Nurse of the year Siobhan Rogan prescribes chocolate for breakfast

Gail Bell asks experts and people in the public eye what keeps them going. This week: RCN Northern Ireland Nurse of the Year 2017, Siobhan Rogan

Omagh-born Siobhan Rogan is the Northern Ireland nurse of the year 2017
Gail Bell

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

The morning is not my favourite part of the day; I am definitely an owl and aim for essential activities only in the morning – no yoga or morning exercise for me. On weekdays I try to get up between 6.30 and 7am. I do not begin to function until I have a cup of tea. I always greet our dog, Xena, and make a second cup of tea to take with me in the car.

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

Breakfast? Cup of tea first thing, sometimes porridge and fruit or granola, yoghurt and fruit mid morning.

Lunch? This varies – lasagne, quiche, chicken and salad or a bagel from Bagel Bean (they’re fab). I love getting sneaky lunches out when I can.

Evening meal? Again, this changes – I like to make things like chilli con carne, spaghetti Bolognese, a curry or a stew.

3. Is nutrition important to you?

Food is love. I like good ingredients cooked well and really enjoy local foods that are in season.

4. Best meal ever?

I have had quite a few great meals in various locations around the world – food is one of my great loves. The Orrery in London is very special for a number of reasons.

5. Do you have a guilty pleasure?

Sometimes I have chocolate for breakfast – it’s the breakfast of champions. I first discovered chocolate for breakfast as a child at Easter, but once a year is not enough.

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

Yes, once, with the sole aim of fitting into my wedding dress. I had just taken up running when I was fitted for my wedding dress and naïvely hadn’t realised that my size/body shape had changed. When the dress arrived, I wasn’t running as much and the dress and I were not a good fit. The diet went very well, I started running again and the dress fitted on the day!

7. Do you take health supplements?

No, I think we should all try and eat a good enough diet and enjoy the not-so-good foods too.

8. How do you relax?

Relaxing is my favourite pastime; I find it easy to relax and really enjoy it. I love having wee days that I do not have to leave the house unless I choose to. I also like going for walks with our dog or out for a run – fresh air is good. Walks at the beach are one of my favourite things in the world, though, unfortunately, there are not many nice beaches in Tyrone. We do live right beside a beautiful lough, though, so I enjoy walking near the water there.

9. Teetotal or tipple?

Practically teetotal, but I enjoy a glass of red wine, cider or Champagne occasionally.

10. Stairs of lift?

Depends how many floors... I have no problem with using lifts, apart from having to wait for them, so I prefer to take the stairs if I only have to walk up a few floors. Anything more than four and I am happy enough to wait for the lift,

11. Do you have a daily exercise regime?

I should, but I have a tendency to find more pressing things to do. I keep saying that I am going to run three times per week, but it hasn’t materialised yet.

12. Best tip for everyday fitness?

Run once per week – we live beside a lough that I love to run around. I don’t like running on my own and only run with friends – it’s a great opportunity to chat and catch up with people.

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

I am probably at about a four. I would like to get to nine or 10 but that would involve a lot more effort and commitment on my part.

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

I haven’t tried it. I would consider it as an adjunct to conventional therapy providing that there are no unwanted side effects, but not as an alternative to conventional therapy.

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

I went to an all-girls school and really enjoyed school sports. Our school started their first ever football team while I was there so I really enjoyed being part of that. I also remember our club starting their first ladies football team around the same time.

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

No, not yet anyway.

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

‘Everything in moderation’ and ‘A little of what you fancy doesn’t do you any harm’ – not sure how accurate that is, but I live by it.

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

A number of people in my life, both personally and professionally, influenced my attitude and approach to life. In terms of fitness, I love the social aspects of running with people and chatting to them while out, and at the same time benefitting from the physical activity. I am not motivated by speed, time or distance; I just like to go out for a run and a chat.

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

I go to bed too late so, no, I do not get enough sleep.

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

It isn’t something I have ever really gave much thought to, but if there is one certainty in life it is that we will all die. I think we should enjoy ourselves while we are alive and try to be kind to each other.

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