You know that advert where there’s some kind of amazing festival with everyone throwing coloured dye on each other, and it’s supposed to make you want to buy a car or a camera or something, but actually it just makes you want to run outside in a spray of yellow, purple and red, dancing around like a toddler hopped up on too much Haribo? Of course you do – how could you forget? Well, if you’re anything like me, once you have a dream in mind, you set about to find a way to make it happen. And, funnily enough, where there’s a dream, there’s usually someone ready to make that dream come true if you give them some money. To cut a long story short, earlier this month I went on the Color Run in Wembley, London. That’s basically what I’m trying to tell you.
The 1953 Vintage Diet: Days Five and Six
I had to skip a day of the diet on Sunday, as it was my nan’s birthday and we had a lovely roast to celebrate! However, I did follow the diet on Saturday, and I have again today – but I’ll be stopping tomorrow as I have a Hello Fresh delivery coming, and I don’t think they got the memo on what was hip to slim with in 1953!
So, on Saturday, I was following Wednesday’s plan, but with my own, cunning changes. As this was the day after deadline, I had an amazing lie-in – I don’t do anything by halves, and I woke up at about 11am. This meant I wasn’t really hungry until lunch, so I had cheese, biscuits and an apple, and saved the mushroom omelette for dinner – where it transformed into a fried egg and some mushrooms on the side, to go with my gammon, pineapple and tomatoes. Very satisfying and delicious – although I must say, I really miss my carbs. This is purely psychological, as it seems weird to me to have gammon without chips. Sigh…
Today, I did Sunday’s plan. THAT’S RIGHT! It was a liquid fast! I have never done one of these before in my life, and I have to say I have been pleasantly surprised at how easy I’ve been finding it. Yes, I could eat something right now – but I’m not actually hungry, even at half ten. I never thought I’d be able to make it a day without food, because there are times when I get weak and faint if I skip breakfast. Somehow, a combination of the fruit and veggie juices and my usual teas and coffees have seen me through.
At lunch time, I had a bottle of amber juice from Sainsbury’s, which contains white grape, orange, carrot, lemon and lime. Dinner consisted of a glass of tomato juice, and a bottle of purple juice, which contains apple, red grape, beetroot and cherry juice. With my teas and coffees, it’s been a scarily low calorie day for me today – but, I certainly haven’t done anything strenuous, and more importantly, I’ll not be continuing this tomorrow, or making a regular thing of it.
(I really feel like adding this in here – if you find yourself skipping meals, bingeing, fasting, detoxing etc, regularly, you may have an eating disorder. Please seek help if you feel like you even begin to go down this road – do not think for one minute I am advocating regular fasts or liquid diets as a way to boost your health or lose weight. Always talk to your doctor before you follow any dieting plan.)
Thus ends my 1953 vintage diet. Despite what many people think, I don’t believe for one minute that ‘the olden times’ were a golden era for a positive body images, nor a haven from the diet-obsessed culture we live in today. Hollywood stars were famously thin (even Marilyn Monroe, heralded as a ‘size 16’ would be a size 6 or 8 in modern times – you’d have to be blind, or conveniently overlooking her incredibly tiny waist to consider her a patron for fuller figured women, quite honestly). Take a look at movie costumes of the period, and you’ll see that women were under just as much pressure then as now to be skinny – and even Photoshopping had its origins in this era, as airbrushing was just as ruthlessly efficient at removing excess fat and smoothing over blemished skin. Yes, the body shape may have changed, and curvier women certainly had their heyday in these golden decades, before the androgynous looks of the ’90s kicked in, but these shapes were often created with a combination of hefty support garments and strict dieting regimes (read about Marilyn Monroe’s really rather odd diet here, for example).
The 1953 diet dispenses with carbs in the evening, just like many modern diets suggest, and have you load up on protein where possible, to keep you feeling full. The concentration on milk, fruit juices and processed bread are probably the area where the diet looks the most dated – fruit juices really are empty calories, and most nutritionists would rather you ate the fruit than drank the juice. Also, having a pat of butter on your toast every morning is hilariously quaint – but again, considering how unhealthy many tout margarine as being, I can almost see this coming full circle in time.
