‘I’m not aiming for perfection; I want to enjoy my family and do the best I can’
My Daily Diet: The beauty writer and TV presenter on why yoga bores her senseless
Triona McCarthy:‘I like to eat regular food with my family and I’m not willing to give that up to be a size eight’
6.30am My daughter Mini jumps into our bed for a morning cuddle and then takes off with my phone to watch Barbie for 30 minutes. I’ll wrestle it back for a scroll while my husband Will gets our son Maxi up. The kids love porridge but it reminds me of the gruel I got at boarding school. I’ll have coffee and congratulate myself on my intermittent fasting.
9am I’m a sucker for any kind of coffee and bun deal so breakfast could be a muffin with my takeaway cappuccino after the school drop- off. The only exercise I do is walking the kids to school, though it’s more of a frantic run to make it on time. I see people out jogging with faces of misery. I don’t understand why you would throw yourself into near professional training for races or triathlons. I love surfing, kayaking, wind sailing but only occasionally do these. Yoga bores me senseless. When the kids are in school for longer I will try and fit something in.
1pm If working from home I’m good at compressing a lot of projects into a set amount of time but lunch is all about convenience so I will toast a pitta, or some McCambridges bread, and fill it with cheese and salad. If I am out working and there are salads available I’m happy to have that.
3.30pm I snack on rice cakes, banana and peanut butter and honey with the kids. If I’m offered cake at an event I won’t deny myself. I like to eat regular food with my family and I’m not willing to give that up to be a size eight. I’m not a Victoria Secret model so why should I cut carbs and be peckish all day? There is so much anxiety around optimum nutrition and such an anti-sugar narrative around kids - I have no problem with some jellies as a treat. I see in the beauty industry how extreme approaches are not the healthiest. I say tweakment and not treatment is what you should aim for - I have botox between my eyebrows but that’s it. Women in the public eye who look natural have usually had subtle work done. It only looks obvious when you go overboard on the botox and fillers.
6.30pm Will does the cooking and shopping. He gets home at 5.30 and will have a meal on the table in an hour. We have recently gone back to vegetarian. When I was younger I was veggie as the mystery meat at school put me off, though when my late sister Tricia was advised to eat red meat to build herself up after breast cancer I went back on it with her. Dinner could be lasagna with butternut and aubergine or sweet potato fries and bean burgers. Last night Will made delicious pizza bases and we heaped on cheese, pineapple, olives, and onion. The kids eat the same as us.
1am If out socially I enjoy a few drinks - the fun is worth the hangover. We don’t drink much at home and if not out I will usually do some work or housework listening to a podcast. Will is a superb sleeper, the eyes shut as his head hits the pillow. I will never get into bed before midnight and even then will be cruising Instagram. Luckily I don’t need much sleep before another day of juggling - I’m not aiming for perfection; I want to enjoy my family and do the best I can.
The Verdict – Conor Kerley, dietitian, lecturer and researcher.
There are many ways to fast intermittently, which can be useful for weight maintenance. For a 12 hour fast you could eat a late breakfast or have an early dinner.
However, what you eat outside fasting is important and Triona’s breakfast muffin is high in calories and refined carbs. For energy and protein I would suggest fruit and nuts or a banana and peanut butter sandwich - preferably the 100 per cent peanut variety.
Vegetarians often rely too much on cheese as a source of protein and, while also providing calcium, cheese can be high in salt and saturated fat. A portion is roughly the size of a matchbox. For her protein Triona could use more chickpeas, kidney beans and lentils which also provide fiber, magnesium and folate - all essential for good health.