Recent Posts

Anatomy of a Shame Campaign; or, Weight Watchers, You Suck

Anatomy of a Shame Campaign; or, Weight Watchers, You Suck

Ah, Weight Watchers. Weight Watchers, Weight Watchers, Weight Watchers. Your ex-Finance Director said your customers were as likely to succeed as they were to win the lottery. One of your original spokeswomen, Bernice Weston, said “when it comes to food, fat people are basically very stupid.” […]

One Step at a Time; or, My Mad Fat Hillside Freakout

One Step at a Time; or, My Mad Fat Hillside Freakout

Last week, I headed off to Dorset to spend a week at The Body Retreat, having been very kindly invited down to review their Weight Loss Retreat here on the blog. I figured I’d go down for a bit of a holiday, coast along in some […]

Thanks for Your Concern, But I Will Eat Wherever the Hell I Want

Thanks for Your Concern, But I Will Eat Wherever the Hell I Want

So there I was, after a productive day at work, feeling like I’d kicked quite a lot of ass today – a little zen, a little satisfied, and all round at peace with the world.

You know how this ends, right?

Yes, as usual something came along to ruin my day, and cause a hulk out. This time, it was entirely the fault of my (normally quite lovely) agent Juliet, for tweeting a link to this Buzzfeed article on the fact that there is such a thing as a Facebook page called…

Drum roll, please.

“Women Who Eat on Tubes.”

What the actual f*ck?

If you’re busy, my response can be easily summed up with the following visual:

OMG FAT BITCHES EATING

 

No, seriously. I am eating in public. Like that. Passers by in this trendy-ass coffee shop have observed my eating, but they’re too polite – or possibly scared – to say anything. I’m a living, breathing, woman eating in public.

Run for your lives, bitches.

In all seriousness, though, I don’t even know where to start with this one. I really don’t. It’s messed up on so many levels.

First up, as the Buzzfeed piece rightly notes – it is totally freakin’ creepy to film strangers in public. It is highly likely that there is something wrong with you if you think ‘y’know what? I’m going to film this person who doesn’t realise I’m here, and publicly shame them on the internet.’ I know I called Perez Hilton the ultimate douche canoe, but congratulations – you’ve found a whole ‘nother level. You’re officially a creep.

But obviously, there’s more to it than that.

In fact, it’s fat shaming and misogyny, distilled in their very purest form and brought from the core of what’s wrong with our attitudes towards women, and women’s relationships to food.

See, even before this absolute turd of a Facebook page, I totally got – from painful experience – the Fat Girl Eating in Public Dilemma. I genuinely, genuinely, once pretended to be on the phone whilst eating a muffin in a coffee shop, just so I could have a pretend conversation about how I hadn’t had the chance to eat all day because I’d been so busy doing Very Important Things. To prove to the complete strangers around me that food didn’t dominate my life, and that this food was necessary for my survival, not a result of my sheer gluttony.

Man, that’s sad when I write it down.

It’s sad for me, and it’s sad for my old self, before I realised that I’m actually awesome, eating or otherwise. And it’s sad for anyone who’s ever felt, in any way, shape or form, as though they’re in the judging gaze of someone else, when they’re trying to live their lives in a public space.

And this isn’t just something that happens to ‘fat girls.’

I would bet my trusty morning coffee that most women have felt this – not, admittedly, to such an extreme level – but who hasn’t ordered a salad instead of a pizza on a date? Who hasn’t thought about ordering what they really fancy off a tasty lookin’ menu, but plumped for something smaller, healthier, and more “feminine” because there are other people – male and female – present?

It’s not uncommon, and it’s not unusual. What it is, though, is messed up – and I’ll tell you for why.

To my mind, the fact that people think it’s okay to do that – to shame women of all sizes for eating in public – is a stark, ugly-ass symbol of the fact that our culture still thinks that women ought to live in a state of deprivation, of secrecy, and of shame. It’s as though the image of the woman eating isn’t one we’re prepared to accept. It’s why we get our knickers in a twist at the fact Jennifer Lawrence professes to love cheeseburgers – because it’s still, apparently, revolutionary for a Hollywood starlet to actually eat real food (no T, no shade to J-Law, by the way) – and it’s why we have ever-increasing rates of eating disorders and obesity, all at the same time.

That’s a bitch of a paradox, no?

