Displaying items by tag: Lent

Friday, 23 March 2018 16:15

Meat Free Geek Part Two

Meat Free Geek Vegetarianism Veganism Quorn Lent Vegetabull Jewish Museum 1950s

I’m kinda enjoying it. Meat free for Lent has made me think about what I put in my mouth. There was one slip-up, at a fashion party, when a prawn canapé managed to find its way into my mouth without me thinking. Oops. But, apart from that, it’s not been as difficult as I thought. Which probably shows I don’t eat huge amounts of meat anyway.

I’ve made a couple of recipes - veg curry, jackfruit wraps (as recommended by Twitter) - but not as many as I wanted to. It’s quite nice to make my vegetarianism somebody else’s problem, which means eating out or getting other people to cook for you. (Sorry, Mum!).

Left - The Vegetabull - A 1950s poster from a recent exhibition at the Jewish Museum

Here are a few things I’ve learnt from my time as a #MeatFreeGeek

- You use more bowls than plates.

- Less sauces - tomato sauce and mayonnaise, but more salt and pepper.

- Cheese becomes your meat.

- I’m less hungry.

- You save money.

- You avoid cheap, processed foods.

- Bad things go with bad things. So it’s a double win when you stay away from them.

- I’m eating more carbs - bread, pasta. This has actually made me put a little bit of weight on, just slightly.

- Sugar is a problem. I feel like I’m eating more sweets and chocolate. It feels like a pleasure.

- Some vegetables seem to last forever no matter how much you think you’re eating. I’m looking at you greens.

- Cauliflower steaks for the win.

- Soya is like brown chicken meat.

- Chips don't go with anything.

- Sandwiches aren't as exciting.

#MeatFreeGeek

See Meat Free Geek Part One

Published in Fashion
Thursday, 13 April 2017 12:09

Sugar Free Geek Part 2

smiley geek the chic geek sugar freeSo, we’re coming to the end of the sugar free experiment and it’s gone quicker than I thought. The cravings are still there, but the thought of caving in, this close to the end, keeps me strong.

What I’ve noticed is you definitely over compensate with other things, so I’ve been eating more crisps and drinking more alcohol. 

I’ve tried sugar-free chocolate - tastes okay, like cheap chocolate - I made a sugar- free chocolate cake, which was from a packet mix, so probably not the best anyway, but was dry and not to be repeated. The picture on the packet showed it served with cream and jam which probably would have helped, but they didn't have any sugar-free jam.

I’ve eaten more dried fruit that before and fresh fruit, especially for breakfast. I’ve discovered plain coconut yoghurt with honey. Even though it is high fat, this is a keeper. 

I haven’t had a miraculous moment of change, where I’ve thought I’m over cold turkey and floating on cloud nine, and, like I said before, I don’t think I had that much refined sugar to start with so it hasn’t been such a drastic change.

It's been an effort, but it hasn't been really hard. Like I said in Part 1, my teeth and gums feel much healthier and this is definitely a reason to keep it up give or take the odd Jaffa Cake.

See Part 1 here

Published in The Grooming Archives
Tuesday, 07 March 2017 16:15

Sugar Free Geek

Sugar Free Geek DiaryI’ve decided to give up processed or refined sugar for Lent. Not because I’m particularly religious, but I feel it is a nice length of time, around 40 days, and other people are giving up things at the same time - so, hopefully, some moral support. 

Left - TheChicGeek is smiling at the moment, but will he be smiling in 40 days time?

Henry Tate will be spinning in his grave, but traditional white cane sugar has become enemy number one, lately. But, even without too much nutritional knowledge, it’s easy to understand that sugar is usually a cheap ingredient or substitute in unhealthy foods, drinks and snacks.

As for the health penalties of free sugar, meaning sugar that isn’t bound to fiber in fruit, it can lead to inflammation, blood sugar instability, and, over a period of time, type 2 diabetes. Sugar causes altered internal pH levels resulting in a more acidic body. It is believed that an acidic environment is a breeding ground for disease, whereas an alkaline body promotes good health.

French scientists in Bordeaux reported that in animal trials, rats chose sugar over cocaine (even when they were addicted to cocaine), and speculated that no mammals’ sweet receptors are naturally adapted to the high concentrations of sweet tastes on offer in modern times.

At a dinner, a few months ago, a lady was waxing lyrical about giving up sugar. She said how much better she felt and how much better her skin looked. Ironically, we were probably talking about this over dessert. But, I knew I wanted to try it when I was ready to.

I don't really drink sugary drinks, but my Achilles Heel is chocolate. I understand you can eat sugar free chocolate, but I’m going to try the first week without anything. I’m not going to be militant, like sugar in ketchup and bread, but I’m taking out fizzy drinks, ice cream, cakes, biscuits, chocolate, sweets and any other obvious sugar heavy products.

I want to see whether I’m addicted, whether I can go without and how will I look and feel at the end of the experiment. As we all these things, you learn as you go and more often then not you take some good habits into your everyday life.

The first few days were a breeze, but the mid-to-end of the first week, I feel like I’d run out of things to eat, plus I don’t really feel like I know how much I’m eating, lots of crisps, probably, and there is no full stop on a meal, so the satisfaction is gone. It feels open waiting for that satisfying sweetness a chocolate bar or handful of Haribo may bring. I’m getting bored with fresh and dried fruit and I’ve been googling ‘sugar free brownie recipes’, which I may make this week.

I don't feel tired, but, I feel less energetic and I feel like I’m going to run out of energy quickly. I’m not sure if I’ve lost weight, but I don’t think I’ve gained any and if a six-pack appears at Easter, I’d be more than happy. I’m going to the gym as normal and eating everything else as normal. 

On the positive, my gums feel much better and less ‘active’. I feel calmer and less prone to ups and downs. 

That first half an hour after each meal is the difficult part, I need to distract myself and push through and ignore old habits. The word ‘Lent’ may derive from the old German word translating as ‘long’. Let’s see.

Published in Grooming

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