Shane O’Malley is an Irish artist who has emerged from Ireland’s vibrant graffiti subculture. He works in the mediums of paint, murals and art installations, creates art workshops and corporate art projects. Originally from Navan, Shane now resides in Galway city and has exhibited and painted nationally and internationally.
He is interested in the themes of identity, mental and emotional health, journey and self-hood. He has developed a unique visual language using bold colour and simple geometric shapes to communicate challenging concepts.
Where do you shop?
I shop in the local supermarket and the Polish shop in Galway (my girlfriend is Polish).
Can you list the contents of your weekly shop?
Lots of fresh veg
Meats from the Polish shop
Describe your typical breakfast
Eggs and bacon or zapiekanka (a polish open sandwich).
Describe your typical lunch
I make homemade vegetable soup or a nice salad.
I love cooking but can be stuck for time, so it’s usually a one pot dinner like chilli, goulash, meatballs or a curry.
Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate.
Is there anything you won’t eat?
I’ll try everything but I’m not a fan of too much fat on meat.
What would you cook to impress someone?
I make a very good chilli con carne or mix it up with burritos.
What is your guilty food pleasure?
It has to be chocolate, I’m a little addicted to chocolate.
What is your ultimate comfort food?
A pizza followed by something sweet like white chocolate.
What is your favourite takeaway?
Pizza or Indian.
Have you tried any diet fads in the past six months?
My girlfriend and I have been cutting down on carbs recently and upping the veggies. I have also switched to dark chocolate too.
What would be your Last Supper?
A lovely soup with French bread, followed by a steak served medium rare. Then Mississippi Mud Pie for dessert.
It’s good to see that Shane’s weekly shopping list contains plenty of fresh, whole foods and loads of vegetables as he’s actively including more in his daily diet. He also does plenty of home cooking, so he picks up essentials including meats, milk and eggs. Fresh fruit, including plenty of berries, would make a great addition to his shopping basket as they’re rich in protective antioxidants and vitamin C to support normal immune health. They also provide some natural sweetness for when a chocolate craving hits.
Shane chooses high-protein breakfast of eggs and bacon or a Polish open sandwich to help keep him feeling full throughout the morning. Eating a protein-rich breakfast can help you avoid the temptation to snack on sugary or fatty foods later in the day. However, as animal-based foods like eggs and bacon don’t contain any fibre, Shane would benefit from eating vegetables with his eggs, such as spinach, mushrooms, tomato or avocado. Some avocado would also help to support his intake of essential fats, important for maintaining supple skin and joints and normal brain, vision and heart health too.
For lunch, Shane chooses a healthy meal rich in vegetables. Both soup and salad are great choices, and will really help to increase his daily intake of vegetables. Even better when homemade too as you know the quantities of fat, salt and other ingredients going into them. It’s hard to go wrong with a lunchtime salad, as they’re quick, generally easier to digest than a big cooked meal, and simple to eat on the go. However, salads drenched in a fatty, sugary or processed dressing can quickly reduce the health benefits, as can oily croutons, processed meats and various other additions. Opt for a basic dressing of balsamic vinegar and olive oil or lemon juice and if eating out, then perhaps ask for it to be served on the side for portion control.
Adding a source of lean protein and healthy fat to a salad, such as avocado, nuts, seeds or olives, can really help to boost the nutrient content and ensure you stay feeling full all afternoon. Plus the addition of colourful veggies, such as tomatoes, bell peppers and grated carrot to his salads would boost his intake of protective antioxidants too.
For dinner, Shane likes to make big batches of chilli, meatballs or curry to last him for a few days. That’s a great idea for saving both time and money, and often dishes can taste better the next day when the flavour has developed more. Adding plenty of root vegetables and starchy vegetables, including sweet potato and butternut squash, can make stews and curries even more satisfying, plus they’re rich in nutrients such as beta-carotene. Lentils, beans and nutritious whole grains such as quinoa, buckwheat and brown rice, can be a wonderful and filling addition to stews, soups and curries, while helping to boost their content of fibre, amino acids and essential minerals.
Although Shane’s meals are generally balanced and contain plenty of fresh whole foods as he’s actively trying to increase his vegetable intake, he admits that chocolate is his downfall. While treats are important from time to time and can really help to keep you focused on a healthy lifestyle, having refined sugar everyday isn’t generally advised as it can create energy and mood fluctuations, and impact your waistline. Shane has switched to dark chocolate, which tends to be lower in sugar the higher the cocoa content, but he may even want make his own sweet treats using maple syrup, honey or dates as a natural sweetener instead. There are some delicious and simple recipes available online for healthier chocolate truffles, biscuits, bars, desserts and energy balls.
Phasing out chocolate one day at a time and replacing it with a handful of berries and almonds instead, for example, would definitely boost his diet. Well done Shane.