As part of a corporate health and wellness push by a company I am Vice Chairman of, all senior management recently agreed to partake in a swag of healthy lifestyle initiatives.
First part of the initiative is a 7-day “Green Vegetable Detox”, where literally all you are permitted to eat is green vegetables. You’re also allowed to drink water, and a supplement that tastes like dirt that’s been diffused through a hobo’s sock, but that’s it.
No fruit. No bread. No animal proteins. No alcohol. No caffeine. No dairy. No nuthin’.
I ask if avocado is allowed, and am told it is a fruit. While that may technically be true, I think the test for a fruit should be whether or not you’d put it in a fruit salad.
In hindsight, I think the psychopath who came up with this diet would have felt right at home as one of Mengele’s assistants.
But I digress. As most of you who know me will attest, I’ll pretty much give anything a go. So for my sins, I agree to participate (and truthfully, because this is the environment and motivation needed to start to lose weight).
Here is a diary of my progress.
“Ok”, I thought to myself, “how hard can this be?” I actually love broccoli, Brussels sprouts and snow peas – they’re amongst my favourite foods. But usually they are an accompaniment, not as a standalone meal. In fact, whenever people say they hate Brussels sprouts, my response is the same as when people tell me they don’t enjoy sex – I pat them gently on the shoulder, console them and say “Perhaps you’re not doing it right”. They are fantastic sautéed with bacon, olive oil, garlic, shallots and a sprinkling of vegetable stock powder. Admittedly, the rules do not allow bacon, oil, vegetable stock, garlic or shallots, but regardless, I nip to the grocer and pick up a bag each of broccoli, Brussels sprouts and snow peas.
Meal #1: I steam some broccoli, Brussels sprouts and snow peas. I see why people might hate Brussels sprouts if they can’t be pimped out with something else, but I chow my way through it without too much drama. “This won’t be so bad”, I tell myself. “You’re a deluded twat”, I later tell myself.
Meal #2: Since it’s all I have, I prepare another meal of broccoli, Brussels sprouts and snow peas. This time, it’s a little tougher to get through, but I plough on.
Meal #3: Aaaand it is broccoli, Brussels sprouts and snow peas again. I’m starting to regret starting this diet with my three favourites, as they are now rapidly plummeting down the hierarchy.
I go to bed and drift into a fitful sleep, my head spinning as my mind tries to conjure up a list of tasty, alternative green vegetables, but am constantly interrupted by a dancing hamburger.
Meal #4: I awake tired. I crave coffee. I can’t have coffee. I dabble with the idea of breaking my detox and having a coffee. I slap myself (*metaphorically) for being so weak, and prepare myself a succulent (*emphasis on the suck) meal of broccoli, Brussels sprouts and snow peas. It is tough going. At the conclusion of the meal, I walk to the fridge, fetch the remaining broccoli, Brussels sprouts and snow peas, toss them down the garbage chute and head out to the grocery shop in search of greenspiration.
I am surprised at just how few green vegetables there are. There is little that satisfies my restrictive colour palate, while satisfying my other palate. I cannot have spinach, as I am allergic (the power of Popeye evades me) so end up buying up bagfuls of anything green, but mostly just replacement broccoli, Brussels sprouts and snow peas. Seriously, chard? What the fuck is chard?
Meal #5: I dabble with steamed zucchini and blanched asparagus, but discontinue with the asparagus because it makes my pee smell foetid.
The acclaimed auteur, Marcel Proust once said “asparagus transforms my chamber-pot into a flask of perfume.” Proust, you’re a fucking idiot. I can’t see anyone clambering to buy Eau de Asparagus Toilette.
Meal #6: I spend 10 minutes standing at the open door of my fridge. I end up grabbing a bunch of celery, and mindlessly chomp on it in front of the television. First thing I realise is just how many adverts there are, for things more tasty and satisfying than celery.
Have you ever noticed, that when you decide to upgrade your TV, advertisers suddenly appear to have read your mind, because all of the sudden you are receiving pamphlets in the mail for new TVs, there are signs on bus stops spruiking new TV’s and every second ad on TV is for a new TV? How did they know?
It is stereotypical of the world of advertising, that in mainstream media, the mass-saturation, shotgun approach to marketing is the oft preferred model, hoping to capitalise by catching you at an opportune moment of need.
The same applies to food. You just don’t notice how many ads for food are out there until you are starving. In two hours I count 5 pizza ads, 3 KFC ads, 2 McDonalds ads, and a plethora of ads for junk food and snacks of one variety or another.
I note that not one ad was for green vegetables, and no matter how hard I try, I cannot convince my tastebuds that the stick of celery I am munching on, is really a beef and bean burrito.
I trundle off to bed. Sleep is difficult, but I must have drifted off, as I later awake with a start, at the realisation that a bear had wandered into my bedroom. I quickly realise the growling is simply my stomach. It is difficult to sleep amidst all the racket, so I spend a couple of hours distracting myself with Candy Crush. Candy… *drools* argl argl argl arghh.
Meal #7: All vegetables and no coffee (or whiskey) makes Gaz a dull boy. But we welcome broccoli, Brussels sprouts and snow peas back into the fray. Must. Resist. Urge. To kill.
Meal #8: This time, I spend 20 minutes in front of the fridge. I end up making a salad of rocket, cucumber and mint, and try to convince myself I’m the culinary equivalent of Thomas Edison. Turns out Edison couldn’t cook to save himself, but it is a welcome, albeit unsatisfying, break from Brussels sprouts, broccoli and snow peas.
Meal #9: Shit is getting real. Really real. I am tired. I am hungry. I am on edge. I am on the edge. I find myself drooling over a wilted carrot in my vegetable crisper. However I do not yield to wiles of the orange temptress, and throw together a hearty platter of broccoli, Brussels sprouts and some green beans, just to shake things up.
I once again try to sleep, but headaches, hunger and homicidal tendencies rule the night. Once I do doze off, I dream I am a broccoli farmer. Endless, endless rows of broccoli.
I am told days 3 and 4 are the toughest, but I honestly can’t see things improving. I’m just halfway there, but I am more than halfway out of my mind.
SUPER MEGA TILT!
Stay tuned for further updates, assuming of course I do not yield to the overwhelming temptation to kill. Actually, if anyone is competing in a “Dead Pool” hit me up with your list. If I’m going to go postal, it is always good to have a purposeful target. So watch your back, Putin.