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Celebrity Health – Yvonne Tiernan

Yvonne Tiernan has toured with the Chieftains, is a qualified psychotherapist and her husband Tommy’s manager for many years. Her latest venture is a new album and national tour with all female Folk Americana band The Raines. She lives with Tommy, their daughter and two sons aged between 11 and 16 in Barna, Co Galway.

Photos: Ruth Medjber

What are you up to these days Yvonne?

I started to train in psychotherapy in my mid 40s with a two year Diploma course in NUIG then moved on to a degree in Holistic Counselling & Psychotherapy with ICPPD. In October 2021 I set up my private practice at Naduir Centre for Holistic Wellness in Furbo, Galway. I am now gently expanding the practice from individual therapy to include group therapy.

Training as a psychotherapist led me back to my joy of singing hence The Raines, the folk Americana band I belong to with Ruth Dillon and Juliana Erkkonen. I met Ruth and Juliana in Aras Eanna in Inis Oirr while at their show and we soon became good friends with a similar taste in folk Americana and bluegrass music. Our brand new album called Reverie is out now and we hit the road on a nationwide tour with concerts in Galway Folk Festival on 17th June, Matt Molloy’s in Westport on 18th June, Forest Fest in Emo, Portlaoise on 22nd July, Whelans Trad & Folk Fest on 16th August and The Clifden Arts Festival on 21st September. It’s an exciting time!

Since we started playing music together Ruth and Juliana and I have released five number one singles, some of which during lockdown. We get on so well, and it feels really natural. We also complement each other musically. Being in the band and singing is joyful for me as on stage I can get lost in a song. It’s an extraordinary feeling, and healing for body and soul.

I have number of other jobs as I run ‘The Tommy, Hector and Laurita’ podcast and manage a lot of Tommy’s business. I feel that 2023 is a time of change and I am ready to concentrate more on my psychotherapy practice and on my music.

What do you eat to stay healthy?

My eating habits have changed a lot in recent years. At the age of 39 I found out that I am a coeliac and as a result everything changed. For the first year we still had foods in the house containing gluten, but I wasn’t getting better due to cross-contamination so, now the whole house is gluten-free.

In the last couple of years I have done some deep digging psychologically, emotionally and physically, listening to my body and I realised that sugar really doesn’t work for me. I also learned that giving myself lots of time to digest food does help, and that my digestion is pretty slow due to being a coeliac. I know it’s not ideal for everyone, but I don’t eat breakfast in the morning as I prefer water and black coffee and allowing time to digest.

For lunch I like to make almond flour and egg muffins with scrambled eggs and avocado topped with peanut rayu. For dinner I like lots of fish and vegetables. I tend to use cauliflower rice rather than normal rice. My body works really well without a lot of bread, rice or pasta so I avoid these most of the time rather than go for gluten-free versions.

Now I am 51, I pay more attention to what I put into my stomach and try to make conscious choices. I love occasional gluten-free fish and chips with a gluten-free calamari starter from Hooked in Barna. I regularly use a baking kit to make McCambridge gluten-free brown bread and add in cranberries, almonds and coconut flakes – the whole family loves it so it doesn’t last long. I love 78% dark chocolate smothered in Life Force Crunchy Almond Butter for a snack.

Sometimes even if I am eating something gluten-free I know it will make me feel bloated and uncomfortable, so I make a conscious decision to avoid dairy milk because it doesn’t make me feel good and I choose coconut, soy or almond milks instead.

What exercise do you do to stay fit?

I have had shoulder, neck and back injuries over the years so I have weekly cranial sacral treatment with Ciara Ni Dhiomasaigh at the Naduir Centre following up with home-exercises and meditation which are also good for calming my central nervous system.

I go to The Pilates Playroom in Knocknacarra and have a one-on-one once a week session with Lanette Weninger tailored specifically to my injuries by focusing on core work.

We have a Bernese mountain dog and a labradoodle and we live near the beach in Barna so I walk the dogs there most days.

Do you go to health stores?

Evergreen in Barna is my favourite for lentil chips, nuts, seeds, protein powders for smoothies and all gluten-free options. My favourite is White Mausu Peanut Rayu, peanuts and chilli in oil. It’s amazing on eggs.

Do you take any natural supplements?

I like the vitamin D sprays for the entire family and am often spraying everyone in the kitchen, and we use Revive Active regularly. I have started giving it to my teenagers and I take the pink one for menopause, my husband likes the Mastermind one too. After three to four weeks of taking it I noticed feeling so much better – it just works.

Do you have any tips for Rude Health readers?

  • I’m not an expert, but I would say listen to your body – it will tell you what it likes and what doesn’t suit it so what to eat less of.
  • Try to eliminate white sugar from your diet as I just think it’s not good on any level for our bodies and there are so many natural options such as honey and maple syrup.
  • For us coeliacs maybe don’t forget that a perfectly good coeliac diet is fish, meat, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds. We don’t have to eat processed foods and don’t be afraid to make gluten-free food yourself as there are lots of healthy shortcuts.
  • What we eat affects our sleep for sure – I now try to put my phone away before I go to bed, and not to eat late at night, allowing time for digestion. Feeling healthy is so much more lovely! for concert and ticket information


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