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Me and my health: BBC NI presenter Cecilia Daly on her lifestyle

By Helen Carson

Published 29/12/2015

Health conscious: Cecilia Daly likes to keep fit
Health conscious: Cecilia Daly likes to keep fit
Puppy love: Cecilia with her Labrador, Pedro

The 44-year-old BBC NI weather forecaster lives in Belfast with her partner, Simon Flanaghan (40), assistant events manager at Clandeboye Lodge Hotel, and their Labrador pup, Pedro.

Q: Do you take regular exercise - and if so how much?

A: I am a bit of a gym bunny and try to exercise four to five times a week. I do some running twice a week with friends, go to a yoga class and I have a personal trainer who puts me through my paces for strength and conditioning training. I love running as it is nice to get outside and see what is going on around you. Simon and I have just recently got a black Labrador pup, Pedro, who comes running with me. For him it is a gentle jog, though.

Q: What's been the worst illness you've ever had?

A: I had shingles about four years ago and at the time I thought I was just run down. I felt nauseous and noticed a rash on my lower back when I realised it was shingles. I do think I had a mild dose, though, compared to others. I have been very lucky with my health apart from that.

Q: How healthy is your diet?

A: My diet is quite healthy, but because I exercise I can more or less eat what I want. I do try to eat well every day and will include vegetables and avoid bad carbohydrates like white bread and rice ... most of the time. I love chocolate, though, and have a very sweet tooth.

Q: Any bad habits?

A: I am bad at eating regularly, especially if I'm working. When I am busy in work I have a habit of drinking lots of coffee and skipping food. Then when I get home later I will eat all around me, which means I cannot sleep as I have a full stomach. I know some people prepare a week's meals in advance on a Sunday, but I am not that organised and I don't like the idea of being limited to a certain meal on a set night. I prefer to decide what I want to eat each night. I do have to be careful about my weight, though, as HD TVs show up everything. Of course, Simon is very slim and can't put weight on - he can eat an entire packet of biscuits every night and it doesn't make any difference.

Q: Do you drink/smoke and if so how much?

A: I don't smoke, but I like a glass of Prosecco, Champagne or a gin and tonic. I don't drink as regularly as I used to, mainly because I don't go out as much as I used to. I might have a glass of white wine during the week and it would be a bottle at the weekend. Prosecco has become so popular because it is affordable and restaurants have caught on and will sell it by the glass, so you don't have to buy a bottle.

Q: Do you take supplements?

A: A daily multi-vitamin with zinc - that's all.

Q: How do you take time out?

A: Exercise is time out to me. I also like lying on the sofa in my onesie watching lots of bad American TV. Meeting friends for coffee is also great as there are so many great cafes here now.

Q: How well do you sleep?

A: My sleep is pretty good although I used to have vivid dreams which I could recall in detail when I woke - so much so I used to think they were real, which was scary. We do some meditation at my yoga class and practice breathing techniques, which are great for calming the mind. We don't have a TV in our bedroom at home and keep the room really dark, so it is as sleep appropriate as possible. You spend so much time in your bed, so it is important. Simon and I have just bought a new mattress, which has been a great investment.

Q: Do you worry about getting old?

A: Of course I do and I don't know anyone who doesn't. In some ways I am happier with myself now than I was 10 years ago, I am more confident about myself and feel stronger in what I do professionally. My body is in better shape now and I am fitter. The downside of ageing is bad lighting which shows up what you don't want others to see. Sometimes I look in the mirror and think 'I'm not that age?' ... so I just avoid fluorescent lighting. The most important thing is to be happy and I am as I have an amazing partner in Simon. None of us should be too hard on ourselves as the people in the magazines don't really look as good as you think. Their images are Photoshopped and they have the best make-up artists in the world. No one is perfect.

Q: What is your go-to product/habit that keeps you feeling healthy?

A: Beetroot juice, which you can buy in any of the bigger supermarkets. I discovered this when I was training for the Larne half marathon and took a bad cold just before the event. I tweeted to see if anyone knew something that I could take which would help stave off the cold and local marathon runner Ed McGinley told me to try beetroot juice. It is great for your immune system, so I have a glass of it every day.

Belfast Telegraph

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