Nick Munier: ‘I need a few espressos and cigarettes to boost me up in the morning’
My Daily Diet: When it comes to diet, it’s weight I am trying to put on, says the 52-year-old restaurateur
Nick Munier: ‘I will be tasting dishes all afternoon; my brain feels like I have eaten, but it’s only a few mouthfuls.’
9am I need a few espressos and cigarettes to boost me up in the morning; I’m a creature of habit and have smoked for 30 years; it calms me down. I’ll have porridge with almond milk, blueberries and a protein shake. I go to BTS Studio gym in Clongriffin a couple of times a week and this clears my head and helps me unwind.
When it comes to diet, it’s weight I am trying to put on. I’ve just opened a new restaurant (Le Perroquet) and the madness means I struggle to get enough calories. The intensity will wear off after a few months; it’s always the way when you are getting up and running. Recently a woman (very nicely) scolded me for looking gaunt and urged me to eat more. I wonder why people can freely comment on how thin you are whereas it would be outrageous to point out to someone they were looking chunky.
11am I’ll head into Le Perroquet and it will be non-stop until lunch service ends at 3pm. I’ll sip more espressos to keep me going.
3pm Running a restaurant, you want the customers to get all the nice food. I popped out the other day and picked up a baguette with sausage from a convenience store and felt just awful afterwards. The next day my girlfriend, Alanna, dropped in some sushi and three bananas to keep up my energy. I will be tasting dishes all afternoon; my brain feels like I have eaten, but it’s only a few mouthfuls.
12pm Dinner service starts at 5pm and won’t wrap up till 11pm and we will be there much later to cash up and reset for the next day. It’s late when I eventually eat. Chris, head chef and my business partner, might rustle up a delicious Connemara leg of lamb with beetroot and potatoes but I’ll be so keyed up at this stage I’ll devour it in seconds. On my days off we eat like kings.
We might go to Yamamori for a bunch of delicious Japanese dishes or to Piglet in Cow’s Lane for pinot blanc and my favourite tiramisu in Dublin. Last Sunday we opened a good bottle of wine and I cooked coquilles St Jacques – scallops in a delicious creamy breadcrumb sauce. We had mixed green salad and cheese to follow.
I would generally veer towards low carbs though I have a rampant sweet tooth. I’m addicted to these sugar-free ice lollies and will devour jellies if they are in the house.
I have my vices of wine and cigarettes. I’m trying to juggle the new restaurant, the school runs and I need a few treats. I feel to be healthy you also need to enjoy your life, and if your vices don’t affect anyone else and make you happy, why not indulge a little.
2.30am I’ll try to get to sleep before 3am, otherwise I’m sluggish the next day. Sometimes I doze off on the sofa with the dog, watching television and working on menus, and I feel like my father when I wake up all confused. I’m knackered in the evening, but I love being flat-out. It means so much to me to be up and running again after my previous ventures didn’t work out. You hear about the success stories in the press, not so much what it is like to fail. But it’s possible to come back again; you just have to throw yourself back into it.
The verdict from dietitian and lecturer Dr Conor Kerley
Each espresso has almost as much caffeine as a large cup of coffee and too much can contribute to heart and tummy issues. And cigarettes are certainly not advisable; but fortunately creatures of habit can create and maintain good habits instead of bad habits. Nick eats late, as he has to, but this can contribute to problems with digestion and sleep.
Healthy eating as your shield
Modern life can be busy and often what we are going to eat for lunch is at the end of our list. When we are stressed, we are more likely to reach for bad food which, in turn, does nothing for our mood. Stress can have long-term consequences for our body such as high blood pressure and insomnia. If we are eating well most of the time, we can handle better what the day throws at us. I recommend that for anyone flat-out that they take a few minutes in the morning and plan ahead.