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Me and my health: Artist Amanda Coogan on her lifestyle

By Helen Carson

Published 11/10/2016

Amanda Coogan
Amanda Coogan
Scene stealing: Amanda Coogan in a scene from Run To The Rock

The 45-year-old performance artist, originally from Dublin, lives in Belfast with her husband Jimmy Faye and their son Daniel (9). She has created Run To The Rock, a multi-media work using sign language, digital sound and live Instagram screening, which will make it world premiere at the Belfast Festival next week.

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

A: I do yoga every day as what I am doing with the Belfast Festival is very physical so I need plenty of stamina and strength. As a family we love walking along the towpath in Stranmillis where we live and I cycle a lot, too - not for fitness but to get from A to B.

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

A: Nothing serious. I had shingles about 10 years ago which was rotten but as long as I took the tablets and lay in bed I got better.

Q: How healthy is your diet?

A: Pretty healthy - it's about everything in moderation. I do have breakfast which is usually yoghurt or muesli and, of course, coffee. Lunch is a sandwich or salad. I love salads and will have this for dinner too with chicken or fish - whatever the boys are having. Sometimes I cut down on carbs depending what I'm working on.

Q: Any bad habits?

A: I like a glass of wine and chocolate. Cadbury's Dairy Milk is the best with a cup of tea. I'm not a fan of posh chocolate: it has to be Dairy Milk - it's all about the sugar rush.

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

A: I have a glass of white wine with my meal and usually bring a bottle home from wherever I have been travelling. If we were on holiday in Spain it will be rioja.

Q: Do you take any health supplements?

A: No - but maybe I should.

Q: How do you take time out?

A: Doing body boarding with the family in Whiterock which is one of my favourite places to be. We are just getting back into it again and I adore it. We also have a holiday home near the beach in Wexford where we love going for lots of walks. The mobile signal there is really bad so we all turn off our phones and then you have to find something else to do. It's perfect for chilling out and that's where I can really unwind.

Q: How well do you sleep?

A: Like a baby - I love my bed and fall asleep as soon as my head touches the pillow.

Q: Do you worry about getting old?

A: No, the thought never crosses my mind. Like any other woman in her 40s when I look at my face and think 'oh God another wrinkle'. But it's just another stage in life and you should just accept it.

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

A: Drinking water, although I don't drink nearly enough. But I know if I'm feeling tired I need to drink more water and it always does the trick.

  • Run To The Rock will make its world premiere at The Mac as part of the Belfast Festival from Thursday, October 20 until Saturday, October 22 at 7.45pm. Tickets cost £10-£12. For more details visit

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