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Celebrity Health - Tommy Fleming

Cover image: Alan Keville

Tommy Fleming is regarded as one of Ireland’s most loved singers. From the village Aclare in Co Sligo he still lives in the county with his wife Tina who is his manager. They have a grown-up daughter Becky. His new album All These Years includes a mix of old and new songs, with special guest Elaine Paige. Tommy’s 30th Anniversary Nationwide Tour runs until 13 March and boasts a full band and orchestra

Did you miss performing during the pandemic?

When the pandemic began I had just finished a tour, and normally after travelling so much and performing on tour I take six months off. So, to be honest, the first lockdown wasn’t so bad and I didn’t feel that I was missing much. Saying that, we all thought the pandemic would last three months, so when we went into another lockdown in October and then again from January to April that’s when I really started to feel it, mainly in the form of frustration. I lost all the tours we had planned for Ireland, Australia and USA from January to April this year. We decided to put all the Irish tour dates back a year, so my new tour all around the country started in November and will run through to March 2022. I am delighted to be doing it.

I was disappointed that in March this year I should have played the Bord Gais Theatre for the 11th year in a row, and I didn’t want to lose that record. So I did a livestream from the theatre and hope to be back there at the end of my tour in March. I wrote and recorded a lot of the songs for the new album during lockdown. I was inspired by home, my wife and family, turning 50, as well as my surroundings in Sligo. Some days were tough, but music is my therapy. I tried to look for the best in the situation and made use of the time to focus on the music. Myself and Tina, my wife and manager, were busy making plans for when live music could resume.

What exercise do you do to keep in shape?

I workout six days a week. First thing in the morning I do a six kilometre run and I do a workout in my home gym five times per week. Sometimes I take the dogs to Enniscrone and we run on the beach or along the coast – it’s really good for the head. I find that exercise helps me to handle problems. My home gym is in the garage. It started with a treadmill that I got a good deal on before the lockdown, I also have a bench. Then I bought some free weights where you can interchange the weights. So in every workout I work on my upper and lower body. I am essentially looking to keep healthy, not develop a six pack! Two years ago I was diagnosed with a 40% blocked artery to my heart, so this has made me much more aware and acts as an incentive to keep fit.

What sort of foods do you eat to stay healthy?

I eat 1500 calories per day. I was overweight and with the blocked artery was advised to lose some weight – I have lost 18lbs since May, which I am pleased about. My breakfast is a bowl of fruit – this morning it’s strawberries, blueberries and raspberries with 0% fat protein yogurt. For lunch I will have home-made chicken soup with a slice of brown bread. Today is Friday so my treat is king prawn vindaloo and boiled rice rather than sushi that contains a lot of sugar. I am trying to keep my calorie intake down. I swear by the slow cooker/crockpot. I would make a lot of veggie curries, and we try to be as vegetarian as possible. I sometimes eat chicken, but if we have roast chicken we have it with boiled potatoes and more vegetables than meat. I eat a lot of fish. I do not eat red meat at all. We decided to become mostly vegetarian for ethical reasons really. Dishes I really like include roast chicken, eggs, chips and beans, and mashed potato champ with scallions and two boiled eggs like my mum used to make. Beans are amazing – they are low in fat and sugar and packed with protein.

Do you take any supplements?

I take one sachet of Revive Active every day with vitamin C and zinc mixed in. I also take vitamin D, turmeric and 100mg omega 3 every day.

Do you have any tips for rude health readers?

  • Before every meal you eat drink a pint of water – sometimes you are more thirsty than hungry and the body doesn’t know the difference.
  • As you get older try to limit your alcohol intake. Stick to red wine instead of white as it is healthier. Prosecco and sparkling wine has less calories than normal white wine.
  • Try to exercise a minimum of three times per week.

Tommy Fleming plays the following dates on his tour.

21 – Theatre Royal, Waterford
22 – Glór, Ennis, Co Clare
23 – Knightsbrook Hotel Spa and Gold Resort, Trim, Meath
28 – Tommy Leddy Theatre, Drogheda
29 – Tullamore Court Hotel, Tullamore
30 – Kilmore Hotel, Cavan

4 and 5 – Cork opera House
6 – Clonmel Park Hotel
11 – National Opera House, Wexford
12 – Carrickdale Hotel, Dundalk
13 – Hillgrove Hotel, Monaghan
18 – Claremorris Town Hall
19 – Radisson Hotel, Sligo
20 – Ulster Hall, Belfast
25 – Milennium Forum, Derry
27 – City Hotel, Armagh

4 – INEC, Killarney, Co Kerry
5 – University Concert Hall, Limerick
13 – Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Dublin

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