Healthy Eating: Huel

Heathy Food: Why I Quit Eating My Meals & Started Drinking Them Instead

Remember Soylent Green? It was a Sci- Fi movie about a dystopian society where the greenhouse effect and overpopulation led to mass unemployment and a food shortage (scary right?) The main source of food was Soylent Green. A manufactured complete food to meet all your nutrition needs. Sadly, instead of being rich in plankton it turned out to be made of people.

The idea of one food to complete all your nutritional requirements may sound like it’s straight out of Sci-Fi. But that’s what Huel is. Complete food. And not only is it people free- it’s vegan.

Healthy Food

Eating healthy sounds easy. But the reality goes more like this:

  1. You start off with the best intentions.
  2. Fill your trolly with a colourful array of fruits and leafy greens.
  3. Get over-confident because you’ve eaten two pieces of fruit for breakfast
  4. Then get overwhelmed by work.
  5. Grab a snickers to tide you over on your journey to the gym.
  6. Open the fridge to realise half your veg is wilted and you’re too tired to cook.
  7. End up eating your housemate’s emergency pizza (Sorry Dave). And consoling yourself with biscuits

Well, that’s what it was like for me. I was sick of wasting food, constantly hungry from the gym and always snacking on what I could grab (which was never a mixed salad from Wholefoods).

So when my brother suggested trying Huel for a month I thought: Why not?

Healthy Eating Huel

Day 1: Difficult Roads lead to Beautiful locations

Huel

Huel is a nutritional shake. Their mission is “To make nutritionally complete, convenient, affordable food, with minimal impacts on animals and the environment.” This was a massive motivator for me. I’ve always hated wasting food and had been looking to change my eating habits. Huel seemed perfect and the philosophy behind it mirrored my own feelings about food.

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Banana Smoothie with Huel

I’d be lying if I said it was smooth sailing though. Here are some of the hurdles I had to over come:

  • It’s an acquired taste. Not unpleasant. Just takes some getting used to.
  • Drinking my meals made me yearn for solids. It was like being reverse weaned
  • I would be full from Huel but mentally hungry for other people’s meals
  • I kept getting the balance wrong and had to eat it with a spoon.
  • I tried to shake it up on the go, but did not have the upper body strength to do it properly.

But difficult roads do lead to beautiful locations. I started thinking about the positive changes I had been able to make to my life:

  • My shopping bill was halved- and I wasn’t starving myself
  • I wasn’t depleted after Boxing or the gym
  • I was getting my daily nutrients.
  • Even when I was in busy I had two healthy meals a day
  • I wasn’t snacking in-between meals because I was full
  • I was eating vegetarian at least 3 times a week, and vegan at least once
  • I wasn’t wasting as much food and could be proud of the fact I was contributing to a more sustainable way of life

It’s month two and I’m powering through my second bag. I’ve learned to adjust my blend so its a consistency I like. I add berries and fruit for variety. I even added some of the mocha flavouring and it was actually a really nice breakfast drink.

Heathy Eating, but you can still have a brownie

You can bake with it. I can’t do this. My Huel still comes out lumpy

I still eat what I want, but time and circumstance aren’t affecting my choices.

If you care about the environment, want a nutritionally balanced diet, or are trying to eat less meat try Huel. 

 

Get a discount and help a beige girl out.

Why can’t we be friends?

Not all relationships should turn into friendships

A few years ago I received a Youtube video of War’s ‘Why Can’t We be Friends’ with the accompanying wit:

C’mon, let’s be friends (insert winky face).

The message had been sent by an Ex who I had deleted off social media. It actually made me LOL. Not because it was cute, but because the guy who sent me the message knew exactly why we couldn’t be friends.

I don’t really stay in touch with any of my Exes. I tried when I was younger, but the reality is you break up for a reason, and you need to cut that cord.

Some people can’t though. Maybe they think that this person will magically transform. Or maybe they need something to show for the time they invested.

