‘Coffee… Always!’: Former Olympian Derval O’Rourke’s Daily Diet Is Surprisingly Normal

She's aaall about the meal prep.

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After retiring from athletics in 2014 and welcoming her first child a year later, it’s safe to say that Derval O’Rourke’s approach to food and fitness has changed a little bit in the last couple of years.

A little bit, that is, but not much. No, she’s not spending hours upon hours on the track or in the gym, but she still makes an effort to get moving whenever she can, and eats a diet that’s focused on healthy and filling ingredients.

“The ‘twenty-minute rule’ has commenced massively since I had Dafne [now aged one],” Derval tells STELLAR. 

Morning Nice day for a little plank action ➖ #tuesdaytraining #tuesdaymood #fitfoodie

A photo posted by Derval O’Rourke (@dervfitfoodie) on

“I used to train for three hours a day but it’s different when it’s not your job. No-one is paying you to be at the gym. Plus, working out with a child is really difficult. I have to work it into my day.”

The former Olympian’s straight-up approach to healthy living was the inspiration for her new book The Fit Foodie, a collection of tasty and nutritious recipes with an emphasis on convenience.

Brekkie done and now a bit of light reading #thefitfoodie #baba #1yearold #mama

A photo posted by Derval O’Rourke (@dervfitfoodie) on

“I thought the book had to be a reflection of reality,” explains Derval. “Recipes you can make in 20 minutes, batch cooking, things like that. I have a whole section on freezers in the book, they’re not that sexy but being healthy is all about being practical. Food prep is massive for me. I’m obsessed with Tupperware!”

With that in mind, we asked Derval to take us through a day on her plate…

Breakfast: Overnight oats.
“I have overnight oats almost every morning with porridge oats, chia seeds, mixed berries and nuts,” says Derval. “I add a little bit of honey or agave or maple syrup, whatever I have, and maybe sometimes some banana on top if it’s in the house. I use normal milk but you could also use almond milk or even water.”

Snack: Banana (“We’re constantly eating bananas in my house!”) or energy balls.
“I make protein bites too,” says Derval, whose favourites are the “orange and date energy balls from the book.”

Lunch: A pitta or sandwich with protein and veg.
“Generally I’d have some leftovers from the night before, they’re constantly in my fridge. Often it’ll be something like a pitta with roast chicken and some veg, plus I make hummus and salsa verde a lot at home.”

Birthday road tripping. Stop number 1 @divabakes in ballinspittle, cork. #cafe #birthday #beeftacos #coffee #family

A photo posted by Derval O’Rourke (@dervfitfoodie) on

Caffeine boost: Coffee… Lots of coffee.
“I have a bit about coffee in the book because when I was an athlete the first questions we asked anywhere we went was ‘Is there coffee and WiFi?'” says Derval. “I think most of us are coffee aficionados these days so it’s nice to know how to make a good cup of coffee at home.”

Dinner: Anything that’s easy to portion up for leftovers like chilli con carne, lasagne or lamb tagine.
“I probably only cook from scratch four days a week maximum,” says Derval. “I just don’t have time to do it every day. I’d normally eat dinner around 6.30pm, because myself and Peter try to eat with Dafne before we put her down for bed around 7pm.”

Late night snack: Something light before bed.
“I’m not someone who stops eating at a certain time so I might have a light snack around 9pm,” says Derval. “If it’s something heavy I find I end up being wide awake and can’t go to sleep.”

Guilty pleasures: Wine and chocolate – a woman after our own heart.
“I don’t believe in cutting things out completely – it’s all about balance,” says Derval. “It’s not sustainable otherwise. When people give me rules I’m really bad at sticking to them. I had a few glasses of wine last weekend, and a couple this weekend too. I love chocolate too. There’s an amazing chocolate fondant cake recipe in the book. A bit of chocolate every now and again is no hassle.”

The Fit Foodie (Penguin Life) is on shelves now.

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