Ireland’s Top 15 Bloggers – Health, Wellness, Food & Fitness

If you’re new to the Irish blogging scene of if you want to find a few more people to follow, here are 15 of our favourites, tackling themes of health, fitness, food and wellness.

Whether you’re in the midst of a fitness journey, starting a new healthy lifestyle or simply trying to make a few smarter choices day-to-day, finding motivation can be tough.

Often the greatest source of inspiration comes from other people. By hearing their stories, finding out what pushes them and seeing their results, it helps us keep focused and shows us if someone else can do it, you can do.

Over the past few years, Ireland’s community of bloggers and digital influencers has been growing at an unstoppable pace; which you’ve probably noticed with the abundance of articles and news stories about our local YouTube celebrities and Snapchat stars. For many, these bloggers and influencers serve as an excellent source of motivation.

As most of them are real people with real lives, families, jobs and similar responsibilities to the rest of us, their channels are a great place to go to get some ideas and tips for taking steps towards a healthier Irish life…

If you’re new to the Irish blogging scene or if you want to find a few more people to follow, here are 15 of our favourites, tackling themes of health, fitness, food and wellness.

1. Joanne Larby – The Make Up Fairy

joanne-larby

Joanne is undoubtedly one of Ireland’s biggest blogging stars. She is author to a bestselling book, she presents regular guest fashion and beauty slots on Xpose and, of course, she manages her website and social media channels which rack up hundreds of thousands of followers.

Joanne is an excellent source of fitness inspiration and has completely transformed her body over the past few years. She’s an extremely positive role model for young women, endeavouring to promote body confidence on a daily basis.

2. Rosemary MacCabe

rose-mccabe

Rosemary MacCabe has been a journalist for many years, writing for The Irish Times and Stellar Magazine. Over the past year, Rosemary has really been on the rise – especially on Snapchat where she has amassed tens of thousands of followers.

Rosemary embarked on a fitness journey last year and is known for her no-holds-barred honesty about the peaks and troughs of her experience – letting her followers know that it’s hard to stay motivated but the pay-off is worth it.

As well as this, Rosemary talks very openly about mental health and in particular about her own experience with depression, medication and therapy.

3. Rozanna Purcell

rozanna-purcell

Rozanna Purcell is one of Ireland’s best known models and triathletes and, in recent years, she has turned her attention to food, with her blog Natural Born Feeder and debut book of the same name. Rozanna advocates a plant based diet and on her website and social media channels, she’s always sharing delicious healthy recipes.

Website: Naturalbornfeeder.com

4. The Happy Pear

the-happy-pear

The Happy Pear started off as a modest little veg shop in Wicklow but has expanded to become a fully-fledged brand. The business now includes a natural food store, two wholefood cafes and an evening restaurant in Greystones as well as a superfood sprout farm in Kilcoole.

The twins behind the brand also have their own label food production and distribution business, an online shop, a bestselling cookbook and can boast a huge social media following.

Website: thehappypear.ie

5. Ursusla Walsh – Momfitnessdiary

ursula-walsh

Ursula Walsh is an Irish blogger who originally hails from Mexico. She’s a wife and mother to little boys and, as a qualified Health and Nutrition coach, she’s always giving her followers the best health advice and healthy recipes to try.

She started off by documenting her five stone weight loss journey, but as her channels grew in popularity, she used them as a platform to help others needing to change their lifestyle.

Website: Ursulawalsh.com

6. Stephanie O’Quigleystephanie-o-quigley

Stephanie is a multi-award winning blogger who previously worked as the marketing manager for Irish tan brand Cocoa Brown Tan. She is now working and blogging in New York. Stephanie writes about a range of topics but is hugely popular for her posts about her 4 stone weight loss and for sharing her healthy discoveries which motivate her thousands of online followers.

Website: Snappedup.ie

7. Rosanna Davison

rosanna-davidson

Rosanna is one of the most recognisable names on this list, as one of Ireland’s most celebrated models. Over the past few years she has added more strings to her bow, launching a health, fitness and nutrition business.

She has written two books and on her website she brings a tried and tested, scientific evidence-based approach to food, health and wellness, with recipes, articles and tips to enable her followers to reach their highest health potential.

Website: Rosannadavisonnutrition.com

8. Rob Lipsett

rob-lipsett

Dublin based nutrition and fitness coach is a bit of a YouTube sensation with more   than 80,000 subscribers.

