Good Food, Bad Food, Just Food

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything in the Posh Nosh category. I must confess that my eating habits have not been up to public scrutiny. As you know, for more than a year I was vegan, and my diet was about as squeaky clean as you can get. Then I started to feel ill, weak, strange. I decided I needed to reintroduce dairy, fish, meat into my diet. And, as the all-or-nothing person that I am, I swung the opposite way to my squeaky clean diet, and ate almost nothing but meat, cheese, potatos, pasta, even *shock!horror!* some junk food. It’s taken me a few months of that to get it out of my system. I think I’m ready for a more balanced diet now.

I think I might have muttered something about not being a vegan any more, but I didn’t proclaim it loudly. I was a little embarrassed. It doesn’t feel like the kind of thing you should change your mind about. Being vegan felt so right, so good, so how things should be. Until it stopped feeling so. But I didn’t want you to be disappointed in me. Because I was pretty disappointed in myself.

I found it very difficult to change my eating habits again, almost as difficult as giving things up in the first place. I felt so guilty every time I ate a piece of cheese, or a rasher of bacon, like I was defiling my body. I think I had become a little too obsessed with my ‘clean’ diet, and was identifying virtue and vice a little too thoroughly with certain foods. This seems to be a trend, and it’s something I’ve seen happen to other people (but didn’t think would happen to me). I would have been extremely indignant if someone had accused me of ‘righteous eating’ while I was doing so, but looking back, yes, there was the beginning of a problem. There were too many self imposed rules, too much inflexibility, too much reliance on the perfect diet to prevent all ills and woes.

Please don’t misunderstand me – a good diet is invaluable, and eating sensibly is something we should all aim for. And not everyone who is vegan, or who follows any other restricted way of eating, has a problem. Far from it! But if food becomes an area of control for you, whether that’s in quantity or quality, then perhaps it’s something you need to pay more attention to. I know I did.

So, it’s taken me a few months, but I’ve managed to swing back from one extreme of eating to another. I can eat a bite of chocolate now without breaking out into a sweat of guilty shame. I can eat a salad because I want to, not because I have to. I’m ready to start mixing up my carnivorous meals with some extra vegetables. I might even have some avocado on toast for lunch, instead of my daily cheese on toast.

I think what I’m trying to say is this: I’ve got my love of food back. Good food, bad food, any food.

(Thankfully, I’ve got my love of running back too. Otherwise I’d be in some serious trouble.)

Now what’s for dinner tonight……

Shop Update 14.11.10

I’m excited about this week’s update! We’ve got such a wide selection of yarn, and two of our new yarn bases making their debut.

Mimi: cobweb lace weight 70% royal baby alpaca / 30% silk, 1300 yards (1200m) per 100g, £15 per skein.

Francesca: Single ply dk weight 40% superfine alpaca / 40% merino / 20% silk, 230 yards (212m) per 100g, £14 per skein.

Tony has been trying out some new dyes too, and I think the intensity of colour in a lot of this week’s colourways is pretty fabulous. I’d love to know what you think!

Time Travel

I’ve been doing some time travel lately with my reading choices. Have you got a favourite era? A time period that really appeals to you, makes you think you were born at the wrong time? I’ve always loved everything about the 1930s, the clothes, the music, the movies, the books. The vast majority of my book collection dates from, or is set in, the 1930s.

But lately, I’ve been obsessed with the Edwardian era. There’s something magical about the golden years of the early 20th century, the years before WW1. Life seemed so elegant back then; there was just enough technology to make life easier, but still a slow pace of life and a gentleness that is in sharp contrast to today’s brittle fast-forward world. I enjoyed the glimpses into that world that Downton Abbey gave, although I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the direction of the storylines as the series went on. It all seemed a little forced by the last episode. However.

I’ve been reading the completed works of Saki, some of E.F.Benson’s less well known books (Dodo, Mrs Ames, Paying Guests), and Dornford Yates. Now I’m in search of more authors from that time period.

Another favourite era is the Regency. Unfortunately, this has been done to death by third rate writers, wanting to cash in on the success of Georgette Heyer, and failing miserably. I’m not a huge fan of the many Jane Austen spin offs that have been written in recent years either. So I always approach fiction set in that time period with my heart in my mouth. So I was pleasantly surprised by A Little Folly, by Jude Morgan. It’s not derivative, nor plastered with period slang, and the story is well devised, with believable characters. It leans more towards the writings of Jane Austen than Georgette Heyer, and despite the glitzy covers of the author’s other novels, it’s not a historical bodice ripper, but is true to the period, gentle, and enjoyable.

I’ve also received some other historical novel recommendations, via the Posh Knitters Ravelry group, which I’m looking forward to trying out. I’ve never read any fiction set earlier than the mid 1700’s – for one thing, the language of earlier periods is harder to read, and I’m a bit lazy in my reading requirements. But so many people seem to enjoy the works of writers such as Jean Plaidy and Anya Seton, that I’m going to give them a try. I’ll let you know how I get on!

Competition Time!

The lovely Laura of Fiber Dreams has designed two gorgeous new patterns using Posh Yarn. The patterns are for socks and mitts, and feature a pretty twisted stitch design. The patterns were worked up in Elinor & Jeannie, and the tight ply of these two yarns really helps the twisted stitches to pop. Here are some photos of the two designs:

Laura is looking for names for these patterns, two separate names, but that are linked to each other, or play off each other. She’s offering a free pattern as a prize, so get your thinking caps on! The patterns will be available soon, and we’ll try to coordinate with Laura so that we have a good selection of solid colourways in Elinor and Jeannie, suitable for the pattern. Maybe we’ll have a knitalong on the Posh Knitters Ravelry group – I know I definitely want to knit a pair of these socks!!!

So, what names would you give them?