Posted on April 3, 2014 in Food and Drink by Jay12 Comments »


This may just be the strangest drink I have ever tasted!

As you may be able to read from the label, it is composed of apples, celery and kale, with a touch of kiwi. It is supposed to give you nearly two portions of your ‘five a day’. It tasted .. um … it tasted … Well, it tasted like none of its components, that’s for sure. The flavour was not exactly unpleasant, but to be frank, I’m not sure how often I’d want to experience it.

But wait! The scientists, along with our Beloved Leaders, seem to have decided that despite the fact that most of us don’t manage to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables each day, the guidelines should really change to seven portions a day.

I – along with many other people – question whether this is achievable. I used to record all of my daily food intake on Spark People, which is a pretty useful site intended to help people lose weight or otherwise manage their nutrition. If you input exactly what you have eaten each day, it will tell you how your diet measures up to the recommended daily intake of all the main food groups (protein, fats and carbohydrates) and the most necessary vitamins and minerals.

I never once managed to achieve the full recommended daily intake (RDA) on basic mineral requirements like calcium, magnesium etc, and hardly ever got the full dose of all the vitamins either, despite following a very healthy diet of lean meat, fruit, dairy, nuts and many, many vegetables along with a moderate amount of carbohydrates. To do so, I had to supplement with tablets.

Now, I live in a rich country, and I have enough money to go and buy what I need. I know a little bit about how our bodies work, and I know enough to be able to do the simple maths required for these calculations. I have read (until my brain feels like exploding) about good nutrition, what to eat, what not to eat, what to limit and how to best prepare and cook (or not cook) the components. So I can’t help feeling that if I can’t do it, there must be precious few people who can. What’s more, the greater part of the world comes nowhere even close (for various reasons, one being poverty), and yet we are still one of the unhealthiest nations on earth.

At this point, I’d like to say that if the government would only impose a tax on sugar commensurate with the taxes on alcohol and cigarettes, it would go an awful long way to solving one of our biggest nutritional failings, and at the same time raise a huge amount of money for the national budget, but they won’t do it. They’d rather blame us for failing to eat enough vegetables.

I asked two different professional nutritionists to advise me on how to eat so that I could lose weight and at the same time not fall short on any of the vitamins and minerals, and do you know what? Neither one of them could do it.

Personally, I believe these RDAs are basically a load of codswallop. And now they want us to add even more fruit and veg each day.

Well. today I did manage to eat six portions of fruit and veg. I slice of fig and almond wedge accounted for one, a tin of tomato soup (yes, I ate the whole thing) two portions, one fresh pear was another portion. Then later I ate a large serving of brussels sprouts, and a smaller one of mixed carrot, mushroom and celery with my dinner. But here’s the thing: I have to be very careful these days just which fruit and veg I eat and when, because otherwise it plays merry hell with my acid reflux.

No doubt that drink up there helps, in its small way, to make it possible to suck down kale and celery etc, but it would have to be an occasional treat*, because these things are expensive. I don’t know if you could reproduce that drink at home .. Possibly, with the right equipment, but here’s the question:

Would you really want to?

If you’re interested, I logged my food intake for today (a pretty average day for me) with Spark People and saved the nutrition report. I came out quite well, really, considering I wasn’t even trying. Well within the target calorie count, and with the main food groups in the correct proportions, and I’m even within the guidelines for salt – but just look at how woefully short of the targets for potassium, magnesium and calcium I am!

* I use this word with a little hesitation.

Posted on April 2, 2014 in Life, the Universe and Everything by Jay3 Comments »


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