On his channel he posts loads of excellent workouts, as well as Q&As, food and lifestyle tips.
Website: www.lipsettfitness.com

9. Chef Adrian

chef-adrian

He might be young, but Chef Adrian is a force to be reckoned with in Ireland’s culinary scene. He’s trained at some of the country’s most renowned restaurants. He holds a culinary degree from the School of Tourism Killybegs and regularly hosts cookery demos up and down Ireland.

He often appears on TV3’s The Seven O’Clock Show and in 2014 he had his own show “Chef Adrian the Craft Butcher Chef”. In October of this year, his new RTE show “Chef Adrian Eats Ireland” debuted.

Chef Adrian has an enormous social media following and his own website packed with recipes and articles to help inspire Irish people to cook real food.

Website: Chefadrian.ie

10. Donal Skeehan

donal-skeehan

Donal Skehan is an Irish food writer, food photographer and TV presenter who grew up in Howth but is currently making waves in America. He first started making a name for himself with his hugely popular blog “The Good Mood Food Blog”. Since then, his career has gone from strength to strength and he has a number of hugely successful cook books under his belt.

Website: Donalskehan.com
11. Pat Divilly

pat-divilly

Pat is an Irish fitness expert, author and entrepreneur. He too has a notable social media following, exceeding 250,000 and has even been acknowledged by Facebook C.O.O Sheryl Sandberg for his use of social media. After struggling with his first personal training business, Pat started a small fitness bootcamp on his local beach in Galway which soon grew to become the largest fitness community in the country.

Website: Patdivilly.com

12. Nicola Halloran – The Wonky Spatula 

nicola-halloran

Nicola is the name behind the popular food blog, The Wonky Spatula where she shares delicious paleo, gluten free, dairy free and vegan recipes.

Nicola is passionate about teaching people how to feed themselves healthy, wholesome and nutritious food, taking her readers on a journey to a healthier lifestyle.

Website: Thewonkyspatula.com

13. Indy Power 

indy-power

Indy has a passion for food which she channels and shares on her blog The Little Green Spoon and in her cookbook of the same name.

She studies Nutrition and Health Coaching at IINH, so she knows what she’s talking about and her recipes are easy to replicate for you and the family.

Website: Thelittlegreenspoon.com

14. Melanie Murphy 

melanie-murphy

You might not have heard of Melanie Murphy, but if you have teenagers in the family, they’ll know exactly who she is.

Melanie is a full-time YouTuber with almost half a million subscribers to her channel. She creates and uploads videos on a wealth of topics from beauty and fashion to sexuality and relationships, but she’s become known for her very popular ‘What I Eat In A Day’ videos where she promotes a balanced lifestyle and attitude to food, after overcoming her own struggles with eating disorders.

YouTube Channel: Melanie Murphy

15. Alison Canavan

alison-canavan

Alison is another model turned health guru. After a gruelling 18 year modelling career and a battle with postnatal depression, Alison turned her attention to finding happiness and mental health. She is now one of Ireland’s foremost parenting, health and wellbeing specialists.

She also has a qualification in fitness nutrition coaching and has just graduated with distinction in Nutrition and Health Coaching from Irish Institute of Nutrition and Health (IINH), where she is continuing her studies in Nutritional Science and Therapeutics.

On top of all that, she found the time to write a bestselling book, ‘Minding Mum’ which encourages mothers to practice self-care.

Website: Alisoncanavan.com

Who are your favourite Irish bloggers and influencers? Let us know on social media by using the hashtag #myIrishlife

Family Fitness with Karl Henry

Kids or no kids, the central unit at home is crucial to ensuring the rest of your life can become as healthy as possible.

Now is a fantastic time to establish what I feel is the component to real health, the healthy family unit. Kids or no kids, the central unit at home is crucial to ensuring the rest of your life can become as healthy as possible. Not only does it help the fitness levels of the family unit it also helps the family relationship and dynamics.

Couples and families that are active will have better relationships, better moods and less arguments. When approached to improve family health I like to work with the family as a unit, discussing the plan of action with the parents and getting the parents to implement this in to the family life. I see this as the future when it comes to defeating childhood obesity rates, each family taking responsibility for itself and working together as a team to get healthier, maybe lose some weight and leave a legacy of health when it comes to their children in their adult years. If you can create a healthy environment and give your children healthy habits the chances are they will continue this on in to later life.

In this post I want to give you some of the tools that I use with my family clients so that you too can use these with your family.

1 – Work as a team

family-exercise

I feel that it’s so important to work as a unit to improve the health of your family. If your children need to lose weight then lecturing them will not be effective as they will rebel against you, instead a family approach where everyone is involved is often better, as you are now leading by example, showing them that you are getting involved too.

