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Celebrity Health - Jess Redden

Jess Redden is passionate about taking a holistic approach to health. She has a degree in psychology, is a pharmacy graduate and a qualified personal trainer. She shares her recipes, fitness and wellbeing tips on her Instagram page. She lives in Dublin with her husband former Ireland rugby player Rob Kearney and their baby son Bobby. Her new book The Food Pharmacy is published by Gill.

Hi Jess, what food do you eat to stay healthy?

I am on the 30 plants a week challenge, also known as the diversity diet. It’s way of improving diversifying gut bacteria and the gut microbiome. It’s not just fruit and vegetables – spices such as turmeric and cinnamon count too.

For breakfast I love oat porridge loaded up with nut butters and fruits. As I am breast-feeding at the moment I am very hungry – so I might have a smoothie made from strawberry, banana, yogurt and ice, and I have a big bottle of water beside me all the time. Another smoothie I like is banana and peanut butter with almond or hazelnut milk.

For lunch I look for protein and choose mainly plant-based foods. I love dhal which can be made the night before, anything with chick peas, a bagel with tuna and sweetcorn is a favourite and easy and quick to put together.

When Rob comes home I love to spend time cooking dinner. I would eat meat about once a week and fish twice a week.

What exercise do you do to keep in shape?

I did a personal training course a few years ago and am very interested in exercise. In my book I have a chapter on post workout nutrition, which also covers how to start exercising and implement a training routine.

Before I was pregnant and during pregnancy I did two or three weight training sessions and one cardio session per week.

Now that I am past the six weeks mark after having Bobby I can start a Pilates class which I am really looking forward to and I love boxing. Pushing the buggy is an exercise too. I find that exercise is really good for my mental health and I am grateful I am well enough to do it.

Do you visit health stores?

I go to my local health store and love what they offer. I don’t eat processed foods and instead choose organic and wholegrain. I think it’s important to understand the ingredients in foods. I take an OptiBac probiotic, to make sure it reaches my gut alive, and an omega-3.

Please tell us about your new book.

It’s called The Food Pharmacy and it has 10 different health-related chapters including immune, gut, bone, hormonal, skin health and so on. It is simple to use and the idea is that anyone can pick it up and benefit from it. It explains how food can be our first source for fuelling or fighting the symptoms of disease and there are over 100 easy and delicious recipes.

Do you have any tips for Rude Health readers?

  • Keep it simple.
  • Tailor any changes you make to your lifestyle.
  • Go for small things that you repeat daily.
  • Start small and build from there, so that changes become normal and a habit.
  • One thing I used to roll my eyes at is mindfulness, but now I used The Calm App and take five minutes to focus on me. Breathing helps to calm the nervous system, and it’s something I can do while I’m looking after Bobby.

The Food Pharmacy is published by Gill.


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