How are you coping with staying at home?  It’s a case of having to isn’t it? We are all in the same boat. I am trying to embrace the moment, pick out any positives I can and count my blessings. This is easier some days than others. For no particular reason some days I wake up and I just feel fed up, other days I’m kind of loving the time, less pressure and stress and the no sense of routine. 

What is helping me is being able to get out in the fresh air. Honestly, just walking the dogs to the village and back has been a god send. Reminding myself that I don’t work on the frontline - their days must be horrendous - even harder than normal, God love them - and all I’ve been asked to do is restrict my movements and social distance. At times like this we need to focus on the positives. 

What’s your typical eating plan? I eat three meals and drink 2-3 litres of water a day. I try to eat berries with live yogurt every morning. I rarely snack in between meals, but my downfall is in the evening. I adore dinner and while I’m preparing, I pick... everything from the food I’m preparing to crisps, olives, pâté and bread sticks, hummus and crudités, whatever is in the fridge or press.

Do you treat yourself? Yes. I love chocolate and I love wine with my dinner, but I know sugar is not good. I enjoy one or two glasses of wine with dinner, except when I’m working. When I’m on stage I don’t drink alcohol, not even a glass. It would be a bad habit to get into.

Being in the public eye, how do you avoid temptation at events and launches? I try to eat beforehand, so I’m not tempted to pick on the snacks and nibbles that are on offer. My friend who is a chef told me one hors d’oeuvre averages around 100 calories each so five or six equate to a whole meal yet they don’t fill you so I’d still want my dinner when I get home.

Have you found it easier to prioritise your health now that your children are that bit older? I think having children makes you very aware of what you buy, cook and eat. My children eat everything because we fed them everything from four or six months old. Their idea of a treat lunch or dinner growing up was getting sushi. We never made a big deal out of it being healthy, raw, good for you. We love it, so they loved it.

What are the biggest health lessons you’ve learned in the last decade? You really are what you eat. As a person gets older metabolism slows down, which means you have to eat less and exercise more to maintain the same weight. And women have it toughest of all because as we get older our hormonal changes make staying slim even more of a challenge. So I make sure to get some exercise most days and build it into my daily routine by cycling when I can.

How important a part does exercise play in helping you to feel good? There is no doubt I feel better in myself when I get an exercise class in, even on zoom, and/or get out with the dogs for a walk. It is essential for my mental health above anything else.

Lorraine keane 1

What other things do you do to protect your mental health? I am much more selective about who I choose to spend my time with. Negative people are very draining. As much as possible I surround myself with positive, fun, kind and interesting people. I am relying on video calls and social media to keep in touch at the moment, it is so important to stay connected to our support networks.

With two daughters, what do you teach them about their health? I have learnt that it is good to share and talk about health concerns or symptoms. When I’m asked ‘What would you tell your 16-year-old-self?’ I say ‘your pituitary gland (and therefore your hormones) controls your body. Make sure you check your hormone levels by getting a blood test regularly’. So many issues, aches and ailments, both physical and mental are hormone related and an endocrinologist (hormone specialist) can help. I’m annoyed it’s taken until my forties for me to discover this. Because of me, my daughters are very aware of their hormone health. The Essential Guide to Female Hormones is an incredible free book available in health stores, pharmacies and online to download at cleanmarine.ie/hormones. It covers the five stages of our hormones from puberty to post menopause. I wish I had a copy when I was 12 years old.

How do you manage meals with such a busy household? I don’t stress about it like I used to. I make dinner most nights – it’s my favourite meal of the day. We are all foodies so the girls really enjoy their food, whether it’s my husband Peter or I cooking, we usually all eat together, so family chats at dinner are very important. Emelia and Romy are 16 and 13, so I hope we keep this ritual going for as long as possible.

Lorraine in white

How do you look after your hormone health? Through a good diet (most of the time), exercise 30 minutes per day most days, drinking as much water as I can before 6pm, eight hours of sleep per night and taking my Cleanmarine MenoMin capsules every day. It’s reassuring to know that no matter how hectic life gets I am still getting Omega 3, Phytoestrogens, B vitamins and vitamin D every day.

Any other small health steps you would recommend, which can make a big difference over time? Time-out, whether that is alone, with your partner, or girlfriends – it’s so important to do something purely for you. And don’t feel bad about it. You’ll be a better friend, partner, mother, colleague if you look after number 1 first!