LOOK away now if you are of a nervous disposition. Do you know your pomegranate molasses from your kefir, your harslevelu from your pulled jackfruit?
Well, if you’ve only just finished stockpiling the fridge with all that, now a new health fad has popped up: vinegar-based drinks. They’re supposed to reduce cholesterol, support the immune system, promote digestion and even help lose weight.
Victoria Beckham reportedly enjoys a daily shot of apple cider vinegar, which maybe explains the facial expression?
Fad diets are designed to fail – otherwise the industry would vanish. The solutions are simple, but they require discipline and self-control. As regards healthy eating, there’s no art to it, no science, nothing but simple common sense and a little knowledge.
Restrict salt intake, avoid anything containing processed or refined sugars and reduce carbohydrate consumption favouring more vegetables, beans, nuts, lean meat, chicken and fish. Basically, no desserts other than fresh fruits. Simples! Just add – gulp – a bout of brisk exercise daily.
As for food trends I’d like to see the back of, first up is the hipster obsession with communal tables — if I want to sit with other people, I’ll bloody well bring them myself! And pop-up hipster restaurants whose crusade is to convince you that Uzbek cuisine is something you’ve been missing out on all your life (Plov, anyone?)
And I can’t wait for this no-bookings trend to be over. A 90-minute wait is essentially saying: “We don’t give a toss about families, or anyone with a train to catch or a movie to see.” And don’t get me started on never-ending, no-choice tasting menus – with dishes as local and seasonal as a polar bear in a bikini.
With news of the return of ‘Crackerjack’ on TV and ‘Only Fools and Horses: The Musical’, I’m not going even further and demanding a return to early closing days and the reintroduction of the Austin Allegro.
But sometimes, I think I’ve been abducted in my sleep and, on awakening, find myself on the planet Vacuousa orbiting the star Stupidopia.
Nora Johnson’s psychological crime thrillers ‘The Girl in the Woods’, ‘The Girl in the Red Dress’, ‘No Way Back’, ‘Landscape of Lies’, ‘Retribution’, ‘Soul Stealer’, ‘The De Clerambault Code’ (www.nora-johnson.net) available from Amazon in paperback/eBook (€0.99;£0.99) and iBookstore. All profits to Costa del Sol Cudeca Cancer Charity.