And it’s one that shows, loud and clear, that we messed up somewhere along the line – and we’ve got a lot of work to do to repair how women ought to feel about their bodies, their confidence, and their relationship with food.

The fact that 1200 calories-a-day is the great cultural myth of our time; the fact that there’s a multi-billion pound diet industry, spiralling anorexia and obesity rates, the Daily Mail, and of course, trolling, pathetic, weak-ass ‘hide-behind-a-camera-and-slag-’em-off-once-I’ve-run-away’ idiots on tubes – these things are linked because we made some serious errors of judgement in figuring out how, exactly, we see women.

So – let me break it down for anyone who’s still unsure.

It’s okay to eat in public, and I for one will continue to do so. I don’t mean to shock or disturb anyone, but that sandwich I’m eating in that picture? Finished it. About half an hour ago, as it happens. It was delicious.

This rule also applies to any mode of public transport you happen to be travelling on – and in fact, knowing myself, there’s a 60% chance I’m going to end up taking more tube journeys, and eating more sandwiches, just to prove this god damn point.

On the other hand, it is not okay to shame people you don’t know on the internet because they’re hungry and fancied a McDonalds. I mean, they’re my mortal enemy – but hell, some days you just want a Maccy D’s. If you do this, you’re a misogynist, a fat-shamer, and an asshat, and this is me shaming you.

And finally, it is not okay to shame, to judge, or to criticise people on their appearance. In any situation. Doing so makes you a relic, and someone who’ll be first up against the wall when my revolution comes.

And on that note – I’ve got fightin’ to do. Over and out.

Let’s Nip This Bikini Body Bullsh*t in the Bud, Shall We?

Let’s Nip This Bikini Body Bullsh*t in the Bud, Shall We?

Urgh. So, January came and went – and with it, the usual ‘New Year, New You’ tripe that tends to do the rounds in our annual carnival of self-loathing and despair. And I watched, shouting crazed anti-diet one-liners into the abyss (and running 30 Days […]

Tiny Miracles; or, I’m Not Sure Exactly What Just Happened

Tiny Miracles; or, I’m Not Sure Exactly What Just Happened

Be warned, right off the bat: if you’re not into slightly emotional, flashback-tastic posts, this one probably ain’t for you. But hell – I’m feeling a bit ‘mosh today, after running a 3-miler for Sport Relief – so you’ll have to excuse me, but it’s […]

Baby Steps; or, Holy Moly I’m Starting to Like Running

Baby Steps; or, Holy Moly I’m Starting to Like Running

As part of my year of trying new things, I’ve been making my first attempts at running. Like I said, I’m a girl who doesn’t run – and never has. Even before those four knee surgeries, I was the fat girl who’d go out of her way to avoid running. Frankly, I just didn’t get the point. I mean… Where are you even going? Wait… You’re going in a circle?

Plus, for a long time, it’s been something I’ve been a little reluctant to do. As a short summary of my knee surgeries, I’ve had “tibial tubercle transfers,” “patellofemoral ligament reconstructions,” and all sorts of other things I couldn’t even guess how to spell – leaving me a lil’ nervous to hit the pavement too hard for fear of shakin’ out a structure that’s not supposed to shake.

And that means when I have knee pain, I have to try to figure out if that’s the ‘should be expected, given you’re the Bionic Woman’ kinda pain, or the ‘no, you should probably stop now’ sort – and that, right there, is something that very much depends on my mood. If I’m feeling negative, you can bet your ass I’m more inclined to plump for the latter – and given I’ve never really found running anything but a chore, it’s been many, many a year since I’ve had anything bar negative feelings about it.

However.

I’ve also spent the last few months suffering from severe workout envy over the people who litter my Twitter feed with their joyous ‘just ran a thousand miles and now I’m going to eat all the carbs in Europe’ updates, and who don’t have to spend money on an expensive gym membership (or just a house with more than half a metre’s floor space) in order to get in some exercise. They’re all so happy – meaning I’ve been doubting my own ‘running = torture’ logic.

I mean, if everyone loves it except me – could it be (god forbid) I might be wrong?

So that was the attitude I took for my first few attempts – each of which taught me a little more about making my next run a tad easier.

First up: the boobs. As a girl who tends to feel more at home in the weights area, I’ve never had to invest in a bells-and-whistles sports bra – instead, I’ve managed to get by on a fairly low-budget affair that holds things in, unless I bounce.

