Food and Dieting – What should we eat?

After such a wonderful summer, with many days well over 30 degrees, it is time to get used to cooler days in autumn. I spent many sunny days on beautiful Fuschlsee, swimming in the crystal clear lake for hours. I noticed that the latest bikini fashion is a thong and women of all shapes and sizes were wearing them. Most of them looked amazing and seemed very confident.
However, I am just reading a women’s health magazine and it seems that 80 percent of women are not satisfied with their bodies and, according to the magazine, there comes a time in many a woman’s life where she has to choose between her face and her backside. These are not my words, but those of many famous models, actresses and women in the know who are smiling at me from the glossy pages. It seems that you can either be very skinny, but risk having lots of wrinkles (which can be quite ageing) or you can be a little bit plump to make sure that those wrinkles are filled out. This does not seem to apply to men, which is very unfair, as many men become more attractive with age. As long as they don’t put on too much weight a well-groomed man can have grey hair and a few wrinkles around the eyes, but still look gorgeous as they mature – like a good bottle of Bordeaux.
I have to admit that I have been on both ends of the scale; unhealthily skinny and – well not so skinny. Up until I was forty, I was very thin and had to eat three meals a day otherwise I looked awful. As many underweight people or those with eating disorders will tell you – it is much more difficult to put weight on, and to keep it on, than it is to lose it. When I was in my twenties my nickname was „Joan the Bone“ because I was so thin. Needless to say, nobody calls me that any more so I have decided to go on a diet. A friend of mine lost 10 kilo, in two months, by doing the 5:2 diet. It seems to be very popular at the moment; you are allowed to eat and drink what you want for five days and only consume 500 calories on two days a week. As I am not very consistent in whatever I do, this is right up my street. Let’s wait and see – this is only my second day.
The 5:2 diet is really not too difficult to keep to and it is much better than not eating anything for two days. I have also tried this diet, going hungry for two days a week, and found that by 4pm I felt dizzy, my head was spinning and I couldn’t get chocolate-covered biscuits out of my head. I was also in a bad mood on those days – ask my husband! I think that being on a diet makes you more interested in food and certainly more conscious of what you are eating.
Food was once seen as a pleasure, but these days the dining table can feel more like a minefield: Is red meat, bacon and ham going to kill us? Is wheat, which we have been eating for 10,000 years, going to make us all ill – even if we don’t suffer from wheat intolerance, or give us Alzheimer’s disease? Will too much coffee give me a heart attack or will red wine give me cancer? Could fish be doing us more harm than good after scientists found evidence that they are becoming toxic due to billions of ‚microbeads‘ – the tiny plastic particles found in face scrubs, body wash and other cosmetics, which have been polluting the waters?
There seem to be so many contradictory reports about what is healthy today that most advice should probably be taken with a pinch of salt. What is good for you one day – is a health hazard the next and it is difficult to keep up with the latest scientific studies. Reading about food has made me hungry so, as it is one of ‚those‘ days, I am just off to enjoy my crispbread with cottage cheese and one tomato and a cup of ginger tea.

to get used to – sich daran gewöhnen
a thong – Stringtanga
confident – selbstbewusst
satisfied – zufrieden
according to – laut, nach Angaben von
to choose – wählen
the backside – Hintern
women in the know – Frauen, die Bescheid wissen
glossy pages – Hochglanzseiten
wrinkles – Falten
to age – altern
to apply – zutreffen
well-groomed – gepflegt
gorgeous – hinreißend
to mature – reifen
to admit – zugeben
unhealthily skinny – ungesund mager
otherwise – ansonsten
awful – schrecklich
to put weight on – zunehmen
nickname – Spitzname
needless to say – unnötig zu erwähnen
popular – beliebt
consistent – konsequent
right up my street – ganz mein Fall
to feel dizzy – schwindlig sein
my head is spinning – mir dreht sich der Kopf
bad mood – schlechte Laune
conscious – bewusst
pleasure – Genuss
wheat intolerance – Weizenunverträglichkeit
more harm than good – mehr Schaden als Nutzen
evidence – Beweis
toxic – giftig
billions – Milliarden
to pollute – verschmutzen
contradictory reports – widersprüchliche Berichte
to take with a pinch of salt – nicht ernst nehmen
health hazard – Gesundheitsrisiko
crispbread – Knäckebrot