Metaphors Are Good For You

Some lessons we have to keep learning and re-learning.

Good food is good for you.

Bad food, not so much.

For lunch yesterday I had pick n mix and a large bag of crisps.

I know.

I know.

As I was having a meat free day I was forgoing meat, and accidentally any other type of protein and much nutrition at all. I’d had my porridge in the morning and I had some plain rice with a few vegetables in the evening to nurse my stomach back to life. Also being out in the sun (not a total deadbeat) I didn’t drink enough water.

I know.

I know.

I went to sleep with a headache. Before then I was lethargic and irritable. Like so much pick n mix, I may have looked bright and shiny and like the real thing, but I was hollow and flat and strangely empty.

Today I started the day with a cheeky bit of toast. I had an indulgent TWO boiled eggs for lunch. Hello protein.

Then for lunch I had sweet and sour.

Och and it was all going so well.

But hang on.

I didn’t get a takeaway. I made it – from scratch. No jar, no sachet, no pouch.I hacked up a pineapple and everything. I fried an onion in some oil, threw in three (more indulgence) chopped gloves of garlic. Then I added a broccoli and some grated carrot and then the chunks of fresh pineapple, a shake of chili powder and some black pepper. After that I poured in some tomato passata. Then you make the magic mix (riffing on BBC’s suggestion for this bit) of a couple spoons each of white wine vinegar, corn flour, soy sauce, sugar and ketchup. Pour that in and swirl around with a little salt to bring out all that tanginess.

This time last night I was already asleep, underfed and overfed, under and over stimulated, under the cover and over being awake. But tonight I’m sitting tapping away at the netbook, all the better for my over 5 a day in a meal concoction. Yes the meal had a lot of sugar in it, but it was fresh, vibrant and good for me.

This is a lesson I will forget. And I’m glad I’ll forget it, because life isn’t about sticking to lessons, it’s about acting out and retelling the story.

Boy did I love sitting with my wife, looking over the loch stuffing our faces with pick n mix. It was so damn romantic ken?

But as we go lessons have to be re-learned. We learn and re-learn lessons about food and everything else all the time. We eat trashy, sensationalist food as eagerly as we go for trashy, sensationalist media. We consume all sorts of things without any idea of what has gone into it. We ignore the oddly shaped and the unexpected and like the vacuum packed and the easily understandable.

It’s not that everything we eat or encounter has to be so worthy. It’s just that we should have a bit more of a discerning eye. Yes that fistful of jelly beans will be bad for me, yes that headline will provide me with initial comfort but there’s a sting in the tail.

I’d recommend for your diet in the lead up to the referendum you tune in to Referendum TV, with rotating presenters including Lesley Riddoch, Pat Kane and Ian MacWhirter. It’s TV but not as you know it. Broadcast every day live from the Fringe (and available to watch whenever you like on their website). The first episode (the only one I’ve seen so far) was an unpolished gem. Reasonable, interesting, humane discussion. The format appears to be discussion followed by interviews with a range of guests from different backgrounds, often at the grassroots. For those curious to see more about the organic movement towards independence that is bigger than any one person or party it will be especially rewarding. The episodes are an hour long and the picture and sound quality is patchy.

But it’s charming, winning and feels good for you.

Like a good meal it’ll take a bit of effort.

But it might be that bit better for you than 10 minutes in the microwave of The News Where You Are.

Thanks for reading.


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