2 – Let each member choose an activity

choose-an-activity

This is often one of the key points that makes all the difference to any programme with families. We all like different sports and we live in a country that has an incredible amount of sports on offer. Every week or every month, let one person in the family choose what activity they want to do. This not only makes them happy it also exposes everyone to a whole host of sports that you would not normally do. Staying fit for life is all about finding a sport or sports that you like to do and this is a way to ensure that you all get to try as many sports as possible.

3 – Get you children involved in cooking

family-cooking

I am always amazed with the lack of cooking and food knowledge that teenagers have when I do lectures in schools. Why not get your family involved in cooking as well, dictating one evening a week where each person cooks the meal, or shops for the ingredients or gets involved with some form of the meal? This is essential in giving your children the life tools to cook for themselves in later life.

4 – Health based rewards

family-shopping

We all love treats and rewards for doing good and achieving our goals. Why not make these treats health based in some way, like clothes or runners or some other sport related item?

5 – Limit computer game time

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With each new computer console on the market, comes some new way of online interaction that seems to increase the addictiveness of the games. This can lead to an unhealthy amount of time being spent playing the games. In my opinion, these games should be limited to a certain amount of time so that there is time in the day for activity. Government recommendations aim for 60 minutes a day of activity for children and teenagers but with PE in schools being reduced with decreasing budgets this often isn’t happening.

6 – Treat meal each week

treat-meal

Just like our packages with adult clients, I feel that one treat meal a week is important. This creates a balanced approach to weight loss and health. If you aim to cut out every type of junk and high sugar food from your families diet then you can be guaranteed you will face a near mutiny from your children. Why not aim to have one day a week when you are going to have a treat day, having a different treat each time, again reinforcing the idea that fast food is ok, just in small amounts.

These are some of the key tips that I give to my clients to help them improve the health of their families and children. It’s not a radical approach, it’s just simple tips that will make a big big difference to you, your family and the future health of your children.

What fitness routines work for you and your family? Let us know on social media by using the hashtag #myIrishlife

How to choose the right excercise class for you – Karl Henry

Hi #MyIrishlife readers! I thought I would bring you a checklist so that you can ensure you are going to the right type of class for you and that you are safe while getting the best results from the class too.

Hi myIrishlife readers! I thought I would bring you a checklist so that you can ensure you are going to the right type of class for you and that you are safe while getting the best results from the class too.

 karl-henry-ilInsurance

When you get qualified as an instructor you must get your insurance before you start training anyone. Different policies will have different terms and conditions. My own says that I can’t work with more than 30 people for a class, for me that’s not an issue as I don’t do groups but if you’re in a class of more than 30, you should ensure that their policy covers them.

Class size

This I feel is one of the most important elements. No matter how good you are as a teacher, if you have a big group you can’t give everyone attention. As a participant it’s the attention you want, as this means you are doing things correctly. So look for smaller classes as opposed to bigger ones, smaller classes will mean that you get lots of attention and attention is good!!

Instructor

The second most important thing in finding a good class is who is taking it. Do they look fit? Is their physique one you would like? Are they friendly or a bully? Are they giving individual advice to each person in the class or just doing their own workout? Are they qualified? How long have they been teaching? All of these questions are things you should be asking yourself, as they are really important!

Class physique

Now here is the surprising point.Different exercise styles will give you a different result in terms of physique and the results that you get. Kettlebells and trx will give you more of an athletic look, weights and bootcamp tend to give you more of a toned look. Now there are many different factors that will affect the results you get but that’s a pretty good guide. When you go in to the class, look around you at the physiques of the people who have been there a long time, how do they look? Is their physique one you would like yourself? If not, then this isn’t the class for you.

Can you try one for free?

We allow potential members to try our classes in our gym for free as we are confident in our product and the fact that the classes are really good. So if you are interested in a class you should ask to try it out before you pay , then you will be able to see exactly what type of class it is, what the instructor is like and if you like it or not.

First Aid

Another important point is whether or not the instructor has a First Aid qualification or not. The basic fitness qualifications do not have first aid as part of the course so instructors need to do another course to get it. We also have to renew our first aid qualification every two to three years depending on what qualification it is. In the industry we are in it is obvious that we will have to deal with sprains, strains, fainting and various other injuries too at somestage in our careers and possibly, but hopefully not some more serious conditions too, so check if the instructor for the class has a first aid cert or not. Also it is no harm to ask if they have a defibrillator onsite too, while not a legal requirement, it can be something that will help incase of an emergency, so it’s no harm to ask.

