Under the microscope
TV chef and restaurateur Rick Stein, 76, answers our health quiz
CAN YOU RUN UP STAIRS?
JUST about. I had a heart operation last year to replace a faulty valve, which has rejuvenated me. I’ve been a keen swimmer for many years. I try to swim every day. And I do quite a lot of walking with my wife, Sas.
I’M ALWAYS dieting because I like eating so much — so I need to have periods when I cut back. I retreat to my cottage in Padstow and spend a lot of time cooking tiny meals.
I also eat with chopsticks because it means you put smaller pieces in your mouth and tend to eat less as a result. On a good day, I weigh about 98kg [ just over 15st; he’s 5ft 11in]. But at the moment, having eaten lunch and dinner every day on holiday in Greece, I’m 102kg [around 16st].
CHOCOLATE — which is why I only ever buy small bars of either Cadbury’s Fruit & Nut or plain milk chocolate. I can’t just break off a couple of squares; I have to go through a whole bar. I have been known to do this five times in a day! My other vice is beer, and lots of it, though I go for session ales — usually under 4 per cent.
POP ANY PILLS?
I’M TAKING omega-3 at the moment for added brain power, as well as amlodipine to keep my blood pressure on an even keel.
ANY FAMILY AILMENTS?
HAPPILY, no. My mum, Dorrie, lived to 89 and died of natural causes. My dad, Eric, committed suicide when I was 18 and he was 58.
COPE WELL WITH PAIN?
I’M OF the grin-and-bear-it school. After I had the heart operation, I was given self-administered morphine, but the nurse caught me not dosing myself. I worried about becoming addicted. She told me I was an idiot and to get on with it.
EVER HAD ANYTHING REMOVED?
THE faulty heart valve aside, only my tonsils and adenoids when I was about six.
WHAT KEEPS YOU AWAKE AT NIGHT?
WORRYING about my children and grandchildren. But I have a remedy: I’m keen on DIY and I’m trying to work out how to locate the hole in the pipe under the floor leading to my spin dryer. So I lie there contemplating that and that sends me back to sleep quite quickly.
IT USED to be flying: had the plane been recently serviced? Was the pilot competent? But I learnt not to be worried about such things in much the same way as I learnt early on not to worry about a meteor falling on top of me! So, it’s just heights and my vertigo. I’m not fond of cliff walks or driving round hairpin bends with a sheer drop to the sea.
LIKE TO LIVE FOR EVER?
NO, IT’S the fact we all know we’re going to die which makes life so sweet. n Rick Stein’S Simple Suppers, BBc Books, £28.