Me and my health: Comedy writer Nuala McKeever on her lifestyle
The 54-year-old comedy writer and performer from Belfast is currently touring with her stand-up show Letting Go Or Losing It?
Q: Do you take regular exercise and if so, what?
A: At the moment, not a lot. I used to go to yoga and tai chi, but with a bad foot and sore knee and a huge streak of wintertime laziness, I've been very inactive for the past six months. I hope that after I get my foot problem sorted I'll be back to walking lots, yoga and tai chi and meditation and cycling and synchronised people-watching...
Q: What is the worst illness you've had?
A: A bad kidney infection when I was 11. I was off school for three weeks - yeooow! My mum made me wear big thick knickers ever after - not so yeooowww!
Q: How healthy is your diet?
A: I've been vegetarian since I was 16 and became vegan more than two years ago - so I don't eat badly. I can tend to have too many carbs and vegan sweet things, but overall I feel much cleaner and definitely have no bloating and much less inflammation in my joints since going vegan. I highly recommend it. Again, I eat better when the days are brighter. Either it's the influence of Vitamin D on my mood or the threat of having to get the body out of storage when the warm weather hits.
Q: Any bad habits?
A: Over-consumption of salt and vinegar rice cakes and/or crisps. Eating same while watching box sets from the couch. Like Pavlov's dog, my brain now thinks I can't sit there without putting something unhealthy in my mouth...
Q: Do you drink and smoke? If so, how much?
A: I gave up drinking about four or five years ago. I now only have some when I'm out of the country. I don't really recognise the border politically, but for the sake of a night out, when I'm in Donegal, that's out of the country as far as drink's concerned! And so is Derry. I'm up to 10 transatlantic flights a week...
Q: Do you take any supplements?
A: I do, for the first four or five days after I buy them, then they sit beside the kettle gathering dust.
Q: How do you take time out?
A: I don't work a normal job, so work and leisure can get very blurred. Getting away to the seaside is something I love and every time I do I wonder why I don't do it more often. At home, relaxing is watching films.
Q: How well do you sleep?
A: Like a very tired log that's been given a sedative, usually. During menopause it was awful, but that seems to have swept through and left, thank God. I would easily sleep nine hours straight if allowed to.
Q: Do you worry about getting old?
A: Too late, I'm pretty much there. Yes, at times I panic that I'll end up a bag lady on the street. Then I remember I have family. I'm sure one of them would let me sleep in their garage if things got really bad.
Q: What is your go-to product that keeps you feeling healthy?
A: Make-up. When I look healthy, I feel better. When I feel better, I am better.
Nuala is taking her stand-up show Letting Go or Losing It? to the Armagh Playhouse on April 4, Antrim Old Courthouse on April 5 and the Lyric Theatre, Belfast, from April 16-18.