Amy McElhatton stars in Druid’s production of Crestfall by Mark O’Rowe, which runs at The Abbey Theatre until Saturday 12th August.
Can you list the contents of your weekly shop?
During Crestfall I know I’d be too distracted to think of shopping during the week so on a Sunday I usually would get Bread, milk, ham, chicken, cheese, pasta, rice, peppers, garlic, red onion, puff pastry, noodles, potatoes, avocado, carrots, apples, bananas, wraps, weetabix , cereal bars, orange and apple juice. That is more than enough to see me through a week or more.
Describe your typical breakfast
I like to have a very quick breakfast, I’m usually the time of person who will get up at the last possible second so having something quick is a must for rehearsals or a matinee. I would probably have a slice of toast or a bowl of weetabix to keep me going until lunch.
Describe your typical lunch
I love to have soup with some mixed breads for lunch.
Usually I’m having an early dinner because of the show call so something really handy to make is key for me. Typical dinner would have to be something with chicken in it, say a chicken carbonara, chicken stir fry.
I don’t really snack, I do usually try to keep a bit of fruit about the house for when I’m peckish between meals but most of the time I find my hand dipping into the biscuit tin. Oops!
Is there anything you won’t eat?
Quite a few things, but I’d say the main one would be fish.
What would you cook to impress someone?
My chicken pie from scratch, it might not taste the best it the world but hopefully the effort put in is what will impress them.
What is your guilty food pleasure?
What is your ultimate comfort food
Ben and Jerry’s chocolate brownie ice cream. Yum!
What is your favourite takeaway?
Probably would have to be any kind of pizza.
Have you tried any diet fads in the past six months?
No, I don’t believe in them really. I believe in just a balanced eating lifestyle.
What would be your Death Row dinner or Last Supper?
My mum or dad’s Sunday roast dinner, hands down!
It’s great to see that Amy stocks up on mostly fresh food each week rather than relying on processed snacks, packaged sandwiches and other convenience foods to get her through a busy week, as can sometimes happen when actors and performers are on the road. She aims for consistency with her meals and lifestyle, which is definitely a key part of feeling balanced and healthy.
While she does buy fresh veggies including peppers, avocados, onions and carrots plus fruit like apples and bananas, I would love to see more leafy greens in Amy’s shopping basket. Spinach and kale as especially beneficial for health, as they’re rich in essential minerals, phytonutrients and vitamins to help keep her feeling energised and to support her immune system too. I aim to include greens with each meal, and it’s so easy to throw a handful of spinach into a morning smoothie, order a filling salad at lunchtime and include a side of steamed greens with your evening meal.
Amy’s breakfast tends to be a quick and easy slice of toast of bowl of Weetabix. I appreciate that mornings can be hectic and sleep needs to be a priority when you lead a busy lifestyle, but it’s simple to add more protein to a carb-rich breakfast. This can help to keep you feeling full for longer and less likely to reach for snacks such as biscuits.
She may want to choose wholemeal or seeded bread to toast and top it with some mashed avocado or nut butter rather than jam or honey. They’re both nutritious options, packed with the nutrients you need to support energy levels until lunchtime. If Amy is having Weetabix, she could top it with a handful of fresh berries and mixed seeds for a boost of antioxidants, vitamins C, minerals and amino acids.
Soup and bread are Amy’s staple lunch foods. Soup can be a fantastic option, and particularly when it’s homemade, full of vegetables and not packed with salt or energy-rich butter and cream. It’s generally filling without weighing you down and sapping energy levels for the afternoon.
Again, it’s a great idea to choose wholemeal bread over white to benefit from the extra fibre and B vitamins it contains. A side salad with the soup would help Amy to consume more raw leafy greens, and adding some beans, nuts, seeds or quinoa to either the soup or a salad would boost the meal’s protein content too. It’s really beneficial to eat a protein-rich food with every meal or snack to ensure your body gets the essential amino acids it requires each day.
For her evening meal, Amy opts for a chicken carbonara or stir-fry. Lean chicken without the skin can be a super source of protein, and make a great dinner option when enjoyed with a range of colourful fresh stir-fried veggies. Adding garlic and ginger to a stir-fry can really help to boost its health benefits, as both are considered to be anti-fungal and anti-bacterial, helping to support your immune system.
Overall, Amy’s diet is pretty balanced and based on whole foods. It’s great to know that she doesn’t skip meals, although replacing sugary biscuits with raw nuts would make a better snack option as nuts are packed with healthy fats and essential minerals. Boosting her fibre intake with greens and other vegetables with every meal would improve her diet further, and choosing wholemeal options when possible would be ideal too. Well done Amy.