Turns out running’s a bit different – and having narrowly avoided a severely bruised chin after my first go, I invested in a Shock Absorber bra. That thing, right there, was revolutionary – although hell. Let’s just say it’s a good job it was two days after payday, because it turns out boob engineering is expensive.

Secondly: the music. I have a workout playlist, and it is epic – but it turns out, when I’m running, epic ain’t really what I’m pitching for. While bad-ass hip hop and the like might suit that weights area, it’d appear what I’m looking for when I’m running is something a bit more… Cheesy.

Yes, you heard: my running workout playlist includes Wake Me Up Before You Go Go and Mama Do the Hump. In fact, I’ll wager I’m the cheeriest person in London when I’m stepping out the door at 6am to Nina Simone’s Ain’t Got No, so judge all you want. I’m nailing it.

Then, there’s the hands. Turns out trying to hold a phone, money, keys and a bottle of water when you’re on the move is kindofabitch – not insurmountable, mind, but just a bit of an inconvenience. Fortunately, I managed to wangle a Tune Belt armband and sports headphones courtesy of Tesco (I refer you to my ‘yay free stuff’ policy) – which solved that issue nicely, and also made me feel slightly more like I looked the part, because… Well, armbands mean business in any context, right?

And finally – the shoes. I’m going to review these in full at some point, because they really are fabulous – but the folks at SportShoes.com sent me some gorgeous running shoes by Adidas, and… Well, I didn’t think it was possible to fall in love with a piece of sportswear, but it is.

It’s not just because they’re super gorgeous – although they are – but they’ve been pretty revolutionary on the ol’ knees. I’ve always been a bit of a trainer skeptic, because I’ve always been poor – and for god’s sake, don’t ever think you shouldn’t at least have a go at exercising because you’re on a tight sportswear budget.

But I’d honestly say – if you’re inclined to feel knee pain when exercising, try changing yo’ shoes. On this, I am no longer a skeptic.

Because on Run No. 5 (which reminds me – must see if Mambo No. 5 would fit on my cheese playlist) – it all came together.

Boob issues solved, playlist nailed, shoes at the ready, and everything prepared the night before so I could just get up and hit the road – these things solved the practical aspect.

But more than all that, there was one big change that made all the difference. I went out there, pretty certain this was something I could do – without being laughed at, or falling over, or dying on the pavement. I felt positive about it.

So I went.

And having been plumping for the ‘one minute run, one minute walk’ method for the last few attempts, you can imagine my surprise when – twelve minutes later – I was still going at near enough the same pace I’d started out. I was – gulp – enjoying myself.

For the first time ever, I was running, because I wanted to – and I didn’t particularly want to stop.

Now, the message I’m trying to get across here isn’t that you need to buy loads of stuff to run. Far from it. I’ll be honest – for all the snazzy wares I’m currently sporting, I still feel a bit ‘all gear, no idea,’ and I’m definitely more Phoebe from Friends than Paula Radcliffe, if you know what I mean.

But the thing is – whenever you’re trying something new, fitness or otherwise, you’ve got to find the balance between the things you can change, and the things you’re going to just have to work through. And that’ll involve a lil’ bit of trial and error.

In my case, that’s meant strapping down the boobs, styling out new shoes, and making the conscious decision to think myself into it – despite 26 years of being someone who Hates To Run.

It’s also meant knowing that after about two and a half minutes, I’ll feel like I may never be able to breathe again – but if I can drag myself on for another thirty seconds, my body will catch up with my brain, and I’ll be able to keep going.

And if that ain’t a big ol’ metaphor for every other aspect of this whole health journey malarkey, I don’t know what is.

In other words – try new things. Have a go at the things you don’t think you can do. And take a positive attitude with you.

‘Cause you never know – you might end up having fun.

