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Me and my health: Jenny Bristow on her lifestyle


Rude health: Jenny Bristow
Rude health: Jenny Bristow
Jenny Bristow in the kitchen

By Stephanie Bell

TV chef Jenny Bristow runs her own cookery school at her home in Cullybackey which she shares with husband Bobby. Jenny will be hosting an alfresco cookery night in the Seagoe Hotel in Portadown this Thursday.

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

A: I'm not a golfer and I'm not a runner but I love to walk. Where I live in the Co Antrim countryside there is the most beautiful scenery and it really is far from the madding crowd and a great place to meander. I get up every morning and go for a walk. I try to walk three or four miles every day. I feel it sorts out your brain and your head for the rest of the day.

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

A: I had a triple heart bypass three years ago. My dad died early in his 40s from a heart attack and my brother and I had the same operation within a couple of weeks of each other as we both had a faulty gene. We were lucky that it was picked up on. I had no symptoms and the surgery was straightforward. I feel as good now as I did before.

Q: How healthy is your diet?

A: We do have a very healthy diet, just simple basic food. We don't have a strict regime but I think if you reduce fat, sugar and salt then you can't go wrong. Now that my three children have left home I find it so easy just to cook for me and my husband.

Q: Any bad habits?

A: It's not the best time to ask that as I've just finished a load of chocolate Easter eggs. I don't really have a sweet tooth. I think we all get cravings for things from time to time, like sometimes I could sit and eat six oranges one after the other and I think that's the body's way of telling you it needs something.

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

A: I've never smoked because I look silly with a cigarette in my hand. My father promised us all £100 each as children if we didn't drink or smoke and when we were 21 we got our £100. I do enjoy the occasional glass of white wine and a glass of red wine when I go to my sister Rosie's for Sunday lunch. She makes a great meal and always serves it with a nice red wine.

Q: Do you take any health supplements?

A: My husband doses me with daily supplements. I take Krill Oil (concentrated fish oil) and Royal Jelly. If I feel I need a bit of fizz I will get myself a good old-fashioned tonic.

Q: How do you take time out?

A: I am quite happy in my own skin. We are so content at our house and just working in the garden that we even find it hard to leave to go on holiday. I also love to cook and we were so glad the other night to be able to get the barbeque out for the first time this year. Sitting in the garden with the birds singing was lovely. I find it really easy to relax even though I am always busy.

Q: How well do you sleep?

A: I sleep very well. It takes me back to being a child growing up on a farm and being outside all day and you came home and got your face and hands washed and went to bed and fell fast asleep. That's me now. I find if your days are filled with things you enjoy when your head hits the pillow you go to sleep straightaway.

Q: Do you worry about getting old?

A: I have been too busy living life to worry about getting old. I've been very lucky to have enjoyed good health and been very active all my life and fortunate not to have had to deal with issues that others have had to deal with, so I don't think about getting old. I just put it off.

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

A: Water. I think we don't drink enough of it and I try to drink about a litre of water every day. I start the day with a glass of water with a splash of lemon juice and porridge oats which I like to eat cold after they have been soaked in milk.

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