buy natural soaps, creams, moisturisers, hand sanitisers, anything that you put directly on your skin. I love fruit-based natural shampoos as they smell great and I know they are keeping chemicals away from our hair.

I like to buy fruit and vegetables from markets and from greengrocers rather than supermarkets when I can.

Do you have any tips for rude health readers?

  • It’s important to make time for yourself, especially when you are busy and rushing around as many parents are.
  • Meditate every day, even if it is only for two minutes. I have found this a great help. Meditating helps you to sleep and relax.

Believing in Me and I Believe in You by Deborah Somorin are published by Gill.


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