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Celebrity Health - Holly White

My plant-based life

Photos: Leo Byrne/Gill

Broadcaster and journalist Holly White from Dublin has appeared on IFTA-nominated TV show Dan & Becs and presented fashion for TV3’s Expośe. Her website holly.ie is a great source of tasty vegan recipes and her first vegan cookbook Vegan-ish is published by Gill

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

I live in Dublin city centre and walk everywhere. I do about three yoga classes every week. When I can’t make one of those I use online resources such as the YouTube channel Fitness Blender – I would follow one of their classes/plans.

What sort of foods do you eat to stay healthy?

I try to prepare as much of my own foods as possible and keep it fresh. For breakfast I like to eat avocado on toast with seeds – a seed mix with chia, pumpkin and sesame for example, which contain iron and magnesium. I might make a smoothie with a banana, half an avocado, berries, a green powder such as spirulina and almond milk – I make it in batches twice a week. I also like to sprinkle seed mixes over salads or add to a smoothie.

I work at home so I mostly cook and eat at home. For lunch I eat leftovers from the night before – vegetable casserole or soup for example.

In the evening I might make a casserole or a vegetable tray bake with tofu. I have great recipes for vegan shepherd’s pie, veggie burgers made with beetroot which I have with salad and vegan mayo, ratatouille and vegetable curry. I make more than I need in one big pot so I can have it for lunches.

If I am going on a short trip I take almonds, dried fruit and make my own energy balls to bring with me. If I am away for longer and staying in self-catering or Airbnb I look for a local supermarket. I have found that hotels and B&Bs are more sensitive to food issues these days.

I try not to be too rigid about food when I am on holiday and go with the flow when eating out – the great thing about this is that I often discover new things. I use the Yelp app on my phone to look for vegan restaurants in cities abroad. It’s important to build up your confidence to ask about food when eating out – most places will try to work something out.

I am a big chocolate fan and I like to dip 70% cocoa chocolate in almond butter. I snack on trail mix and have a nice granola recipe – I might have a handful with a cup of tea. I make the granola every week and sprinkle it on coconut yogurt or have it for breakfast. At weekends I love a gin and tonic with elderflower or a glass of wine.

Do you take any natural supplements or drinks?

I try to be as well as I can through my diet. A lot of vegan foods are now fortified which is good. But I get my bloods taken every year so I can see if I need to work on a part of my diet, for example if I am anaemic and need iron.

Do you buy food in health stores?

I am spoilt for choice living where I do and would go to a few health stores such as Down to Earth and Nourish. I buy my fruit and vegetables on Camden Street. I find health stores really great for foods you can’t get anywhere else such as vegan stock, nutritional yeast and top quality tofu.

Do you ever worry about your health?

As long as I am eating food I have cooked myself I don’t worry about my health. I am 35 now and my policy is to try to maintain, appreciate and enjoy my body. I enjoy yoga, kinesiology and massage and taking time out. I hope that if I put in the maintenance it will stand to me in the long run.

Do you have any tips for Rude Health readers?

  • Get to know yourself.
  • Follow your passion and interests.
  • There is no single diet that is suitable for everyone.
  • Fill your life with positive information – I like to listen to positive podcasts when I am walking.
  • Never stop learning.

                                         

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