February 19, 2014
I saw a television advert and it got in my head. It was for an international burger chain and all I could think about was my particular favourite from their menu.
I then found myself in a neighbouring city (a spot of retail therapy) and decided to “give in” and have the burger that was occupying my thoughts.
Fate conspired against me. The neighbouring city appears to be the only one in the UK that doesn’t have this particular chain slap-bang in the centre, and as it was unfamiliar territory I didn’t want to venture too far in case I got lost.
So I did without the “bought burger” but couldn’t banish the thought….
Several hours later I arrived back at ‘Hudson HQ’ and decided that I still very definitely wanted a burger. I knew I wouldn’t settle until I had got it out of my mind, but I was back at ‘Hudson HQ’. I was in control, I could have my burger and not cause any real damage to my shrinking waistline.
I retrieved the lean minced beef (provisionally earmarked for a WLR-approved chilli at the weekend) and put together some beautifully seasons meat patties and fired up my grilling machine.
Twenty minutes later I was tucking into Food of the Gods. I had ditched the “burger bun” in favour of two slices of “milk loaf”; I had by-passed the shop-bought tomato sauce and replaced it with home-made salsa; I prepared the salad knowing exactly what was in it and logged it precisely. My food processor (to me it’s still a “new toy” and I get very excited when I get to play with it) made sure I had perfectly sliced mushrooms (to which I added a sliver of butter and blasted in the microwave for a minute), and then I constructed my “burger of joy”.
It was delicious. Far better than the mass-produced, full-of-goodness-knows-what burger I had contemplated whilst shopping.
The ‘milk roll’ was the perfect size and shape to hold everything together. It was completely “loggable”. It was a real WLR success.
It got me thinking about all the other “minor modifications” I have made to my eating and drinking habits in my quest to shrink my waistline and change my shape.
Now, it would never occur to me to by “full fat” pasteurised milk. The weekly shop in the Hudson household consists of “green milk” for Lovely Husband and “purple milk” for me. We buy a small packet of best-quality butter (for the purposes of treats when we have crumpets or boiled baby new potatoes - the only time it is used). Sandwiches are made without butter or margarine; baked potatoes are no longer served with baked beans and cheese, instead they are accompanied by a “multi-bean” mix with home-made tomato sauce. I know exactly what it is in it and it only takes a few minutes to put together (whilst singing and dancing along to the radio – burning off a few more calories).
If I think back, I have very definitely become more thoughtful about my food choices. I am far more able to make “WLR-friendly” versions of old favourites (which are the reason my waistline is more expansive than I would like).
I get a real sense of satisfaction when I tuck into something which tastes wonderful and keeps me on track.
I used to find “chocolate-covered-coconut-bars” really hard to resist, but now I have discovered very low fat coconut-and-vanilla yoghurt. I simply grate a (very) small amount of top quality plain chocolate over the top, and it ticks all of the boxes.
Another “sweet tooth” favourite is a baked apple. Stuffed with sultanas and half-a-teaspoon of honey and then covered in fat-free toffee yoghurt. The perfect pudding, all the taste of a toffee apple with no downside. And as for my WLR-compliant Eton Mess, even the skinniest of my friends tuck into it with gusto, not realising that it has been put together entirely for the benefit of a shrinking waist measurement.
It’s only when I take the time to stop and think about how much my eating habits have changed that I realise how much I have learned and how inventive I have become when it comes to food and flavours and adapting the tastes I love to make sure that they don’t add any more pounds to my frame.
And when inspiration fails me, I know I can always turn to the recipe database.
Sometimes I don’t have any idea of what it is I want to eat, so I just log in and read through recipes. I might want something “vegetarian”; or know that I really want lamb; or have a craving for something sweet. No matter what my taste buds are telling me, it’s a pretty safe bet that something on the recipe database will catch my eye. The other great thing is that the recipes are invariably very simple and straightforward. I don’t have time to spend hours in the kitchen sweating over a hot stove. And best of all, I know that whatever I am trying has been “road-tested” by a fellow WLR member. All I have to do is follow the recipe, “season to taste” and enjoy. Knowing that it’s all accounted for, all WLR-compliant, and all helping me on my quest to reduce the size on the clothes labels.
The knowledge I’m gaining about food and ingredients and what-is-in-what-I-buy-from-the-supermarket is huge. The insight into my cravings and “must have” foods is eye-opening, and my creativity in the kitchen when I’m producing low-fat-low-cal-WLR-friendly versions of old favourites is a very enjoyable learning curve. Plus, I haven’t had to drastically change my diet; I haven’t had to spend a fortune; I haven’t felt deprived and I haven’t got bored. All I have had to do is make some “minor modifications”.
With a midweek hug.