Quick plug, y’all. I’m running three miles for Sport Relief tomorrow – so if you fancy helping me raise money for people that really need it, click here. Every single penny is appreciated, so please donate!
Apparently, My Relationship Status is Super Interesting; or, Go Forth and Love Thyself

Apparently, My Relationship Status is Super Interesting; or, Go Forth and Love Thyself

I know some awesome women. I really, really do. I know women who fit and defy every definition. I know women who make their personal life choices from every which way. My phone book is a directory of awesomeness, and my Twitter feed is a […]

Trust No-One; or, That Time I Was Offered Money To Flog Diet Pills

Trust No-One; or, That Time I Was Offered Money To Flog Diet Pills

I hate diet pills. Hate ’em. And recently, I was approached by a certain diet pill manufacturer offering me a pretty hefty amount of money to plug them on here.  By hefty, I mean more than my salary. Considerably more. Enough to give this perpetually-poor […]

The Year of Trying New Things

The Year of Trying New Things

It’s been over a year since I made my big move to the big smoke – and what a year it’s been. I’ve been really lucky to have landed on my feet – ending up with a job I love, a house that I’m glad to come home to (even if it is a little worse for wear), and most importantly – I’ve made some incredible friends. Including one I’ve just been to visit, living in the manor pictured above.

I know, right?

Needless to say I’ve come back – after a nine mile country walk, I might add – feeling very zen, and a lil’ bit philosophical.

I’m grateful to finally feel properly settled here in my new home – which is starting to really feel like that, rather than ‘some place I live for work’ – because for various reasons, it’s not exactly been an easy year. A lot of things going on beyond my control means I’ve been living pretty intensely over the last twelve months, so this sense of normality is a genuine relief – and I intend to enjoy it.

…Sort of.

See, being the kind of frustrating person that I am, I’ve reached this settled point – and now I’m itching to change it up.  Not in the big ‘full life overhaul’ way – mostly ’cause all those big things like my job, and my house, have fallen nicely into place. But having been a bit under the weather recently, and feeling a lil’ settled… I’m ready to make some changes.

So I’ve decided: 2014 is going to be the year I try new things.

See, I’ve got this fitness thing pretty much figured out – but having been doing variations on a weights ‘n’ walkin’ theme for the best part of four years, I’m kinda ready for… Well, new stuff.

So last week, I made my first step towards it. I made an attempt – drum roll please – to run.

To help you understand that for the big ass freakin’ deal it is, let me give y’all a bit of backstory on my history with running.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – I’ve always been a fat girl. So when people say ‘you could run as a child, it’s just a matter of re-learning it,’ strictly speaking… That ain’t true. I was more at home in front of a book, and the only time I recall attempting to run when I wasn’t actually being forced to, I tripped on a paving slab and hit the deck with such force I broke both my front teeth.

So I didn’t run. And in PE class, I’d go out of my way to escape it. I’d fake a stitch, perform an impressive pratfall, or just get a sicknote for ‘period pains,’ and thus never actually run. I may not be Usain Bolt, but nobody, nowhere, gets to argue with the fact that I can be resourceful in getting outta exercise.

Then, I broke my knees, gained ten stone, and found myself unable to walk for three years – only to re-learn, slowly, lose the weight, and find myself where I am now: fit, healthy, a lil’ bit fat by stupid-ass magazine standards, and still definitely not a runner.

But damn. I don’t know if it’s the city, or the fact that I’ve not had the internet for a few weeks, or whether it’s just some kind of weird primal urge – but I’ve been fantasising about running. I’ve had a couple of dreams about it; I’ve been scoping out routes; I’ve just been thinking about how nice it’d be to feel my heart pounding in the crisp spring air.

It’s bloody weird, and it’s kinda freaking me out – but the way I see it, I’ve got no other option. I’ve got to give it a try.

Now, it just so happens, too, that my gym membership expired yesterday – and being six runs into the ‘couch to 5k’ programme, I’m feeling pretty optimistic. Nothing’s broken – yet – and my knees seem to be holdin’ up. Not only that, but I’m in a better mood on the days I’ve been out and about – so that’s a boost, and one I’m really lovin’.

And it’s not just running I’m trying out. I’ve recently been sent a couple of awesome things to review – which is amazing, because my bank account is feeling a lil’ tender after Christmas (yes, still) so anything that saves a girl having to hustle is a-ok by me.

So I’m trying out something called a MisFit Shine – a snazzy lil’ tracker that measures your activity over the course of a day – and last night, I made my first attempt at creating a green juice after the folks at John Lewis very kindly furnished me with a juicer to play with. So far, so delicious:

Juice

And next week, I’m hitting up a hot pilates class for the first time – so my horizons are going to be well and truly broadened over the next month, I can tell you.

