Me and my health: Sarah Patterson on her lifestyleadmin
The 34-year-old, who is SuperValu’s vegetarian ambassador, is married to Keith and they live with their beagle, Sid, in Ballyhackamore, Belfast. Sarah runs the Little Pink Kitchen, a pop-up restaurant and catering service.
Q: Do you take regular exercise and if so, what?
A: I get up at 5.30am every morning to do my ashtanga yoga practice. This energetic style of yoga suits my personality down to the ground, and the headspace this has given me has been instrumental in the success of my business. I love nothing more than walking my dog, and also try to fit 20 minutes of cardiovascular exercise into my afternoons. I find this a really important part of managing my type 1 diabetes. My cardio includes HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts a couple of times a week, and I go for a run a couple of times a week. We are really lucky to live beside the Comber Greenway so the latter is super easy.
Q: What’s the worst illness you have had?
A: I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 14 years old. Thankfully, 20 years later, I have found ways to manage this illness, rather than it manage me. When I was first diagnosed I found my diabetes quite easy to look after which, in turn, made it quite easy to ignore. It is only in recent months I have started taking care of it properly, which has been a monumental learning curve. Still, the disease doesn’t go away so I’m trying my very best through carbohydrate counting, regular exercise and prioritising sleep. I also found out a few years ago that I have Lynch syndrome, which means a high likelihood of bowel cancer in later life. Thankfully, as I have the gene, I am very closely monitored.
Q: How healthy is your diet?
A: Reasonably so. I tend to fill half my plate with vegetables, and mostly eat home-cooked food. However, my work and social life revolves around eating and drinking, and the hospitality scene in Belfast is exceptionally generous, to say the least.
My favourite food is anything with a bit of spice to it. I will choose savoury any day of the week, so will always have cheese over dessert. I cannot resist a bit of Young Buck, made right here in Northern Ireland, so will always pick that if it’s on a menu.
Q: Any bad habits?
A: Like many professional caterers, I am often the last person I think about feeding, and rely on toast more than I care to admit. I have also never met a fried potato product I do not love.
Q: Do you drink and/or smoke – if so, how much?
A: I have never even tried smoking, but drinking on the other hand is an entirely different matter. In recent months I have been trying to keep tighter control of my blood sugar, and cutting back on alcohol has been a huge part of that.
Q: Do you take any health supplements?
A: None. To me, a healthy, balanced diet is one full of fresh food that is every colour of the rainbow. I just try to eat real food, made from fresh ingredients, to give my body the full range of vitamins and minerals it needs.
Q: How well do you sleep?
A: Like a baby. I can literally fall asleep any time, any place, and my bed is one of my favourite places.
Q: Do you worry about getting old?
A: Not for a minute. Life has treated me pretty well thus far, and if it continues as well as it has until now, I have nothing to worry about.
Q: What is your go-to product/habit that keeps you feeling healthy?
A: My yoga practice. It has a knock-on effect on absolutely everything, not least my mental health, and I couldn’t be without it.
Q: How do you take time out?
A: I am actually laughing out loud at the thought of time out, it’s not something that happens much in the land of the self-employed. In saying that, I read anything and everything I can get my hands on, and love nothing more than a good book in the bath. Letting someone else do the cooking is such a treat, and Belfast has such a vibrant restaurant scene I love checking that out. I also have an excellent tribe of friends who help me switch off over a cup of tea or glass of wine. Sometimes both.
For more details visit supervalu.co.uk and littlepinkkitchen.co.uk