Thursday, January 06, 2011

My Health - The Herald

I've just written this article for The Herald newspaper in Scotland. They run a piece every Monday on the health page called My Health. It's about anything and everything health, fitness, diet and wellbeing related. I left out the bit about my frequent 'liquid lunches'...

My Health - Jo Caulfield (The Herald)

I’m lucky that I’ve always been healthy and have lots of energy. At school I did a lot of sport, mostly running. I was very athletic but had very poor hand and eye co-ordination so I was rubbish at netball, rounders and tennis. I was basically just good at running and jumping. I ran for the school, 1500m, I can remember just endlessly sprinting round a field with no one watching.

My fitness regime is to join a Gym every three years; go regularly for 2 months and then spend the next 6 months trying to cancel my membership and get a refund.

I walk a lot. Edinburgh’s fantastic for that. Be it a couple of laps round the Meadows or a longer Sunday morning walk round the back of Arthurs Seat to Duddingston village. Although my favourite Edinburgh walk will always be from the cafe in John Lewis to the bar in Harvey Nichols.

I occasionally get colds but I can only remember being really ill once since I was a kid. Although I did get chicken pox about 7 years ago. People say it's much worse when you're an adult and they're right. You also look terrible which is ok because you are far to ill too go anywhere. You look like you're perfect casting for the part of "medieval pox ridden harlot".

I eat healthily but I like healthy food so that's not a hardship. Spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, What can be hard is finding good food when you're on the road. Thankfully motorway services now have M&S and Waitrose foodhalls. They saved my life when I was on tour. I would arrive at the hotel with bags and bags of groceries - not very Rock n' Roll. Although under the Salmon pasta salad was always my M & S wine in a can.

When I'm working I eat a lot of bananas. Years ago I read an interview with ex football player/manager Gordon Strachan where he said bananas were full of potassium and vitamin B6 and he would eat them before a match and the energy would be released slowly to him throughout the following 90 mins. I've usually got a couple of bananas in my handbag - no innuendo intended - I just actually carry a couple of bananas.

I'm tall and lanky with a fast metabolism so I have to watch that I don't miss a meal as I can get hypoglycemic. I didn’t know anything about it until I collapsed at an airport. The paramedics diagnosed it straight away and force fed my chocolate and coca cola to flood my body with sugar.

I don’t have a particularly sweet tooth so I’ve also taken to carrying small cans of Ginger Ale in my bag. It also stops me getting irritable - apparently I'm "A bitch when I'm hungry!"

I stress out about not getting enough sleep. It can be hard to wind down after a show. My body is buzzing with adrenalin and I can’t calm my brain down. It’s a familiar problem with most comedians. I mentioned it to my doctor and she recommended a glass of wine before bed. So now every night before I go to bed I have a glass of wine. Which isn’t always easy because sometimes I’m already very drunk - but doctor knows best.

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