I want to try new things, and gain new experiences, because there are a million ways to get active out there – all of which will appeal to different people. There are so many diet brands and so-called gurus out there who’ll tell you there’s only one way to get healthy – which just so happens to be their way, retailing at £99 – that it’s easy to overlook the joy of just doing healthy things for the heck of it.

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only person who – at this time of year, when it starts to be lighter in the mornings, and the air seems fresher with something like potential – gets the urge to do something different. You don’t have to be thin, or perfect, or even all-that-fit to try new things, fitness-wise – you’ve just got to be an optimist, and up for a challenge.

In other words, you’ve got to be prepared to fall on your ass, and ready to pick yourself up when you do.

So join me. Try new things. Do more good stuff. And love every minute – ’cause when you get out there with a positive attitude, I’m pretty sure you’ll be amazed at what you can do.

Q&A: What Does ‘Processed Food’ Mean, Anyway?

Q&A: What Does ‘Processed Food’ Mean, Anyway?

I get asked this question all the time – and the ‘right answer’ depends on where you’re coming from, and how strictly you want to manage your nutrition. Personally, I’m lazy, and short on time, so a girl’s gotta hustle – and that means my […]

Diet, or Disordered Eating?

Diet, or Disordered Eating?

First up – I’m really sorry. I’ve been a terrible blogger of late, thanks to a combination of long hours at work and a really gross winter bug. But I’m back, y’all – and while I’ve been lying around feeling sorry for myself, I’ve done […]

The Psychology of Extremes; or, Why Diet Language is Making Us Sick

The Psychology of Extremes; or, Why Diet Language is Making Us Sick

Get a cup of tea, guys. This is likely to be a long ‘un.

You ready?

Okay.

It’s been a bad week for international bullshit connoisseurs and my long-standing nemesis, the diet industry. And if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to take a moment to rub my hands together gleefully to prepare my typin’ fingers. Feel free to join in, if you feel so inclined.

Now: first up, and so I can publicise this a lil’ more than it has been – Dr. Pierre Dukan, of Dukan Diet fame, has been struck off the French medical register for peddling what can only be described as dangerously unhealthy quick fix quack-toolery that studies are increasingly suggesting causes kidney stones, and all sorts of other renal diseases. Oh, and also ’cause he wanted to fat shame kids.

One word, you guys: asshat.

In the interests of full disclosure – in darker times, I tried the Dukan Diet. My old housemate and I gave it a damned good shot, for about three weeks – which shows some serious willpower living an experience that I can only assume is a lil’ like going through a war. I lost about 20lbs, and gained bad breath, horrible skin, frizzy hair, fatigue, headaches – oh, and about 22lbs, shortly after. So I’d like to think that constitutes a very scientific real life study, on my part.

That news goes nicely with Wednesday’s BBC2 Horizon show, Sugar vs. Fat, which I’d strongly recommend you watch, ’cause it caused me to do some serious fistbumps. The gist was that some (quite cute – ahem) twin doctors each tried diets that cut out sugar (or, rather, carbs – which metabolise into sugars) and fat, respectively.

They concluded – after a whole bunch of tests – that cutting out either sugar or fat on the whole is a terrible idea. Both will make you sick, in different ways – so don’t do it.

Seriously. Don’t.

Their advice was thus: you’re more likely to stay healthy and live well if you minimise the amount of processed foods that you eat, and don’t buy into any ridiculous fad diets.

I hate to say I told you so. I really do. I’m British, after all. But come on guys – how long have Matt and I been saying things to that effect?

(It’s two years, FYI. That question ain’t rhetorical.)

Now, they also touched upon the fact that sugar and fat, combined in the right ratios, create that ‘taste sensation’ that makes us go all soft and gooey for the ol’ processed foods – like donuts, cookies, pizza, and so on – which is what makes them so compulsively damn delicious. This isn’t exactly news – and if you’re interested in this kind of thing I’d strongly recommend reading Dr. David Kessler’s ‘The End of Overeating’ which basically concludes:

Chronic exposure to highly palatable foods changes our brains, conditioning us to seek continued stimulation. Over time a powerful drive for sugar, fat and salt competes with our conscious capacity to say no.

