Crap Cutting Grit Clinic

14 Jan

Q: I need to lose half a stone as I bought a pair of new trousers in the sales in my normal size and once I tried them on at home, to my horror, they’re ever so slightly tight but I REFUSE to take them back and go up a size! Resolution – I’m giving up potatoes in all forms, and I love potatoes so this is a big, big thing for me (+ sandwiches from downstairs, + all cakes and biccies around the office!) You will see me diligently munching on crudités and hummus at my desk, oat cakes and soup for lunch. V. boring and v. necessary! I will pick up a copy of the book ‘Cut The Crap’ to see if it gives me willpower as I’m not sure whether I can make a month without a potato in some shape or form. Anon

A: Ok its great that you are feeling fired up and motivated – as so many of us do in January – only too often though, we can find that motivation is waning come February, and obliterated by Spring. Every year. The same old cycle.

Where we all go wrong, particularly in January – food wise – is in taking on too much too soon, shocking our bodies and our minds into a way of eating that is so foreign and unfamiliar, not to mention unappetising, that it ultimately leaves us feeling completely uninspired, weak-willed and worse still, weak with hunger.

The Grit Doctor reminds
The Crap Cutting Way is to cut out one bad eating habit at a time

Potatoes per se are not the issue here. Its either the crap you are laddling into them (butter and cheese into a baked potato for example) or the method of cooking (the deep fryer is a purveyor of the crappiest form of potato), roasties bathing in goose fat – whilst undeniably delicious – are also not a friend of the waistline. Gratin dauphinoise and variations – whilst superlatively tasty – should never be a daily staple either.

So, rather than forcing yourself into giving up a cheap convenient and healthy staple, which I can tell by the tone of your letter the very prospect of is making you sad, I suggest instead taking a closer look at what you are eating them with/how you are cooking them/portion-size and work towards de-crappifying that side of things first. The butter/cheese/cream bath has got to go. Try Greek yoghurt to help cream up the inside of a baked potato instead. And make sure you are having it with huge veg-heavy salad, rather than a mincemeat heavy chile con carne for example…

If you are looking for a tasty healthy alternative to those beloved spuds, how about bulgar wheat or quinoa? I often make a cheat tabbouleh, and did last night (pictured) using one of those grains or a combination (this was with bulgar wheat) and mixing with chopped tomatoes, cucumber, rocket or spinach (or any salad or green veg I fancy that’s knocking about), oodles of parsley, finely chopped spring onions, some mint, lemon, a splash of white wine vinegar, a clove of crushed garlic, a tablespoon of olive oil, seasoning and, voila, you have a filling healthy alternative to potatoes that also has you nailing your veggies. I had a grilled salmon fillet with mine last night..

The Grit Doctor advises
Its the cakes and biscuits and muffins that are the problem. Don’t reject your beloved spuds entirely, cut the crap out of your biscuit habit instead.

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