‘Some days I eat hardly anything, the next it will be double’

My Daily Diet: Artist Joe Caslin on his go-to dinner and saving alcohol for the big occasions

Artist Joe Caslin: ‘I don’t drink much alcohol. I will save it up for big occasions and family get-togethers.’

Artist Joe Caslin: ‘I don’t drink much alcohol. I will save it up for big occasions and family get-togethers.’

 

7.30am I lie in bed thinking about what I have to do that day and how to throw it in order. Then I’m up and it’s black coffee with honey. I only started drinking it a few years ago when I found myself at a lot more meetings and got sick of asking for water. Now I’m hooked.

9am I teach art 3½ days a week and learn so much from my students. Their views are often reflected in my art. Three young girls recently urged me to use my voice to create work to highlight consent – I’m privileged to get their input.

My students will often have the kettle boiled for my coffee before I arrive. They know I love plain Galaxy chocolate and if they want to butter me up will have a bar in the fridge. I walk to work, in fact I walk everywhere and easily do 20,000 steps a day. If I have my phone on I’ll listen to Spotify or a podcast; I’m currently into Una Mullally and Andrea Horan’s United Ireland and the West Cork murder podcast.

1pm I’ll eat out with a friend on a Wednesday and have the lunch special – something like bacon and cabbage or turkey and veg. If I make my lunch it will be rice based or chicken fajitas. I’ll drink water and more coffee.

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3pm Some days I eat hardly anything and the next it will be double. I go with how I feel. If I have some fruit it will be cherries, mango or banana.

6pm In the evening I prepare a meal and find this time relaxing. I like to turn off my phone at various stages throughout the day, especially on a Friday evening as this is my time off. There is a lot of conversation with teaching and I need time alone not talking to anyone. A usual dinner for me is baked eggs with chorizo, onion and cheese with rice cooked in coconut milk in my beloved rice cooker. I’ll buy a huge bag of rice at this Asian shop in Belfast and that will do me for months.

Midnight My weekdays are pretty work focused but the dynamic changes a little on the weekend when I try to catch up with friends, although I don’t drink much alcohol. I will save it up for big occasions and family get-togethers. I have five days lined up in Glastonbury this month and time out like this is so important to me. I love to watch people and talk to them and find out what they are thinking – it’s exciting to strike up conversations with people on the same wavelength. I’ll eat half my dinner early in the evening and then go back for the rest later on. I’m in bed around midnight and will mull over what I need to do the next day and by the time I wake up hopefully some clarity will have percolated into my thoughts.

The verdict
Conor Kerley, dietitian and lecturer

Honey can be tasty but remember nutritionally it’s almost the same as sugar. A rice-based lunch is fine but better to aim for brown or basmati or preferably brown basmati – these varieties are higher in nutrients and are better for blood sugar.

Joe could have a banana in the morning with perhaps some Brazil nuts and dates as coffee and milk chocolate is not sufficient to keep his energy up.

His evening meal lacks veg so I’d like to see him include a salad or some cooked green veggies.

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