Ever since my doctor probed my cholesterol level and told me that I really ought to thin it down a bit, I've been eating a lot of chicken. It's one of the few permissible meatstuffs on my Flora-sponsored list of low fat foods, so I've been dining on it in abundance over the last six weeks. That and turkey. Oh look, yet another meal involving white meat. Perhaps a nice bit of breast shoved in the oven with a jacket potato, or maybe some diced chunks slopping around in a low fat soup. Again. I'm not allowed ready meal chicken in a stodgy creamy sauce, and I definitely can't do greasy fingerlicking KFC in a bucket, but bland chicken on a plate is always OK. Oh joy.
When chicken gets me down, I'm turning instead to oily fish. I'm eating a lot of salmon, for example. A heck of a lot of salmon. It has magic Omega 3 properties which suck the cholesterol out of my veins like a leech, so the more salmon I can gulp down the better. I'm getting to be quite a fan of prime salmon fillets, sizzling away and served up with new potatoes and a plateful of minted peas. For a quick snack, tinned salmon is also proving a favourite. Not a cheap favourite, because I can't cope with crunchy bony skin'n'all canfuls from the value end of the range. But hurrah for salmon, and tuna, and more salmon.
And I'm eating a lot of mushrooms. I'd not previously realised quite how easy they were to prepare and cook, just so long as I don't slosh them around in oil or cream or anything illegal. And plenty of apples and grapes, which I'm nibbling in preference to chocolate when I get the munchies. And lots of potatoes, so long as they've not been magicked into evil lardy chips. And slice after slice of butterless bread, and several tubs of low fat yoghurt, and of course bowls of steaming porridge. Lots of porridge, because you managed to persuade me it was worth persevering with a mouthful of gloop every morning, and I've concurred.
In short, I've been eating like an angel. I've had to turn down several meals out because there was nothing on the menu that satisfied my puritanical demands. I've ignored every single Krispy Kreme doughnut and flapjack minibite that well-meaning colleagues have brought into the office as shared workplace treats. I've blanked out the box of scrumptious Creme Eggs still sitting unopened on my kitchen worktop. And I've completely ignored the four multipacks of Worcester Sauce crisps stashed away inside my kitchen cupboard which are rapidly approaching their sell-by-date. My self-control has been unexpectedly flawless.
But I'm not sure I can live on this restricted intake forever. The thought of umpteen more chicked-based meals ad nauseam, or repeated platefuls of fishy goodness, isn't filling me with hope for the future. So I've booked a follow-up blood test for a fortnight's time, and then we'll see whether my doctor thinks all of this self-sacrifice has been worth the effort. Fingers crossed. And then I intend to go back to a not-quite perfect diet, with roast beef and roast potatoes and pies and chocolate and chips and cheese back on the menu again, but in moderation. I may also need to buy myself some new trousers, because my jeans have started attempting to fall down in public. I suspect that's a good thing. In the meantime, damn, I think it's chicken tonight.
Diet update: 6 weeks in Chocolate: nil (no, really, absolutely nil) Chips: just two small servings of low fat oven chips Crisps: nil (not even a single fried potato slice) Cheese: just 250g of tasteless low-fat plastic Red meat: just one pack of extra lean beef mince Weight lost: ten pounds (4½kg) (woo!)