‘No fasting for me during the last fortnight. My house, like the rest of the nation’s homes, has been groaning with food – and I defy anyone to saunter past a plate of mince pies without sneaking one in. Ditto sausage rolls. Quality Street. Ferrero Rocher. I also had my annual tussle between brandy butter and cream on the Christmas pud, and settled (as is traditional) for both. But, new year, new me, and I’m back on the programme and fasting today.
It actually comes as a relief. I was beginning to feel stodgy, like a walking, talking Christmas pud myself, and I missed the loose, lean feeling that intermittent fasting brings. There’s a pleasant sensation of control and clarity that comes with fasting, the very opposite of the post-holiday slump that usually descends at this time of year, when you can barely be bothered to reach for the remote.
Today, then, it’s my usual fasting breakfast of muesli (Alpen No Sugar) with unblanched almonds, hazelnuts, dried cranberries (festive) and pomegranate seeds (fashionable). To be honest, I have taken to slinging pomegranate seeds on anything that doesn’t actually move, à la Ottolenghi, Nigella, Nigel Slater, Lorraine Pascal, all of those TV cooks. In 12 hours or so, I’ll have a generous watercress salad with crumbled feta, balsamic and probably more pomegranate seeds. Shame not to. So pretty.