Gearóid Farrelly and writer. Gearóid will be at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August and will be on tour in Ireland from September. Gearóid also hosts a podcast called Fascinated in which he interviews people he was a fan of as a child or is a fan of now as an adult.
Where do you shop?
I live too close to a Tesco Express so I buy stuff as I need it. When we do a big shop we go to the ‘Big Tesco’ in the Merrion Centre.
Can you list the contents of your weekly shop?
Alpro Vanilla Yoghurt
Gran Padana Cheese
Loads of tins of tomatoes
Describe your typical breakfast
Scrambled eggs on toast or a smoothie. One of my best pals gave me a killer recipe for a smoothie and I have it a lot. It’s ginger, celery, lemon juice, spinach and avocado.
Describe your typical lunch
I give myself an hour for lunch about 1pm so I try to make something quick like an omelette or pasta.
I have loads of recipe books so I try something new once a week. We have a lot of broccoli, salmon, pasta and chicken which we usually put in the slow cooker. If I’m on the road it is usually some four-day-old grey chicken goujons from a petrol station.
I used to have a bar of chocolate at 3pm every day, as a break. Now I have flat peaches. Top tip: they are also delicious in gin and tonic.
Is there anything you won’t eat?
I hate the texture of onions but I love the flavour. I still eat them though. But I have to whizz them up to pulp in the food processor.
What would you cook to impress someone?
I make a really good beef bourguignon and Donal Skehan’s “Double Chocolate Tiramisu” is great. I made it for a New Year’s Eve party and broke a glass and shards went onto it. I wanted to put it in the bin but my mates took the risk it’s so good!
What is your guilty food pleasure?
Nachos with cheese, sour cream and jalapeños.
What is your ultimate comfort food?
Rachel Khoo’s chicken dumpling soup — though you have to boil the raw chicken dumplings in the soup. I’m always afraid the chicken won’t be cooked. But it is so delicious it is worth risking salmonella for!
What is your favourite takeaway?
I love chicken curry with chips and rice. Then I always throw a bit of rice vinegar on it.
Have you tried any diet fads in the past six months?
I tried a complete no-carbs diet a few years ago. Ten days into it I thought I was having a nervous breakdown. Then I bought a pear and almond scone and felt fantastic in about 90 seconds!
What would be your Last Supper?
A big bowl of spicy chilli with all the trimmings.
It’s super to spot plenty of colourful vegetables and leafy greens in Gearóid’s shopping basket, including rocket, spinach and cherry tomatoes. He’s a fan of avocados, which I would encourage almost everybody to include in their diet regularly as they’re a valuable source of heart-healthy fats, essential minerals, B vitamins to support energy levels, vitamins C, A, K and E, plus plenty of fibre to support normal digestive health. They’re an all-round superstar food, but as they can be high in calories, it’s best for most people to enjoy no more than half an avocado a day.
I love to hear that Gearóid enjoys ginger regularly and pops it into his breakfast smoothie. Ginger is known for its anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and immune-supporting properties, with some research also showing that it can help to relieve nausea and morning sickness while also boosting digestion. Adding ginger to a vegetable-based smoothie can really help to improve the flavour and health benefits.
Plenty of protein-rich foods feature in Gearóid’s shop too, with salmon, chicken, hummus, eggs and soy yoghurt all there. It’s a good idea to eat a source of protein with every meal and snack, with breakfast being a particularly important time of the day to fill up on an amino acid rich food. Protein helps to keep you feeling full for longer, can stabilise blood sugar levels to prevent energy high and lows, and our bodies need the complete set of essential amino acids each day for optimal function. They’re responsible for producing hormones, enzymes and antibodies as well as helping to repair muscle fibres post-exercise, plus so much more.
Having eggs for breakfast, as Gearóid often does, helps to boost your daily intake of protein. Choosing wholemeal or seeded bread will also increase your fibre intake, while slowing down the rate at which the digested bread enters your bloodstream and causes insulin levels to rise in response. Adding some steamed or sautéed spinach to his scrambled eggs would be a super way to increase his intake of vegetables too.
For lunch, Gearóid tends to opt for a simple and quick omelette or bowl of pasta. Omelettes can be a great way to include more fresh, colourful veggies in your diet, and bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, rocket, broccoli, mangetout and even herbs like coriander make tasty additions. With pasta, it’s a better idea to look out for brown versions as they release their energy more slowly and have less of an impact on blood sugar levels.
Gearóid’s typical evening meal is a good balance of a protein source with vegetables and carbs, to help give his body all of the nutrients it needs. He tends to have a healthy and wholesome approach to meals and snacks, having swapped his daily chocolate bar for a fruit snack.
Overall, Gearóid’s diet is low in refined sugar and processed foods and it’s great to see his interest in home cooking. Making a few swaps to boost his intake of veggies and fibre even more would add extra health benefits to his diet. Well done Gearóid.