Real Food Markets And The Fake Foods They Sell

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It’s overwhelming how many eating religions are available to follow (purchase).

I’m calling diets religions because that’s what they’ve become. Those who follow banting preach it to anyone who will listen, crusading around the globe converting the sugar-loving masses to a better way of life with banting markets and banting fairs that sell the gospel to the unenlightened. The paleo diet has it’s following quite close to religion because it’s almost a “if god made it you can eat it, if man made it, don’t” type belief and the gluten free believers pray to the chickpea and Tapioca flour Gods. Veganism bashes away at the low-life carnivores who refuse to understand that you don’t need to eat anything that comes from animals to survive. While high fat, high protein diets say this is exactly how we were supposed to live.

Somewhere in the background, are the older, “progressive” religions, the ones who understood that it’s hard to be so fundamental like Low Carb and Fat Free. They ruled the world as the religions in the 80s but are now seen as far too flexible.

And there you are. In the shopping aisle. Confused as fuck.

You’re having an existential crisis every time you buy groceries. You can’t buy a pumpkin because banting says no, but you can’t buy a steak because you shouldn’t eat red meat more than once every two weeks, and you can’t buy milk because its packed with sugar and bad proteins and you can’t buy eggs because shame poor chickens kept in tiny coops and you can’t buy rice cakes because they’re man made and processed and you can’t buy bread because it’s literally SATAN IN A BAG and you will die!! So you can buy spinach and broccoli and white chicken, maybe some microgreens for flavour. And water.

Or you can go to a Real Food Market. I went a real foods market in Bryanston recently. It’s a religious diet market where you can buy every possible type of diet food available. Banting sections, paleo sections, vegan sections, it’s got EVERYTHING.

Let’s unpack the words “Real Food”. A real food market – implying that not fake food but real food. Implying that everything you’re eating right now is a lie and that they stock the real stuff.

Tell me, does this picture below look real to you?

vegan biltong

Vegan Biltong. Is this not the most grotesque abomination you have ever seen? Tell me now, what is real about this? Also What is Seitan? Sounds a lot like Satan. #justsaying

They also found a way to create the below atrocities. Fake fucking cheese – Cheddary and veegalloumi. Now you’re just fucking lying, Real Food Market.

vegan cheddar

Congealed nuts, free from everything.  Tastes like nothing!

vegan halloumi

Does this look Appetising to you at all? Because I would rather eat sand.

A week later I was at the Oranjezicht City Farm Market where a lady named Jane Selander was selling real cheese from her small farm. I felt compelled to show her the pictures of the Cheddary and Veegalloumi while I stuffed my face with tastings of her delicious cow cheeses! Here is a picture of her Aroundcheese cheeses.

cheese stand

Real cheese. Straight from her farm to a market. It doesn’t get more real than that. 

But let’s go back to our “Real Food” market. Here are some other delights I found while walking around watching the religious fanatics buying their over-priced coconut based everything. So much fucking coconut everywhere these days.

vegan fudge

What the Fudge!! Can you just imagine the demonic farts of the people who consume this sort of thing.

vegan apple crumble

A complete bastardisation of apple crumble. It looks like frozen vomit in a tin. 

cheesecake protein bar

what the actual fuck is this? A Birthday cake cheesecake flavour protein bar. How is this a real food? 

 

veggie protein

Pizza flavour Veggie Protein bar! I don’t even know what to say.   

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Hemp Protein Kex Bar and it’s called Legalized!! Kex sounds like a real food ingredient to me.

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Some vegan salami! With little chunks of yucky thrown in there for decoration. 

I’m sorry if I’ve depressed you. After seeing these “real” foods that day I was also pretty down. But here’s a picture of the brownie stand at the Oranjezicht city farm market to make you feel better.

Brownie stand

I bought the Nutella brownie. It was life changing and I highly recommend it.

There’s a word we haven’t heard in a long time. It became unpopular in the 90’s and now it’s possibly seen as the most mundane word in the dieting dictionary.

Moderation.

