A healthy diet for 2010

WITH 12th Night safelybehind us, we draw a veilover the excesses of thefestive season.

That's why stoutly-proposed

new year resolutions to pursue a

healthier lifestyle are currently

being aired.

Helpful suggestions to support

this new regime include joining a

gym or a fitness centre where

personal trainers can be part of the


Less pricey, though more prone

to backsliding since it is a private

activity and there's no-one around

to accuse you of bunking off, is

investing in home exercise devices.

Cycling and rowing machines

are fairly popular and don't take

up much space in the confined

areas within many modern homes.

Garages and attics may prove to be

a better location for them, though.

But anyone seriously wanting to

lose weight should simply eat less

and exercise more.

Sometimes, though, it isn't so

much about cutting back on the

sheer volume consumed,

but about being more

careful in what constitutes

your diet.

The recommended five

portions of fruit and veg a

day sounds like a tall order if you

automatically think of a big bag

from the greengrocery of oranges

or grapefruit, steamed cabbage,

salad stuff or broccoli.

The reality is quite different, and

much less bulky. Think grapes,

cherry tomatoes, bananas, dates

and apples. And celery's another

good one when you seek variety

and some roughage.

One of the hazards of trying to

control a sensible diet at this time

of year is the fact that comfort

foods, inevitably of a richly

calorific nature, are pretty much

critical to survival.

Or so we've all

been conditioned to think.

Like a glass or two of red wine—

not mere units, friends, but rather

a flask of bottled sunshine —

alongside a traditional pie, can

turn any mundane meal into a

culinary feast.

Pies are yet another comestible

delight for which we can thank the

Romans. They used to be partial to

a combination of rye-crusted goat

cheese and honey baked in a pastry


But they didn't share that recipe

so ancient Britons had to wait until

the 12th century for the discovery

of baking flesh within a pastry case

known as a coffyn.

When the baker chose fowl as

the filling its legs were left to hang

over the side of the dish and double

as handles.

Small wonder Oliver

Cromwell found the whole thing so

disgusting that in 1644 he imposed

a 16-year ban on pie eating which

he declared a pagan pleasure.

Like cake, you can have your pie

and eat it — but never over season

with too much salt. You'll risk

high blood pressure, plus increase

the risk of a heart attack, heart

failure and stroke.

The recommended daily intake

for an adult is just six grams, about

a teaspoonful. But less is better.

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