Eat well, live well in 2017? meh…

Eat well, live well in 2017? meh…

New Year’s Eve battling the scrum of last minute shoppers for champers and something fleshy to roast I chanced upon the mag and book aisle spotting no fewer than twenty healthy living cookbooks, from juicing to smart carbs, wheat-free to sugar-free tomes– three alone from the eternally-energised, Grecian-haired guru Joe Wicks and two from the confoundingly successful Davina McCall. TWENTY. “Best-sellers.” Sigh. Noting this, two things come to mind.

1. The Goop-loving, gluten-free goddesses show no sign running short of suger, dairy, wheat, egg, flavour free recipes. Begging the question, how many different ways are there to prepare spirallised courgette, anyway?

2. More fool me. Who knew one could forge a career instagramming egg-white omelettes?

Shame meandering, irrelevant (sneery, moi?) sidebars get short change against the well-being brigade. Well they would.


I’m all for healthy living but might we be nearing peak sirtfood satisfaction? More than anything though, it’s the cooking I struggle to get my head around. I’m more than likely to gather sartorial inspiration from the lovely Mary Berry and make-up tips from the deliciously decadent Nigella than recipes for rosemary mash. S’true. Tuning into Bake-Off, it’s not the crying over crumpet or soggy bottoms, ahem, it’s the clothes–silk brushstroke bomber jacket one week, on-trend neon biker the next and I’m scanning for the wardrobe credits. Clearly Berry’s taste extends beyond the kitchen. Speaking of my own cucina, however, is another matter entirely. Whilst my shelves are heaving with volumes of gastronomical wisdom, healthy or otherwise, from Gordon to Jamie (well-intentioned, if misguided gifts), look closer and you’ll find a not-so-thin layer of dust coating the spines.

Fact is I bore easily with the tedium of recipes and find the whole process a chore. Unfortunate really for any mother; it sort of comes with the territory. Lean in 15? Whatevs. Try two hours. Instructed to sift, reduce, sauté, measure or worse, weigh anything with an actual scale (as if it’s the most normal thing in the world to possess such a contraption) my eyes glaze before reaching for the standby Birdseye. I lack that certain domestic chip impelling me to puree my own organic sweet potato mash and hand bread fish cakes. To those who profess it’s relaxing, I am nothing but bewildered. A hot bath is relaxing. A pedicure and bubbly is relaxing. A cuppa uninterrupted by the playroom fracas over whose turn it is for Minecraft… is relaxing. Cooking I endure. Funny how cooking shows mollify and satisfy. HA. A ruse of false advertising. See? It’s so EASY. Don’t you believe it. Give me a production crew to source the 1,218 ingredients into a medley of colourful, neat ramekins all within arms reach whilst pre-baking said meal AND cleaning up and YES, it is easy, isn’t it? I can barely open a cupboard without fifty random (lid-less) Tupperware pelting me on the head and recycled Gu pots smashing to bits around me. Ella Woodward, I ain’t.

Compounding issues, The Man’s interest in all things culinary runs about as deep as mine. Typical. Thankfully our kids don’t  yet know better. But it’s all things renewed and resolved for 2017. Perhaps this is the year I channel my own inner Mary Berry and wow the fam with my fabulous and of course healthy skills in the kitchen. Now… if only I could get the name of her stylist.


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