For my Herald nutrition column, I ask Irish tenor Paul Byrom what foods are on his plate…


List contents of fridge/weekly food shop…

I will admit from the outset, I’m very lucky to have married a great cook and with that, Dominique decides a lot of what goes into the trolley. We try to eat healthy, so therefore avoid putting any treats in. Generally our fridge contains a lot of vegetables, salad, sweet potato, fruit, LOTS of eggs, and meat. However most important is our Ballymaloe Relish and Franks Hot Sauce! 

img_4192If its treats, Dominique likes a bit of dark chocolate and I cannot pass Jaffa Cakes! 

The-Benefits-of-Dark-Chocolate-for-Valentine’s-Day-Recipe-IncludedWhere do you shop?

It varies from Tesc0, SuperValu, Lidl and Aldi

I find that the veg and fruit is very good at Lidl and Aldi 

Describe your daily diet under these headings…

Typical breakfast? Chicken breast, and three eggs. Sometimes porridge if caught tight on time and a protein shake.

3-Minute-Coconut-Almond-Porridge-1Typical lunch? Again, chicken or steak and salad 

Typical dinner? Dominique varies this most nights but sweet potato and broccoli will feature most nights

IMG_5445_21Typical daily snacks? I love almonds, fruit and protein bars when having a cuppa in the evening!

A-small-bowl-filled-with-fresh-Almonds.-Perfect-and-healthy-snackIs there anything you won’t eat? Sadly, fish. I just can’t. Not because I love Dory and Nemo, but because I’ve never been able to stand the smell or taste. 

What would you cook to impress someone? If I was looking to impress someone, I wouldn’t cook. Im a disaster. However, I do a great fry after a night out! 

Guilty food pleasure? BBQ Hula Hoops, and EVERY other type of crisp! I could devour 5 packets in one go. Paying for petrol is always a challenge as the crisps are always at the counter! 

Hula_Hoops_Snack_Pi_273277cFood hangover cure?

My fry

Takeaway order?

I love chipper chips, riddled with salt and vinegar but those are rare these days. 

Favourite restaurant?

I do love the vibe and wings at Canal Bank


My Verdict

Paul clearly loves his food and appreciates how lucky he is that his wife is a great cook. It’s brilliant to know that they both enjoy a healthy diet, with plenty of fresh, whole foods going into their shopping basket each week. Both Paul and his wife, Dominique, are conscious about eating a balanced diet rich in vegetables and salads, fresh fruit and plenty of lean protein. In general, awareness about the importance of basing meals and snacks on whole, fresh foods to help support overall health and fitness levels has spread rapidly across Ireland, which I find so exciting and encouraging. 

Paul and Dominique have obviously taken the time to educate themselves on the importance of a balanced diet and have figured out what foods work best for them and their lifestyle. That’s a key part of sustainable health and wellbeing. 


Paul picks up his food from various supermarkets to keep his fridge interesting, and he makes an effort to pick up the freshest and highest quality fruit and vegetables that he can find. 

It’s brilliant to see that Paul focuses his meals on vegetables, protein and some complex carbs such as porridge and sweet potato. Eating a low-sugar diet based on single-ingredient foods tends to lead to the most tangible health and fitness results. 

Avoiding simple carbs and reaching for high-fibre foods will aid in keeping his blood sugar levels stable throughout the day, helping to prevent an energy crash. This should also keep his mood balanced and boost his concentration levels. 

Mixed_fruitRather than reaching for the typical sugary snack of chocolate, crisps or biscuits that many people treat themselves to in the evening, Paul snacks on healthy almonds, fruit and protein bars. Again, they’re excellent choices for introducing plenty of vitamins, minerals, healthy fat, antioxidants and amino acids. However, I would advise Paul to ensure that his protein bars are free from added refined sugar and made from as natural ingredients as possible. 

In terms of junk foods and treat foods, Paul tends to veer more towards salty snacks like crisps and savoury foods, such as his signature fry-up. It’s fine to have these foods as a treat in moderation, and Paul seems to only indulge in them occasionally. 


Raw, unsalted nuts and seeds make a good alternative to crisps, but portion control is key as they are a relatively high-calorie snack, so about a handful is the recommend daily serving size for most adults. 

Paul’s diet is overall very well-balanced and packed with whole foods. The one suggestion I would make would be to add in more sources of omega-3 fats, which is quite simple to do. As Paul doesn’t like fish, he could eat a handful of walnuts each day, sprinkle ground flaxseed onto his salad or porridge, and add avocado to his meals for a boost of healthy fat, antioxidant vitamins and minerals.