Life

Jayne Wisener: In London I didn't know anyone, I spent most of my time walking around and didn't eat properly

Gail Bell asks experts and people in the public eye what keeps them going. This week, Coleraine-born actress Jayne Wisener

Jayne Wisener – I can see the gym from my kitchen window, so if I don't go, I feel a wee bit guilty
Gail Bell

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

It's an awful habit and I wish I didn't do it, but upon wakening up, I always reach for my phone and check my emails and watch people's Instagram stories. My hubby leaves the house at seven o'clock to head off to work so I'm usually awake by then and if I don't get up shortly after that, I end up with a cat paw on my face. This prompts me to get up and give Doogie (my cat) his breakfast. I like eating breakfast by myself, usually watching some rubbish on YouTube at the same time. It's MY time. Don't talk to me while I'm eating my breakfast or I will destroy you with a dirty look. Actually.

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

Breakfast? I will either have scrambled eggs on toast or poached eggs on toast, depending on how fancy I feel. Sometimes I'll get really fancy and smash some avocado on the toast.

Lunch? This is really bad, but unless I'm actually meeting someone for lunch, I'll probably forget to have it. I'll just graze on whatever is in the fridge or I might grab a meal deal if I'm on the go.

Evening meal? I eat a lot of vegetables. I'm a veggie, so I make sure I have loads of spinach and kale to boost my iron intake. My dinner is often a warm salad with broccoli, spinach, sometimes courgette and then I'll add chickpeas or halloumi. Occasionally, I'll take a notion and want a Thai noodle soup or a big bowl of pasta.

3. Is nutrition important to you?

Because I'm vegetarian I do make a conscious effort to eat enough protein and I try to eat healthily most of the time. I have an app called Cronometer and it helps me track how many nutrients I've eaten. If I don't get enough of something one day, then I'll try to compensate the next day. It sounds boring and it is boring. I wish I could just eat pizza all day.

4. Best meal ever?

I don't remember any specific meal, but my mum makes really delicious food. It's always healthy too which means I can eat loads of it. She usually makes big batches and then I raid the freezer when I go home.

5. Do you have a guilty pleasure?

Pizza. It's the perfect food.

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

I like to think I live a reasonably healthy lifestyle, so I don't really diet. Occasionally, I'll cut down if I'm going on holidays and have to walk around in a bikini.

7. Do you take health supplements?

Yes, I take multivitamins every day and if I'm doing a show, I'll start taking echinacea too.

8. How do you relax?

I love watching an addictive series on Netflix – that's usually what I do to unwind.

9. Teetotal or tipple?

Oh, I love a glass/goblet of Chardonnay or a cheeky Prosecco.

10. Stairs or lift?

I'll take the lift if I have to get to the 10th floor of a building, but otherwise I usually opt for the stairs.

11. Do you have a daily exercise regime?

I try to get to they gym three or four times a week. I'll do a mixture of cardio and weights. I can see the gym from my kitchen window, so if I don't go, I feel a wee bit guilty.

12. Best tip for everyday fitness?

I try to stay as active as possible. If I don't have specific plans, I'll always find myself something to do so that I'm not tempted to watch Netflix for hours – even if it's just running the hoover around.

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

I think I'm probably a seven. There is definitely room for improvement.

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

I haven't tried alternative therapy. I'm not sure what that is, actually. I'm quite set in my ways, so if something works for me, I'll stick to it until it is no longer effective.

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

I wasn't awful at sports, but I didn't particularly like them, either. In fact, I absolutely detested hockey. I didn't join any teams at school as I preferred to spend my time in the music department or rehearsing for the school play.

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

When I moved to London over a decade ago to do a show, I didn't know anyone. I spent most of my time walking around and didn't eat properly. My frail physique caused such extreme worry that my mum contemplated the idea of quitting her job and moving over to look after me. I was so horrified at myself for putting my parents in that position. I was a normal weight by the end of the show.

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

It's a cliche, but... everything in moderation is the way to go.

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

I follow Kim Constable (the sculpted Vegan) on Instagram. I love her attitude to life and fitness. I don't want to achieve her body as such, but her self-control and determination really inspire me to push myself harder.

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

I try to go to bed in time to watch Family Guy. I'm sleeping quite well at the moment but I regularly get bouts of insomnia when I'm anxious about anything. I sometimes resort to watching ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) videos on YouTube. My husband finds that a bit creepy.

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

I'm not sure. I believe that the soul is eternal, but at the same time I also get depressed at the thought that tomorrow I'll be a day older. In all seriousness, I have been very blessed in this life so I try to give thanks on a daily basis rather than over-thinking the (hopefully) distant future.

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