I’d like to see the word “moderation” make a comeback.

I’d like to see it override the religious fanatical diets holding the world by the neck and drown their noise out. Moderation. It’s a great word. It’s a freeing word. Eat REAL food. Real, delicious fucking food…in moderation. Nothing has to be evil, nothing even has to be pure. If you internalise this notion of moderation, I’m convinced you’ll need nothing else to lead a real foods healthy balanced lifestyle.

This is of course if you can tap into it. I didn’t mention that before I devoured that brownie, I had also smashed a fruit salad with yogurt in my face, inhaled a salmon and avocado bagel and downed 2 lattes all within 40 minutes.

I have a long way to understanding moderation. But I’d rather find moderation than be chocked by the demonising, dieting religions available.

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Active Wear: You’re Either in it, or You have a Job

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There really is no escaping this trend. I can rant about it till my face goes red and I can watch Australian comedians sing about it till the crows come home but it’s not going to change the fact that every shop window across Manhattan  is laden with luminous, flowery stretchy pants and sports bras that have inspiring messages across the boobs. (Because you need my boobs to tell you “Gym. Sleep. Repeat.”)  I didn’t even know Banana Republic had active wear to sell!! I’m sure I walked past a hat store that was selling Yoga mats. Unless I misread the “H” on the store sign.

I’ve never enjoyed the feeling of being left behind or not understanding a trend. I want to buy in. I want to wear active wear. I really do…

But I work. In an office. That demands a sort of unfashionable decorum. You can’t work in tax reclaim in leggings and an underarm cut out sleeveless vest that says Bitch, I woke up like this.

So no one would ever see me in Active Wear!! The only living things that would catch a glimpse of me in active wear are the jacaranda trees of the suburb I live in. They’d see me for 1 hour after work on my run/shuffle/walk. Or the people at gym doing the 5:30am slot with me before work. And are the people at the 5:30am slot really alive at that time? That’s also debatable.

Those leggings they’re selling me can cost well over $100 and I’m going to sweat, swear and fart last night’s garlic-ridden curry all over those sexy three-toned stretchies while I squat, bro. My pyjama pants are treated with more respect than that! How can yoga pants cost the same price as Jeans?! It’s not even a 5th of the material needed to make a pair of jeans! Even if it’s some sort of “Keep you Dry” technology that excuses the price; you know what else keeps you dry? Not sweating.

But active wear has become more like utility clothing. It’s the uniform you wear to get shit done. Like grocery shopping, taking the car to be washed, getting kids around town and sometimes exercise as well. So why?

Active wear 1

This is an online advert for active wear. She’s in the super market. In 1999, they advertised clothing in dark alleys with heroin pipes and the model was smoking a cigarette.

Because active wear is comfortable clothing that still looks decent. This is the answer I got after conducting a short survey of people around me who proudly adorn themselves in spandex daily. This includes my partner who wore her active wear last Sunday to the car wash. We spent the rest of the day lazing on the couch. She was in her active wear. I was in an onesie. My attire is honest.

Is it more than just comfort? Does it have more meaning? Maybe the fashion statement says that I’m wealthy enough not to have to work, that my lifestyle allows me to wear my active wear all day? If you’re in active wear at 11am on a Tuesday in Manhattan, London or Johannesburg, you don’t have a job. Maybe you’re a kickass vlogger or a techy entrepreneur but doubtful. You’re simply rich. You don’t have to work and you can gym and stay in your gym clothes all day. We don’t need Louis Vuitton bags to show we’re in the upper echelons of society. Someone who has a job can buy one of those. But if you can afford to wear active wear during weekday office hours, you must be loaded.

active wear grocery

What the new wealthy look like encapsulated in one picture. The only thing missing is a baby. “Wow, she looks so good and did you know she just had a baby?! Incredible!”

