Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Whole Pound

Day 2

Then: 216lbs (15 st 6 lbs)
Now: 215 lbs (15 st 5 lbs)

When Jo decided to return us to the world of Californian hippie cuisine last night, with her satisfying dinner of tofu, chickpeas and amaranth seed parmigiano, I doubt she suspected that one unfortunate consequence would be acute indigestion.

Having both been up all night (Jo in not inconsiderable pain), by the morning we both agreed that the culprit was the amaranth, and consigned the remainder of the packet to the trash bin. I wonder if 60s communes had similar problems?  It must be tough to spread peace and love with heartburn. So as an antidote, tonight we ate meat: delicious spicy turkey breasts, on a bed of even more spicy kale.

Jo is a really good spontaneous cook. Whereas I learnt my skills in Raymond Blanc’s butter-and-cream-filled kitchen, and so find it impossible to cook anything without an ocean of accompanying high calory sauce, Jo has a natural instinct for amalgamating fresh, Mediterranean ingredients in increasingly interesting but light combinations. Tonight's meal was delicious.

This was our last healthy dinner for a couple of days: tomorrow we’re guests at the annual black-tie dinner of our local theatre company Northern Stage - it's always wholesome fare but very filling - and on Thursday no diet will stop me indulging in birthday seafood linguine at my favourite Italian restaurant. So today was our Healthy Day (we forwent wine again to give us a clear run at tomorrow night's festivities).

The day started well with the surprising revelation that after 24 hours of taking the RealDose tablets, and despite the huge portion of lasagne and chips, I’d lost an entire pound.  Now any dietician will tell you this is irrelevant nonsense – the body gains and loses several pounds in a day – but it didn’t half cheer up my very sleep-deprived mood as I took Izzy down for breakfast. I had a RealDose capsule, followed by two lightly boiled eggs. We were supposed to have one each, but Izzy scorned hers, instead opting for the twin brother of the blueberry muffin I’d devoured the previous evening. It sat on the table in front of her as she slowly crumbled it, holding it tantalizingly directly under my nose. But I didn’t succumb, instead turning my back and focusing on the exploits of Peppa Pig on the television. Daddy Pig was eating a large donut: “Mmm, delicious”, he kept snorting.  He would have made a great bacon sandwich to go with my eggs.

Jo and I were working in the office together today, and at lunchtime she prepared a wonderful salad with smoked mackerel and salmon, dressed simply with balsamic and olive oil. It was like being back in Sweden, except with bigger portions. Swedish people are universally thin, by the way, largely because they eat only very tiny mouthfuls of quite delicious, simple food. By far the best restaurant in St Lucia, we discovered, is a place called The Edge which is owned by a charming and very talented Swedish chef called Bobo Bergstrom. His portions are tiny, but utterly exquisite – the antithesis of the other fine dining establishments on the island. He calls his cuisine 'Eurobbean', which I initially thought was a new type of coffee, until I realise it was a clever fusion of European and Caribbean. He does great sushi too – I guess he'd call that Japabbean.

Maybe I should register a name for Jo's lovely style of cooking.  How about Hippy-Cali-talian?.  Sounds like a song from Mary Poppins. 

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