What mum warned me about last week, hasn’t come to pass. I have not put on the half a stone, 2 weeks after eating a load of crap for 5 days straight. But the only reason for this, really, is that I’ve basically been fasting. Not deliberately, I just haven’t been that hungry. I’m still getting through my CSFs or, as I’ve tried this week, PSFs, but during the day I’m finding that coffee is about all I really fancy.
Perhaps it’s the sedentary nature of my work (I already know that my metabolism is slower than a tied-up tortoise), and if I’m not using physical energy, then I’m not going to need any of it replacing. But it’s always been like that, so not sure why, this week, I just haven’t wanted to eat anything. Unless, of course, it’s because I still have chips, gravy, tapas, more chips, and three vats of wine working their way through my system, which is entirely possible.
On Thursday, I even turned my nose up at free food. Ma Egerton’s was having its official re-launch, and besides all the free wine (thanks, Iain…), there were trays and trays of stuff coming out of the kitchen. I pinched a few cheese cubes, naturally, but aside from that, nothing. I wasn’t even hungry when I got home. At least I know I don’t have a tapeworm. So, having reached the dreaded plateau, weight-wise, I figure I need to speed up my metabolism if I’m going to shift any more weight. The obvious solution, would be to exercise, but I can’t type and exercise at the same time. Google told me that there were 5 golden rules to getting the old metabolism going:
1. Drink more coffee – er, major tick in this box, but I don’t mind drinking more, if it’ll help…
2. Turn off the central heating – easy, as I don’t have any.
3. Eat more carbs – not sure about this. I’m on a diet, for goodness’ sake…
4. Start fidgeting – ….what do they mean, ‘start’???
5. Go for a short walk – not sure if chair, to loo, to fridge, back to chair, really counts. But I live in Everton, so there’s nowhere to walk to that doesn’t involve carrying a knife for protection.
I was about to stop reading, when my eyes fell to lower down in the article, to the sub-heading “5 Things That Can Slow Down Your Metabolism”. And this is utterly monstrous.
1. Diets – well bugger that.
2. Being a Woman – and I’m supposed to change that…how?
3. Alcohol – no comment.
4. A hormone imbalance – covered by No.2.
5. Eating just one large meal a day – they don’t say what that meal is, though.
Can’t win either way, then. But apparently you can burn up to 1,000 more calories a day, by incorporating certain foods into your diet. High on the list, are spices. Eating hot chillies, for example, puts your metabolism into overdrive, as they stimulate your whole system into action. But chillies aren’t something you can just snack on, or add to your jacket potato, without other consequences. Broccoli is also a good super food, not just for your metabolism, but for iron content. Broccoli also contains around 4 times as much vitamin C, than oranges. But who wants to down a pint of broccoli juice every morning before work? I can find no mention of cheese being a super food, or Pinot Grigio helping with my 5 a day. Even the wasabi beans have lost their allure for me.
This week, then, my mission is to find a ‘new food’ to obsess me. Because I think that’s the real reason I haven’t been hungry this week. I am bored with my fridge.
Things I’ve Learned This Week
1. Pork is a poor substitute for chicken
I tried mixing the old CSF up a bit, and tried a PSF instead, but it just didn’t work. Pork is cheaper than chicken, but the reason is obvious. It’s not as nice. You have to cook pork exactly right, too, otherwise it gets chewy. Just a few seconds too long in the wok, and it’s ruined. But not enough seconds, and you poison yourself. Tricky. I gave up by Tuesday and pooled the coppers together to stretch to a couple of chicken fillets.
2. B&Ms employ Camelot to stock their shelves
I usually pop by B&Ms on London Road, to replenish the sauces and noodles for my CSF. It’s very good value, with proper Blue Dragon and Sharwoods sachets for 29p, and packs of ready-to-wok noodles at 2 for £1. Only problem is, it’s a complete lottery as to what falls off the back of the lorry from week to week. My favourite sauce, is sweet chilli & ginger. Delicious, low fat, and ample in quantity, it’s a winning sauce of Olympian standard, but I haven’t seen it for weeks, naturally, and I refuse to pay 79p for it in Tesco. This week, the B&M sauce selection has been limited to Peking Lemon (sickly), Black Bean (yuk), Sweet & Sour (ditto), and Oyster & Spring Onion (too rich). The only four in the entire range that I dislike. As for noodles, they didn’t have any at all. When I asked when the next lot of Ken Hom Straight To Woks were coming in, the cashier tried to tell me that they’d never stocked them. “Yes you do, I bought some last week”, I tried to argue. “You can’t have done,” she replied, “We don’t sell noodles…”
Because I’m anal, I actually went home to dig out a receipt to prove they did sell them, because she was basically calling me a liar. I found it, and was about to march back to B&M to confront said cashier, when I caught sight of myself in the tiny mirror by the door, receipt grasped in hand like it was a Willy Wonka golden ticket, my teeth already clenched and my eyes flashing like Heathcliff on a windy moor, and I thought “Sarah, why are you being such an utter spangle? You’re about to go and have a fight with someone you don’t know, about quick-wok noodles…IT’S INSANE…”
True, I was halfway through “The Godfather” trilogy at the time, but still…
I stayed in, but I’ve blu-tacked the noodle receipt to the wall, just in case I need it for a court case further down the line. Because if I don’t see Ken Hom in B&Ms when I’m doing my shopping this week, then this story isn’t over.
