Celebrity Health - Jenni Falconer

A photo of Jenni Falconer

“I enjoy being fit and active”

TV presenter Jenni Falconer talks to Liz Parry about her passion for running, her love of yogurt and why she won’t be taking up diving again...

Q: Would you say that healthy living is very important to you?

Jenni: Absolutely. I like feeling healthy, I enjoy being fit and active. I’m a mum to a little girl and want to make sure I look after myself to set a good example for her and also I feel fantastic when I abide by my healthy living regime.

Q: How do you ensure that you stay fit and healthy?

Jenni: In order to stay fit and healthy I look at my diet. I try to eat as balanced a diet as I can, with some fruit, lots of veggies, avocados, plenty of protein – lots of chicken and eggs – and I make an effort to drink as much water as I can. I have an EasiYo yogurt maker which helps with the homemade goodness side of things and making sure I’m getting all that friendly bacteria. I struggle with sleep with my work schedule. I don’t struggle to get to sleep – I struggle to find a chance to get enough sleep as I’m up for work rather early.

Q: What exercise do you enjoy doing and how often do you work out?

Jenni: I reckon I work out four to five times a week. It depends really on what I’m training for. Currently I have a free schedule so I’ve cut back on running outside a bit. Instead I go to bootcamp classes or head to the gym. I might spend time on the treadmill. When I’m training for an event, I tend to run outdoors a lot more.

Q: You’ve taken part in the London Marathon on several occasions. Is running a passion of yours?

Jenni: Yes running is my thing. I think everyone has a thing! For me running helps me relax, have time out, think things through and makes me feel fitter, stronger and ironically wakes me up when I am shattered.

Q: You took part in the diving show Splash in recent years. Did you enjoy the experience and have you kept up the diving?

Jenni: Ha ha! Well that was something I hadn’t tried before and so I thought why not? I enjoyed the experience and learning how to dive although I neither jumped off the 10m board nor even went up to it... it terrifies me, so probably not the sport for me! Ha. I enjoyed my time on the springboard though when I was on the show.

Q: Do you enjoy training for events like that and the marathon?

Jenni: I do enjoy training. I’m always surprised how training leaves you with a huge appetite. I tend to run after work in the mornings and then if I’m not working later in the day, I head home and make some eggs or have a protein shake. Then I’ll just snack on things like my EasiYo homemade yogurt because the great thing is I can add what I want. Generally I tend to add blueberries and mango. My daughter gets involved with my training programme too – she shares my yogurt snack. Also when I come in from a long run and stretch out on the roller she’s desperate to join in!

Q: Do you like to eat healthily and cook for yourself and your family?

Jenni: I do like eating healthily, but I’m not a very advanced chef. I try to stick to simple dishes. I cook a lot of chicken and salmon for dinner and then try and add as many green veggies as possible – broccoli is a constant in our fridge! I also snack on carrots and hummus or rice cakes with almond butter. At the weekend, on a Saturday, we all love having breakfast together. It’s my morning off. So we usually get the eggs, cheese and avocado out, and see what we can make! We do treat ourselves too – there’s an amazing pizza place near us that we all love so every now and again we head there. Everything in moderation works well.

Q: What do you eat on a typical day?

Jenni: For breakfast at 3am I have a pear and a few cups of vanilla tea. Then after the gym, around 8.15am, I have a protein shake with blueberries, strawberries, almond milk, protein and almond butter. A mid-morning snack might be some rice cakes with almond butter. Lunch could be soup followed by some vanilla or Greek-style yogurt with coconut and some fruit. Dinner tends to be chicken with loads of salad and avocado and perhaps some brown rice and quinoa. Drinks throughout the day will be vanilla tea, water and sparkling water.

Q: Do you have a favourite healthy recipe?

Jenni: If I’m on a time limit, I really enjoy simple butterfly chicken on the griddle and served with mixed salad. My friend Marcus Bean is a chef and in his ‘chicken’ book he has a recipe for his ‘bean family dressing’ – it’s delicious. It’s so, so simple but it’s an absolute favourite and works for the whole family. Another simple one is chicken fajitas. Chicken, peppers and onions all stir fried and then add the sauce of your choice. Add the tortilla wraps, grated cheese and green salad.

Q: Do you take any vitamins or supplements?

Jenni: I go through phases. When I’m in marathon training mode I definitely take a few supplements to boost my collagen and then during the winter I may take a multivitamin just to try and prevent myself becoming run down.

Q: Please give us some of your top tips for keeping healthy and in shape.

Jenni: I’d say try and do some form of exercise at least five times a week – something that makes you sweat! Something that gets your heart beating faster and your blood pumping. It’ll put colour in your cheeks and will speed up your metabolism and it’ll make you feel more positive. Also, if you want to cut out biscuits, chocolate, bread or cakes, stop buying them! If they’re not there, you’ll have less of a craving for them. And I try to commit to exercise at the same time every day. For me it’s the morning – I’m used to it. It wakes me up, I feel energised for the day ahead, it’s done and the rest of the day can be exercise-free. By committing to the same time each day you’re more inclined to do it!

Q: What plans do you have for the coming year?

Jenni: Well I turn 40 this year so I’m in the process of figuring out which races I’d like to run. I have done the London marathon five times and love it so may well be on that start line in April but I’m hoping to add a few half-marathons to the to-do list as well. I would also love to have a family holiday in 2016. We didn’t get to have one in 2015 because of one thing or another so this has to be remedied. Fingers crossed it happens!

The EasiYo Red Yogurt Maker is priced at RRP £17.99 and each EasiYo yogurt sachet is priced from RRP £2 (per 1kg serving). Visit EasiYo for full stockists, information and recipe ideas at www.easiyo.com

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