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Me and my health: Cathy Martin on her lifestyle


By Helen Carson

The 43-year-old is director of Belfast FashionWeek which celebrates its 25th season next March. She lives in Holywood with her five-year-old daughter, Valentina.

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

A: I do yoga twice a week and an hour-long Bodypump class three or four times a week.

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

A: Fortunately I've never really been ill and I think it's due to the fact that I grew up in a large family so I have a really robust immune system and that I drink a lot of water. The most seriously ill I have ever been was when I had a stillbirth with my first daughter Rosie. Although it was a life-threatening situation I just felt flu-like.

Q: How healthy is your diet?

A: Most mornings and some evenings I will have warm water with lemon, organic honey and turmeric - the mix is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. I am a huge fan of anything to do with good gut health. For breakfast I will have a smoothie with leafy greens such as spinach or kale and avocado or banana followed with kiwi.

Other days I will have a banana while I eat peanut butter out of the jar with a spoon. At the weekend I start the day with smoked salmon and eggs. Lunch is always soup or salad but everyday at 3pm I eat a bar of Green and Black's chocolate to offset the afternoon sugar crash.

For dinner I enjoy eating fish with greens. So I am eat healthily four out of five days and love to indulge my love for food at the weekend. If I'm out for dinner I will have a pudding. While I try not to eat too much meat I'm not a vegetarian as I like fish and occasionally enjoy a really bloody steak.

Q: Any bad habits?

A: The Green and Black's chocolate. I rarely drink caffeine at all - if I had a cup of coffee at 10am I would be awake until 3am the next day. On a night out I will occasionally have a Calypso Coffee - and won't be able to sleep for hours.

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

A: I used to smoke socially but don't anymore and now I cannot stand the smell of smoke anywhere or on anyone. I stopped drinking completely for a couple of years, firstly, because I was pregnant and also because a few people in my wider circle were having problems both in their physical and mental health and it put me off. Now I enjoy a really nice cocktail or a gin. I would rather enjoy a couple of glasses of really good wine than drink a lot when I am socialising.

Q: Do you take any health supplements?

A: A probiotic and a prebiotic as well as chromium because the latter regulates blood sugar levels. I also take digestive enzymes.

Q: How do you take time out?

A: I don't really but one of my favourite things to do is be around a table with lots of friends talking. Outside work I enjoy travelling and reading - and I get a chance to read when I'm travelling. At the moment I'm reading Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner (above) and I much prefer a book to a Kindle.

Q: How well do you sleep?

A: While I don't sleep for more than six hours every night I do get a restful sleep. I have been using a sleep hypnotherapy app by Glenn Harrold for a few years now and tell everyone about it because it helps you relax and unwind at bedtime. In about 15-20 minutes you are asleep.

Q: Do you worry about getting old?

A: No because I am only in my 40s which is not old. So far I am really happy in my own skin and am probably healthier now than I was 10 or even 20 years ago. Before I know it I will be 60 but if I continue the way I do I will be a healthy 60 year old.

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

A: Drinking lots of water which makes me feel better. I have been involved with beauty for about 10 years and everyone asks me what is the best moisturiser and I always say drinking water and regular exercise.

Belfast FashionWeek will mark its 25th season next March and tickets are now available from

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