Health Scan: Jillian van Turnhout, senator


Do you think you have a healthy lifestyle?
I do consider my lifestyle to be healthy on the whole. I’m very rarely sick, which is a good sign, and I do try to be healthy between mind, body and soul. I try to find that balance. I’m quite an energy-filled person.

How often do you exercise?
Because my work schedule often goes into evenings and weekends, I don’t get to exercise as much as I’d like. I’ve bought a pair of runners, though, and signed up for the women’s mini-marathon. I’m running it for LauraLynn [children’s hospice]. It’s my first time to do anything like this. I think it’s a great way to mix mind, body and soul and get out there.

Do you get your five a day?

Fruit smoothies are probably my saviour. They are a great way of boosting my intake. I try to have vegetables with my meals but we have very irregular working hours, so it’s not always as balanced as I’d like it to be. I wouldn’t put myself out there as an example.

Do you worry?
A wise friend once told me worrying is having your pain in advance and I think she was right.

It’s taken me until into my 30s before I realised that sometimes I was busy worrying about stuff that never happened. I’m a big believer in laughing and smiling and sharing your concerns so they don’t consume you.

What do you do to relax?
I love researching my family history. I’m very involved with the Girl Guides. I like spending time with friends and family.

A regular ritual is doing The Irish Times crossword with my husband at the weekend. It’s a good day when we can get time to sit down and do it.

Your unhealthiest habit?
Skipping meals. My thing is I don’t feel hungry. I have friends who have to stop to eat, I don’t. I can go all day without eating but that has health effects.

I’m not a smoker and as the years progress I drink far less.