Let’s talk about that first word: chronic. I don’t believe in extreme dieting, and I don’t believe you should ever have to entirely cut out anything from your diet unless it’s medically advised (by a real doctor – not Monsieur Dukan). I do, however, believe – along with Dr. Kessler and Dr. Jepp, quoted in the Horizon documentary – that we live in a society that makes it incredibly difficult to avoid hyper-processed foods. It’s all too easy to choose unhealthy, quick options than healthy, nutritious ones – and it’s something you have to actively think about, and more often than not, plan in advance.

However.

I think there is a dangerous rhetoric around this well-intentioned logic that can do more harm than good – because it’s still buying into a psychology of extremes. The word ‘chronic’ means long-term, or habitual – so once in a while, treating yourself to something that’s got that sugar/fat combo won’t really do you any harm.

I’ve talked at length about the way our language around our bodies colours the way we see ourselves, and interact with the world around us – and I think there’s a lot to be said for the language we use around food and exercise, too.

We talk about ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods; we ‘cut out’ food groups, or ‘never’ eat, say, processed foods – and when we do, we declare ourselves ‘failures’ and run headlong into a two month binge.

We injure ourselves diving headlong into workouts we found on Pinterest, and we try to go from couch potato to marathon runner, only to end up hobbling back to the couch.

And we’re disappointed when we only lose 2lbs a week – even though 2lbs a week can mean over 100lbs in a year. And – as I’ve said many times before – we ‘hate’ our bodies, because they ain’t perfect.

In other words, the pervasive language of extremes – the ‘all or nothing’ mentality that the diet industry thrives upon – is screwing us all out of a healthy lifestyle. And this, to me, is the ‘ticking timebomb’ nobody’s talking about.

I mean, another study published this week claimed that physical inactivity is on the rise in the UK – with inactivity defined as ‘less than 30 minutes of exercise per week.’ But I think we – culturally – need to redefine our idea of exercise. You don’t have to be doing a Biggest Loser style training session or running an ultra-marathon to be improving your health.

Hell – the catalyst for me losing half my body weight was walking, one painful step at a time. I’d still falter at what those Biggest Loser contestants go through, even now.

But unfortunately, as I’ve said many a time, extreme language is what makes it so attractive, and such an easy sell. Just like nobody ever sold a product (except maybe Ronseal) by saying ‘it does exactly what it should do, and that’s about it,’ there’s no hook to ‘everything in moderation.’ And the ‘wow’ factor in ‘I lost 130lbs over two years,’ is a lot less likely to draw in a person who’s stuck in diet-language than ‘I lost half my body weight in two months’ (unless we’re talking about me, obviously. I’m wow factor to the bone.

But moderation, and long-term good health, is something you’ve gotta take on trust. A happy, good life isn’t one of extremes (thank gawd) – it’s one of day-by-day positive choices, occasional treats and the million tiny lil’ boring, unglamorous, quietly imperfect things that make life worth living.

So don’t fall into the rhetoric of extremes, and please – for god’s sake – don’t diet. It ain’t worth it. Instead, make moderation cool. Exercise a lil’, eat things that make you feel good – and make happiness something that happens while you’re living, rather than after you’re perfect.

‘Cause chances are, the second you give up diet language, you’ll realise you’re already pretty damn perfect as you are.

A Mini-Manifesto For Things That Should Be Totally Freakin’ Obvious

A Mini-Manifesto For Things That Should Be Totally Freakin’ Obvious

So this evening, I got really wound up, and exploded. As you do. Because I’m getting ever more exasperated with this ridiculous god damn asshat-ridden world in which apparently ‘everyone being nice to themselves and each other’ is a foreign concept – and the idea […]

A Beautiful Alternative to Shame Culture (In Which I Vandalise Magazines)

A Beautiful Alternative to Shame Culture (In Which I Vandalise Magazines)

I hate trashy magazines. And I particularly hated the recent Now magazine cover – as you’ll probably know, if you follow me on Twitter, because it caused me to fly into such a rage my poor ol’ Mum ended up having to bring me a […]

Recipe: Harissa Topped Burger & Sweet Potato Fries

Recipe: Harissa Topped Burger & Sweet Potato Fries

I made this tonight – and it was so damned delicious, I had to write it up straight away. It was pretty thrown together, because frankly, I was ravenous – so the fact it turned out so tasty was something of a miracle.

