Meat supremos Hawksmoor (gawd love 'em) posted this up on their Facebook page this morning, inviting Kara to come in for a steak and if anyone is searching for the perfect antidote to beat the insane proliferation of January dieting....bilge that is everywhere at the moment, then this has to be it. I don't know Kara Rosen from Adam and who I am I to judge someone's approach to eating and living but for the love of God, if I subjected myself to that sort of regime, I would be in mortal fear every time I approached the toilet. Hell, I would be in mortal fear every time I ventured 5 metres away from a toilet. And plus I would want to avoid all mirrors totally. For fear that every time I saw my smug mug staring out at me, I would probably want to slap it back and slap it hard.
Forgive the ranty nature of that opening salvo and please forgive me Ms Rosen. I am sure your diet suits you and your needs but f**k me, this dieting business is all pervading at the moment and it is getting me down a bit. I think it was watching Channel 4's Weighing Up The Enemy that finally done it. Pitching two overweight people to bet against each other to lose the most weight, whilst a sanctimonious, pile caressing celebrity doctor (with ill-fitting hair) waggles his fingers and tut-tuts from the touchline is a new nadir. If it had been helpful, informative, inspirational, then fine, great. But I didn't find it helpful in the least and when the credits started rolling I got angry. Rather than focusing on really helping two people out, WUTE simply jumps upon a merry-go-round of voyeurism and competitive panting and puffing; throwing in some glib social commentary and inane study surrounding the nation's weight for good measure; and drums up a message of "Unless you do something with your lives, you obese scum, you will forever burn in hell." Thus fanning the flames of shame and intolerance and boosting the coffers of the diet industry by another billion or so. It really is the most insincere pile of sh*te I've seen in a long while.
"Oooooooooh, what's rattled his cage," I hear you say. Whilst hiding behind a handbag, going "Oooooooooh."
Well, if you really must know, I am pretty heavy at the moment. The heaviest I have ever been actually and so perhaps I am a touch sensitive. Yes, like a glorious sun disappearing at dusk beyond a thick, grassy hillock, bathed in crimson rays, I have steadily watched my penis disappear and I am quite worried about it. Plus my jeans are tight and I can no longer talk on a phone and walk up the hill at the same time. So I am absolutely and unequivocally resolved to do something about it this year.
BUT I AM NOT F**KING GOING ON A DIET! RIGHT?
'Diet'. I think that word, pronounced in that quick fix sense, should be banned. Especially in front of children.
(Notice that I am trying not swear by the way, a bit of a resolution that. Again, especially in front of the children)
Instead, I am going to eat healthier, drink less, exercise more and take a long, sustainable view with regards to shrinking my belly. There will be rewards and the occasional blip of course, for life is too short to continue purging on kale salad with pistachios. But I am not going to go on a diet.
Up to now, the healthy eating approach has been going quite good. Root veg, fruit, oily fish and and porridge have featured heavily, with small tummy grumbles on the side. Then I went away to Suffolk at the weekend where I ate and drank a lot of cheese and wine. And wine and cheese. Last night though heralded a breakthrough, the first proper steps in cooking vital yet fulfilling nourishment, revealing a dish that is low in calories but packed with flavour. A dish that came in the shape of Uyen Luu's 'Udon noodle soup with fishcakes'. As it comes from her book My Vietnamese Kitchen, I am not sure if I am at liberty to share the recipe but if I am allowed I will stick it up on FU because it is a humdinger. It is fresh, cleansing, hot and tangy but most importantly, it leaves you feeling like you have actually eaten something. And feeling sated is very important to me. Without that feeling, you may well find me gnawing on a block of cheese in a corner of the kitchen at midnight. Oh cheese, you are definitely my downfall.
So a good start and a good start on my freezer too. Another resolution is to start making my way through the mystery bag and boxes of food that reside in that bleak landscape and I had a lot of whiting, fished by Mrs FU's uncle before Christmas to use. I love the way Uyen recipe's treats white fish for fishcakes. Blitzed in a processor with chilli, shallots, fish sauce, dill and baking powder, the resulting cakes are quite different to your usual Bird's Eye fare. Dense yet light and once fried off in a pan, totally moreish. A worthy end for Barry and his mates. And you'll have to look at my Instagram account too to work out what I am on about there. Some people are worried.
In other news, I am looking forward to the year ahead, although I can't quite believe that we are half-way through the 'dieting' month already. I have got lots of things planned.
In the meantime, I just want to wish everyone a Happy New Year. It's not too late for that is it?
Nah, it's never too late.
|Barry and friends journey yesterday|
|Udon (or 'Uddles') noodle soup with fishcakes|