Thursday, July 26th, 2012
Unless you live under a rock, you know there’s a pretty big sporting event taking over East London for the next few weeks. I live in Stratford, so I’m right slap bang in the middle of it all, within spitting distance of the stadium. I’ve watched the area change so rapidly over the past year and a half, it is actually mind blowing. New shops, buildings and green areas are popping up all over the gaff. So, if any of you happen to be down East London way, I thought I’d pass on a new found hidden gem I stumbled across a couple of months back.
Tuesday, June 19th, 2012
Last night, I was invited to dinner at Mango Tree in Belgravia. I’m not one to turn down a good meal, so off I went. This is the second time I’ve been and on both occasions, I’ve been bowled over by the service. The staff are just delightful – impeccably polite and on top of their jobs; your glass is never empty, when you’ve finished eating, the plates are cleared within minutes. I’d say in all honesty, the food isn’t mind blowing, but we had a good feed. We had fish cakes, prawn spring rolls, chicken satay, lobster, stir fried sweet chilli chicken and of course, a chocolate brownie to finish it all off.
Take a look at some foodie pics!
Tuesday, May 10th, 2011
Ahh food, glorious food. Except that I don’t find anything particularly glorious about it. Food scares me. Thinking about food scares me. Trying to eat the right foods scares me. The whole thing just stresses me out. It’s not that I eat badly. I’m not stuffing my face with cakes and chocolate. I’m just very picky, always have been, hate trying anything new, so my diet is fairly restricted and doesn’t necessarily include a lot of fruit and vegetable matter. For a 30 year old, it’s all rather pathetic really. But enough of this madness! It’s time to sort it out.
Thursday, April 8th, 2010
I’ve always been a picky eater. When you’re a kid, it’s alright to be fussy, but when you’re 29, it’s just sad. My general policy with food is to never try anything new, ever. Occasionally, I slip up and try something. Sometimes I even like it, but it’s always traumatic.
I have about five foods that I actually eat and I just rotate them. I’m fine with that. I don’t feel like I’m missing out. When people ask me ‘what don’t you like?’ I sit them down, get my scroll out and make sure they have at least 45 minutes spare for me to tell them. I operate by one basic rule: if I don’t like the way it looks, I won’t be eating it. That rules out anything like olives (which repulse me), tomatoes (all that nasty jelly looking stuff and pips inside), chickpeas, lima beans, cucumbers (I can’t stand the stench), oranges (the most socially unfriendly food ever) – actually, the list really is too long, but I’m sure you get my point.
I’ve learned to live with my quirky eating habits, but that’s mainly because it’s just me who has to deal with them. But if I meet someone new, or I’m out to dinner or God forbid, eating at someone else’s house, it gets messy. I’m bombarded with questions about why I don’t like this or that and looked at like some sort of weird science experiment. Everyone thinks they’ll be the one to ‘cure’ me. I don’t want to be cured! I like my five food diet! Leave me alone!
Eating at someone else’s house is always difficult for me. I don’t want to offend anyone by not eating their food. What if I try it and I don’t like it after they took the time to make it? The whole thing stresses me out. When I lived in Japan, some of my students invited me to lunch at their house. That’s already a huge deal, what with all the etiquette in Japan, but then throw food in there and that’s a potential minefield for me. Little did they know, I’d been surviving in Japan on a steady diet of noodles and pretty much nothing else. No I don’t eat sushi. I’ve never tried it. Why? Because I don’t think it’s too much to ask for my food to be cooked! I spent a week stressing about this lunch and when I got there, they’d made me chicken wings and rice. I love Japanese people.
I don’t cook and I don’t care to learn. Food just doesn’t excite me. It’s just nourishment. I have far better things to spend my time and money on. So yes, the imaginary French boyfriend that I’m trying to ‘Field of Dreams’ into existence will be a bad ass cook who will be able to do incredible things with the five foods on my ‘yes’ list.
Monday, November 9th, 2009
So, what’s wrong with you? Are you lactose intolerant? Wheat intolerant? Coeliac? Gluten intolerant? Have a nut allergy? Come on, we all have something. Going out to eat with people is harder and harder these days as diva-esque dietary requirements have permeated our society to the point where it makes me wish we all went back to living in caves and eating twigs (if we ever even ate twigs. Who knows? Or cares, for that matter).
