Published on February 24, 2014 | by Dorothy Louise Spencer


Rise of the green army

Dorothy Spencer

Dorothy acknowledges the benefits of healthy eating, but thinks taking it too far removes the fun from food. [Andy Fyles]

A prolific green army, grown strong and fearless on spirulina supplements, are winning large swathes of territory in England.

Led by Gwyneth Paltrow –the Boudica of the super food movement – they have affected a tidal wave of gluten allergies amongst the populace.

Their influence has not yet been felt in the northern parts of Britain, where pale humans with sluggish bowels still feast unconsciously on white bread and ale.

The release of Paltrow’s tour de force It’s All Good cookbook and the ensuing roll out of its pious recipes in the press, especially apt in the vulnerable month of January, brought to mind a favourite Hunter S Thompson quote of mine that has given me great comfort in times of personal excess: “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”

Apart from being faultlessly expressed, Thompson has a valid point on this one, as he did on so many other things.

Some of the most joyous things in life are bad for you – a juicy bottle of red wine, a crusty loaf of bread and a chunk of fatty cheese.

Roll-ups, oh God, roll-ups. Staying up all night, once in while. Full fat Coca-Cola.

Paltrow’s diets obviously work for her as she continues to resemble an elf from Lord of the Rings – impervious to ageing – although I’m not convinced she’s having a rip-roaring good time.

The perils of sugar

It’s not even confined to January anymore, when you can expect to open every ‘women’s’ magazine to find articles on the perils of sugar, which is in EVERYTHING.

I mean, we can’t even enjoy a banana anymore!

The healthy eating onslaught has bled out from the most miserable month in the year and is infecting all the others, so all year round we are audience to the mad ravings of holier-than-thou mothers who actually feed their kids kale and almond milk smoothies for breakfast.

As for kale (that used to be a fringe food), never has a cabbage experienced such a stratospheric rise to fame, – even Pret a Manger is peddling kale crisps.

And If you ever thought students were whiling away their hunger on pot noodles and crisps, then check out the LCC menu.

Remember: Gwyneth Paltrow would rather smoke crack than eat cheese from a tin.

I get that people have IBS, and I’m not a gluten allergy denier, I just think it’s strange that the epidemic is so concentrated in London.

We should all look after our physical selves, mind follows body and all that bollocks, but restrictive diets based on a culture of self-denial won’t make the surge of a life well-lived run through your veins.

What a sad sight it is to watch a woman solemnly devouring a special K bar for lunch. There is no joy in that.

Being healthy doesn’t need to be such a horrible bore, do the sort of exercise you enjoy, have sex, swim wildly in the ocean, run around with your children, and remember: Gwyneth Paltrow would rather smoke crack than eat cheese from a tin.


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