20 Questions: Nathan Carter on why he's off Wagon Wheels
Gail Bell asks experts and people in the public eye what keeps them going. This week: Country singer Nathan Carter whose seventh album, Livin The Dream, has just reached number one in the Irish Country charts
1) Up and at it – what is your morning routine?
I don’t generally have a routine every morning, as I’m gigging a lot at weekends and don’t get to bed until the wee small hours, so my alarm is set for different times every morning.
Sometimes I wake up at home, sometimes in a hotel and sometimes when I wake up for the first couple of minutes, I don’t know where I am...
No matter where I wake up though, the first thing I do is check my e-mails and social media while still in bed. This usually takes around half-an-hour, to an hour.
Then, I get up, shower and do 50 press-ups. After breakfast, I usually head into town to do mundane jobs such as going to the bank and the post office, then back home to get organised for whatever is in store for me that day – it could be television, radio or newspaper interviews, studio recordings or band practice.
2) What might you eat in a typical working day for...
Breakfast? I eat fruit, usually apples and oranges, washed down with a cup of hot water as it gets my metabolism going. Lemons in hot water work the best, but I always forget to buy lemons. I’m not a big eater first thing in the morning and would very rarely have a big Irish fry, though the temptation is always there when it’s cooked for you in a hotel.
Lunch? Almost every day I eat the same thing – a jacket potato with tuna and sweetcorn. Not very adventurous, but I like it. It’s quick and easy to make and tasty and nutritious.
Evening meal? I’m definitely a meat, veg and spuds man – typical, good old hearty Irish grub. Steak and chicken dinners are my favourite and are easy to cook, as I’m not the most adventurous chef. I do eat out a lot when I’m on the road, but tend to stick to the meat, veg and potatoes option. I also will eat a Chinese takeaway meal once a week when I’m back home as I love Chinese food.
3) Is nutrition important to you?
Nutrition has become more important to me over the past couple of years as I am watching my waistline. I used to drink a lot of fizzy drinks, but now I stick to water.
I’ve cut out crisps altogether as I did munch a lot when I was on the road. I don’t eat biscuits much now either, especially Wagon Wheels, as I had a bit of an overdose on them after my hit single and fans buying me lots of Wagon Wheels as a present.
I do still treat myself a couple of times a week to Dairy Milk chocolate.
4) Best meal ever?
This is an easy answer. The best meal I’ve ever had has been in the Stratosphere restaurant in Las Vegas. Their steak is unbelievable and definitely the best I’ve ever tasted.
It's pricey at around 60 quid a pop, but well worth it. In fact, every time I’m on holiday in Las Vegas, I return to The Stratosphere and order the exact same meal.
The views from this restaurant are amazing. It’s the tallest, free-standing observation tower in the United States and the revolving restaurant has breath-taking views over Las Vegas.
It brings the whole eating out experience to a new level – literally.
5) Guilty pleasure?
I do love those wee buns called Fifteens, made with marshmallows, coconut, cherries and digestive biscuits. Keep me away from them if I’m at a kid’s birthday party.
6) Have you ever been on a diet? If so, how did it go?
I’m of the opinion that diets, especially fad diets, don’t work. Diets are a lifestyle choice, not a quick resolution.
7) Do you take health supplements?
No, I keep it real – fresh fruit and veg and loads of water.
8) How do you relax?
I like to go to the cinema with a few friends. Sometimes, it’s good to enjoy my own company too and chill out on my big settee watching Netflix.
If there’s a good gig on, I enjoy going to concerts.
9) Teetotal or tipple?
I enjoy my pints of Guinness, especially after a gig. Guinness is my tipple in my local bar too and I’m known to enjoy a wee vodka too. I don’t really like the taste of wine and rarely have it when I’m dining out.
10) Stairs or lift?
The stairs every time, unless I’ve been upgraded in a hotel to the Penthouse Suite on the top floor.
11) Do you have a daily exercise regime?
Apart from my 50 press ups every day, I don’t have a daily exercise regime. I should start going to a gym and go out walking more.
12) Best tip for everyday fitness?
Take the stairs and don’t be lazy.
13) On a scale of one to 10, how fit do you think you are and how fit would you like to be?
I’d give myself a seven, but would like to be a nine.
14) Have you tried, or would you try, alternative therapy?
It’s not something I’ve ever tried, but I certainly wouldn’t be against it.
15) Were school sports happy times or do you have a memory you would rather forget?
I wasn’t very good at sport in school, especially football, so I focused on music – thankfully, that paid off.
16) Did you ever have a health epiphany which made you change your lifestyle?
Yeah, a couple of years ago, I saw photos of me on social media and noticed I had put on weight.
It’s something that slowly crept up on me and I wasn’t aware until I saw a bigger version of me looking back in the photos. I had put on around a stone and immediately set about changing my diet.
17) Best health/lifestyle advice you were ever given and would pass on to others?
Drink lots of water. It’s great for your circulation and your skin – and it's calorie-free.
18) Who inspires you or who would you try to emulate in terms of fitness/attitude to life?
My mum, Noreen, is a true inspiration. She does yoga every day, cooks fresh meals and doesn’t use processed foods at all. I always enjoy returning to Liverpool to eat her delicious home-made meals.
19) What time do you normally get to bed and do you get enough sleep?
If I’m gigging, I don’t usually get into bed until 2am or 3am and I wake up around 11 o'clock.
During the week, though, I try to get to bed around midnight. I always try to get seven hours sleep.
20) Would you say you have a healthy attitude towards your own mortality?
Probably not. Although I’ve made a few good healthy lifestyle changes, I do try to live life to the full. I don’t think my body is a temple – and I’m sure a lot of people will agree with me.
:: Nathan headlines the Dalriada Festival in Glenarm on Friday July 14