And I’m no exception. Anyone who knows me knows I’ve been a hideously picky eater since birth. How my parents managed to get any kind of nourishment in me as a child is beyond me, since I didn’t actually seem to like anything. And where does that get you? I’ll tell you where – it gets you to 28 years old and liking approximately five foods.
One of those foods is bread. Oh how I love me some bread! Give me bread, in any form and I will chow down like a Queen at a banquet. I could eat bread for every meal. Just the bread – I don’t even need to jazz it up. Butter and jam are for suckers. Give me a straight up loaf and I’m in heaven. However, let this be a cautionary tale:
After years of having problem skin and trying literally everything to get rid of it, I went to a naturopath, homeopath something or other and the word came back conclusively that I should lay off the wheat. And the dairy. No regular doctor had ever recommended I try this route (given, I hate regular doctors and rarely go to them unless it’s something serious like, a lung is hanging out of my chest). Regular doctors just try to jack you up on antibiotics, which, in the case of skin problems, have no effect or if they do, good luck trying to get off them, because your skin will just flare right up again.
So, I have been off the bread for a while now. And in it’s place? A crap load of supplements. I take vitamin A, zinc, methonine, calcium, flaxseed oil – I’m surprised I don’t rattle when I walk. Sure, every now and then, I bypass the gluten free bread I’m supposed to eat and just wolf down a few slices of the regular stuff for old times sake, but you can guarantee my skin suffers as a result.
So, this new world of rice milk and gluten free breads combined with the entire supplement section of a natural health food store has helped with my particular problem. It has also put a serious dent in my wallet. I guess I’ll just get by on my bird food diet and the smell of bakeries for the rest of my life. Fun times.
Wednesday, March 4th, 2009
So, I know it’s a recession and all, but cheapness is not an attractive quality. Don’t get me wrong, everyone watches their pennies, but you don’t need to constantly bring up how broke you are at every available opportunity.
I really have issue with people who are cheap for no reason though. Take my boss for example. That man pulls in some decent figures, much more than me, that’s for sure. Something I noticed when I started working there is that he never takes lunch.
At first I thought it was because he was a hard worker. Then I just thought it was strange that any man could make it through an entire working day without so much as a cracker. Over time I noticed, there were rare occasions when he would eat. I put two and two together and noticed that those occasions were when the meals could be expensed: a breakfast meeting here, a lunch there. So, maybe once or twice a month, this guy will eat during the day. He’s starving himself damnit! And all in the name saving a buck. That is some shameful shit.
I don’t know how he does it. That takes commitment. I’ll get woozy around two o’clock if I haven’t eaten.
I remember once, when I lived in New York, I once went three days without food. It was not by choice. I was broke and unemployed. And you know, apparently spending all my money on fly ass L.A.M.B trench coats. I survived on a jar of peanut butter. Hard times! I managed to scrape together ten bucks after a few days, took myself to the Olive Garden for the soup, salad and breadsticks deal and let me tell you, that shit never tasted so good. I had the waiter sending breadsticks out to me on a conveyer belt. I shut that restaurant down. They practically had to wheel me out of there. I spent the rest of the day walking that epic meal off.
During that meal, I said to myself ‘man, when I have a job and am not basically the flyest-almost-homeless person in the tri-state area, never again will I go without food and have to sit through the shame of dining at The Olive Garden.’ And you know what kids, I have not had to survive for three days on a jar of peanut butter or go to a shitty all you can eat lunch special since then.
My point being, I was on the peanut butter diet because I had to be. I had no choice. My boss has a choice, has money and chooses not to eat because he’s probably one of the cheapest men to ever roam the earth. I pity the fool that marries that man. She can expect to go dutch on every meal for the rest of her life. That’s if he even takes her out to eat.
So, if you’re reading this and it’s about time for you to have a snack, go ahead and splurge. Don’t be a food scrooge.
Tuesday, November 25th, 2008
Monday, October 13th, 2008
This weekend was Thanksgiving (I don’t know why we have it in October. I sense it’s because Canadians feel an intense need to do everything before Americans, to prove some kind of point. I’m surprised they haven’t bumped up the birth of Christ to get in there before the Yanks too).
After a few days of being knocked out with a cold, I was looking forward to a feast. We’d organised a pot luck at my friend’s house. I went over there early to cook my scallop potatoes (which, in case your wondering, kick some serious tater ass). Over the course of the day, stragglers came through with their dish of choice and around 8pm, we all sat down to a righteous feed.