It’s a pretty easy recipe, not least because I totally cheated on the chips – and while it sounds like there are a lot of ingredients in there, things like Harissa paste and those roasted red peppers are the kind of things I buy and then live off for months. So – here goes.

Ingredients

1 (good quality) Steak Burger
1 Sweet Potato
1/2 Red Onion
3 Mushrooms
50g Petits Pois
1 handful Spinach
85g 0% Fage Greek Yogurt
1/2 tsp Harissa Paste
1 tsp Roasted Red Peppers
1 tsp Olive Oil

Peel the sweet potato, and chop it into evenly sized fries. Pop them, spread out, on a microwaveable plate, and cook for 3-4 minutes (depending on size), turning them over half way through. In the meantime, pop your burger on the grill and keep an eye on it throughout, ensuring you’re flipping it on a regular basis.

Chop up the onion into fairly chunky pieces, followed by the mushrooms. Once your sweet potatoes are soft, heat the olive oil in a small frying pan and throw in the potatoes, onions, petits pois (frozen is fine – they’ll cook either way!) and mushrooms – in that order.

At this point, don’t forget to check on that burger – flip it, if you haven’t already!

In a small bowl or cup, mix your Greek Yogurt and Harissa Paste, giving ’em a good stir until it turns a nice, smooth pink.

Pop a bed of spinach on the plate, and, once it’s cooked through, take the burger off the grill, popping it on the bed of spinach. Top it with your dressing, with some roasted red peppers on top if you fancy ’em. Dish up your fries and veggies, and… That’s it!

Enjoy – it’s a tasty dish that’s great when you’re really hungry… With minimal washing up to boot!

Nutritional Information

Calories: 466
Protein: 36g
Carbohydrates: 46g
Fat: 15g

Quick and Easy High Protein Breakfasts (for People as Lazy as Me)

Quick and Easy High Protein Breakfasts (for People as Lazy as Me)

These days, I’m really into protein-filled breakfasts. The lovely Tom Dyer at Ultimate City Fitness introduced me to the idea – and I have to say, I’m a fan. I find they keep me full for hours, and they feel a bit more indulgent than […]

Things You Should Know Before You Start Your New Year Diet

Things You Should Know Before You Start Your New Year Diet

Ah, man. You know how I hate the diet industry, right? We’re clear on that? Well, this week, I’m filled with even more rage than ever. I am floored – floored, I tells ye – at how many people I’ve heard say they’re going on […]

Recipe: Spicy King Prawn Stir Fry

Recipe: Spicy King Prawn Stir Fry

Now, it’s probably a bit weird – but sometimes, on weekends, I’d happily eat prawns for breakfast. You know I’m a big seafood fan anyway – but seriously, I’d happily eat this meal any time of the day, any damn day of the week.

King Prawn Stir Fry

I mean, for a start – it’s purty. And it’s got a bit of a kick, balanced out with the sweetness of those ever-so-slightly gooey red onions – so it’s pretty damn delicious.

So – what’s in it?

100g King Prawns
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 tsp Very Lazy chopped garlic
1 green pepper, chopped
1 fresh red chilli pepper, chopped
1 handful of spinach (or as much as you like!)
1 sprig of fresh parsley, chopped
5 leaves of fresh basil, chopped
1 tsp olive oil

Mmmhmm. First up, fry the red onion, garlic, green pepper and chilli (in that order) in a small frying pan, until the onion begins to turn soft. Throw in the prawns, and once they’re cooked through, throw in the spinach, parsley and basil and fold until the spinach wilts.

And that’s it – which should give another reason as to why I’m happy to eat it any ol’ time. ‘Cause I am lazy. Whatever.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 221
Carbs: 19g
Protein: 29g
Fat: 6g

Merry Christmas, You Lovely Bunch

Merry Christmas, You Lovely Bunch

Now, I’m not saying I’m like the Queen or anything. Well, maybe I’m a bit like the Queen. I reckon I could do an equally good job of styling out a crown. I mean… Check me out in a Santa hat. Palace or no, however, […]

Herbs, Spices & Tasty Stuff 101

Herbs, Spices & Tasty Stuff 101

In the lead up to January’s 30 Days of Good Stuff, you’ll notice a whole bunch of new recipes around these parts. However, a celebrity chef I am not – and it won’t take long for you to notice that there’s a lot of overlap in my recipes. […]