One thing conspicuous by its absence here is advice about exercising. There is one small note prompting readers to write to Diana Day for some exercises to accompany the diet, but there’s really no other advice on the subject. Was this written for housewives doing physical labour all day long, and therefore diet wasn’t needed? You could certainly argue the case. I’ve heard many a fitness guru state that diet is far more important than exercise, though – as Jillian Michaels often says, you can wipe out an hour in the gym with just one slice of pizza.
In short, there’s nothing new under the sun, and there’s certainly nothing new when it comes to dieting. While I think I’m probably far more educated about nutrition than the average 1953 housewife following this diet, we can still learn a lot by looking backwards – as long as we’re not wearing rose tinted spectacles when we do it! Now, you’ll have to excuse me, because all this talk of food is starting to make me hungry…
Cycletta: my thoughts
I had a brilliant day yesterday completing the (nearly) 40k course at Cycletta South, and thought I would share some of my observations and great wisdom with you. See, now I’ve done my first 40k RACE I am now a proper athlete and such, and I even have a tiny medal to prove it.
- Say what you like about safety, but the number one use of a bicycle bell is to ping at small children who are waving at you. They LOVE it.
- When event organisers say ’40k ride’ along with the words ‘you can even do it on a Pashley’, bear in mind that if you DO cycle on a sit up and beg, everyone will be surprised you didn’t die on the way round.
- Hills are a bitch.
- Headwinds are a bitch.
- Headwinds and hills will make you think you are about to die – you probably won’t, but it will be close.
- You burn calories doing long cycle rides, but you can’t count them all if you hit the flapjacks at the feed station.
- Do not greet male cyclists in a friendly way by dinging your bell at them, whilst sticking your tongue out in concentration so you don’t fall off your bike. It looks a little like you’re trying to sexually harass them.
- Bison Hill should be renamed Bitching Hill, because that’s all I did on the way up.
- Wet wipes are your friend when you’ve finished.
- Once you’ve got past that finish line, you’ll feel like the Queen of the Universe!
Stay tuned for a proper write up of the day later!
Bento cups are one of those cute bento accessories that I have a lot of but never seem to use up. Maybe because I just love buying them so much…
As you can see, bento cups come in loads of different shapes and sizes. Sadly, all those cute patterns you see inside get hidden once you pack your bento box, so, although it’s hard, try not to select your cups on the basis of the bottom! Much better is to look at the top centimetre of the edge, as this is usually all you’ll see of your bento.
When it comes to types of bento cups, there are five main kinds. There’s your standard paper bento cup which has a wax/plastic lining to stop food leaking. You need to throw these away after you’ve used them though, which is a shame. There’s your silicone bento cup which is actually heat proof and reuseable, which are massive bonuses – however, the drawback is that they don’t have patterns on them and are always solid colours. They will bend to the shape you want them to – within reason – so they’re very handy for slotting into your bento. There’s hard, rigid plastic cups which usually come in a particular shape, like a tulip flower or an elephant head or something like that. They can be difficult to fit, and there’s the same drawback with silicone cups of not having patterns on them. Unlike silicone, they’re not heat proof, but you can reuse them. There’s also foil bento cups, which you can use to heat food in. They’re disposable and I’ve found also pretty flimsy. To be honest, I’d always rather go for a silicone cup than a foil bento cup, because they’re sturdier and reusable. Then there’s your makeshift bento cups – the type you might fall back on if you can’t get hold of any bento supplies. Cupcake and muffin cases make good substitutes, and you can get some really cute ones. However, unlike bento cups, if they’re going to have any kind of coating to prevent leaks, it’ll be on the outside of the cup, instead of the inside as with real bento cups. You should save cupcake and muffin cases for food which isn’t soggy at all.
Here you can see some bento cups in action. The left hand side shows two rigid bento cups being put to good use on some soggy side dishes. Silicone would also do great here, but you can have mishaps with it sometimes as it’s so pliable. On the top right hand side, you can see a corner-shaped bento cup. See what I mean about the top edge? If you can, before you start packing, try to pick bento cups that match your bento box – whether it’s a complimentary colour or a contrasting one. It’ll definitely make a difference to the finished bento. On the bottom right, you can see a silicone cup which has been used to cook an omelette-type mix of eggs and veggies. Very handy things, silicone cups!