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Tuesday 7 February 2023 Dublin: 10°C
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Eat like an Olympian: Derval O'Rourke launches second book
The former Olympian and new mother has adapted well to life after athletics.

IT’S BEEN TWO years since former Irish Olympian Derval O’Rourke called time on her professional athletic career and this morning she launched her second cookery book: “The Fit Foodie”.

The world-champion hurdler won five major medals over her career, and her first healthy-eating book topped the bestseller lists in 2014.

The new book is a collection of meals and treats that use mostly natural ingredients, as well as tips from O’Rourke on how to get the most from your lifestyle.

According to O’Rourke, she fell in love with cooking while she was still an athlete, after a poor performance in the Athens Olympics in 2004.

It was then that she got into cooking, making her meals from scratch in an effort to improve her times.

It seemed to have the desired effect – two years later she won gold in the 60 meter hurdles at the World Indoor Championships in Moscow.

O’Rourke says now that she’s not as worried about performance, she focuses on “nourishment and enjoyment”. The meals in the book are similarly geared towards making food for ”health and pleasure”.

“Of course, it’s important to be aware of what you’re eating, but it can’t take over your life”, she says in the book.

The book includes recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, sides and snacks, but she also recognises that not everybody can eat like an Olympic athlete. A section called “dining al desko” gives some tips on how work a healthy meal into the work day.

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There is also a section for guilt-free (or low-guilt) desserts for aspiring athletes with a sweet tooth.

“I never feel guilty if I eat cake: I just make sure it’s a damn good cake!”, O’Rourke says in her book.

According to the book, O’Rourke is a big fan of coffee and apparently a good cup of coffee is more than welcome in an Olympian’s diet. So good news for the caffeine-lovers.

The new book is also full of tips on positive changes to make to your life outside of cooking too. Sleeping, stretching and a digital detox are all part of her “Fit Foodie Philosophy” to get the most out of a healthy lifestyle.

O’Rourke also includes samples of her playlists in the book, with separate sets of tunes for running and cooking.

Since retiring from running, O’Rourke has taken up a part-time role with the Irish Rugby Union Players’ Association. She had her first child last year, Dafne, with her husband Peter O’Leary, who was an Olympic sailor.

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