Perhaps that’s why the same Ex expected to just strike up a conversation with me on my Instagram today.

It’s been over a decade and yet here he is, still trying to be friends. Even though I had closed the door. Locked it. Walled it up. I changed numbers, blocked him, cut contact with his friends and yet here he was. Again.

This guy is the post-break up Wile E. Coyote. It’s a pity that an anvil hasn’t been dropped on his head. Repeatedly.

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There’s persistent and then there’s not being able to take no for an answer.Source: Giphy

There will be some deluded Notebook fanatic that will take this persistence for romance. Let me correct you: a guy who can’t take no for an answer after 10 years, or works tirelessly to convince you to change your mind isn’t being romantic.

He has no boundaries.

Showing up blind drunk, throwing stones at a girl’s window and crying, is not normal. Nor is it a sign of sensitivity. It’s a warning sign that says: RUN. RUN FAST! (meep meep.)

Through his sobs he claimed that the only thing he ever did wrong was love me.

Kicking me in the head, dragging me out of a club by my hair and punching me in the face are also fine examples of things he did wrong.

But he’s crying and pursuing me so he must be genuine right?

I will never understand women who think men who cry are sensitive. Maybe the arsehole should be crying.

I’m baffled by people who fall for the bursting into tears routine. But maybe my coldness comes from having had a bottle thrown at me by a guy who swiftly burst into tears over how I made him do these things to me.

There’s something sinister about people like him, who genuinely believe they did nothing wrong. He really believes we could be friends.

Maybe someone did drop an anvil on his head after all.

Photography source: freestocks.org

Let me be Brief

The battle for most practical panties seems to be on. Gone are the days of pants simply hiding your shame and offering a paltry barrier to the cold. Now they actually DO stuff.

In the Red Corner…

For those of you who haven’t been exposed to the viral advertising campaign infecting Facebook feeds, THINX are a brand of underwear intended for use during your period. Think luxury period pants meets feminine hygiene products.

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Here comes the science

No more panicking when you think you’ve come on, or having to make sure every purse you own has an emergency tampon in it. THINX has you covered from flow and hygiene, to style.

Now, I’m no Mila Kunis, so maybe the awesomeness of my undergarments being more ‘period friendly’ is lost on me. Like most women, I learnt to be careful and always prepared. Unlike Kunis, I also don’t have $100 to spend on a cycle set that saves me from having to pay that annoying tampon tax. It’s a shame.

Miki Agrawal, She-EO, seems to have good intentions; she’s setting up an education foundation, giving back to women who need it and trying to bust the menstruation myth. The sale of each pair of undies contributes to Afripad, a Ugandan project that makes reusable sanitary pads for women at an affordable price.

So wearing underwear finally pays off.

In the Blue Corner…

The good intentions behind AR Wear’s anti-rape underwear will lead us all directly to hell. In an attempt to take action against the rising number of sexual assaults in Germany, an inventor has created a fashionable looking…well, chastity belt. Clearly a future where men were taught to respect women’s bodies, control their urges and were adequately punished when they didn’t, was looking unlikely.

resistence

Drinking in these bad boys is gonna be rough

The underwear is cut proof and locked into place, thus thwarting any would be sexual assailants. Because we all know someone with a knife, aggressive enough to try and cut off your underwear during an assault will just shrug and toddle off when they realise there’s no getting in…

 

I’d much rather put £87 toward a taser.

There is always the hope the government will invest. Then they could issue women with a few pairs. That way if attacked we could  neutralise the threat with a taser and then put his genitals in prison until the authorities arrived.

The message is bleak and antiquated: Lock up your daughters.

And the winner is…

If I thought the right underwear was the answer to anything, I’d be wearing as many problem solving pairs as I could. However, between these two ideas THINX seems to have a more feminist and life affirming message. It also manages to flip off that stupid tampon tax that I loathe.

