Me and my health: actress Geraldine Hughes on her lifestyle
The 48-year-old actress from west Belfast is performing her one-woman play, Belfast Blues, at the Lyric Theatre from August 6-11 and calls it "the proudest project I have ever, and will ever, be a part of". Geraldine, who starred in Rocky Balboa, lives with her partner, Conor Allen, and their rescue lab, Abe, in upstate New York.
Q: Do you take regular exercise and if so, what?
A: I currently take a circuit training class twice a week. It is only 30 minutes long and it's as high impact - or low - as you want to make it. I have never really learned how to hold a dumbbell or spent any time in a gym, so now that I'm getting older, I have found that strength training is extremely important. I try to incorporate a yoga practice in there once or twice a week also. Yoga is my first love and I do want to get back into a more vigorous schedule with that, but who has the time? I also walk every morning with my dog, Abe, when I am home.
Q: What is the worst illness you've had?
A: I was extremely ill with stomach pain and fatigue for quite a few years, and I couldn't seem to get a handle on it. After a few trips to the emergency room, where they had to administer morphine, I decided I needed answers. Scans and blood tests did not show up anything. After seeing a specialist, and getting an endoscopy, I was diagnosed with gluten intolerance. Discovering that changed my life. Otherwise, I have been blessed with a healthy life. I am a true believer in prevention. Yearly physicals, mammograms and gynae visits are all so important. The dentist every six months for a cleaning is also part of my health regime. Healthy gums are an important contributor to good health.
Q: How healthy is your diet?
A: Very. I eat lots of dark greens, and organic meats and fish. I don't eat fast food or much fried or processed food.
Q: Any bad habits?
A: If anyone from Ireland brings bars of Cadbury's milk chocolate, they don't last long in my fridge. I find it very difficult to not eat one of those huge bars in one or two sittings, so it is best if it is not in the house. If it is not there, you can't eat it. Simple rule.
Q: Do you drink and smoke? If so, how much?
A: I would have a glass of wine every evening and, on the weekends, a few glasses more. I do not smoke.
Q: Do you take any supplements?
A: B12 liquid under the tongue when I remember. I try to get my vitamins from food.
Q: How do you take time out?
A: I walk the dog, or listen to a meditation app or go to a restorative yoga class. A long, slow walk is brilliant for the soul. I also love to watch a movie with some popcorn.
Q: How well do you sleep?
A: I sleep well. I think it's the key to good health and stress management. I use lavender oil sometimes when I'm anxious falling asleep. It helps. Rub a few tiny drops on the bottom of your feet. It works wonders.
Q: Do you worry about getting old?
A: Sometimes, yes, but I feel good about still having a good bit of time ahead (one hopes). It is the inevitable, we are all in this together, the ageing process.
Q: What is your go-to product that keeps you feeling healthy?
A: Usually the liquid B12... and lots of water. And then some.
For tickets to see Belfast Blues, visit lyrictheatre.co.uk/event/belfast-blues or tel: 9038 1081. Follow Geraldine on Instagram on @geraldeenskie