The trend of active wear isn’t practical. Its fashion as it’s always been – aspiration for the middle class. A healthy lifestyle is only afforded by the very wealthy. The gluten-free, carb-clever, banting organic food, the gym accounts, the yoga classes, the bootcamps, the cross fit gyms, the road bikes, the Pilates studios, the vitamin regime, the supplement regime, fucking limes or lemons for hot water in the morning to jumpstart the digestive system, the dietician, the Biokinetist, the personal trainer and the physiotherapist to fix your overworked body.

And of course the wardrobe to go with it all.

Active wear says you can afford it all. Even if you can’t. Just having the active wear tells the story you want people to think.

I can wear leather pants, a leather jacket and smoke a cigarette at 2pm on a Tuesday at a mall – today, this fashion says I’m a bum. But if I’m walking through a mall sipping on a cold pressed green juice at 2pm on a Tuesday wearing my active wear, I am wealthy, I have purpose, I belong.

P.S – I wrote this in my active wear. Thought someone should know because I don’t plan on leaving the house today.

Activewear onpoint

Beauty personified.

Beauty Adverts on FB are Grotesque

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This is a rant. I’ll let you know in advance that this is very much a rant. A comedic one filled with venomous anger.

I’m raging because every day, we’re being pushed some sort of absurd beauty product. Facebook’s sponsored adverts seem to be the most grotesque out there.

In just one week, Facebook has tried to sell me charcoal toothpaste for teeth whitening, a black face mask capable of making me 5 years younger, a second-skin type bra thing with strings to now give my boobs extra lift and about 6 different teas that will help me lose 10 kilos in 3 days.

This is simply horrifying. I mean that literally. My facebook feed is genuinely a fucking horror movie. I know that the hurdles for beauty have always involved some sadistic tools such as eye lash curlers, high heels and spanx but it genuinely feels like a real circus out there today. You have to look like a real demon fool to feel gorgeous.

Charcoal Toothpaste

Look at this beautiful 16 year old in the picture below who brushes her teeth with charcoal paste to whiten them. Doesn’t she look pretty? Don’t you want to buy it now?

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It looks like the 1958 horror movie The Blob. Except the Blob is coming out of her mouth.

Not only must it be a genuinely horrible experience, but my 20 minute research shows that it doesn’t actually work. It’s being sold as turbo whitening agent but apparently you have to use it for years for it to make any difference. Also, it does not actually clean your teeth on a daily basis. It sticks to stains and eventually removes them. However, by the time that day comes, the grains from the charcoal toothpaste would have eroded your teeth entirely. Yippee!

The Black Face Mask

The black face mask adverts play close ups of the mask being pulled off your skin. The same scene has been used in 80’s horror slasher films but now it can be shown as a beauty ad. It claims to pull off months’ worth of dead skin cells as well as any muck in your pores. And they’ll show you! You’ll literally see tiny balls of pus stuck to its black shiny surface. I will admit, it is both engaging and disturbing to watch. Like silence of the lambs, it’s both engaging and disturbing to watch.

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Ladies and gentlemen, real pus and dead skin live and in the flesh!! (See what I did there?)

If you do some video research, you’ll also find countless videos of the black face mask gone wrong. That is true horror. Surely, there must be a better way to have smooth skin.

The Backless, Invisible Push Up Bra

This is a bra that you stick onto your skin and pull strings and it gives you lift. I’m not sure why it disturbed me so much but I think it was its juxtapositioning on my facebook feed. It was between someone’s posting of their little girl and someone’s selfie after exercise (Don’t worry, I didn’t like it).

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Emoticon faces can sell you anything. I don’t trust an advert that doesn’t at least have 2 emoticons to drive the sale home.

It was maddening! The little girl is growing up in a world where even a bra strap is imperfect, a mother fucking bra strap cannot be seen. The back of your bra, little girl, must not be seen. You must pretend that your boobs are perfect as they are without any support. That’s the natural way. And there was a person, busting her arse off to exercise, to keep those muscles strong enough to hold up those tits and these bastards are selling the idea that it’s still not good enough. You must exercise, face peel, blacken your teeth and buy this fucking bra to achieve true beauty.

