Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Confessions of an ex-dieter

Some things are almost too shocking to admit. I was talking to a fellow ex-dieter the other day (the incredible Jenny Jameson from F*ck The Diets - why oh why didn't I think of that name???), and we were discussing how our eating habits had changed since we'd given up the dieting mindset. And then I tentatively let slip something so shameful...

'I actually really like cottage cheese...' She laughed, 'Me too'. Phew, it was like a weight being lifted. And then the flood gates opened. 'And diet coke'. Jen countered with 'oat cakes and marmite'. (Urgh) And of course, skimmed milk. I just can't drink the regular stuff anymore - it tastes like double cream to me.

It has been playing on my mind about why we were both almost embarrassed about our continued enjoyment of 'diet' foods. The only thing I can come up with is that it goes against our new-found pride in shrugging off the shackles of the anti-obesity industry. Standing up to The Man. Defiantly refusing to buy into somebody else's rules about what we should and shouldn't eat. If we want pizza, we eat pizza dammit. Chocolate? Ditto.

But it seems that some foods have become so associated with the diet movement that they are no longer recognised as perfectly reasonable food choices for anyone who is not trying to lose weight (without getting in to whether Diet Coke is a reasonable food choice, or even a food. I like the stuff. Get off my back already!) Jenny told me how some friends of hers had praised her for eating cottage cheese one day: 'Ooh, aren't you good!'

So listen up folks: we're done being 'good'. We no longer seek your approbation for trying to alter our bodies into a form that society deems acceptable. We want to stand up and shout: I'm not being 'good'. I'm not trying to change myself. I value myself just the way I am. And I no longer attach any moral value to my food.

Now that I listen to my body, sometimes it just wants cottage cheese. And that's just fine with me. But not today. Today I'm going to head out onto my balcony and enjoy the rest of this sunny afternoon with a nice glass of rose and some fresh scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam. Finally,  I can have my cake and eat it too.

My fave cottage cheese recipe
Take a handful of frozen blueberries and zap 'em in the microwave for about a minute, or until they're just starting to burst. Tip hot contents on top of a generous serving of cottage cheese. Sprinkle with flax seeds. Indulge. (This is a leftover from my high protein/low carb days, but it's still a fab snack.) Feel free to share your best 'diet food' recipes in the comments below.


  1. Trufax: I am done dieting too. I like... kale.

    And yes, I wish people would not decide that I'm eating kale because I'm "good."

    I'm eating kale (tonight! as a special weekend treat! to go with the opening act of the Harry Potter movie marathon!) because it is freaking delicious.

    1. Hey Trufax, I've never really 'got' kale, it always seems a bit tough. What am I doing wrong?

    2. It's my understanding that greens tend to get more tender the longer they're cooked. Finding younger, smaller kale helps -- the bigger & older the leaves, the tougher. Favorite way on earth I cook it is to saute onions in butter & olive oil (or just butter) until translucent, then add chopped kale and cook down until you reach desired doneness. I like mine just barely wilted, but you can keep going. Homemade kale chips are also awesome. (I'm assuming you're removing the leaves from the stems?)

      You might look into some cookbooks on southern U.S. cooking -- they know how to do greens. Seriously. I've found collards to be tougher than kale, and southern cooks can make a mean plate of collard greens.

      I'm a fruit/veggie/grain craver pretty naturally. I've had people assume I was on a diet because I didn't want my salad swimming in dressing. No, I just like salad and don't like a lot on it. Has nothing to do with being "good."

  2. I'm going to go and buy some kale forthwith. Already got butter!! Ang :)

  3. Still detest cottage cheese - even the full-fat kind, and artificial sweeteners all just taste nasty to me.

    I do like kale and chard. Try 'em cooked in bacon fat with some red onion and diced bacon.

    No wonder no one ever accuses me of eating kale because it's 'healthy'.

    Thanks for the comment on my blog!