Thirty minutes later, we had inhaled any food stuff in sight and lay semi-passed out in the living room. As the night wore on, my cold started to get worse. I was feeling congested and gross and figured it was time for me to peace out and get some rest. It was 10pm when I left and was humid out, but I wrapped up nonetheless. I unlocked my bike and it fell over. Great start. I struggled to pick it up, gathered myself and got on for my twenty minute ride home. I don’t have a helmet and haven’t put lights on my bike yet – oh, I like to live on the edge my friends.
Any sort of physical exercise is tough when you have a cold. I was wheezing like an 80 year old man. I finally made it home and scared the crap out of myself when I looked in the mirror. The humidity had brought my Irish girl afro out in full effect. I was suffocating myself. I waded through my hair and made it upstairs, only to realise my phone was missing.
I had a flash back to my bike falling over when I unlocked it and imagined my poor phone must be wallowing in the grass somewhere over by my friend’s house. I then had a glimpse into my future of going to the phone shop to attempt to get a new one. I don’t need that drama – the less I have to do with my cell phone company, the better. I had no choice. I would have to cycle back over there and hope some passerby hadn’t stolen it already. I threw my hair up into Bangs and a Bun (what’s that? Shameless self promotion? You betcha!) and went on my way.
By the time I got there, I had snot running down my face and needed CPR. I hurled my bike to the ground and got on my hands and knees in the grass to track down my phone. Luckily, it was there. I called my friend, told her to look out the window and told her the whole story. She found it quite hilarious, probably because she had the misfortune of having the visual to go with it.
Clearly, this unexpected expedition hasn’t done much for my cold. It’s now moved down to my chest and I sound like a sex chat line operator. I may have to use that to my advantage for the next couple of days. It’s a recession dammit! I gotta do what I gotta do!
Monday, July 28th, 2008
Last week, I met with a nutritionist and shared all my dirty little secrets about my crappy diet. Talk about embarrassing.
I’ve always had issues with food. I have food sensitivities, can’t eat wheat blah blah blah. But mainly, I’m just a picky eater. Sure, one would think you’d grow out of that by the time you’re 27, but apparently not. As such, I find grocery shopping intensely intimidating. I have mini panic attacks in the supermarket. I don’t know what the hell I’m supposed to be buying, so I just buy all the wrong stuff to get the process over with – and then I don’t even eat it. Yeah, like I said, “issues.”
So, I met with a nutritionist. She asked what I wanted to focus on and I told her, in a nutshell, I don’t know how to feed myself, I’m very intimidated by the supermarket and don’t know what to buy. She nodded and had a very understanding look on her face. “When I go to other peoples houses for dinner,” I tell her, “they have shit in their cupboards. What is that shit and am I supposed to have it?” The look on her face went from understanding, to disbelief.
Nonetheless, she waded through my pool of stupidity and got to work on a list of ‘staples’ that I should always have in my house, some of which, I couldn’t pronounce. Yes, I will be living in the healthy/natural foods/organic/bird food section of the grocery store for quite some time.
Armed with my new, unpronouncable shopping list, I made my way down to the grocery store, making a solemn vow to myself to not leave until I’d done the job. (On the way there, I got distracted by a great little antiques market – that kind of shopping seemed much more exciting than hunting down nutrients for my body. But as a testament to how serious I am about this ‘get healthy’ thing, I managed to pass up a great deal on a vintage Christian Dior bag, in favour of the pursuit for green veggie things and something called ‘fruit’.)
I got to the supermarket and got that familiar panicky feeling. I got a cart (yes, a cart! And I was actually going to put things in it!) and started my long, arduous mission. Part of what makes it so intimidating for me is that everyone else in there looks like they know what they’re doing – I just feel like a big phony because I’m winging it (and of course, because I’m an adult who eats like a frikkin’ toddler). But this time, I had my list. It took me one hour to get through it (no, I’m not shopping for a family of twelve, just myself), but I came out alive.
I’m sure you’re reading this somewhat befuddled as to why I consider a trip to the supermarket such an achievement. I don’t want to have to fill you in on the 27 years of my existence, but trust me, I just overcame a huge hurdle in my life.
Now, I have shit in my cupboards, just like a regular person. I just need to figure out what the hell to do with it.