RSVP Magazine

HEALTH AND HAPPINESS: with Alison Canavan

Clothes size: 10
Height: 5ft 10in
Breakfast: Overnight oat groats in the slow cooker with blueberries and coconut shavings and mixed seeds with homemade almond milk.
LUNCH: Salmon salad with buckwheat or quinoa.
DINNER: Chicken stir-fry with lots of veggies and brown rice.
SNACKS: Nuts and a smoothie with spinach, berries, cucumber, avocado, spirulina and maca. Or homemade almond milk and sometimes a banana depending on how hungry I am.
ALCOHOL: None – I’m sober.

Have you ever struggled with weight?
Through my years as a model body image was something I really struggled with. I did all sorts of yo-yo dieting. I think everyone goes through a period of not feeling good enough in their body. Coming out of the fashion industry, it’s tough to make friends with your body and truly respect it. After I had a baby, I gained respect for my body and now I really value my body and health.

How often do you train and how hard do you go?
I train in BodyByrne once a week and I also do yoga and pilates. Every week is different but I always incorporate some kind of movement into my day even if it’s just getting on the mat myself at home for 15 minutes.

Do you take a supplement?
I believe in a food first approach, however I have a genetic condition called pyroluria so I need to take Zinc and B6. My Eskimo Omegas are really important to me too for mood after suffering from depression. I take food supplements in my smoothies and the Pukka Ashwagandha is great too. It’s an adaptogenic herb that helps with stress.

Do you have allergies?
Not any more.

Do you practice mindfulness or meditation?
Every day; I start each day with meditation and sit on my cushion whenever I feel I need a breather.

What slows you down In terms of energy?
Not getting enough sleep and skipping meals!

What is your guilty pleasure?
Eton Mess!

Are you mindful of what you feed your son, how it will affect him and his moods, etc?
Absolutely, food affects both mood and behaviour in kids so it’s important that they eat a lot of fresh veg and fruit alongside their proteins, good carbs and healthy fats.

Do you feel food plays a role in our happiness/health?
Yes, good food equals good mood. I don’t believe you can be at your best on a bad diet.

How important is food or a healthy diet to you?
Incredibly important, it determines how you feel physically, mentally and spiritually. Food affects your energy and vibration. Believe me, I know how true this is as I suffered from depression for years alongside eating crappy food. Good food allows clarity, focus and energy.

Is there anything you refuse to eat?
No, but I tend to steer clear of junk these days purely because junk food makes me feel awful.

What keeps you awake at night?
Very little unless I have a lot on and then I can get overwhelmed but generally because of meditation and breathing practises I sleep like a baby.

Do you check your emails at night, while on holiday or are you disciplined?
I’m self employed so my schedule is not 9-5 but I do have rules. No phone in bed and on holidays I check once a day for anything important.

Do you pray?
Every day I love this prayer from a course in miracles that I say after my morning meditation –
Where would you have me go?
What would you have me do?
What would you have me say, and to whom?

Takeaway: Pizza or Indian.
Meal: My homemade pizza with salad.
Food store: The Green Door Market, Dublin 8
Restaurant: Counter Culture, Dublin 2.
Breakfast: Pancakes.
Tipple: Matcha Latte or a Turmeric Latte.
TV snack: Popcorn or dark chocolate.
Supplement: Eskimo Omega 3s.
Healthy treat: Dark chocolate.

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