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This Much I Know: Roz Purcell

"I don’t regret anything. Everything, even the bad things, help us learn."

This Much I Know: Roz Purcell

I find cooking very therapeutic. It calms me.

My biggest challenge so far was having an eating disorder. Having been a model, I had a really bad relationship with my body and food for five or six years, and I used to over-train in the gym.

My whole life was chaotic and then my sister was diagnosed with leukaemia, so all these bad things seemed to be happening at the same time.

My family did an intervention, basically, and I had to relearn everything about my body and eating.

Cognitive behaviour therapy helped but I had to change my lifestyle, and to realise that my body was not just for show, which led to me rediscovering my love of cooking.

I began blogging at naturalbornfeeder.com in 2013 and I’m on my third cookbook which features easy-to-follow, healthy recipes.

I grew up on a farm in Tipperary which taught me to appreciate nature and also gave me a good work ethic.

There was always something to be done — from mucking out the stables, to feeding the horses and bringing them in.

But I always wanted to live in the city.

Nowadays, I rarely ‘dress up’ unless it’s for a special work or social event. I used to dress up so much when I was modelling that I don’t miss it.

When I’m at home I usually wear gym gear and no make-up.

I’ve moved out from Dublin city centre to live by the sea near the 40 Foot and it’s completely changed the way I live — I find I’m a lot more relaxed and I make the most of the location by taking lots of walks by the sea with my dog Wilco.

I even get in for a dip, but I don’t swim out far.

To stay sane, I need to exercise.

I’ve always been into sports and being outdoors. At the moment my fitness regime includes a mixture of weights and cardio five times a week.

I’m doing a half marathon next March.

The best advice I ever received was when I was still modelling: not to concentrate on what everyone else is doing, but to concentrate on what I am doing.

I’m not much good at compartmentalising my work and private life. Being self employed you’ve got to take the work as it comes.

Some months are so busy that you need to work 24/7, then you can find yourself twiddling your thumbs the month after.

I go home to Tipperary frequently for some grounding.

My idea of misery is having to sit at a computer in an office for 12 hours a day.

My idea of bliss would be to run a café. I’m very sociable so imagine it would be a great way of meeting people.

My favourite catch phrase, which my grandmother used to say to me when I was studying, is: I can, I will, I must.

I’m good at coming up with ideas but I’m still learning how to delegate. I’m used to doing it all myself.

My biggest fear is flying.

I don’t regret anything. Everything, even the bad things, help us learn.

I don’t believe in an afterlife.

I don’t believe in fate either. You make your own luck. And then, sometimes, things just happen.

I met my boyfriend Zack by chance, through a mutual friend.

So far life has taught me that the most important thing is to be kind because people won’t remember what you look like — it doesn’t really matter when we all turn grey and wrinkly anyway — but they will remember how you acted towards them.

O’Donnells hand cooked crisps has launched two new limited-edition flavours, inspired by their cousin Roz Purcell, O’Donnells Spiced Chutney and O’Donnells Aromatic Sweet ‘n’ Sour Flavour.

Roz grew up next door to the O’Donnells and has worked with them over the years. Roz was one of Ireland’s most successful models and the 2010 winner of Miss Universe Ireland.

Roz’s new vegan cookbook is coming soon.

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