Belfast Telegraph

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Me and my health: Kirby O'Connor on her lifestyle


By Staff Reporter

The 46-year-old, who is managing director of GOC Estate Agents, is married to Gerry and they live in Belfast with their three sons.

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

A: I am fairly health conscious and I do take regular exercise to keep fit and to destress. I always try to start the week off right. On a Sunday morning I'll jog along the Lagan towpath for four and a half miles before breakfast and during the week in the evenings I have a route along the Malone Road and Lisburn Road which is 3.9 miles.

I don't listen to music when I'm jogging, I love to listen to the sounds of nature or the hustle and bustle of the city. I also love hot yoga.

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

A: Thankfully I've never really had a bad illness. I am guilty of working very hard and that can cause burn out. It'll start with my throat and then develop into a cold or an ear infection. Also, when I go on holiday, I can also feel a little rundown - it's my body coming off the work treadmill and thinking 'Oh, I need to recover'.

Q: How healthy is your diet?

A: I eat healthily during the week and relax my eating at the weekends.

For breakfast I'll have puff wheat, overnight oats or granola and fruit with yoghurt. I'll also have a kombucha and a hot water with lemon.

It's a salad every day for lunch with either chicken, prawn or ham. I love avocado, so I'll incorporate this into my salad with chai seeds keeping me feel full until dinner.

We eat as a family every night - there might be a snack of peanut butter on a rice cake between coming home from work and eating dinner. For dinner I'll have either fish or chicken with veg. I tend not to eat carbs in the evening.

At the weekend, there will be a G&T poured as soon as I get through the door on a Friday. I like to eat out at Shu on the Lisburn Road or I'll buy nice food from M&S or fresh fish and shellfish from St George's Market. I only drink one coffee a day, usually at 11am.

Q: Any bad habits?

A: My bad habits are both shopping and clothes.

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

A: I'll drink gin and tonic from Friday onwards into the weekend but I never drink during the week. I'll have red wine with cheese or steak and white wine with any other food. I've never smoked. I absolutely hate it.

Q: Do you take any health supplements?

A: At the minute I'm taking vitamin B to help avoid mosquito bites before our family holiday this summer.

I'm also taking frankincense which is believed to help give you healthy skin and I will take a multi-vitamin during the winter months.

I like looking after my skin and will treat myself to a facial every three months. I also love a macha latte, packed full of antioxidants, from Tony & Jen's on the Lisburn Road.

Q: How do you take time out?

A: Yoga is my time out. Ten years ago, after the birth of my eldest boy I went along to a class with a friend and I'm honestly now addicted. Depending on time I'll try to go to one or two classes a week.

I also have been attending Pilate's classes for as long as I can remember. I've had an issue with my lower back, just from wear and tear, which Pilates has really helped.

Q: How well do you sleep?

A: I sleep well, but maybe don't get to bed early enough and sometimes I'm woken by a six-year-old at 2am.

Bedtime can range anywhere from 10pm to 11pm. I try not to look at my phone when I get into bed and opt for a little bit of reading.

I wake naturally at 6.40am every morning, and the first thing I reach for is my phone to check out what's going on in the world, before getting out of bed at 7am. At the weekends, there's not much of a lie-in with three kids, maybe an 8am rise.

Q: Do you worry about getting old?

A: Not at all, life is good and I'm happier the older I get. I would love to try Botox but really don't have the nerve. I've also never dyed my hair yet so fingers crossed.

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

A: If I am stressed out, a quick jog alleviates that. I am a fan of herbal and alternative wellness and would much rather try an alternative therapy than going for an antibiotic. The team at Framer Health on the Lisburn Road are great and I go to an amazing girl in Templepatrick for reiki.

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