Things I’m Dreading This Week
Nothing, actually. OK, so there’s a Euro game on Thursday, but I’m thinking of experimenting with gin and tonics instead of VDCs, because I can’t drink tonic as fast as I drink Diet Coke. And of course, everything depends on the result, as to how early I’m going to get to bed…
This Week I’ve Mostly Been Watching…
1. “The Godfather” Trilogy
Like most people, I’ve seen these before, but never so close together, and it’s been a while since I last saw any of them. The first scene in the first film, is just one of the best openings in cinema history, in my humble opinion. It’s a moving, face-on monologue from Bonasera, begging for help in avenging the rape of his daughter, as the camera pulls slowly back to reveal Vito Corleone sitting on his throne, listening intently, and knowing he cannot refuse any request asked of him on this, his own daughter’s wedding day. It’s scintillating stuff, and the drama never lets up for three more hours, which makes “The Godfather” easily one of the best films ever made. Many think “The Godfather Part II” is better, but I’ll go with the first, every time. Because, without it, the second just couldn’t have been as good as it was.
“…Part III” had its moments, such as Andy Garcia’s electric performance as Vincent, and the long, climactic opera scene, but overall, it was outlandish, preposterous in parts, and half an hour too long. Don’t forget, as regards the first film, it might be lauded today for its incredible ensemble cast, but most of those actors were unknown at the time – Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, Robert Duvall, James Caan – and Coppola had to fight to get them their parts. If the studio had gotten their way, then Warren Beatty would have been Michael Corleone, Ernest Borgnine would have been making offers you couldn’t refuse, and Steve McQueen would have played Tom Hagen. Incredibly, after Pacino acted everyone else off the screen, by not really saying very much, he was only nominated for Best Supporting Actor at that year’s Oscars, when he had way more screen time than Marlon Brando, who bagged Best Actor. Both boycotted the ceremony, albeit for different reasons. Astonishing to think that Pacino had to wait 20 years until he finally won that elusive gold statuette. Anyway, I ‘did’ “The Godfather” trilogy in two nights last week, and it’s still obsessing me.
2. The Amazing Race Season 9
Yeah, I’m still deep into this hokum. In this season, they had a couple called Lake and Michelle. Yes, the guy’s name was ‘Lake’. They were dentists, from Mississippi. Inevitably, most people thought they’d misheard, every time Lake introduced himself, so he took to saying “I’m Lake, as in ocean”, which made no sense whatsoever.
As is now a prerequisite on The Amazing Race, Lake ticked the box marked “Psychopath? – Y/N”, which meant we were treated to six legs of unsettling, unhinged behaviour, before he and the missus were finally booted off for coming last in Greece. Lake liked to regularly call his wife a “stupid bitch”, and she would reply, equally regularly, “I’m gonna punch you in the goddamn mouth!”. Lake also refused to call fellow contestants, Ray & Yolanda, by their names, instead preferring the catch-all moniker…”the blacks”. Nice. Season 9 is a few years old now, so I’m wondering if the cops have found all the bodies in their barn yet. And people let him near their teeth, with chemicals and drills and s**t….
3. American Horror Story: Asylum
I’m only one episode in, but once again Jessica Lange is being deliciously evil. Adam Levine is immediately annoying me, though, and obviously bought his way into the cast just so he could satisfy his well-documented sex addiction and make out with a hot chick in the very first scene. Yawn. He’s just had his arm ripped off, and it looks like he’s bleeding to death. I don’t honestly care. If I found myself next to him in that asylum right now, I’d loosen the tourniquet.
4. The Good Wife Season 4
I love Julianna Margulies. She’s a sassy, sexy, stunning woman over 40, and totally in control of everything she does. She’s the producer, as well as the star, of this show, and it’s a slick, clever, intelligent drama. Just two things wrong with it right now – Archie Panjabi’s American accent is even worse than ever, it’s like running nails down a blackboard. Four seasons in, and she still hasn’t found a good voice coach. Second, Stockard Channing….how much botox, love????? Seriously. Christmas episodes are coming up. I’m betting there are no scenes with her sat next to any lights.
The Stats Bit:
Weeks 1-4: 8.75lbs
Weeks 5-8: 5.25lbs
Week 9-12: 1lb
Week 13: No change…phew.
Total after 91 days: (still) 15lbs