IR: Do you run as part of your fitness regime?
GOH: I haven’t been running regularly. I’m really annoyed at myself that I never got stuck into it, but I will. I bought a number for the KBC Dublin Marathon this year and paid for the online coach. When I was at the beginning of my training programme, the opportunity to go work in France for two weeks came up and, before I knew it, I was made an offer to stay long-term. That was that. My race number got a good home though. Declan, a work colleague, did it justice and I believe I’ll run another marathon before long.
When I do run, I love to be near the sea. I’d trained for the 2006 Dublin Marathon in Salthill with my mate, Anthony, only to get badly injured a month before the race. I then trained for the 2007 marathon in Cavan where I was living. The experience wasn’t as enjoyable. No disrespect to Cavan but running the coastal road from the Galway Bay Hotel in Salthill towards Spiddal is hard to beat.
IR: What advice would you give someone starting on a fitness journey to help them stay motivated and avoid taking on too much too soon?
GOH: Do not underestimate the power of walking. I cannot stress enough how important walking is if you’re trying to get back running. When I struggled to run after gaps of many months, my confidence was shot, and I’d stop. Operation Transformation taught me that, after a week of walking and regular exercise I could get running again. The Longford parkrun crew are amazing, and welcomed me with open arms, like parkrun crews all over Ireland. It’s a wonderful, free event every week that caters to all levels of fitness. Do it. It really helps to be around like-minded people.
IR: As a chef, what top three foods do you recommend to people who run, exercise/play sports/are very active?
GOH: As a chef, let me start by saying I’m not qualified to dish out that kind of advice. I can cook anything and make anything taste good, but I can’t be telling people what to eat to achieve optimal health and nutritional benefits. What I will do is tell you what I eat before, during and after weight-lifting sessions or a round of golf.
I love barley and I almost always have a vegetable, barley and lentil broth in the fridge. I love a large bowl of that after a round of golf. For breakfast, I eat pinhead oats. I’ve only recently started eating porridge. I could run through concrete an hour after a big bowl. Just water and a couple of pinches of salt is how I eat it, so a tad boring but certainly healthy.
IR: What is your ultimate ‘cheat meal’ for someone who wants to shed some pounds, but more importantly, who wants to integrate healthy eating and cooking into their diets – without sacrificing flavour?
GOH: I wouldn’t even call it a cheat meal as it was part of my eating plan on Operation Transformation, but I loved the fish ‘n’ chips. The best investment I ever made was the De-Longhi Air Fryer. I breadcrumb my fish and pan fry it in vegetable oil instead of deep frying and I par-boil my chips (which you should always do anyway) and finish them in the air-fryer. Serve with minty peas and lemon. Tartar sauce is a must too. Always take dietary advice from a registered dietician. Just ask chefs how to make it even tastier!