I'm writing this while I have a potato in the oven. Not a bun, dear reader, no, I am far too old for that, tsk, tsk. Just a potato, baking nicely. The potato is to be my breakfast. How odd, you must be thinking. Indeed. I am on a diet, the GM diet (I think GM stands for General Motors), this week. It was really meant for N more than me but he has wriggled out of it at the last minute with excuses that he has lots of dinners and lunches on this week (all right for some). My diary, on the other hand, was noteworthy for its lack of foodie frivolity - and anyway, I'd bought all the bloody stuff last Friday in Morrisons. I had sported the most bizarre kind of Yin-Yang trolley-load at the checkout. One half of it was virtuously piled high with fruit and veg of every origin and denomination: the other was piled equally high with biscuits and sweet snacks and crisps and things for the children (before you suck in your teeth, we had loads of 'healthy' snacks still in the larder - I just had to stock up on the 'treats'). Oh, and there wasn't a bottle of wine in sight (more's the pity). So, having stitched myself up nicely, I've had to get on with it.
I started with some enthusiasm yesterday morning as Day 1 was the day where you ate just fruits. Oh, and homemade vegetable soup. So I started with melon (slightly under-ripe), then water melon (too many pips), then a few cherries (slightly tasteless - they were going cheap), then I picked out a few non-mouldy raspberries from last week's punnet. I opened the fridge and peered in and assumed fruit juice was ok. So drank a glass of apple, raspberry and pomegranate. I then had half a kiwi and some more melon and, unsated, poured a few glasses of tomato juice down my neck (tomatoes being technically a fruit, no?). Bananas were not allowed, which was good as mine hadn't ripened yet. I then had some home-made lemon and rosemary tea, then some white tea, then a glass of water....and so on and so forth throughout the day. I really didn't get much done as I seemed to spend my whole time eating or chopping and peeling.
I went to pick up L and her friend from the school bus to take them to ballet. As usual, I threw a snack in the car - chocolate orange club biscuit - and found the smell of sweet chocolate on their breath a little taunting. Thence I drove to Macclesfield to collect the older two girls from afterschool rounders practice (E) and an away rounders match (G). E had been given an apple and a packet of salt and vinegar crisps by After School Club and I had provided a chocolate brioche. I didn't envy her the apple much (funny that), but the crisps and the tantalising smell of soft, sweet brioche were hard to take. I sat there with my tupperware bowl of chopped, under-ripe canteloupe melon, diligently eating away and discussing our respective days. Then, when all melon had been consumed, I found this little voice sneaking out of my lips saying, 'Erm, Lel, you wouldn't mind just giving me a crisp, would you?' as she crunched away happily while talking me through how she just missed a catch: 'Those balls are really hard, aren't they, and, well, your body just REACTS when they hit your hand and you jerk away and then you drop it'. I nodded sagely in agreement, remembering my own slightly dodgey record on the rounders field, and proffered some benign advice on the art of catching. 'Ok then', she said, 'but JUST ONE' as she handed me one small crinkle cut crisp. I crunched and wished for more. My wishes were not granted.
By the time we got home, and after stuffing another snack pack of raisins and apricots down me, I decided enough was enough and it was time to make the 'WONDER SOUP' (the diet specifies that this can be eaten at any time in any quantity you like throughout the whole week). This required copious amounts of onions. I realised this was about the only legume I had not purchased last Friday as I was under the impression that I had lots at home. I did. But it turned out they were all sprouting enormous green shoots and/or had gone mouldy and stinky within. So having discarded all the white onions, I moved on to the red. They were in marginally better shape and I salvaged all but two. As I was wearing my glasses not my contact lenses, I donned an old pair of ski goggles that I keep in the drawer to prevent the agony of streaming eyes. So think of me standing there, goggles on, tummy rumbling, peeling countless little red onions when all I wanted was a bloody biscuit. From there to chopping courgettes and carrots, slicing cabbage, crushing garlic and opening a tin of tomatoes. Vegetable stock, celery salt, chopped fresh herbs (parsley, sage, lemon thyme, tarragon, basil, chives, rosemary), dried herbs (with fennel seed - adds delightful little moments of aniseedy surprise to the end result). At last it was done (while quiche in oven for the children) and it was with a certain relief that I finally spooned something meaningful and tasty into my mouth (she says, choosing to ignore the two sneaky handfuls of peanuts that she stuffed in while soup was boiling).
Now the weird thing is this: I often have soup for lunch and normally one bowl is more than enough. I sometimes have a slice of bread or toast with it, but often do not. But I managed to consume not one, not two, but THREE bowls of the stuff yesterday evening. And I was still hungry. Normally I have three meals a day with not much snacking in between. On a normal day breakfast is a bowl of cereal or toast, lunch is soup or salad or ham and egg or something like that, and then I have a better supper (just main course, no pudding). And I don't spend those days feeling starving all day. Today, on the other hand, I ate ALL DAY - and at midnight I was still hungry! I also suddenly had a desperate craving for just something a little sweet (and believe me I really do NOT have a sweet tooth) and found myself unwrapping a bar of Green & Blacks dark cooking chocolate in sheer desperation. Just two little squares. Really bitter. Really sweet. Perfect.
Just three little relapses then (1 crisp, 2 handfuls of peanuts, 2 square of chocolate) in a nutritionally long day. Bearing in mind the diet said that you may lose up to 3lbs on the first day, I stepped confidently onto the bathroom scales when I went up to bed and voila! ....I had gained 3lbs! I think perhaps I haven't quite got the hang of this dieting lark yet.
I'll keep you posted...