’Tis the season for diets, detox, carrot sticks for lunch and bulk buying bottles of sparking mineral water. So I hear anyway, I can’t remember ever doing a dry January/detox January/anything-at-all January. Well, not since about the age of 20 probably, when it happened naturally, as I’d yet to develop such a taste for wining & dining.
I just don’t really like the idea of December being this mega binge, where you eat & drink so much it gets past the point of enjoyment, but you keep going while thinking, ’I’ll stop all this in January’. Why make the most grey, bleak month of the year worse? Yes, you’d probably be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t eat a bit more than normal for a week or so around Christmas. And of course what you’re eating changes; for me December usually sees a sharp increase in the amount of meat, potatoes, pate and After Eights I consume. Also there’s a lot more sitting about done, whether at home or round at relatives, which makes you feel sluggish and panic slightly when reaching for yet another mince pie. All of which can be cured, I find, with a bracing walk round the block, the December rain (as it seems to be increasingly) driving into your face.
By the time New Year’s Eve rolls around, I usually feel a bit partied out. In fact I finally realised this year I don’t really like Hogmanay all that much, it’s just too much pressure. A few friends, round at someones house, with no hideous taxi queue to endure, is about all I can deal with. I’ve woken up the last two years with no hangover, so maybe this has something to do with why I haven’t felt the need to start a health binge come January 1st. I’d much rather just gradually go back to normal, naturally eating less & doing more but without thinking too much about it. My only concession to a health kick being drinking lots of water and a few mugs of peppermint tea.
However none of this means that after Christmas there aren’t certain things I don’t fancy, as I discovered the other night when planning what to have with lamb steaks. I just couldn’t face another potato; boiled, mashed, sauteed, roast; they just weren’t doing it for me. Instead I wanted something light & zingy to go with the fatty meat, so opted for a salad of beef tomato, pan fried baby courgettes, goats cheese, rosemary, olive oil and lemon. I really enjoyed the flavours and felt just nicely full after. Now that’s my kind of January dinner.