Good Food Blog
New Year dietingPosted at 1:15PM, 05 January 2009 by Christine Hayes - Editor, olive magazine
I blame Alex James. The floppy-haired bloke from Blur might have been rubbish at conducting but he's pretty good at making cheese. Chef Mark Hix reckons Blue Monday, a gorgonzola-esque little beauty, is good with pears and walnut. I say it's delicious after dinner with a glass of chilled sweet wine, and I've been eating it a bit too enthusiastically over the Christmas hols.
Now the cheese fest is over and I've got a few pounds to lose. My plan is to follow the Japanese diet. This way of eating works for me because, like Victoria Beckham, I really like the clean, light flavours of Japanese food. Unlike Victoria I can't afford to eat at Nobu everyday. So I'm dusting off my copy of the book Japanese Women Don't Get Old or Fat.
The writing is a bit saccharine for my taste - "I am drenched in the subtle, sweet and earthy fragrances I've tasted since I was a little girl. The kitchen smells like the earth, the sea and the mountains...it smells like life" - but the advice is practical and easy to follow. In a nutshell, if you eat sensible amounts of brown rice, fruit and veg, fish, soy and green tea, eat until you're 80 per cent full, and build into your everyday routine some do-able exercise (eg walk more, drive less) you'll lose weight. Making time to prepare each meal, presenting everything in small bowls and eating with chopsticks take a bit of getting used to, but it allows you focus on what you're eating and savour every mouthful. After Christmas stodge, eating things like tuna with wasabi noodles and cucumber and wakame salad is just what I fancy. And as I enjoy hunting down interesting ingredients such as black cod and trying new recipes it doesn't feel like hard work.
So what have you been overdoing over Christmas and any tips for losing the muffin top painlessly?