Healthy (not dry / wet!) January


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I don’t usually partake in silly things like dry January, detoxes, fad diets and such. In fact, I have been known on occasion to scorn these types of things, seeing them as the unnecessary and unrealistic setting of unachievable standards. The rebellious side of me (completely without a cause, as usual) doesn’t always like putting names onto things; “I’m on a diet” seems a bit too much like a Thing, and much less like an ongoing lifestyle choice. But then just to completely contradict myself, knowing that I have gotten a little on the big side in the last year; I’ve actually gone on a Diet to make me Healthy.

My parents got this recipe book called the 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet (Clare Bailey & Sarah Schenker) in back in the summer of 2016. For about 2 months they ate loads of stuff out of this book (till they fell off the wagon) and I loved going over there for dinner as a result. My dad’s a mean chef anyway, given his 20+ years’ experience, but this stuff was just awesome. Things like pork with apple and a f*ckload of herbs and spices, no potatoes, bread, starchy foods and definitely as little sugar as possible. Oh and vinegar. Food with VINEGAR in it makes me happy. It tastes good. It makes boring stuff taste good.

So this is a combination that I know works for me. Martina, my PT, disagrees with the no-carbs part of this; if you work out you need more carbs as well as protein, and the above regime alone is fine if you’re NOT working out….but having gone from working out 3 times a week to just once a week, thanks to the craziness of my working life, means that I’ve needed to regulate something else on top to keep my body from turning into a balloon. It doesn’t say you can’t do carbs, it just means that your shopping habits may change to the extent where you’re running around looking for quinoa and cannelloni beans instead of spuds and linguine.

In 2013, having finished breastfeeding and being absolutely determined not to look like a rhino in a wedding dress, I was inspired by a similar, sporty regime and became like a woman possessed. I cut out all bread, cheeses, stopped drinking alcohol, couldn’t even look at crisps, chips, cakes, chocolates…the minute that stuff came within stinking distance I ran a mile….if I gave in and it touched my lips I was spitting it out into the bin and feeling weird. I fell off the wagon later on when it became clear that the weight I was losing wasn’t just down to the change in diet (go Cancer Perk number 1!) but never got back on it after that nonsense was all done.

I was measured in early Jan this year for my initial wedding dress measurements and came in far more abundant than I was wanting to be – at 38.5 inches on my waist. I mean for f*ck’s sake – size 18 nearly. I’ve never been that big. Good thing he still fancies me, but it’s time for drastic measures.

So this book has been helping me to remember how much better I felt while I was being careful. My loving fiance cautiously gave me a copy for Christmas, (ducking as I opened it), but relieved when he saw how thrilled I was to get it. The recipes are nice and simple and don’t take a lot of time. This is good. Time is a luxury I don’t get much of these days at work. The most interesting recipe I’ve seen is a ZERO CARB LASAGNE – where you swap the lasagne sheets for red cabbage leaves. Not convinced? Well in fairness I’ve not tried it yet, stay tuned to see if I get brave enough to cook it.

But that is just one thing I’ve needed to change. I could be on all the diets in the world and watching everything I eat, but it doesn’t account for sorting out my wine-soaked nights out with clients and colleagues, nor cheeky vimtos in front of “The Walking Dead” every Monday night. In fairness they are only wine-soaked because of me, but alcohol makes you FAT. I’ve lost half an inch already. Alcohol also makes me a bit naughty; the last foray had me swigging champagne with friends in the hot tub at 3am on New Year’s Day (I wouldn’t change that for the world, it was great fun at the time), with my chagrined fiancé looking on and reminding me that I am somebody’s mother after all and punishing me with an early wakeup call the next day. Ah well…he did have a point. Moderation is fine and all that….so I’ve not had anything to drink since that night and it really does feel better. For now. I still give plenty of love to those who aren’t doing it, especially Steph and Dom, my favourite boozy pair:

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