Thought for Food, pt 1

Choices, choices…

“Eat food, not too much, mainly plants.” Michael Pollan

I love that quote.

You’re a Star by What You Eat

Entertainers need to stay healthy. If you are ill you can’t work and therefore you don’t get paid. And you need to look healthy to maintain the oh-so-important showbiz image. Otherwise, you won’t get the repeat bookings. 

Diet is a major factor. It is very easy to eat badly as an entertainer, especially if you are on the road.

Junk Fuel

In my twenties I spent most weekends driving around doing kids parties. I still do. But, back then I used to fuel these weekends on pasties, mars bars, caffeine energy drinks and protein shakes. I know other entertainers who choose fried chicken, burgers and pizzas. It is always the burger, pasty and chicken outlets that have the biggest queues at motorway services.

I used to be able to eat anything. I couldn’t get fat. I was blessed with a rapid metabolism that meant that I could burn off anything. People warned me that this would change when I hit 30 years old, that my metabolism would suddenly slow down and that I would start having to watch what I ate. However, I cruised through 30 and nothing happened. I thought, “Hey , I’m different, normal rules do not apply!” And then it hit me at 33. Oh well, I got three years grace!

Salad Days

Since then I have managed, more or less, to stay healthy and not to put on loads of weight. I have done this by training myself to choose good food, to like good food and to cook good food.

On the road, I have switched to healthy salads from M&S or Waitrose, black coffee, apples and fizzy water. I feel better and fuller as a result. 

It is worth knowing a bit about nutrition and reading labels on the packets. I try to limit my saturated fats. Protein kills hunger faster than carbohydrates. For my staple meals on the road I tend to choose salads with rice or potatoes, normally with fish or a small amount of feta cheese. I avoid pastry and pasta. 

Change your snacking habits. Get rid of mediocre biscuits. Only eat decent biscuits and only eat them on special occasions, like when a friend comes round to tea. Eat a piece of fruit or some nuts instead of a chocolate bar.

The Best Possible Taste

As well as training yourself to choose good food you can also train yourself to like good food. I know beer is not generally regarded as a health drink, but I remember that when I started as a student I didn’t like the taste. Now I love it. At some point in my undergraduate career I decided to learn to like beer. When I was a child I didn’t like cucumber, now I love it. At one point in my teenage years I decided to learn to like cucumber. I did the same with black olives.

I has a fascinating conversation with a magician who was struggling with his weight. I asked what he tended to eat and then I suggested he try eating more salads. “Oh, I don’t like cold food,” was his response, and there was the problem. But the tragedy is that it is entirely possible to train ourselves to like new tastes. Our likes and dislikes are not set in stone. This should be liberating if only we choose to embrace it and train ourselves to like new things. 

Just like a magician trains themselves to do a new move, you can train yourself to eat healthily.

Starting transforming yourself into a new you today!

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