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Me and my health: Kelan McMichael discusses his lifestyle

By Helen Carson

Published 29/11/2016

Kelan McMichael
Kelan McMichael

The 38-year-old is head chef and owner at the Bull & Ram restaurant in Ballynahinch. He lives in Killyleagh with his wife Hannah.

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

A: I work out with a personal trainer three times a week where I use weights for strength and conditioning as well as some cardio for general fitness and stamina. Although I have to admit I have missed a few sessions recently as I have been so busy with the restaurant, I will definitely get back on track soon.

Q: What's the worst illness you have had?

A: I took bad pains in my side once having worked full-on in a restaurant for three days. I went to the A&E Department at the City Hospital, Belfast, where they discovered I had acute appendicitis so I was admitted and had surgery straight away. Sadly after the operation I contracted an MRSA infection and was off work for three months. That was one of the worst experiences for me.

Q: How healthy is your diet?

A: I love raw fish and eat quite a lot of sushi which is low in fat and rich in Omega 3s. Foraging is also one of my pastimes which means you eat seasonally, and I include fresh fish and vegetables in my diet, too. I don't eat breakfast as I am just not ready to eat in the morning.

Q: Any bad habits?

A: Too much fine red wine and, like many chefs, skipping meals or eating at the wrong time.

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

A: I don't smoke, but I love red wine and have just discovered Shortcross gin.

Q: Do you take any health supplements?

A: Because I work long hours in the kitchen, I often eat in an irregular way which means I miss out on some meal times. To make up for this I take a multivitamin daily. And, as I'm not a fan of eating breakfast, I substitute this with a protein shake when I get up in the morning.

Q: How do you take time out?

A: Having only opened Bull & Ram in June this year, I am very busy with training and recruiting new staff - so finding time to take out can be a challenge. There is a great team in place now, though, so Hannah and I headed off to New York last week to celebrate our wedding anniversary and recharge after a frantic few months.

Q: How well do you sleep?

A: Years of shift work means I could sleep standing up. But I do need around a good eight hours every night - Hannah will vouch that I can get quite grumpy without my sleep.

Q: Do you worry about getting old?

A: No - age is just a number.

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

A: Drinking water - which sounds very simple, but when you work in a kitchen you can become dehydrated with the heat. I make a big effort to drink lots of water and eat raw fish to offset this, though.

  • Award-winning chef Kelan McMichael, Bull and Ram (www.bullandram.com) in Ballynahinch, is one of four chefs taking part in the search for Northern Ireland's New Signature Dish. Visit discovernorthernireland.com for details

Belfast Telegraph

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