The Slim Teas

This stuff really scares me. There are so many different brands because there is obviously demand for it. What does it tell us? Women are desperate to find a quick, easy, pain-free solution to lose weight. We know it doesn’t exist but it’s the strongest wish we have. If you asked me for everything that I owned today – every cent I’ve made, my house, my investments in exchange to have the perfect body and I get to eat whatever I want for the rest of my life, I would give it to you. I would give you everything I have. It’s very sad. But it is the truth, reader.

So here’s a tea that’s selling this dream. It’s going to have millions of buyers. And I’m sure people lose weight from drinking it.

They lose weight because they’re literally shitting out their internal organs for 10 days. You’re either drinking your tea or you’re sitting on the toilet pooping out something you ate when you were 5 years old or you’re weeing. Sounds glamorous right?

But the tea drinker doesn’t even know about it because she’s high as fuck on the guarana, caffeine and bitter orange “herbs” they pump into the “herbal” tea smashing their serotonin levels up to heart attack level and keeping them going for hours on end. It’s probably a good thing being an insomniac because you’ll need to be awake for all the hours you’ll spend on the toilet pooping out your liver.

So let’s round this up. We all want to have great bodies, clear skin and white teeth.

If you succumb to Facebook’s advertising, your portrait to attain it looks like this:

You’re sitting on the toilet, while years of internal waste leaves your body uncontrollably, you’ve got black mud oozing out your mouth and your face is covered in a black, slimy paste that you’re about to pull off your own skin slowly and voluntarily.

Fuck you Facebook sponsored pages! I’d rather be “ugly”.

Preparation .VS. F^*K It

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Healthy people of the world prepare their food and plan their lives. They put in the effort to buy natural, whole ingredients and actually create nutritious and delicious meals throughout the week. They research exercise regimes, jot down those plans and stick to them.

Preparation is simply key to a healthy lifestyle.

I’m not sure about you, reader, but I’m not one of these people. I have what I call “The Fuck It Syndrome” (TFIS if you will). It kicks in whenever I’m fully prepared to do something. And it’s strange because it doesn’t kick in before the preparation. Procrastination, believe it or not, is not one of my problems. I’ll get prepared, do the work and just after I’m ready where the only thing to do is step forward and implement, BAM! Fuck it.

Tell me if you follow the below advice the way I do:

Tip 1: Make Sure to Eat Something Before Your Grocery Shop
So You Don’t Make Bad Decisions

Reality: I am always hungry. I’m always on an eating plan. Do they think nibbling on 3 rice cakes before I grocery shop will help? Oh hiiiiiii Lays Chips! Oh no I’m fine. I just ate 2 Ryevitas so I don’t need you. What’s that you say? You come with a sweet pepper dip?

Fuck it.

grocery-shopping-1

Sometimes I eat my groceries straight out the trolley!

Tip 2: Plan your meals ahead and always have the ingredients.

Reality: Mung noodles, check. Star cloves, check. Tree-climber-picked, angel-touched, like-a-virgin coconut oil, check. A chicken, raised naturally in a chicken hotel where they do daily chicken spas and massage their little bodies with honey glazed oil, and they let their tiny feet roam free around 200 hectares of land and are only fed imported pesticide-free grain grown in the hills of Tuscany, check. Fresh beetroot (Root must still be attached. If you don’t spend 6 minutes trying to get to your beetroot, what’s the point?), check. Bok Choy, I don’t know what the fuck this is, check.

And when you’re finally home at 9pm at night and you have all your ingredients to make the dish that looked so easy on that quick video you watched on Facebook from Tasty or Delish where they condense 4 hours of cooking into a 15 second snippet of ‘that looks easy I’ll try it now’ and you’ve unpacked all your ingredients into the fridge and you get out your phone and hit the Uber Eats App Button because Fuck it!

uber-eats

I used to be Jewish but now I’m Uber Eats.