Any tips we might have missed? Let us know your best exercise routines on social media by using the hashtag #myIrishlife

Karl’s 3 simple excercises and some health myths to avoid

Exercise is something that so many people consider as an activity to be done several times a week, but while this may be true, I firmly believe that you should also get as much exercise into your day as is possible

Exercise is something that so many people consider as an activity to be done several times a week, but while this may be true, I firmly believe that you should also get as much exercise in to your day as is possible, such as getting off the train a stop earlier, going out on your lunch break, using the stairs as opposed to the lifts. Basically any small change that you can make to increase the amount of movement in your day will keep you fitter, slimmer and happier day in day out due to the improvements in circulation and hormone response to exercise.

wellness

Here are some simple tips you can do right away to get started:

Wide foot squats

This is my other favorite exercise for the legs. It’s super for the inside of your legs, that soft part and the outside of your bum, the part that you always want to lift. Start the exercise with your feet wider than your shoulders, the wider the better. Turn the feet away from the body and lower your bum towards the floor and hold it there. This is your starting position. From there simply lower your bum towards the floor and pulse it around 3 inches. It’s this pulsing motion that is doing all the toning!

 

Step Ups

These are for the fit person only but they are also fantastic for toning the bum and the legs too. Stand in front of a park bench or a solid chair and ensure your back is straight. Place your hands on your hips, stepping up with your right leg and back down. Repeat for twenty on the right leg and then switch to twenty on the left leg. Keep your hands on your hips and ensure your posture is good, especially towards the end of the set when the legs get tired.

 

Pelvic floor kicks

Another simple exercise that is incredibly effective for the bum area and lifting the bum as well. Start by lying on the floor on your back, with your knees bent, hands lying by your side. From here just push your pelvis towards the ceiling using all the muscles in your bum, return to the floor and push back up to the ceiling. If you find that it’s too easy for you then just bring your heels towards your body. If it’s still too easy then hold for thirty seconds between sets.

 

Let’s take a look at some of the common health myths that you should be avoiding:

Cutting out carbs

Probably one of the most popular ones, many of last years and I am sure this years diet books will advocate just eating protein, or protein and nuts or some combination of no carb diet. Will this work? Yes, you will lose weight initially. But eventually the tiredness will overcome you, the craving for carbs will kick in and you will eat more than ever. Carbs are your fuel source, that’s where your energy comes from. By cutting them out, your body is forced to burn fat as fuel, also called ketosis. But you can only do this for so long, side effects can also be bad breath, dry skin and nails etc. You are also seriously tired! Carbs are not the enemy, but the type of carb is. White carbs have very little nutritonal value so opt instead for brown carbs such as brown rice, brown pasta and brown bread. Full of fibre and health, these are great for your energy and digestive system. Cut the white carbs out and you will lose weight as well as having lots of energy.

 

Training every day

Another classic, you aim to train five, six or even seven days a week to get in the best shape possible as fast as you can. While great in theory, for most people this means that you will run out of steam, over train and stop training altogether normally by week 3. It is so hard to maintain such high activity levels, especially when curtailing your diet too, and you simply tire the body out, losing motivation to train and end up putting on more weight as a result. Instead why not try to balance it all out, aiming to workout 3 or 4 times a week if that fits into your schedule, or less. You need to look at your schedule and work from there. What ever you feel you can do consistantly all year round is a much better approach.

 

Meal replacement shakes

My pet hate. Why would anyone, who is thinking properly, think that cutting out real nutritious food and replacing it with a very low calorie processed powder three times a day is good for you? You take less than half the recommended daily calorie intake, for several weeks, losing huge quantities of weight, depriving your body of the essential nutrients and wreaking havoc with your metabolism, eventually rebounding to eat real food again and regaining the weight, often more , with the health consequences of your foodless time. Before you get tempted to go down this route, have a proper think about it, does it sound healthy?? Why not eat healthier, walk more and lose more weight over the course of the year and keep it off. It will be cheaper, healthier and actually work.

 

Run ,run, run

Another common one. People run for all sorts of reasons, but the only reason to run is because you enjoy it! If you don’t enjoy it then it isn’t going to last.You can burn the same amount of calories fast walking as you can jogging so if that’s your motivation then why not walk instead. I am a runner , I love the stress release and the challenge of races. That’s how I run all year round. No matter what sport you choose you need to enjoy it, so choose carefully and watch the difference it makes!!

Have a question ? Let us know on social media by using the hashtag #myIrishlife