This week I’m on a mini detox. Not the “drink only water and eat only veg” kinda detox I had to do when being diagnosed with wheat intolerance, not even quite so strict as the Carol Vorderman detox plan my Mum and I used to follow when I was younger. But a detox none-the-less, to try to shake some of the excesses of the last month out of my system.
See, the busier I am, the less consideration goes into my diet. If I don’t have the time to shop for fresh produce I go without – I live on bread, cheese, pasta, pesto, cereal, cups of tea and jars of tomato sauce, downing orange juice and popping pills to get my vitamin C and letting the rest of my needs slide. I might stop in at the Co-op once a week for some fruit and salad, but once that’s gone it’s cheese sandwiches for lunch and boiled eggs with soldiers for tea. And considering my ongoing love affair with Lurpack, my fat intake as a result of eating bread twice a day must be enormous…
Yesterday in my lunch half-hour I did a mad dash around Sainsbury’s local in Stratford, filling my basket with fruit and veg, canned beans and tinned tomatoes, and avoiding carbs like the plague. As a result I began today with a cup of hot water and fresh lemon juice (which I actually LOVE first thing), followed by pineapple chunks nibbled on the train. At work I had a small bowl of homemade cereal mix (a kind of “what’s in the cupboard” creation combining millet flakes, rolled oats, chopped nuts, sultanas and dried apricots with a sprinkling of dessicated coconut for extra sweetness). And for lunch I have chick pea salad with chopped tomatoes and peppers on a bed of rocket, in a very light drizzling of lemon juice and rapeseed oil dressing. I have two kiwi fruits in my bag in case I get really hungry. All delicious food that I really enjoy eating.
So why am I craving banana bread with chocolate chips, cherry choclate muffins, hummingbird cake and bacon butties?
Because they’re just some of the foodstuffs mentioned on twitter so far this morning.
The standard twitter cynic will almost always state one of their main reasons for avoiding the site as not caring what the rest of the world is eating for their breakfast. Now, I’ve defended the banality of twitter before, reminding people that meal choices are often the base structure of casual social interaction, and I really don’t mind reading what others are eating as it usually makes me feel less guilty about my own food choices! But it also makes me crave foodstuffs that I wouldn’t otherwise consider, and makes me far less likely to resist the cookies, cupcakes, chocs and muffins that the team regularly bring and share with the office.
In the two months I’ve been at Macmillan there has been at least one offering of the sweet and unhealthy variety per week, and I don’t think I’ve turned down a proffered treat once. This says a lot more about my willpower than I’d like, but I think my state of mind also has an effect. Everyone finds it easier to eat more healthily on a bright spring or summer day, but I also find it easier to eat healthily if there’s nothing around to tempt me. And that includes recipes and images of delicious snacks that whet my appetite for sweet things!
So, tweeps, I’d be grateful if you’d stop sharing your tasty-looking creations with the twitterverse, and maybe start listing some healthy alternatives instead…
And maybe I should unfollow the hundred or so cupcakeries and recipe sites I love while I’m at it.