For my Herald nutrition column this week, I asked comedian Kevin McGahern what’s on his plate….

timthumb.phpList contents of fridge/weekly food shop:

God I don’t know. I don’t have much of a system. Some weekly staples would be: Dubliner cheese, a batch loaf, maybe a selection of Italian meats. I eat like Tony Soprano. And he was not a healthy man. 


Where do you shop?
Em it depends where I am when the hunger hits me. SuperValu is near my house so I’d mostly go there.

Describe your daily diet under these headings…

Typical breakfast? 
Porridge or some cereal. Once a week I treat myself to a big dirty fry with brown sauce and a runny egg for dipping sausages. I’d gladly shave a few years off my life to have a fry every week. 


Typical lunch? 
There’s a bit of confusion over when lunch actually is. Lunch for Dubs is one o’clock then dinner is in the evenings. Culchies have dinner at one o’clock and tea in the evenings. I’m still running on culchie time so I don’t have “lunch”

Typical dinner? 
Spuds with some type of animal flesh and at least one green thing on the side. 

Typical daily snacks?

Banana or a yogurt.


Is there anything you won’t eat?
I hate parsnips. They’re carrots unwanted cousin. Nobody likes you parsnips, stop coming over. 

parsnips-close-diagWhat would you cook to impress someone?
Nothing I can cook would impress anyone, unless you were a caveman impressed by how a microwave works.

Guilty food pleasure?
Zaytoon kebab. I bloody love them. But only with drink. I don’t like them sober. 

Food hangover cure?

Once again, the dirty fry. 

Takeaway order?
Supermacs. 1 leg of chicken, 1 small taco fries and a child-sized Coke (I don’t mean a Coke the size of a child, just a very small cup).

My Verdict

Kevin doesn’t seem to be much of a fan of cooking, and that’s absolutely fine. It can be straightforward to throw together meals and snacks that require little prep time, once your fridge and cupboards are relatively well stocked.

Kevin’s fridge and pantry staples include cheese, cured meats and bread. While these foods can certainly have their place in a healthy balanced diet, I would encourage him to opt for a wider range of fresh foods, and most crucially vegetables and fruit. We’re almost all aware of the importance of our five-a-day or more servings of colourful fruit and veg for maintaining a strong immune system, supporting energy levels and encouraging a healthy, sustainable weight. 


While Kevin may not venture to a wide range of supermarkets for his food shop, Supervalu has a fantastic range of fresh produce to choose from, so it’s just a matter of making a shopping list in advance, planning out some meals and snacks for the week, and stocking up accordingly. In many ways, healthy living comes down to being well prepared.

Kevin often makes porridge for his breakfast, which is a brilliant choice for slow-release energy throughout the morning. This helps to reduce the chances of snacking on sugary or fatty foods such as biscuits or pastries throughout the morning. To boost the health benefits of porridge even more, he could sprinkle some fresh berries, sliced banana, nuts and seeds on top or add almond butter for a dose of healthy fat, protein and fibre. Adding walnuts, chia or ground flaxseed would add some essential omega-3 fat to his diet, which is important for brain health, and they’re widely available in shops and supermarkets. 

chia-seeds-picFor his main meal, Kevin enjoys his meat and two veg. That’s a perfectly balanced meal, and I would gently encourage him to make sure he’s having a decent-sized portion of green vegetables, such as spinach, kale or broccoli for their numerous health benefits. A side salad with some crunchy raw vegetables and a sprinkle of seeds would be another great way to enjoy a serving of fresh veg. 


Kevin enjoys savoury indulgence foods over sweet snacks, with his favourites included kebabs, Supermacs and fry-ups. It’s really good to know that he keeps added refined sugar levels to a minimum and it’s perfectly fine to enjoy your favourite treat foods now and then, once your diet is otherwise well balanced with plenty of fresh whole foods.