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TV presenter Zoe Salmon: Sleeping is my ultimate relaxation – I love to dream

Gail Bell asks experts and people in the public eye what keeps them going. This week: television presenter Zoe Salmon

Bangor-born television presenter and former Blue Peter girl Zoe Salmon
Gail Bell

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

The time I get up at varies, depending on whether I’ve wrapped late the night before or if I have an early call time that day. My alarm is set on my phone and tablet (I always set two alarms just in case one fails) so I end up with one or both in my hand and I go directly to check my emails as there are often last-minute script changes being sent through. I usually have breakfast alone while I’m getting ready – it’s always so peaceful. I love silence; it’s bliss to me.

2. What might you eat in a typical working day for...

Breakfast? My go-to breakfast is a tonic I created and I am addicted to it. It is room-temperature distilled water (I’ve tried it with hot and cold water variations, but room temperature tastes the best), a small chunk of raw ginger root, a Medjool date, two prunes, a fig, a teaspoon of cayenne pepper and four tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Add to blender and enjoy!

Lunch? Another recipe I concocted and I love is my super-power smoothie. It includes unsweetened almond milk, a frozen banana, porridge oats, cacao nibs, seeds (black and natural sesame, chia, flax, hemp, sunflower and pumpkin), Brazil nuts, and powders such as acai, chlorella, cacao, maca, matcha, moringa, psyllium husk and spirulina.

Evening meal? Lately I’ve been loving soba noodles with either steamed miso salmon or chicken fillet. I’ll either stir-fry in a mix of my favourite vegetables or I’ll have a side of cherry tomatoes, red pepper, red onion or spring onions and steamed or raw spinach with turmeric, black peppercorns and raw garlic. To start, I usually have either bone broth or avocado with freshly squeezed lime juice, Himalayan salt and chillies. For dessert, it’s nature’s candy; my favourite is a pink grapefruit or I’ll make a fresh berry sorbet – strawberries, blueberries and banana. I enjoy a herbal tea before bed, either fennel, camomile or peppermint.

3. Is nutrition important to you?

I am so passionate about health and nutrition, I believe that nutrition is everything. I love eating fresh, natural whole foods and feeling the best I can by fuelling my body with all the nutrition it needs.

4. Best meal ever?

Himalayan salt-aged beef with sweet potato Italian Salad. Amazing.

5. Do you have a guilty pleasure?

Ben & Jerry’s phish food and chocolate fudge brownie ice creams. I also love Raspberry Ruffles.

6. Have you ever been on a diet?

If so, how did it go? When I presented the BBC documentary The Big Fat Truth About Low Fat Foods I had to undergo a month-long experiment of eating only processed foods.

7. Do you take health supplements?

Yes, an essential amino acid, L-Lysine. It helps to maintain the immune system and energy levels and is great for skin and lips.

8. How do you relax?

Sleeping is my ultimate relaxation; I love to dream.

9. Teetotal or tipple?

Tipple – Prosecco or an espresso martini.

10. Stairs or lift?

The healthy option – I really do enjoy stairs.

11. Do you have a daily exercise regime?

I try to work out Monday to Friday and keep my weekends free. I love a mix of weight lifting and Pilates – I do regular Pilates, fitness Pilates and reformer Pilates.

12. Best tip for everyday fitness?

Book yourself an appointment with exercise every day and keep it. If you don’t book that appointment into your diary, then it’s easy to forget or not make the time to go. It’s just a couple of hours out of your day, but it’s probably two of the most important for body, mind and soul.

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

There’s always room for improvement and I love to learn. I base fitness on how I feel and I feel good at the moment.

14. Have you tried, or would you try, alternative therapy?

I loved trying cryotherapy, acupuncture, reflexology and also kinesiology. I would be open to exploring and researching what else is available.

15. Were school sports happy times or do you have a memory you would rather forget?

I was in the school hockey and netball teams and I recall being quite good at the high jump but I was a dancer at heart, so I lived for my tap, modern and ballet lessons. I enjoyed travelling around Northern Ireland to compete and to do my exams/grades too.

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

For the Big Fat Truth documentary, I recall buying my first microwave specifically for the experiment, as the food consisted of ready-made processed meals. They were the ‘low in fat’ and ‘low in salt’ type-foods and what that food did to my body was horrendous. It was such a valuable experience, investigating and researching how dangerous these foods are to your body and health. I steer clear of them now and focus on natural whole foods. I’ve always tried to live a healthy lifestyle but I’m more passionate about it now than ever. I’ve been studying as a nutritional therapist and I find it fascinating.

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

You only get one body, you have to treat it with respect.

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

Every day I listen to the news and will be inspired by someone. In the past few months I’ve helped with campaigns for Action Cancer, Northern Ireland Hospice and Cancer Research UK and have met so many inspirational people. It’s so important to count your blessings, to be grateful for what you have and to live your best life; be the best version of yourself that you can be.

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

I’m such a night owl and I never get enough sleep. There’s never enough hours in the day for me.

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

I believe that God is good.

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