I tried being a health freak for a week
‘I feel a bit like a rabbit, but that’s probably a good thing’
Health professionals are always banging on about eating vegetables, getting some exercise and avoiding binge drinking. For us, these are not things that come easily.
So, we took it upon ourselves to try it out. Ditch the takeaway meals, fill up on greens and quit drinking in excess.
Obviously, the first step was to rid the kitchen of temptation, which means that the last supper was a meal packed full of calories: mostly chocolate, booze and cake. If it’s out of the house, it’s out of reach…in theory.
Blueberry smoothie for breakfast, with thanks to a housemate’s Active Blend. Pretty simple, not much taste. Could’ve done with a side of bacon.
Wholemeal toast with peanut butter for second breakfast. Because experts (from the internet) say you should eat small meals every three to four hours. Seems legit.
Lunch was tricky, because we went to Glasshouse on Heslington East (for those of you that didn’t know). While friends tucked into a platter of cheesy, deep fried goodness, a plate of cajun chicken salad tasted of disappointment.
Mysterious thing called a Trek bar. Seemed way too tasty to be healthy, but apparently it’s gluten, wheat and dairy free, so that must count for something.
Dinner may well have been the healthiest meal ever eaten: roasted butternut squash with courgettes, onion, broccoli, spinach and kale. Colour = health.
Also made it to the gym for an hour and a half experimenting with weight machines and getting some quality cardio. Could feel the abs almost immediately.
Slightly more rushed start than day one, so no time for a smoothie. What a shame. Settled for some Weetabix with honey.
Leftover squash and other green vegetables for lunch. Not as good the second time round, but still pretty decent. Re-evaluating status as a domestic goddess.
Handfuls of blueberries and plain almonds to snack on. Feel a bit like a rabbit, but that’s probably a good sign in this case.
Spearmint and green tea from Starbucks at York station whilst waiting for a friend. Managed to resist the urge for baked goods, so major brownie points awarded (excuse the pun).
Homemade bolognese sauce with spinach and courgette. Ditching the carbs was painful.
A double Gin and Tonic with lime for predrinks. Definitely counts as one of your five a day. If not, it bloody should considering it meant going on a night out sober.
Exercise today was a run for half an hour in the freezing cold. Rewarded self with a cup of tea. Not doing that again – will stick to the gym.
Weetabix with blueberries for breakfast.
More blueberries. All the blueberries.
Leftover bolognese sauce with kale and broccoli. Still no carbs. Still upsetting.
Discovered the “healthy snacks” section in Nisa, and needed a sweet fix. Got some plain chocolate covered cranberries. Extreme willpower needed not to splurge on more.
Super healthy green vegetarian stir fry. Finally had some carbs in the form of brown rice. Not half bad.
Another Gin and Tonic, and some tequila shots. But for only £1 each, who can say no?
Then did about 2 straight hours of rigorous dancing at Marmite. Definitely worked up a sweat. Don’t believe me?
Woke up at midday thanks to a late one with mates. Rather than the usual “go-to” fry up, stuck to the Weetabix whilst everyone else gorged on bacon and eggs. No bitterness, clearly.
Went out to town, had a scone with tea (everyone’s allowed a cheat meal).
Dinner was tomato pasta with spinach and a bit of cheese. Don’t worry, the cheese was low fat (pointless, really) and the pasta was wholewheat. Didn’t realise it took double the bloody time to cook before making it, though.
Oatcakes and houmous for a snack. Questionable nutritional value, but went for it anyway.
No exercise today due to the late start, but a rest day was necessary.
Apple and blueberry porridge. Deliciously grey, despite the fruity goodness.
Stopped for a strawberry, raspberry, orange and yoghurt smoothie after morning lectures. Prior to this, the name “Sunset Strip” had been associated with Burlesque. This was possibly better, and the only thing with fruit in that wasn’t a muffin.
Hoisin duck wrap for lunch. Again, not necessarily the healthiest option, but it was the only thing available not covered in mayonnaise.
Dinner was grilled salmon with sweet potato, tomatoes, peppers and onion. Yet another culinary feat.
Tried out yoga for an hour – my favourite move was savasana, where you basically just relax completely with your eyes closed. They say it’s one of the hardest moves to master, but for someone in dire need of a lie down it’s perfect.
Back to the weetabix, but ran out of blueberries. Cue sad music for the first world problems of healthy folk.
Lunch was a concoction of beansprouts, courgette, tomatoes and sweet potato. Surprisingly delicious.
The simple things work best, so just an apple for me.
Spicy mushroom and courgette stew with brown rice. It started off green, but ended up beige. Not sure how that happened, but the effort was there.
Celebrated with more porridge for the final day. Off to a good start.
Final meal (finishing on lunch): homemade ratatouille with kale. If there’s anything to take from this week, it’s that making healthy meals have vastly improved cooking skill.
Afternoon trip to the gym. The hench guys in lycra will be sorely missed: other than that, the stench of sweat and the sound of grunting is better left behind.
At the end of the week, rewarded self with belligerent drinking and some cake. Well done me.
In conclusion, being a health freak for a week is not particularly easy or fun. It’s likely we’ll be sticking to the takeaways from time to time, but will work to throw in the odd vegetable here and there.
Also, please send money to fund new blueberry addiction.