20 Questions on Health and Fitness: Alison Clarke

Gail Bell asks experts and people in the public eye what keeps them going. This week, model agency boss Alison Clarke

Alison Clarke: If I over-indulge one day, I will pull back the next and try to balance things out
Gail Bell

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

On a working day my alarm goes off and I like to check my messages and emails before I get out of bed while watching the news on television. The snooze button is pressed a few times as I crawl out of bed. On a day off, I love nothing more than a lazy lie-in for an extra hour or so.

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

Breakfast? Black coffee with maybe some fresh berries and natural yoghurt.

Lunch? Often it's tuna with salad and maybe some fruit afterwards.

Evening meal? My evening meal usually consists of meat, chicken or fish with vegetables or salad.

3 Is nutrition important to you?

Yes, diet is very important to me, despite the fact that I don’t always adhere to it. If I over-indulge one day, I will pull back the next and try and cut out a few calories to balance things out.

4 Are you a calorie counter?

I'm not an actual 'counter' as such, but I do watch the sugar and fat contents in my food, as much as I can.

5 Best meal ever?

I just love food, so every meal is good. I love having food made for me, whether that is eating out in a restaurant or when my husband (top golfer and 2016 Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke) is at home – he loves to cook.

6 Do you have a guilty pleasure?

Yes, I love potatoes, all types of potatoes... And chocolate – I'm very partial to all types of chocolate as well.

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

I am constantly on a 'diet' – I just try to take everything in moderation.

8 Do you take health supplements?

I regularly take biotin for my hair. Biotin is one of the B complex vitamins and I first heard about it from the make-up artist, Paddy McGurgan. It is said to thicken hair as well as having benefits for nails and skin. I'm not sure if it does any good or not but it's not doing any harm either.

9 Teetotal or tipple?

I stay teetotal during the week but I'll take a tipple if I'm out. Gin is my sin.

10 Fruit or fry-up?

I like both, but aim for fruit during the week and a fry on a Saturday or Sunday.

11 Stairs or lift?

It depends on how many flights, although I do try to take the stairs if I can.

12 Do you have a daily exercise regime?

I don't have a particular regime, as such, but I try to keep fit. I live in Portrush, so there's no excuse to get out and walk the beaches. I have a gym at home which I should use more often.

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

I think I am fairly fit as I am constantly on the go. I'm not sure I need to be any fitter – I'm not bendy Wendy but I think I'd put myself down as an 8.

14 Best tip for everyday fitness?

I would say, just keep active generally.

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

I don't really have a stand-out memory, apart from the awful gymnastics bloomer-type shorts we had to wear.

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

I was asked to take an all-round health test as part of a PR exercice for a well-known health provider a couple of years ago and that was very interesting. It didn't cause a dramatic change in my lifestyle or anything, but it did show that my cholesterol was a little on the high side, so I was able to lower that through a change in diet. It was a very thorough test and I would certainly recommend it as it gives a complete overview of your health and what you might need to change.

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

Everything in moderation is one of the most sensible pieces of advice around.

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

No one, really – I am my own person.

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

I am one of those people who really do need to get in a good night's sleep, so I aim for at least eight hours each night.

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

Yes, I think I have an awareness of my own mortality because there are so many horrible things happening in the world today and so many people are dying while still young. All we can do is be thankful for the life we have and try to live each day to the full. No-one ever knows what is around the next corner.

:: Alison Clarke is founder of ACA Models.

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