Bubble gum…available in England, after all.

DOES anyone know what constitutes a healthy diet?

Quite frankly, I’m baffled.

When I was a young ‘un it was simple: I was given home-cooked meals containing as much fruit and vegetables as my parents could realistically cram onto one plate.

As a reward for eating my greens, I was allowed a Woolworth’s pic‘n’mix once a week (but only up to the value of a pound).

Until I was 10 I believed raisins were sweets (thanks, dad) and it took me months to realise my mum was lying when she said bubble gum was ‘only sold in America’.

But the point is, it wasn’t rocket science.

Now, I think advanced physics might be simpler – or at least less in conflict with itself.

Fish, which I’ve previously been told is good for the brain, should now be off the menu entirely because of the amount of ‘plastic particles’ in the ocean.

One day experts say we should aim for five portions of fruit and veg, the next we should be juicing everything, then we should be avoiding anything that even resembles juice.

Now we’re back on solid foods they’ve upped the ante: ‘seven-a-day’ is the phrase of the moment.

This is more logical than ‘no carbs after 5pm’ or ‘only blue foods on Thursdays’.

But what I’ve discovered is that seven-a-day is hard. As a result, trying to hit my target has become a serious business.

“No, no, no, it’s all wrong!” I say, surveying The Fiance’s shopping list and wielding the iron fist of nutrition.

“We’ll be getting eight on Tuesday but only four on Wednesday!”

It’s become a military operation.

“I’ve had four…five…six…” I count on my fingers.

“Oh God, I missed my 11am apple! I’ve only had six of my seven-a-day! Quick – pass me the dried apricots!”

Honestly, I’m sure things were simpler when I was a kid.

I blame Woolworth’s closing. Everything went downhill after that.

I need to find somewhere that does pic’n’mix – that’ll solve the problem.

Or, asks a nagging voice at the back of my mind, have I slightly missed the point..?

Article first published in The Westmorland Gazette on April 10, 2014

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