Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Indian chicken slaw

The other day I witnessed a conversation between two acquaintances that went a little bit like this:

One silly person: "How's the diet going?"
Another silly person: "Oh you know, kinda hit a wall now, been thinking I really need to cut back on fruit, it's SOOO sugary, really calorific"
Original silly person: "Oh yeah, totally, those bananas are a killer!".

What the actual fuck? Have people other than Paris Hilton/cast of TOWIE/Barbie actually started talking like this? I hear these conversations and I want cry/shout/laugh/shove a mars bar in every orifice.  I want to shake them, I want to feed them, I want to run and hide from the attack of the Stepford wives, but I can do nothing but stand there with a gaping fish mouth.  Why am I bothered? I shall outline my annoyances and disbelief in more detail below.

1) I can no longer be friends with these people.  It's slim pickings on the potential friend front in Norfolk, so I don't take this decision lightly, but I'm a feeder; without luring people round for dinner I've got nothing. 

2) I find ruling any type of food stuff out of your diet, as part of a weight loss technique, a completely ludicrous concept.  Unless you are going to stick to it for the rest of your (resultingly miserable) life it is entirely pointless, because as soon as you come to your senses your body is screaming, "Hooray, bread, my old pal! I'm going to keep a nice reserve of you right here on X's arse because she'll probably give you up again next week". The lobotomy that is known as The Atkins Diet is one thing, but ruling out a naturally occurring foodstuff, unprocessed and full of vitamins, well the joke's on you. I am particularly entertained by people's umbrage with avocados. I've seen customers in pizza restaurants refusing to have it in their side salad because "Oh no, it's too fatty".  Yeah, because it's the avocado that's gonna do you in, not the stuffed crust quattro fucking fromagio. 

3) And this is the main crux of the issue; I despair that we live in a society where these two people feel a need to go to such measures.  Because, let's face it, if you're getting to a stage where you're considering giving up fruit then the chances are you're already pretty thin and more than likely have an eating disorder.  Been there, done that, got the size 6 t-shirt - it's no fun, it's not healthy, it gets you nowhere but miserable and it's an entirely vicious cycle to break out of once you're in it. On the whole not a good place to be, I wouldn't choose to go back again (see also Corfu).

But who's fault is it that we feel this need for emaciation? Now, I would love to blame the XY chromosomes in the room - after all, if we listen to the evolutionary argument we're doing it all to impress boys right? - but I'm coming to the reluctant conclusion that that argument is in fact balderdash, because I am yet in life to meet a man who likes his ladies skeletal.  And if you have, then hey, here's news for you, that guy's a dick! He'll probably also want you to adopt a childlike level of waxing and will buy you an iron for your birthday.  No, the unfortunate truth is that these expectations come from within our own ranks. 

We live in a world of constant comparison with our peers; we look at people who can genuinely pull off a pair of skinny jeans, who look thinner two weeks after having a baby than we do on a good day, and feel that life would be a lot better if we could be like them. And, whilst this feeling of imperfection did exist ten years ago, it's undoubtedly a million gazillion times worse thanks to the utter bile-strewn-arse-rags that are Heat/Closer/OK magazine, who slag off every single publicly successful (granted perhaps only successful for shagging someone, but they're richer than me anyhow) woman out there because they're too fat, or too thin, or too sweaty, or too god damn normal.  The older I get the more I fail to see how these magazines are legal. As my good friend Heather commented, "it's bullying, pure and simple". 

I hope you will forgive me for the tirade, but whenever I see women (or indeed men) acting this way I want to take them under my wing and, firstly say a massive "you look awesome, relax, have a cornetto", but also give them a bit of a lesson in what healthy eating actually is. Because most people seem to think healthy eating = eating as little as possible.  Here's a revelation for you: diets are not sustainable, diets are for getting you to a healthy weight if you are an unhealthy weight, you are not meant to stay on them until you disappear.  The rest of the time it's all about the buzzwords - 'moderation' and 'balance' and 'cake'. It's time we stopped looking at eating as A Bad Thing.  Eating keeps us alive, that's not something we should feel guilty about.

This is not to say I don't have days where I wail, "OMIGOD I am such a lard-arse, carbs be gone!", but I have become very good at taking it easy for a couple of days and then having a stern self-loving word with myself.  I desperately wish that I could impart this feeling of 'that'll do, you're not so bad' on my 15 year old, 6 stone self, but without a DeLorean I will have to make do with imparting it on you.  Dear reader, if you are currently considering giving up fruit then don't - you look great, you need vitamins and I can promise you it won't make anything better.

Which brings me to the point (yeah there was one), which is this: a recipe I consider healthy in a good, sensible way, and it doesn't taste like straw.  In fact, Ben actually notes this as one of his favourite things which I make.  I have never been sure whether to be ecstatic or distraught at him describing it so, seeing as it's so simple, but it's nice to know someone likes it.

I will leave you with the lovely Josie Long, who I feel concludes this post quite well.

Indian chicken slaw

Shredded leftover roast chicken (or cook two breasts however you like and shred them)
Two carrots, grated
Half a red cabbage, shredded
Half a red onion, finely sliced
One red chilli, finely sliced
Handful of peanuts chopped
Handful of torn mint leaves
Juice of 2 limes
2 tbsp mango chutney

Mix it all together!

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