 

Numbers game

Women who sleep with my boyfriend, then have the cheek to comment on my sexual history will be verbally decimated.

There is nothing that will get a woman more angry than finding out she’s being cheated on.

Oh wait, how about his side chick calling her promiscuous.

“He thought that because you’ve slept with so many more people than him that you wouldn’t be happy with him. He was always worried.”

Yeah, that happened.

A married ‘Christian’ woman who had been looking for Jesus in my ex’s boxers, was using my sexual history to justify  her arseholery.

I should have pointed out the irony, but why confuse her further with fancy words?

I’d love to say it was the first time my sexual activity has been commented on. But, as an asian woman I am used to people commenting on my dating life. Jokes have been made about my revolving door dating system. My parents stopped bothering asking if I will settle down. And I have learned to shrug off the questions fishing for confirmation of how many people I have slept with.

Not enough I say.

I am used to friends taking the piss about my dating life. It’s part and parcel of sharing it so openly on social media. It’s funny. I have no problems with it. So why should anyone else?

But, oh they do. And rather than accept that it’s their issue, their insecurity and their choices, they want to make it my issue, my insecurity and about my choices. All of a sudden it’s all about numbers.

The more open minded people I meet seem to have no problem with how many people I have slept with. They also tend to have slept with significantly more people than I have. So why would they care?

As long as you’re the lower number you’re fine.

Funnily enough, I have seen the same nonchalance disappear when it’s turned out I’ve slept with more people than they have. Then they spit out their Starbucks, awkwardly mumble something about doing what you want with your body, before quickly leaving.

Probably to call a group of women together for an orgy to get their numbers up.

It’s a strange phenomena. It doesn’t make me regret a thing. Just taught me to never share numbers, or waste too much time on people who seem obsessed with mine. The issue is clearly their own.

Nothing good comes from sharing numbers.

Unless they’re phone numbers for hot guys you’re going to unashamedly bang.

Signs of Singledom

Being single comes with unique characteristics

“Are you single?”

In the right context, it’s a promising question. It was half term Friday. I was mid-ludicrous story and being loud and drunk, when a relative stranger inquired into my relationship status. All it took were these four words to turn that my smile into my ‘I wish I could stab you with my eyes’ look:

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What the hell does ‘single’ look like? Say it!

“I can see why.”

You’ve seen it in movies when someone says the wrong thing; the scratch of vinyl as a record comes to an abrupt halt. That pin drop silence.

What the fuck did he mean by that?

Am I single because of my behaviour? Was he implying I had no choice in being single?

No, he meant it in the good way. There’s a good way. The “No man could handle you!” way.

It was fast becoming clear to me that this guy a) had archaic notions about the liveliness of a woman being directly proportional to how likely she is to be available and b) wanted to be kicked in the crotch.

I didn’t get it. He was recently divorced. (You can see why. I mean that in the good way.) He didn’t fall into his own labelling system. Perhaps marriage had made him docile and lacking in personality, thus more likely to take a bride.

Maybe he was onto something though. What if I do have distinguishing features that set me apart from women more likely to take a groom/partner?

I used to think I was a fun loving, alcohol abusing, wiseass. Little did I know I was manifesting the symptoms of being single and incapable of being domesticated.

Perhaps single people everywhere are subtly evolving. Currently we have the ability to be shown a genital shot at any time without flinching. Eventually, I’ll have evolved physically to have extra long arms, so I can zip up my own dresses.

Lord knows I can already eat a meal for two by myself.

One day in the future, we’ll all develop a Tinder shaped birthmark about our person that will fade along with our personalities when we meet our match. You know, the one who is out there, somewhere, waiting (knowing my luck, in the bushes).

Maybe then people won’t ask me stupid questions and waste my hard earned drinking time.

Photography credit: http://www.gratisphotography.com

A Suitable Boy

I give up. Let someone else pick the next dysfunctional man I date.  Just don’t let that someone be my parents.

