I overcame the pandemic with a junk food diet. Now I regret it. | Food | Instant News


Looking back, I believe it was the lime cake that did it. At the start of the first lockout, I decided it was my right – no, my job – to lift my spirits by eating as much fast food as possible. Cakes, muffins; My God, that’s a lot of sausage.

I’ll throw it all over kielbasa In a skillet, soak in roasted nuts and round with half a kilo of cheddar cheese. But it was the pie, I believe, that pushed me over the edge. I put the lime on automatic reorder at Whole Foods and polish it, alone, every two weeks.

A year later and after a delayed annual medical check-up, my doctor told me, very emphatically, that my cholesterol levels were insane. This is a side discussion while the level of COVID-19 remains high, but additional health problems in the last 12 months will be felt in the years to come. It’s not just a diet. We have sit more, such as laziness, demoralization, sleep disturbances, stress, anger and fear. Zoom’s schedule alone may have cut a year off the lives of most parents.

At 45, I was young enough to make things right without drugs, but my doctors weren’t kidding. You have six months, he said, to turn things around.

My first response was to feel strange, excited. I can totally do this. The buzz of self-denial will outweigh the self-indulgence that precedes it. Not only will I lower my cholesterol, I will lower it faster and more definitely than anyone else in history. Last night, my supermarket store, weighing ham, light lentils, totally 180. Nitrate gone! Whole grain pasta, dried apples, even raisins, consolation gifts from a world of snacks that never fails to squeeze – into the basket!

I bought a spiralizer to make courgette “paste” and an olive oil spray gun, because what changes a new leaf without a new accessory? And while the switch to skimmed milk isn’t going well – is there actually milk in it? – everything else is very easy. I have this.

For many of us, the diet adopted during the worst days of Covid hinges heavily on the strength of their nostalgia. People report will return to comfort staple food their childhood, which is why I suddenly became interested in eating baked beans. I bought a chocolate sauce, which I didn’t even like, and doused it on top of high-end vanilla ice cream, plowing my way through the whole bowl of goods every night with the grim determination of someone who “respects” themselves.

I bought a mini Twix and a bag of Skittles, so a friend, opening my kitchen cupboard one day, shouted: “It’s like visiting my grandma’s house!” I should have known things got out of control when my McDonald’s order crept from a Quarter Pounder with big cheese and fries, to a Quarter Pounder with cheese, big fries and – come on, as if that would do the job – two naughty kid cheeseburgers -children on the side.

Those days are over. Now I roast a lot of vegetables. I made a salmon cake. I do a lot with sardines. My kids are tired of saying, “Ew, what’s that smell?” when they walked into the house. Made turkey meatballs with almond flour instead of breadcrumbs and suddenly I became the person I never wanted to be, a gluten-free bastard with a variety of dietary requirements that seemed less healthy than moral. I throw in a handful of hemp so that all my food has the gruesome edge of something eaten on the beach.

It’s the lentils that crushed me. In Instant Pot, I made enough to freeze and last for three months (“Ew, what’s that smell?”). Before Christmas, I’ll drop a lump of cheese the size of my apartment, or at least throw it in the salt pile. Now it’s just the lentils, with their lentil-like chocolate flavor. The recipe says they are delicious without any garnishes and need no extra flavor. I wonder if this person has ever tasted bacon.

Still, I haven’t cracked – apart from half a hash brown that was taken from the leftovers on my son’s plate and put in my mouth like something from Oliver Twist. Saying goodbye to a meat deli is harder than sending my kids to school, but they try to cheer me up. “You can do it!” they say cheerfully, and with their child’s love for systematic thinking, promising, “You can eat whatever you want on your birthday.”

I often think about my birthday menu lately. Here it is: French fries for breakfast; McDonald’s for lunch; curry for dinner; lo mein for the last order; and frozen lime pie at strategic points in between. Only nine months to go.



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