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Me and my health: TV presenter Zoe Salmon on her lifestyle


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Food for thought: Zoe Salmon

Food for thought: Zoe Salmon

Zoe Salmon with her husband Will Corrie

Zoe Salmon with her husband Will Corrie

Zoe supporting 'The Wake Up Call', a new Sleep Manifesto from The Sleep Council and The Sleep Charity

Zoe supporting 'The Wake Up Call', a new Sleep Manifesto from The Sleep Council and The Sleep Charity

Food for thought: Zoe Salmon

The 40-year-old TV presenter from Bangor was crowned Miss Northern Ireland in 1999 and presented Blue Peter from 2004 to 2008. She lives in Co Down with her husband Will Corrie.

Do you take regular exercise and if so, what?

Pre-pandemic, I exercised on average 5/6 days per week - a mix of group exercise and PT sessions, mainly weight training, HIIT, CrossFit, reformer Pilates. At the moment I am enjoying resting my body from my usual routine.

What is the worst illness you've had?

At school and university I suffered with severe acne. I used to dream of the day when I would have clear skin. Thankfully I now have happy, healthy skin and am extremely grateful - and I never take it for granted. Any time I receive compliments about my skin I feel so chuffed as I remember the feelings I had wondering if my acne would ever clear up.

How healthy is your diet?

I absolutely love food; my lifestyle includes balanced and varied foods. I often start the day with my own recipe of water, apple cider vinegar, fresh ginger, cayenne pepper and dried fruit such as dates, prunes and figs.

I prefer whole fresh foods that I can cook from scratch so I am aware of what I am putting into my body. I love to see a rainbow on my plate.

I eat raw garlic and raw chillies almost daily and I love raw salmon, sashimi style. I enjoy adding turmeric (with black pepper) and Himalayan pink salt (due to its mineral content), to my meals too. I have a pick 'n' mix of jars of seeds, powders, porridge oats and other fun items including bee pollen and cacao nibs.

I make a smoothie every day - I simply add almond milk, a banana and ice (and blend). It is extremely nutrient and calorie dense so a perfect go-to.

I look forward to my weekend treats, of course - I am only human. I enjoy a takeaway and I have a sweet tooth as well. I look forward to pizza, cheesy gravy chips, ice cream, chocolate, sweets and crisps. I would never deny myself these treats; it is all about balance and awareness.

Any bad habits?

Drinking too much water. We are bombarded with health tips telling us to drink more water, leading us to believe that copious amounts are good for us, but this is simply not the case. I have had to be very strict with myself to limit my intake to the daily recommended 2 litres (3L if you exercise). If you are concerned, do speak to your GP.

Do you drink and smoke and, if so, how much?

I don't smoke. I do consume alcohol, however I will often not drink any alcohol for a number of days/weeks/months - it just depends.

Do you take any supplements?

I like to get all my vital minerals and vitamins from a balanced and varied diet.

How do you take time out?

Going on vacation with my husband. It's lovely to be outdoors in the sun, soaking up the vitamin D and enjoying extra hours of sleeping. It's also the only time I make sure I book into a spa for some much-needed deep tissue massage to help with my exercise routine. Muscle maintenance and recovery is essential. It's like a mini MOT for my body and mind.

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Zoe Salmon with her husband Will Corrie

Zoe Salmon with her husband Will Corrie

Zoe Salmon with her husband Will Corrie

How well do you sleep?

Sleep is extremely important and a subject I am passionate about. Just as the pandemic started I was at Westminster delivering a speech about sleep to support 'The Wake Up Call' which is the new Sleep Manifesto from The Sleep Council and The Sleep Charity. We need to understand its importance to our quality of life, wellbeing and longevity.

Poor quality sleep leads to a lesser quality of living. Our health depends on sleep as much as it does on nutrition and exercise. We need all three elements for a basic foundation of health so that we can live our best lives.

Generally speaking I sleep well, although, like many others, there are periods when my sleep suffers but I always try to get back on track as it is so vitally important to our overall health.

Do you worry about getting old?

I think old age is a beautiful, wonderful, precious thing. I hope I am lucky enough to keep getting older because it is an absolute privilege to grow old. Some people heartbreakingly won't live a day or year older.

From charity work that I have done as a UNICEF youth ambassador and from visits to Great Ormond Street (hospital), the heartbreak to see a child not ever progress to an adult is devastating.

Sadly, my beautiful friend Laura, who I studied Law with at university, died young, and my mum never got to be a grandmother and meet her first grandchild. I wake up every single day amazed to be given the gift of life; growing old is the greatest gift. Every day is a celebration, a birthday is a bonus.

What is your go-to product that keeps you feeling healthy?

I think food is so powerful and can be nature's medicine. One of my favourite go-to foods is spinach; I eat a large bag almost every day. I like it steamed or raw and sprinkled with Himalayan pink salt, chillies and raw garlic for added nutrition.

Nutrition is fundamental to life and I am passionate about learning. In recent years my passion led me to qualifying as a nutritional therapist. Your health is your wealth and so I wanted to educate myself in the fundamentals of food and the impact on our health and wellness.

Zoe is an ambassador for The Sleep Council, promoting the new Sleep Manifesto and The Charter for Sleep Equality. Find out more at thesleepmanifesto.com. Follow Zoe on Instagram (zoesalmonofficial) or Twitter (@zoe_salmon)

Belfast Telegraph