Rise and shine

How Pamela Flood and other suc­cess­ful women kick­start their day

Irish Examiner - Feelgood - - Front Page -

EX­CUSES just don’t wash with Roz Pur­cell. Tell her that you don’t have the time, the money, the in­cli­na­tion, or even the right in­gre­di­ents to eat healthily, and the best­selling cook­ery au­thor will di­rect you to Half Hour

Hero, her new book that shows you how to make real food, real fast.

Not that she’s a purist. She spent long enough dieting and feel­ing de­prived in her mod­el­ling days to know that life is about find­ing a bal­ance and learn­ing to give your body the nu­tri­ents it needs.

In fact, she won­ders when ex­actly peo­ple stopped lis­ten­ing to their own bod­ies.

“It’s as if we are wait­ing for some­one to tell us what to have. You are the only one who knows what your body needs and if you en­joy what you eat, that is half the bat­tle,” she says.

Roz cer­tainly en­joys what she eats and is done with calo­rie count­ing and mis­er­able por­tions. In fact, when asked if it’s true that her boyfriend, mu­sic pro­moter Zach Des­mond, once said she eats like a bloke, she laughs out loud and nods. “A lot of my guy friends are sur­prised by how much I eat. I en­joy big por­tions, but I know when to stop.”

She goes on to talk about all the things she en­joys — por­ridge topped with berries and toasted al­monds; banof­fee pie; mashed po­tato with Ker­ry­gold but­ter. That last dish would be her death-row meal, although the hum­ble spud doesn’t ap­pear in the 100 recipes in her new book, mostly be­cause of the time it can take to cook.

The fo­cus of this book is on recipes that can be pre­pared and cooked in 30 min­utes — but that doesn’t mean there is any short­age of choice. She says she did a sig­nif­i­cant amount of re­search on­line and asked peo­ple what they wanted — the an­swer was, easy recipes us­ing in­gre­di­ents that you could buy in your lo­cal cor­ner shop.

She drew on that re­search to come up with a list of her top 20 hero foods (see panel above) and uses them to pro­duce an in­spir­ing range of break­fasts, lunches, din­ners, desserts, and snacks. There is no de­pri­va­tion in the sump­tu­ous pages of Half Hour Hero, but all recipes use nat­u­ral foods and whole in­gre­di­ents.

In 2013, the former model started a blog to share her love of food and to spread the whole­food mes­sage. Her first book, the best­selling

Nat­u­ral Born Feeder, grew out of the blog and since then she’s been on a mis­sion to make the health­i­est pos­si­ble ver­sions of ev­ery dish on our daily ta­ble.

Her pas­sion for food started when she was a child grow­ing up in Kil­lur­ney, Co Tip­per­ary. She cooked with her grand­par­ents Aida and John­son Pur­cell, who lived be­side them and, from the age of seven or eight, was pre­par­ing full meals and serv­ing them on a linen-clad ta­ble.

She’s quite the city woman now, dressed ca­su­ally in denim skirt and sweat-top, sip­ping cof­fee with al­mond milk on the ter­race of Balfe’s in the West­bury ho­tel with her minia­ture Jack Rus­sell, Wilko, on her knee.

Her morn­ing rou­tine starts at 6.30am when she goes to Beau Jacks Box­ing Club in Dublin city cen­tre — “a lot of my clos­est friends are there and I as­pire to be like my trainer Steve Daw­son who at 52 is full of life and in great shape” — be­fore em­bark­ing on a day full of all sorts of en­gage­ments.

Yet, she’s a coun­try­woman at heart and was keen to start her book-sign­ings out­side Dublin be­cause she knows only too well how the rest of the coun­try is of­ten over­looked. She talks eas­ily about her child­hood, in fact, about ev­ery­thing.

There isn’t a sub­ject that Roz Pur­cell isn’t happy to dis­cuss and we talk pol­i­tics (she ad­mires Cana­dian prime min­is­ter Justin Trudeau); travel (she spent two weeks in the Ama­zo­nian jun­gle af­ter win­ning an es­say com­pe­ti­tion, aged 16); so­cial me­dia (“I’ve been in the in­dus­try a long time so I have a thick skin on me”); mu­sic (she re­laxes to the mu­sic of film com­posers En­nio Mor­ri­cone and Hans Zim­mer, and Zach com­piles her playlists so she al­ways knows what the next big thing is) and just about any­thing you care to men­tion.

One thing that is strik­ing is how im­por­tant fam­ily is to her. She says she is a re­ally pos­i­tive per­son but gets down when her sis­ter Rachel isn’t feel­ing well. Her sis­ter (30) was di­ag­nosed with leukaemia just be­fore Roz’s first book came out. The whole fam­ily, her el­dest sis­ter Re­becca and par­ents John and Ce­cily, were won­der­fully dis­tracted by work­ing to­gether in the pop-up shop set up to launch the book.

The project raised €12,000 for the Ca­puchin Day Cen­tre for home­less peo­ple in Dublin, but it was also a bless­ing at a very dif­fi­cult time. Roz says it was like Christ­mas Day ev­ery day, along with its won­der­ful close­ness and fam­ily spats, and helped them get through the shock of the di­ag­no­sis. Rachel is do­ing very well now and is back at work, but her sis­ter keeps a watch­ful eye on her in the city-cen­tre apart­ment they share with Wilko.

The adopted pup gets a spe­cial page in Roz’s new book with a recipe for dog bis­cuits and he is, says Roz, the ap­ple of her eye.

What harm that he chews things. “In fact, he only ever chews my stuff. He chewed my pass­port once. The only page I needed. I had to get an emer­gency one,” she says, but some­how you can see that he’s for­given.

Look­ing ahead, it’s all about healthy food and fit­ness and also re­mem­ber­ing to live life to the full and not to be too hard on your­self. “On your death bed, you will prob­a­bly ask your­self why you didn’t have more fun. I feel so lucky to be do­ing some­thing I love.”

Half Hour Hero by Roz Pur­cell is pub­lished in hard­back by Pen­guin Ire­land, €23. Roz will be sign­ing copies of her book in O’Ma­hony’s, Lim­er­ick, at 2pm on Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 14; at Ea­son, Cork at 2pm on Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 21; and the Book Cen­tres Waterford and Wex­ford on Satur­day, De­cem­ber 2, (12 and 3pm).

TREAT TIME: Roz Pur­cell’s dog, Wilko, gets in on the act too — the book in­cludes a recipe for de­li­cious bis­cuits for our ca­nine pals.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.