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Me and my health: Carl Johannessen on his lifestyle

By Helen Carson

The 38-year-old chef director works at Hadskis Restaurant in Belfast. He lives in Lisburn with his wife Brenda and they are expecting twins.

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

A: I play football twice a week and go to the gym twice a week too. I work out with a personal trainer as I need someone to push me - I need to exercise a lot because of how much I eat. My job involves a lot of tasting for the menu so I will be snacking all day.

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

A: I used to ski and snowboard a lot so I have broken a lot of bones, including all of my fingers - these things happen with outdoor sports.

Q: How healthy is your diet?

A: Terrible - as I pick at food all day. It's part of my job to sample food for our menu so it's unavoidable. Otherwise I have a healthy diet with porridge and fruit for breakfast, vegetables with chicken or fish for lunch and whatever is left over at the restaurant for dinner. It is usually something very simple like a pie or stew - but it's always tasty.

Q: Any bad habits?

A: Too much caffeine. I have an espresso at 7am and, if I am very busy at work, do skip the odd meal. I don't feel hungry when this happens as there is no time to think about it.

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

A: I don't smoke and when I have a drink it is always red wine. I enjoy a glass or two of red wine at the weekend and very rarely, if ever, during the week.

Q: Do you take any health supplements?

A: Multi-vitamins everyday and vitamin B, too - the latter of which most of us probably don't get enough of. Vitamins help keep me going when I'm busy, especially if there is no time to get something to eat.

Q: How do you take time out?

A: My Jack Russell dog Scoot and I head out in my old Golf Mark 1 car. We just go somewhere scenic and stop to enjoy a long walk. It is what I do as soon as I come in from a long day at work. I'm also up early and take him out for a walk then, too.

Q: How well do you sleep?

A: Very well. I work 14-hour days so it is never a problem getting over to sleep - as soon as my head hits the pillow I'm off. Hard work is the perfect solution to sleeplessness.

Q: Do you worry about getting old?

A: No.

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

A: Definitely going to the gym - I always spend 20 minutes at the beginning of every session warming up on either the treadmill, cross- trainer or bike before doing cardio and conditioning with the personal trainer. I also spend some of those sessions weight lifting. If I was to go to the gym on my own I wouldn't work as hard - I know I would slack. The fact that I exercise and eat well helps my stamina. And I take pride in the fact when the younger guys in the kitchen are flagging I can keep going. They rely on sugary drinks so after the initial burst of energy then they crash, whereas I drink water which keeps you going and is much better for you.

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