Aideen Finnegan is a journalist, editor and broadcaster who produces and broadcasts 98FM’s morning news bulletins as well as working on 98FM’s Big Breakfast. She is the founding editor of 98FM Style.
Where Do You Shop?
Lidl and Aldi. And Supervalu for the bits that are always sold out when I get to the first two! I mean they should just rename Lidl “There’s Never Any Coriander”!
Content of Weekly Shop
Happy Pear Granola and milk. It’s not as sugary as the supermarket brands so I don’t feel as guilty about it.
I start work at 5.15am so lunch for me is at 10am. It’s either sourdough and eggs or bircher muesli and berries depending on how hungry I am.
Homemade burger or some grilled fish with lemon zest, chilli, fennel seeds, basil and rapeseed oil.
I graze on bananas, mandarins and pecans in between breakfast and lunch. But working in a radio station, you get sent random food all the time and I have no willpower. This morning I had a slice of pizza at 8.30am and there’s a big batch of Galaxy bars doing the rounds!
Anything you won’t eat
There’s not much I don’t eat but I think beetroot is the devil.
What Would You Cook To Impress
A Jamie Oliver recipe: sardines, halloumi fried in sesame seeds, pomegranate salad and honey figs.
What Is Your Guilty Pleasure
Red wine and a great big plate of cheese. I’d give up chocolate before I’d give up cheese. I probably drink too many milky coffees.
Ultimate Comfort Food
Mammy’s casserole. She makes it with striploin beef and adds coconut milk to make it really rich.
Mao’s Aromatic Spare Ribs. Anything from Masala in Blanchardstown.
Have you been on a fad diet in the past six months?
I would never wholly subscribe to any fad but I dip in and out. I was big on the juicing and spiralising for a while but it’s all fallen by the wayside unfortunately.
What would be your Last Supper?
Christmas dinner including the Brussels sprouts and a rich Amarone wine.
Aideen’s weekly shop contains some excellent sources of complete protein, including chicken, fish and eggs. A complete protein contains the full set of essential amino acids needed by humans each day to support your body’s normal functions. These include the repair of muscle fibres after a workout and the production of hormones, enzymes and antibodies amongst so much more. It’s a great idea to eat a source of protein with each meal or snack to keep levels of essential amino acids topped up throughout the day. While many people associate protein with animal-based foods, there are some delicious, nourishing and inexpensive sources of quality vegetable protein available too. Good options include beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, nut butters, quinoa, tempeh and tofu.
Fresh herbs make an excellent addition to Aideen’s shopping basket, with coriander, basil and parsley known for their health benefits. Fresh herbs and spices are also a super way to add flavour and nutrients to dishes without the extra calories that oil and sugar can contribute. In terms of beneficial spices, ginger is known for supporting digestive health and even helping to reduce nausea, while garlic is considered anti-fungal and anti-bacterial.
While there are plenty of healthy whole foods in Aideen’s shop, fresh vegetables aren’t mentioned. It’s so important to eat at least five servings of colourful fruit and veggies everyday to support normal health and immune system functions, particularly throughout the winter months.
For breakfast, Aideen goes for granola with milk. Granola can be rich in fibre and certain nutrients when it’s based on oats, nuts and seeds rather than packed with refined sugar, so choosing the right brand is important. It’s also easy to make at home and can be naturally sweetened with maple syrup, honey or a Stevia-based sweetener. Aideen could add some berries or freshly chopped apple, kiwi or pear to her granola to boost its content of vitamin C and protective antioxidants.
Aideen’s lunch tends to be a breakfast-type meal or muesli with berries or eggs on toast. Both options are really nutritious, with muesli packed with fibre and slow-release carbohydrates. Eggs are good source of complete protein and some people find sourdough bread easier to digest than regular white bread. However, brown or seeded breads tend to be an even better option as they’re higher in fibre, essential for normal digestive health. Adding some steamed or sautéed spinach or a few slices of avocado to her meal of eggs would also help to boost its vitamin and mineral content.
For her evening meal, it’s brilliant to see that Aideen cooks at home and her meals are based on protein with plenty of spices and flavouring. Again, adding a big green salad or steamed broccoli, asparagus or green beans would really help her to reach her recommended daily amount of veggies.
Aideen doesn’t seem to have much of a sweet tooth, so it’s great to see that her diet is low in refined sugar and processed food. boosting it with more vegetables would help to improve it even more. Well done Aideen.