Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Eat whatever you want - what, even diet food?

Gretel Hallet, came on our Chocolate Fairy Training last year and is running workshops in East Anglia.  If you live in the area and would like to attend a Beyond Chocolate course, Gretel would love to hear from you!  Meet Gretel.

Since eschewing diets (notice the word ‘chew’ is in the middle of ‘eschewing’!) I had become a bit of a food fascist.  Never again would I champ my way through a plate of plain boiled pasta, never again would I eat a huge salad with zero calorie dressing, never again would I buy any special diet products from the shelves of my local supermarket.  I would never again eat low fat yogurt, or low fat mayonnaise or substitute anything for cream.  I would eat whatever I wanted, forever.  

Of course, from such a lofty elevation, I was bound to have to fall at some point. 

Because, what if I actually wanted to eat plain boiled pasta?  Ok that’s a cheat question – I do like it but only with grated cheese, sweetcorn and mayonnaise!

All right – what if I actually wanted a huge salad without dressing?  Sometimes (I’ve discovered) it’s a real change to be able to taste the individual salad ingredients without smothering them in other flavours.

I’ve discovered that I love Greek yogurt, even the zero fat ones (although I do prefer the 2% fat if I can get them) and that Greek yogurt is just as nice as cream on some things (but not scones!).

And – just to make sure that my fall was utterly humiliating – I’ve discovered that I really enjoy eating ‘Go Ahead’ Red Cherry biscuits!  Yes!  A specially produced diet product!  Beware, I now say, of making absolute statements.  There are delicious foods to be found in the unlikeliest of brands …

These red cherry ‘Go Ahead’ biscuits remind me of those ‘squashed fly’ biscuits.  As children we used to dare each other to eat them and then squeal with disgust at the thought that the raisins in them might really be squashed flies.  These ‘Go Ahead’ biscuits have the same consistency and are the same flat shape, BUT, and this is the all important BUT for me – they contain dried cherries instead of squashed flies (sorry, I mean raisins). 

Almost any food that contains cherries will get my attention – they’re probably my favourite fruit.  But I wouldn’t have considered giving the diet companies even a penny of my money, if I hadn’t been persuaded to try one of these biscuits.  And now I buy them to have as a snack at work or whenever I want the crunch and chew that they offer plus the subtle taste of dried cherries – delicious!

So, if you’ve been avoiding certain products because of their association for you with the diet industry – it may be worth looking at them again.  Are you actually missing out by not including these foods?  Would you actually enjoy eating them now that they are not your only choice? 

Remember, Eat Whatever You Want really does mean just that – and if you want diet products, go ahead (pun!) and enjoy them!


  1. I LOVE Ryvitas (sadly cos of my gluten intolerance they don't love me), and the more pitted side is perfect for lots of butter! Those Crisprolls are delicious too (can't eat those either, boo hoo!). And cottage cheese, it's actually really nice, especially the organic varieties.

  2. Hi Amy! good to hear from you.
    I go through Ryvita phases (with hummus and tomatoes ... oooo), and I love those Dutch crispbreads with butter ...
    It's been revalatory to go back to some 'diet' foods and discover the ones that do I like after all ...

  3. Another fan of Ryvitas (and some other crispbreads) in here! It always amazes me when it's considered 'diet' food? For me, it's just a food, even if it's somewhat 'lighter'. I wholeheartedly recommend spreading a piece of avocado on top then sprinkle with some smoked paprika and sea salt!

  4. Sounds delicious, Pavlina! I'd go for ryvita spread with hummus, topped with avocado and balsamic vinegar .... oooo!

  5. I loooooove Ryvitas too - great with a poached egg and chopped tomatoes and chilli! Yummy breakfast or snack! x


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