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'I love a proper Uster fry, that's one for my treat days'

Allison Abernethy

By Kerry McKittrick

The 53-year-old lives in Dromara with her husband Will and they have two children, Laura (25) and Stuart (21). She is managing director of Abernethy Butter, which she runs with her husband.

Do you take regular exercise and if so, what?

I go walking. My husband Will and I have a route around Hillsborough Park we like that takes us over 5-6,000 steps. In the summer time with the light evenings we go every day, but it's much harder to get out in the winter and we only end up going about three times a week. I've now bought a cross trainer so I can do that as well - it's out in the shed.

What's the worst illness you've ever had?

Touch wood there has never been anything seriously wrong with me. The only time I've been in hospital, other than having my children, was when I was a child and I had my tonsils out. They fed you ice cream and Coke so it wasn't even that bad. But I do have some back pain now from all of my years as a nurse.

How healthy is your diet?

For breakfast I have fruit and yogurt and then a pear and an orange for 10 o'clock break. Lunch is usually soup - a fresh soup from the fridge as I really don't like tinned soup. Dinner is normally some kind of meat, such as fish or chicken with green vegetables. I don't eat carbs because they put weight on me so quickly. I'm going through the menopause right now so I really don't need to put more on. That said, at weekends we have a treat. We'll go for somewhere nice for dinner or coffee and cake after our walk. Sometimes I make scones for the staff and I'll have one of them. I would love to eat slices of bread with lots of butter, but what surprises a lot of people to discover is that I'm lactose-intolerant. You don't expect to hear that from someone who makes butter for a living. Funnily enough, I think it's because our butter is so pure I can actually have a little bit of it from time to time. I can't eat any other dairy - even my morning yogurt is lactose-free.

Any bad habits?

Chocolate is one. Again because of my lactose-intolerance I eat dark chocolate. Lindt in particular do one that has a thin layer of raspberry over it and that sweetness offsets the bitterness of the dark chocolate. The other thing is I love is a fry and I mean a proper Ulster fry with potato bread, mushrooms, bacon and everything else. It all has to be fried - nothing from under the grill will do. That's one for my treat days.

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

I never smoked - again, because I was a nurse for 32 years I know how bad it is. I don't really drink, but occasionally I'll have something like a Jawbox Gin and ginger or a cocktail. I don't like wine or beer. It's just to have something to drink other that water, which is what I normally go for.

Do you take health supplements?

A multivitamin every day.

How do you take time out?

Once a month I take myself off to Bliss in Dromore and have reflexology done. Again it's to do with my bad back - someone told me to try reflexology as well as physio. My therapist Michelle is brilliant and for two hours does reflexology and a bit of massage on my head - and it's pure heaven.

How well do you sleep?

Not too bad. The two of us get up at about 5am so bedtime is around 9pm. Because I'm having lots of hot flushes I will wake up with one at some point, deal with that and then go back to sleep - I don't get the full eight hours in a row.

Do you worry about getting old?

Yes - I suppose everybody does don't they? Going through the menopause is something of a watershed - not that I was going to have any more children - I do find thinking it's strange that I definitely won't have any more children. It's been taken away from me now.

What is your go-to product or habit that keeps you feeling healthy?

I drink water with all my meals. I also wear a fitness tracker. At work I will usually get my 10,000 steps a day but it's still good to go out for that extra walk and get even more.

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