After a conversation on the dire state of my love life, my friend Jess suggested letting my friends introduce me to nice single men they knew.

Now, coming from an Indian family I am no stranger to the idea of relationship introductions. My Dad showed me a picture of my future husband when I was 11.

The image of a fat boy ramming an ice-cream into his mouth, as if it was the cure for ugly, made me burst into tears. As it turned out, he wasn’t my betrothed, but some random child who had wandered into the shot.

The arranged marriage ‘gag’ had been born. It would plague me all the way to adulthood.

Initially, there were some golden opportunities for a laugh. Like when my Dad signed me up to Shaadibride.com, an Indian dating website. We would sift through the applicants, who neither cared that I was an agnostic, nor that I drank and smoked.

“They’re desperate!” My dad would cry, laughing. Cheers, Dad.

But the fun would always be short lived. My dad’s thinly veiled desire to see me married to a nice, Indian boy always came out when an eligible candidate appeared. In this case it was a doctor, offering to fly me out to Frankfurt for a date. Then all I’d hear was:

“Why do you hate your people? Give him a chance!”

The doctors always made him crack.

Things haven’t changed. Only last month my Dad was waxing lyrical about the neighbourhood watch officer who had come to give him property stickers. Before him, it was the Olympian flautist he’d met at a wedding back home (playing fast and loose with the word Olympian there, Dad).

Occasionally, my mum will take over and dish out dating advice straight from the 30s.

No, I can’t keep quiet until the wedding day, mum. I don’t want to be a secretary and try to marry my boss. I will not learn to ‘talk nicely’ with ‘boys’. Thanks anyway.

They’re more bothered by me being single than I am.

I can only imagine that the sound of my biological clock ticking away like The Tell-tale Heart, is driving them to madness.

This is probably why I avoid any kind of spinstervention. Historically, they have ended in disappointment. My dad remains optimistic though.  He still insists I don’t stand directly in front of the microwave in case I fry my eggs.

Hope never dies.

 

 

 

Match

Liking the same breakfast cereal isn’t compatibility

Every now and then I see a profile on Tinder that perfectly matches mine.

It mirrors my likes and dislikes, and line for line appears to be  directly responding to my own profile.

It’s uncanny.

A smile will spread across my face and I will think to myself ” Did this fucker rewrite his profile to mirror mine, then superlike me?”

OK a bit arrogant, but come on. It’s too much coincidence. And I’m not the lucky kind.

A shared love of tequila and sarcasm? A dislike of drugged wildcats and sexually menacing texts? That’s not compatibility. That’s common sense. I don’t put any of my genuine interests on a Tinder profile.

I’m wary of anyone who I’ve got a lot in common with. In the age of all access information all it takes to find out what makes a person tick is a shrewd analysis of their social media.

Despite being a cynic, I am a romantic. Just not your garden variety. While other little girls dreamt of getting married, I was normally crawling around in dirt, pretending I was living in a post Apocalyptic society. Foraging for berries to survive on. Building a time machine out of twigs and paper.

My romance was never about that part of a fairy tale. I liked boys. They were fun and liked to do fun stuff. But I didn’t want to wear a bedsheet for one, not when I could be fighting a robot. I wanted the kinship. A friend. A partner in crime.

I grew up watching my parents disagree on everything, which had a profound impact on me. Their only common ground was a point of origin. They’d argue over something as arbitrary as a potato.lobster

Getting along and common ground mattered to me. A bit too much perhaps.

After watching The Lobster, I got to thinking about all the whimsical common ground that I drew on to keep relationships going. Any eclectic similarity would do. He wears glasses. He does a good Terrence Stamp impression. He too knows the disappointment of never getting a Mr Frosty.

I would let that tiny bit of common ground be the focal point that I meditated towards through every argument, disagreement and stumbling block.

Until I fucking hated Terence Stamp and Mr Frosty.

Common ground is just a foot in the door. Maybe I’ll try the window this time.