Feast for the heart: Sallyanne Clarke

When it comes to food, restaurateur Sallyanne Clarke advises everything in moderation.

Feast for the heart: Sallyanne Clarke

A LITTLE of what you fancy does you good according to restaurateur and mum Sallyanne Clarke, who has teamed up with Flora pro.activ to produce a guide book for people who want to enjoy the festive season without compromising on heart health.

Sallyanne, who has run L’Ecrivain in Dublin with chef husband Derry Clarke for 23 years, says: “You can still have everything you want in moderation. Don’t overindulge. If you want the full Irish breakfast, grill instead of fry - you save yourself up to 500 calories.”

A panellist on TV3’s Midday, the mum of two - Sarah May is 22, Andrew 16 - enjoys the gig. “The real fun happens in the breaks. We were discussing past presidents recently and that got quite funny.

A couple of weeks ago, we had a psychic on and that got very heated. I believe there is something to it, that there are people who have that extra channel.”

Sallyanne was 50 this year and wanted to go to Hawaii and Los Angeles by the time she hit the milestone birthday - she had her birthday lunch in Malibu.

¦ Copies of the Cholesterol Friendly Christmas Guide can be ordered by emailing floraproactiv@uniquemedia.ie; visit www.floraproactivchristmas.ie for more info.

What shape are you in?

I’m not bad for 50. I could probably do with losing a bit of weight. We’ve got two flights of stairs in the restaurant – I’m running up and down them all the time so that keeps me fit. I use the exercise bike four times a week while watching Coronation Street.

Do you have any health concerns?

I have a problem with my joints, my knees in particular. It’s wear and tear. I have a very good orthopaedic surgeon.

What are your healthiest eating habits?

I always have a big bowl of fruit. I tend to eat what Derry cooks, which is good wholesome food. He uses rape seed oil and light oils. He’s not a big user of butter and cream.

What’s your guiltiest pleasure?

Milk chocolate and pink champagne. Pink champagne doesn’t give you heartburn.

What would keep you awake at night?

I’m a worrier. I worry about paying the bills. Money has to come in before it can go out. We’re constantly trying to come up with something new to keep business going – we’re lucky to have a very loyal clientele. I worry about the kids. Sarah May is going to Australia in January. I’m going to worry about her. I worry about Andrew – he still has to find his niche.

How do you relax?

I like sunshine. I like going away for a few days. I’ll sit in the sun all day with a book and a glass of wine at my side. I like to go to the movies or watch movies at home on the couch with my husband.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

John Wayne because he was very witty. Barack Obama who I’d say would be amazing. Greta Garbo because she sounded like a very interesting person and Whoopi Goldberg because she’d be entertaining.

What’s your favourite smell?

This time of year, it’d be cloves. I’ve been wearing Coco Chanel perfume for 25 years and I love it.

What would you change about your appearance?

I’d lose at least a stone, if not two. I’ll start working on that in the New Year.

When did you last cry?

It was at a movie I saw recently – Tower Heist. Also while reading the book I’ve just finished – The Sack Of Baltimore.

What trait do you least like in others?

Insincerity – it’s very easy to tell when people are false or insincere.

What trait do you least like in yourself?

Sometimes I jump in too fast. I can be too open. Maybe I should be a little more reserved.

Do you pray?

Yes, I go to mass almost every Sunday. I pray to St Martha, St Jude and the man above.

What would cheer up your day?

A bit of good news. It could be Andrew ringing to say he did really well in an exam or Sarah May phoning to say she got another job offer in Australia.

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