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Barra Best answers our 20 Questions on Health & Lifestyle - The Irish News
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Life

Barra Best answers our 20 Questions on Health & Lifestyle

Gail Bell quizzes north Belfast BBC weatherman Barra Best about his diet and lifestyle

BBC Weather presenter Barra Best doesn't have time to count calories
Gail Bell

1. Up and at it - what is your morning routine?

I usually have three alarms set so that I don't sleep in, especially when I have to be in work for 5am –­ yes, we really do start that early!

It's a fairly easy start in the summer when it's nice and bright outside, but it's harder in the winter when you have to defrost the car windscreen before heading off.

It's a great job though and presenting the weather live on BBC Radio Ulster's Good Morning Ulster is a joy,­ especially when I get to deliver good heatwave news, as rare as that might be.

When I'm not working, I try to get out and about in the morning, whether it's for breakfast or a day trip out of the city with friends or family.

2. What might you eat in a typical working day for breakfast, lunch and dinner?

I'm not really a routine type of person when it comes to daily meals.­ I tend to graze as I go along, with dinner probably being my main meal of the day.

Like everyone, my food varies. Sometimes it's porridge for breakfast, sometimes it's the good old Ulster Fry. Sandwiches are my usual when it comes to lunch, but sometimes I go for my favourite –­ chicken wings! They're a weakness.

As for evening meals, I try to get my timing correct and visit my parents when they're cooking dinner – that way I don't have to!

3. Is nutrition important to you?

To a certain degree I try to watch what I eat. My diet tends to mostly consists of chicken and fish, the likes of mackerel and salmon. That said, you can't beat a good steak from time to time.

I fail at times when it comes to fruit and veg, but I've gotten better with that recently having bought a blender to make healthier shakes.

4. Are you a calorie counter?

No. I don't have enough time or patience to keep an eye on calories. I tend to eat what I like, but with everything in moderation.

5. Best meal ever?

That's a difficult one. I love a good Indian meal from time to time but a Sunday roast always does it for me, especially with a Yorkshire pudding ­– something I fell in love with when I lived in England for university.

Although, that said, I'm not a big fan of the traditional Christmas dinner.

6. Do you have a guilty pleasure, food-wise?

Dessert. For me, no meal is complete without a dessert (my main weakness). My all-time favourite brings me back to the days of school dinners –­ coconut jam sponge and custard. You just can't beat it!

I also make a wicked banoffee pie – totally calorific, but you have to treat yourself sometimes. I always choose a dessert over a starter when I'm at a restaurant.

7. Have you ever been on a diet? If so, how did it go?

No, although when I was training at the gym last year I did try to curb my intake of sweet and sugary foods. It went fairly well, being able to supply cravings with healthier food,­ and I still try to stick to that today.

8. Do you take health supplements?

Yes, I would take vitamin supplements as a drink every morning. The odd time I'll buy some cod liver oil capsules also.

9. Tee-total or tipple?

I like everything in moderation but I do like craft beers/ales. My dad and I are part of a beer club so we get to try the various crafts from around the world.

10. Fruit or fry-up?

It really depends on my mood. I usually blend fruit with porridge oats and milk in the morning, but sometimes I just can't resist the lure of the smell of bacon from a fry.

11. Stairs or lift?

I have set myself a rule with this one. If the lift is there I take it, if it's not I walk ­– no waiting around for the lift.

And I definitely would never take the lift just to go up one floor.

12. Do you have a daily exercise regime?

I don't have a daily exercise regime but I do try to get out for a run around the park three times a week (weather permitting of course).

The Waterworks in north Belfast is my favourite place to run at the minute, ­it has great views and there's plenty of room to run.

I recently re-joined the gym after hurting my shoulder last year, so I'm hoping to get back to a more set regime.

13. On a scale of one to 10, how fit do you think you are – and how fit would you like to be?

I would say ­at the minute­ that I'm sitting around a 'six', but that's something I'm going to change.

My park runs are getting longer and with the gym being thrown into the mix, I aim to up that number fairly soon.

14. Best tip for everyday fitness?

Switch off the TV ­– it works for me. Even just a 30 minute run or exercise helps, and you feel good afterwards.

15. Do you have a memory from school sport / PE days you would rather forget?

Soccer. I hated it. I was never good at it and we seemed to have to play it every week.

I loved gym days with climbing frames, trampolines and rope climbing.

16. Did you ever have a health epiphany which made you change your lifestyle?

Yes,­ it usually happens when I'm having an unhealthy takeaway, like pizza.

17. Best health advice you were ever given and would pass on to others?

Do whatever exercise suits you best – don't try to follow the pattern of others.

18. Who would you try to emulate in terms of fitness / attitude to life?

Any of the Olympic athletes – who wouldn't want to be that fit?

19. What time do you get to bed normally and do you think you get enough sleep?

I'm a night owl.­ I'm rarely asleep before midnight and that sometimes means I don't get enough sleep.

20. Would you say you have a healthy attitude towards your own mortality?

Yes, I think so. That's why I usually try to fit a lot into my week ­ whether it's work, travel, or socialising with friends and family.

Life
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