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Exclusive Q&A with The Fit Foodie, Derval O’Rourke

by Lottie Huckle

published on 8 August 2016

Tell us a bit more about your book, The Fit Foodie.

My book is full of recipes and fitness tips that are very easy and enjoyable. I feel it’s a simple approach of eating well and keeping moving to help live a great life. I’ve taken all the lessons I learned as an Olympic athlete and made it accessible to everyone whether they are hoping to run a marathon or simply eat a little healthier.

From the book

Derval O’Rourke

If you had to choose one recipe to show off what the book is about, what would it be and why?

That’s a really hard question! In terms of my philosophy of making life as simple as possible I would probably choose overnight oats with chia and raspberries, this recipe takes about 30 seconds before you go to bed and it sets you up for a super healthy and tasty brekkie. It’s a real winner. Whether you are hitting the gym before work or simply want a great breakfast to set you up for your day it’s the perfect solution.

Here at The Happy Foodie, we’re totally obsessed with cookbooks. Can you tell us a bit about the favourites in your collection?

I’m totally obsessed too! I love to buy cookbooks and flick through them looking for inspiration. My go too is regularly the Ballymaloe Cookery School book by Darina Allen, it’s a classic and all the recipes always work. The book “Dinner” by Domini Kemp is really great for dinner ideas. Recently I’ve been making lots of The Happy Pear recipes so both of their books feature in my kitchen.

What ingredients do you find yourself going back to again and again?

Porridge oats, eggs, onions, tomatoes, garlic and great freezer staples like mixed berries, stock and meat/fish.

What’s your comfort food?

I love soup. After a run or a long day there is something incredibly comforting about a bowl of soup. Leek and Potato in winter is a winner for me and pea and mint in summer.

Let’s play foodie Cluedo. You can cook one dish, for one person, in one location. Who, what and where?

My husband, my Fit Foodie fish stew and in Baltimore West Cork, Ireland.

What are your top tips for maintaining a healthy diet?

  1. Be prepared. Keep your freezer stocked with ingredients and pre-cooked dinners (batch cooked dinners such as chilli)
  2. 20 minutes. You can get loads done in 20 minutes, instead of wasting 20 minutes on social media use the time to cook or prep some food.
  3. Treat yourself. Always trying to be good is a bit boring every now and then have a big slice of cake with friends, balance is key!

We want to eat like an athlete, where should we start?

Start with your ingredients, so look for colour which will ensure that you are getting antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Try to cook from scratch where possible as this gives you a great base for delivering your nutritional requirements, it also allows you to be in control of what you are consuming. Don’t make loads of changes at once, always try to make small changes that are doable.

Want to know Derval’s Fit Foodie Philosophy? Click here!

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