Lesson 7 – A New Year, a new me

Trends and phases come and then disappear. Think Adidas stripper pants, Wu-tang jeans, and shark tooth necklaces (just me?!). Well, the new kid on the block is ‘clean’ eating. We’re talking dairy free, gluten free, valpatariasm, 5&2, and my personal favourite ‘the air diet’ (no guesses what it involves..). And so with the hidden agenda of stopping my girlfriend putting up topless photos of Zac Efron on our bedroom walls I decided to undertake a 3 month detox and join the chiselled ab, sludge green shake downing crowd. Otherwise known as the tosser cult.

Yes, yes I would fully submerge myself in this craze and come out a better man. But in doing so I unearthed some serious flaws in the movement. For starters I like fast food. And London has possibly the greatest selection of cuisine, each tastier than the next, and each pushing you closer to that by-pass. But then c’ la vie my friend!

For success one must avoid like the plague any social events which will involve drinking. Maybe I shouldn’t say it but you MUST become extremely boring. You must also possess unfaltering will power or have been a victim to some severe weight related bullying. Whatever works. I think the most shocking discovery was that all this so-called food looked and tasted like shit. I mean there’s some tasty looking stuff but the majority looks like turd, but maybe that says something of my culinary skills…. I should get some cooking lessons. Although I did get the moral victory over my colleagues as I opened my Tupperware lunch box and declared to whoever would listen  ‘don’t worry guys this is totally healthy for you and the environment’, in retrospect it was probably best no one gave me a second glance as today’s menu was brown gruel and it still tasted like shit.

Within hours the famine had struck. I couldn’t see, barely enough strength to press the down arrow on my keyboard. I looked like Tom Hanks in Castaway. A shadow of my former self. Worst, within the first few hours of whatever this was I was basically saying to the food that I disliked it’s general existence. Goodbye my old friend. The years of investment into my belly were collapsing like the economy. Asset values were falling and investors were abandoning ship faster than Lehman Brothers. AND ALL THIS WITHIN THE FIRST HOUR. Only God himself could save me now.

With the little strength left in my frail body I pulled myself along the rough worn carpet towards the exit on a new quest. But where could I actually buy food? Ah yes, Whole Foods, where it’s only £3 per apple (grown to ensure they are happy throughout their lives). And I would need to quickly get on board with paying extortionate prices to be hungry. I’d never understand life unless this happened. I mean this isn’t just broccoli..this is wheat protein dipped broccoli which helps maximise its happiness as it mentally prepares itself for its sacrifice. And at only £10 per 500g it’s a bargain. Admittedly most of the time I couldn’t pronounce the name of anything I was eating nor did I realise their are 563 varieties of celery (maybe a slight exaggeration). And for fucks sake. How was I going to continue supporting my local multi corporate chain now. Life was getting worse and worse.

Food is a social affair. But no. I became an instant pain in the arse. I couldn’t eat anything on a normal menu and ended up just sat there sulking with a few slices of lettuce and glass of water. Forget YOLO it felt more like FML. I must admit that I did stray from the path once or twice and drank (I hoped it might help me cope). I did actually find glutton free beer which tasted quite nice, but for everything that has been taken out of your diet…hangovers are not one. What would be my new cue to the weekly apocalypse?! I wanted, no I needed a greasy bacon butty with hash browns in but with no clear substitute I got desperate and tried grilling bananas hoping they would caramelise. Anything for a sugar rush. Although delicious I was still forced to re-write my will each week.

BUT for all the negatives I have learnt some important lessons. This cult naturally gives people an air of arrogance..’I don’t eat chicken, we sub consciously uncoupled after I discovered the negative effects it gives the lesser heard micro sub-urban ant found in the central parks of London’. Ah yes…those Hyde Park Sandwich bandits. Maybe I’m slightly sceptical but I have this unnerving feeling that it’s all a huge con and there’s some bearded, unshowered hippy laughing in his million pound Shoreditch pad as he polishes off a burger and gets fat gracefully…

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