20 Sep 2012

Food for Thought

Fruit, fruit, fruit!So my diet since being out here has been rather simplistic/crappy.  Let’s just say – I most certainly haven’t been eating my 5 portions of fruit and veg a day.  I make a sandwich for lunch (or dinner) every day depending on my work hours, but that never seems to suffice.  Despite jam-packing it with mysterious French cheese, a gazillion slices of salami, some funky French-style mayo and a token salad leaf.  And when the vending machine at work is your next-door neighbour it’s virtually impossible not to do it the justice of serving you at least once, or ten times.  I think they’ll need to restock the Twixes shortly.  I wouldn’t even describe myself as having a sweet tooth – it’s just the last time I checked, I didn’t see a code to press for a punnet of grapes.  I can see why though.  They would look rather menacing next to an innocent pack of Haribo.  Although coming to think of it, I’d love to see a banana fly out of a vending machine.  Just go with it.

You’d also think that being in the prime bread capital of Europe that I’d be going à la French each day with a crusty baguette.  Bread is the only carb known by the French.  I'm not even sure if potatoes exist here.  Last week I bought my first (and only) baguette in Paris and I never felt more French.  The problem with baguettes however is that they go stale almost immediately so as soon as I left the supermarket I proceeded to rip off a massive chunk of it and eat it in the middle of the street (I then walked past a homeless person and felt rather guilty).  That aside, there’s nothing like some crunchy fresh baguette to quench your hunger.  By the time I got to the apartment, a good third of the baguette had disappeared.  After this little charade, I’ve been living off supermarket brioche (for those times when I frankly can’t be arsed to move much further than my bed), and sliced brown bread for those oh-so-delish sandwiches.  May not taste better, but at least they have an eat-by date which lasts more than 2 hours.

Breakfast for me is easy.  No early morning trips to the boulangerie for a croissant or an oh-so-french Danish pastry.  Just me and my bowl of Special K with a generous drizzle of honey and a slosh of semi-skimmed.  And a spoon to make life easy.  Tangent: my appetite is a funny one.  I’ll be simultaneously hungry and full up.   I find that 2 hours later I’m craving something more despite complaining 2 hours prior that I was going to have a food baby.  Food babies aside, my bowl of Special K in the morning doesn’t really give me enough fuel.  Maybe I’m filling up my tank with Unleaded when it should be Diesel.  Porridge would be the obvious alternative, but that requires effort.  Need I say more. I also ended up using the same bottle of milk for 2 weeks.  Until I realised one morning that it was beginning to smell like cheese.  I’d rather buy my Camembert from the supermarché thank you very much, rather than let it home-make itself in the fridge.  

I'm not a huge lover of fast food but I’ve already been to McDonald’s once since being here.  I found myself in an underground shopping centre (sounds creepy, but it really wasn’t) and there were food stalls selling cuisines from all over the world – Spanish, Lebanese, Asian, Moroccan…the list goes on.  To cut it short, I basically got scared and decided to go American-style.  Gotta love knowing how many calories are in your burger too.  Thanks for that McDonald’s – way to go and make me feel guilty (I assure you…the guilt lasts all of 2 seconds).  As much as I love trying out new food, sometimes it’s way too easy to hit the default button.

Did I mention that it’s 3.30pm and I’ve only moved from my bed once to fill up my water bottle?  Which is why my brunch this morning consisted of a leftover packet of crisps which I opened this morning at 6am after returning from a night out in Paris.  It’s times like this that you wish the metro didn’t stop so early.  Or that the kebab shop around the corner didn’t close at 2am.

Someone make me a frickin’ pie.

Watch this space.


P.S. If these scales are right - I've lost 9 pounds in 3 weeks!  Weird.  Guess the vending machine has been doing wonders ;)

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