Health Scan: Deirdre Hilliard

Deirdre Hilliard, founder of Just Food, tries to limit her daily coffee intake.

Deirdre Hilliard, founder of Just Food, tries to limit her daily coffee intake.


Do you think you have a healthy lifestyle?

I subscribe to the 80/20 rule across most of my life, trying to do my best 80 per cent of the time, and occasionally going to pot in various areas. I find that being careful about my nutrition and taking exercise outdoors regularly has a huge impact on my mental wellbeing, which in turn impacts on the success or otherwise of most other aspects of my daily life.

How often do you exercise?

I try to get some exercise every day. I live in the countryside close to beautiful Cobh, where there is ample space for shore walking, and road/trail running. Our three springer spaniels have a daily exercise demand which has to be met. I have recently taken up kayaking, in the inner harbour, with all three dogs swimming calmly alongside – being this close to nature is incredibly spiritually uplifting.

Do you get your five fruit and vegetables a day?

I would probably get more. Dinner would always include two or three different veggies, and often a side of mixed leaves. I am very conscious of the need to consume nutrient rich whole foods as much as possible, so I mainline beans, pulses, greens etc. I snack on fruit with small amounts of nuts in between meals.

Do you worry?

I am a worrier, but not in a very obvious way. What I have noticed is that I may have a general air of negativity on any given day, and usually hiding behind this pessimism is a current worry, usually about some issue at work. Once I am aware of the exact worry, I can then try to address it in some sort of systematic way.

What do you do to relax?

Spending time with my kids is my favourite way to relax. As a soccer mum, I prioritise going to all of their matches, and over the years we have had some fantastic times with the ups and downs of the teams they are involved in. I also love to cook, especially early in the morning, when everyone else is in bed, and I am sneaking ground linseeds into what would otherwise be an ordinary batch of scones for breakfast.

What’s your worst habit?

I love coffee, and have to consciously limit my daily intake.

Deirdre Hilliard is the founder of Just Food, which has just launched HiLo, a range of high protein low fat soups

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