Going Bananas

The holiday is over, doctor and the tan is slowly fading (slowly only thanks to the help of L’Oreal Sublime Dry Mist Self Tan Express Spray – without it, decease it would have gone already) however the waistline appears to have continued to expand following excessive all-inclusive holiday indulgences.  Only at an all-inclusive restaurant buffet could you end up with a green olives, dried banana chips, squid goujons, pork in peppercorn sauce and egg mayonnaise all on the same plate.  Surprisingly, it was an unbelievably yum combination.   I’m quite certain there is a paragraph in the lengthy terms and conditions of holiday bookings that says one item of food from every counter must be loaded onto your plate at the same time, and second helpings are mandatory.  I wasn’t the only one taking full advantage of the option of having all three courses on one plate. It was rife, an unspoken rule.  Petite and portly ladies alike walked gingerly back to their table from the serving counters with plates piled high with pasta, paella, chips, a selection of cold cuts and a chocolate covered strawberry balancing precariously on top.

The kids of course loved the fact that they had a little kiddie food station all to themselves, where they could take their own plate, and select whatever they wanted to eat from the wide and varied options laid out.  Seven nights of chicken nuggets, chips and cucumber duly followed.  My favourite meal was on Chocolate Fountain night.  Supper daddy had to restrain me in order to stop me diving straight in there first.  Strawberries, waffles, marshmallows, chunks of white chocolate, pineapple and funny little Spanish cakes smothered in warm chocolate sauce.  Double yum.   And now as a result, double tum.

With action required, and ‘normal healthy eating’ ruled out as the best mitigation of the ever expanding muffin top, I have proceeded straight to critical path activity and I am on day three of a seven day basic fat burning soup diet. Aka, the cabbage soup diet.

Now contrary to popular belief, other food stuffs can be ingested whilst on this plan, however the regime is very specific. Day 1 – only fruit (no bananas) and as much soup as you like. Now fruit, I can do. I’m quite a home with a bowl of pineapple and partial to the odd mango finger, *ahem*.  I decided that if I was going to do this plan, then my heart had to be in and it must be fully embraced.  That said, there is only so much enthusiasm you can muster up about a fruit salad, so I found myself resorting to creating fantastic sounding names for a plain old bowl of fruit.  Breakfast was Strawberry and Peach Medley, yes that was a handful of strawberries and two peaches, diced and ‘meddled’ together.  Tesco did all the work for me with the naming of my mid morning snack of melon and grapes – behold the ‘Melon and Grape Duo.’ My pineapple and passionfruit snack post lunch was a ‘Tropical Delight’. My apple, well, that was just an apple.

Day 2 – only vegetables and as much soup as you like.  For dinner on day 2, the reward of a large baked potato with butter wasn’t inspiring me at 10am, by 5.30pm, I would have been happy just licking the butter, the thought of it excited me so much!  Excitingly, breakfast was a third of the way to a fry up, with a big plate of grilled Portobello mushrooms and beef tomatoes. Cucumber sticks and sweet pepper fingers provided a tantalising mid morning treat before a massive bowl of salad, consisting mainly of lettuce and beetroot, followed by two bowlfuls of cabbage soup.  I did however read a couple of chapters of the Rob Lowe autobiography whilst eating said soup in order to inject a little bit of sugar coating to the whole experience, and the occasional glance at the very handsome picture of him on the front did help the medicine go down. Okay it couldn’t be anywhere further from the kind of day a true foodie might call ‘orgasmic’, but I fell into bed at 11am after resisting the lure of my third bowl of soup in favour of another glass of water, and I felt pretty pleased with my dedication.

Day 3, is a mix of days 1 and 2, minus the spud and all that lovely butter.  Today I’ve had ‘mango kick’ – chunks of mango spritzed with zesty lime juice, and I’ve kept Tesco in fruit trade with a batch of pink lady apples, a punnet of strawberries and a tropical fruit platter. I couldn’t face two rounds of soup today, so salad at lunch was sufficient, and whilst the kids tucked into fresh pasta with pancetta, spicy chorizo, lashings of parmesan and hunks of crusty bread oozing with garlic butter, I had a bowl of cabbage and onions.   So here I am at the end of day three, sloshing back my third bottle of water since I put the kids to bed two hours ago and trying every kind of tactic to avoid going into the kitchen for the fear that the fridge may spring open of its own accord and the rogue packet of malteasers on the top shelf might burst open and fall accidently into my mouth.

The plan promised I would feel ‘lighter and have an abundance of energy after several days’, and do you know, this morning I did bound into the office with a bit of a spring in my step, and have had a very sunny disposition all day.  But then, it is Thursday, my last working day of the week, so that may be the explanation.  My one reservation that perhaps all was not well with the plan was the arrival of a number of small mouth ulcers on the tip of my tongue.  Expressing this to my colleague who followed this plan a month ago (and felt suitably de-toxed and lost a lovely nice round number of pounds to boot) resulted in a razor sharp response of, ‘It’s all the toxins coming out, don’t worry though, even if your tongue falls off, think how skinny you will be.’ She’s right.

Tomorrow, the regime calls for bananas and skimmed milk, oh and as much soup as I like (nada).  On the whole, I’m rather excited at the thought of a banana tomorrow, I can have up to eight, although aforementioned colleague assures me that after banana number 5, I’ll never want to see another banana again. Continuing with the ‘embrace it and make it exciting’ strategy, I’ll be mashing my banana with milk for my breakfast, will dice and slice for mid morning snack and probably just eat as bananas are intended to be eaten, straight from its yellow jacket when the time comes for an afternoon delight.  Up until now, following the plan has been fairly easy going and relatively low impact, however tomorrow poses a challenge.  The slight issue being that this is causing a little bit of havoc with my social life.  We’re meeting friends tomorrow for a play date…and lunch.  I may have to just sit and watch the others tuck in whilst I munch a banana and fantasize about a bowl of the hot soup when I get home.  Then, in the evening, Super daddy is out for a few beers with the boys. Cue lovely sister in law coming over for a night of girls chat, vino, dvd and a takeaway.  Except I’ll be filling up on the dvd and chat whilst she partakes in the wine and Indian food.

I’ll cross the bridges that are day 5 (beef and tomatoes); day 6 (beef and any veggies except the luscious tattie) and day 7 (brown rice) when I come to them.

That’s if I’ve not gone bananas by then.

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