Louise Cooney is a 24-year-old fashion, travel and lifestyle blogger with over 46,000 followers on Instagram. Louise is originally from Limerick but now lives in her adopted home of Dublin.
Louise blogs at www.louisecooney.com
Where do you shop?
I shop anywhere that is convenient for me: Spar, Centra and Tesco mainly.
Can you list the contents of your weekly shop?
I don’t ever do a weekly shop. My weeks vary all the time with events, with work and with travel. I often don’t need a full week’s shopping so I buy things as I need them, but I will usually always have porridge, sweet potato fries, chicken breasts, some sort of green vegetables like asparagus and broccoli, eggs and mushrooms.
Describe your typical breakfast
Porridge with honey and orange juice
Describe your typical lunch
A salad with a variety of vegetables, some protein and a diet coke.
Sweet potato fries, chicken and asparagus.
Usually rice cakes with chocolate on top, a Fulfil bar or popcorn.
Is there anything you won’t eat?
Cheese and ketchup, two very strange things to not like, I know, but I feel lucky to not love cheese.
What would you cook to impress someone?
I honestly don’t know where to start with cooking. My cooking is very basic so I’m not sure at this moment in time if I could cook to impress someone. I could set a table to impress someone though and fill it with a fab pre-packed meal from M&S!
What is your guilty food pleasure?
Without a doubt it’s pizza. And chocolate!
What is your ultimate comfort food?
Definitely my mom’s shepherd’s pie. My mouth is watering at the thoughts of it.
What is your favourite takeaway?
Have you tried any diet fads in the past six months?
No I haven’t tried any. I don’t like the idea of having to give things up, it makes me want them more, so if I’m trying to be healthy I will just cut back on junk and carbs as a lifestyle choice. Some months are better than others of course. But if I ever want a particular treat, I will usually allow myself have it, in moderation. Finding healthy substitutions is the best way to fight cravings for me for example I’ll have rice cakes instead of biscuits, brown bread instead of white, quinoa instead of rice and so on.
What would be your Last Supper?
Well if it’s my last supper I’m fitting in as much bread as possible. It would be a toasted sesame bagel with cream cheese and bacon, pepperoni pizza and a slice of Brennan’s toast with real butter!
Like many people, Louise has a busy and varied career, and may tend to eat out at restaurants or events a couple of times a week. Rather than stock up with a big weekly shop, she buys as much as she needs for a day or two. This helps to reduce for waste and means that you’re less inclined to buy loads of junk food. Louise’s fridge is usually stocked up with plenty of healthy whole foods and super basics to make healthy meals.
For breakfast, Louise opts for porridge with honey and orange juice. As many of us are aware, porridge makes an excellent breakfast choice as it’s high in fibre and complex carbohydrates. It digests more slowly than simple carbs in white bread or sugary breakfast cereal, helping to sustain energy levels all morning. To really boost its vitamins, mineral, protein, omega-3 fat and antioxidant content, Louise may want to add a couple of tablespoons of ground flax or chia seeds and a handful of fresh or frozen berries.
While fruit juice is certainly a better choice than a sugary fizzy drink as it does contain vitamin C, juice is considered to be high in sugar and low in fibre. This means that the fructose content in fruit juice hits your blood stream quickly and may affect your blood sugar levels, leading to energy and even mood fluctuations. Louise may want to consider making a simple homemade smoothie instead, as that keeps fruit and vegetable fibre within the drink and reduces the impact it has on blood glucose levels.
Louise’s lunch is a healthy salad with plenty of veggies, plus a source of protein. This is a great choice as she benefits from the variety of antioxidants found in colourful vegetables, for helping to maintain healthy skin and reduce everyday oxidative damage to body cells.
Louise is clearly aware of the importance of including a source of protein with her meals, and there are plenty to choose from, with chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, hummus, beans, nuts and seeds being fantastic options. They provide the complete set of essential amino acids, needed to maintain healthy muscles and manufacture hormones, enzymes and antibodies. Louise may want to add in a source of healthy fat, such as avocado or a handful of raw walnuts, to benefit from their skin-smoothing omega-3 fats.
For her evening meal, Louise opts for chicken with asparagus and sweet potato fries. This is a really healthy and balanced meal, with protein, vegetables and complex carbs. Sweet potato has exploded in popularity over the past few years as it’s naturally low in fat and calories, yet high in fibre and beta-carotene, necessary for skin and eye health.
I love Louise’s approach to snacks and fad diets, preferring to allow herself treats when she really wants them, but aiming to choose healthier alternatives, such as rice cakes instead of biscuits. This helps to keep the overall refined sugar content of her diet lower. As most of us know, restriction doesn’t work in the long-term, and balance is key to a healthy and happy lifestyle. Well done Louise.