I was just thinking earlier how I’ve “legalised” certain foods that had been taken out of my grasp during my dieting days, but have found certain foods still hold many triggers to me. Foods that should NOT even be an issue. We’re talking fruit and vegetables here, people! Not sweets, not Death by Chocolate cake, but good old, gift from mother earth, unprocessed, fruit and veg.
It took a while to make peace with avocado. I mean, they’re loaded in fat, aren’t they? Goodness, if you’re going to waste points on an avocado, you may as well have a Mars Bar! There’s less fat in a Mars Bar, after all, just ask the “experts”! But this was one of the first items on my list of foods to become at ease with. They’re full of goodness, and I’m not going to bore you with all the blurb, you can find it out for yourself. They taste divine, and add a perfect creamy smooth textural contrast in a salad of crunch and bite. They’re incredibly versatile, will go with a host of other ingredients, and are equally delicious on their own. Yes, making peace with avocado was a wonderful moment of freedom for me, myself and I.
But then come the more bizarre things that need legalisation. Such as the humble banana. Now I don’t personally like bananas all that much. Which is a huge shame, because I know they’re loaded with potassium, a great feel good food. Ideal snack food product on a day after a night before, when you’re feeling just a little fragile. Again, they are great on their own as fast food, or whizzed up in a blender with juice or milk. But I remember, at diet club, the endless discussions that too many bananas might make you maintain or even worse, gain at the scales! Bananas, the fattening fruit! Go for something lower in calories or points, and even if they’re free doesn’t mean you should have lots, because bananas will make you fat! Go on, how many of you reading this remember hearing or reading the same? This leads me to a slightly deeper thought though, on the discussion of legalising foods. You see, if you knew you could have as many bananas as you wanted, but equally, you could have a piece of chocolate if you wanted, and there was absolutely no guilt around either of them, I wonder how many bananas or bits of chocolate you’d want to eat. If you tell yourself you can have it, what you want, right now, to the point of satisfaction how much would you actually need to satisfy you? I think about those poor people gaining weight during a week when they ate too many bananas, and wonder if, actually, they’d had a little of what they fancied, they’d have stopped eating sooner. It’s not the poor banana’s fault that people eat three of them, instead of a bowl of ice cream. How many times have you been sitting wanting a particular food, and tried to substitute your desire with something different? You’ve eaten through your fridge, grapes, tomatoes, piece of ham, boiled egg, when all you wanted was the Twix that your other half had brought home after work? You ate and ate lots of low sin, low point foods, hoping the craving would go away, but it didn’t and in the end, you ate the KitKat anyway, but now you feel guilty because you ate lots of other things first, and when it came to it, you wolfed the bloody chocolate down so fast, you didn’t even taste it?
Poor banana. It’s taken a beating by the diet brigade.
Today though, my thoughts started over sweetcorn. Lovely sweet, beautifully bright, crunchy, sweetcorn. “Only free on green!” Don’t go making the mistake of having it on a red day, and don’t over fill that table spoon. It’s full of sugar! And will make you fat! If you’re going to have a salad on a diet, sweetcorn is not a free for all luxury! But again, it is a great vegetable! Full of things your body loves! Why do you need to think before you eat this? Why must we be so conditioned into labelling this deliciousness as wrong or bad in too big a quantity? Again, telling me I can have it only under certain conditions will make me crave the whole tin, just in case I can’t have it again any time soon! But now it’s legal, now I can enjoy as much as I want, a table spoon or there abouts, mixed in with a medley of other salad vegetables is just right. I enjoy it, I may even leave some. It’s legal, and I feel at peace.
In fact, I’m a bit salad mad at the moment! I’m craving the different textures and flavours. I am sitting dreaming up combinations of foods I might try at my next meal time, and knowing that I can have whichever I choose, with no strings attached, is giving an appreciation of salad that I never EVER had while doing any of the diet clubs. Salad was almost a necessity to fill me up. I would load up my plate with lettuce, and eat it first, just so my portion of the main event would actually seem to fill me by the end of meal time. No dressings, because they needed to be counted in some way, unless fat free (and in my opinion pretty grim tasting). No cheese, unless counted, no nuts or seeds, unless counted. It took joy away. I could never see salad as a meal in and of itself! But now, while the world is my oyster, and the options are endless, I can think of no better meal to enjoy than a salad on a sunny day!
Now, what shall I make for lunch?……..