Eamon Dunphy: ‘I don’t regret the nights of partying till 4am drinking champagne’
My Daily Diet: The ex-footballer and journalist now presents podcast The Stand
Eamon Dunphy: ‘Back in the day, playing football, our diets were terrible, with a big fat steak three hours before the match to keep our strength up.’ File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons
7am I’ll have a banana and a coffee while I catch up on the news and then an orange and some of Jane’s homemade granola. I’ve gone right off porridge for some reason.
7.30am I’ll work straight through till lunch writing and working on my podcast. I find the first four or five hours I’m the most productive as the clutter of the day has not descended. If I’m writing a book, or have an important piece of work due, I set the alarm for 5am.
I don’t have a mobile phone, which helps me stay focussed. I’ve never had one as I have an addictive personality anyway, so I think it would be a real curse. The people who matter to me know where I am and get me on the home phone.
Though, lately, I have been flirting with the idea of getting a mobile as it can be inconvenient when trying to book a taxi or a restaurant without one; but I remain wary. I also keep well away from twitter – it’s full of empty sound bites and attention seekers. I don’t want to have those types of conversations.
1pm I always have a sandwich for lunch. We like to pick up some spelt and honey bread from the Natural Bakery. I have a real weakness for cheese; so it’s usually a cheese and tomato sandwich, or onion and tomato.
The odd time I will be meeting someone for lunch and will have something more elaborate, but at home always a sandwich.
7pm We eat a lot of fish and only have meat once a week now. We would be careful about getting the greens in these days; so there will be salad and broccoli or asparagus on the side. We have chicken one night and, if it’s a quick meal, something like an omelette. Last night I had melon to start, then cod with rice and delicious simple tomatoes.
We would enjoy a glass of wine in the evening with our meal. Occasionally we have a cake in the house but I no longer have a sweet tooth. Back in the day, playing football, we ate so much sweets, our diets were terrible with a big fat steak three hours before the match to keep our strength up. Athletes are so much more clued in now. I believe the reason I am still alive is that I improved my diet and gave up the fags.
12pm I’m a current affairs junkie so will be up watching the Tonight Show and other programmes. I’ll have some chamomile tea before I turn in. I don’t regret the crazy nights of partying till 4am drinking champagne. But those days are over now. Or maybe they aren’t? You can always revert in life.
By Dr Conor Kerley, dietetics consultant, researcher and lecturer at UCD and Technological University Dublin
Granola can be loaded with added sugars and oils but making your own (quite easy to do) means you control what goes in.
Eamon could mix up his sarnie and have chicken, smoked salmon or hummus instead some days, as while cheese provides protein and calcium, there is a lot of saturated fat and salt.
Great that Eamon is getting so much fish for protein, and I hope there are some oily options such as salmon, sardines and mackerel which have omega 3 to protect against heart attacks. The body does not produce its own essential fatty acids so we must get them from our food, or supplements, and most of us don’t get enough.
Smoking and alcohol
Well done for kicking the fags, not easy to do but a sobering fact is that half of smokers are eventually killed by their addiction from smoking-related causes.
Health authorities recommend some alcohol-free days, and although Eamon’s one glass doesn’t seem like a lot, I wouldn’t advise this everyday, so he could do a couple of alcohol days a week for even better health.