Tip 3: Do at least 1 to 2 days a week of light training to give your body a rest

Reality: My work Colleague, Yellow, works about 12 hours a day. She’s young and energetic and trying to become a Yogi. Yesterday she had a Yoga deep breathing class and at 6:30pm when she was supposed to be on her way, she turned to me and said: “I’m just so tired. I’m too tired to do deep breathing!” Preach sister. Sometimes you’re just too tired to breathe. I get it. You can have your entire gym week planned but I have these two friends named Netflix and Chill and they say fuck it!

fatigue

It’s just so true.

Tip 4: Ensure you Always Have Healthy Snacks
around the House so You Don’t Binge

Reality: Try make your own Kale Chips without burning down your house. Go ahead. Really, I mean it. It will only cost you a couple of hundred Rand and you’ll get it right the 7th time. We’re too tired to breathe but please, let’s make our own fucking kale chips for the 7th time.

Fuck. It.

kale-chips

yummy.

Tip 5: Make sure you have healthy snacks on the go, so you don’t make a bad decision.

Reality: Yeah, just keep some seed crackers in the car, some raw almonds in the old handbag, some Chia gogo berries at your work desk. Can you pay your rent this month? No. Why? Because you’re broke. Why? Because you’re snacking on imported nuts, avocado out of season, organic free-to-swim poached salmon and raw cocoa beans from the anus of an Asian Palm Civet.

You know what else is around when you’re on the go? Coffee shops and Delis and they have real food.

Can I get a fuck it in da house!!

civet-poo

Decaf or regular?

The force of TFIS is strong. It’s destructive, expensive and a waste of your time.

But is it there because there are so many more things to direct your fuck its to these days?

Burnt Kale chips – did Kale chips even exist before 2014? Gym with Kayla – Spend more time with this psychotic Australian than your own family. Ten minutes of mindfulness and meditation a day using a headspace app but my phone battery just died so how am I supposed to meditate now without the app?

Would I say fuck it to simpler things? Enjoying good food within reason from wherever I get it, going for long walks daily, doing some deep breathing while sleeping and not in downward monkey pose, watching TV cuddled next to a loved one or a watching a cartoon holding your kid in your arms without feeling some sort of wasted life/time guilt crap for it.

Those are things I wouldn’t say fuck it to.

But I am hungry. And there’s no food in my apartment.

Fuck it.

Being Happy Makes You Fat

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I’ve never been more content.

I’m in love and loved. I have a great career. My friends and family are all well and wonderful. I have hobbies and interests that keep me busy on weekends. And I just came back from a sublime overseas trip.

Life is damn good.

Therefore, I have put on 3 kilos in 4 months.

I’m tinkering on the edge of fat, again.

My life is so full that there is no longer room in it for working out or jogging. My afternoons come down to a choice between lying on the couch with my girlfriend, J9, and spending an hour nuzzling my nose in her neck (I’m so sickeningly happy, I irritate myself) or going to crossfit and doing 50 burpees.

Tough decision. What to do?

When I was a bachelorette (free and lonely), my Wednesday night itinerary involved going to gym (twice I might add – in the morning and the evening), hanging around there a little longer because I had nowhere to be, going home and eating a piece of dry-grilled hake and steamed vegetables alone while watching reruns of Storage Wars and Extreme Hoarders. Good times. And this is what they positively preach as an “active, healthy lifestyle”.

Last Wednesday I had a date night. This is when a couple singles out a night of the week to go to an above average restaurant and spend time together. This is all very new to me.

J9 said let’s treat date night like a cheat night and obviously I was sold. But you can’t say that sort of thing to an overeating slob like me because I see it as a challenge, not a suggestion. Cheat night you say? Watch me bankrupt this fucking restaurant as I graze through this season’s produce. And next season’s produce.

When I was sad, heartbroken, bitter with the world and determined to meet someone, I was so thin, so toit. I was engrossed in my “active, healthy Lifestyle”. Then I went and fell in love and got happy. And it’s all gone to shit.

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Here is a picture of me from a beach holiday last year. When I was miserable and life sucked and I was thin and magnificent.

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And here I am on a recent holiday with J9. Look how happy I am!! Apparently, you must give credit to this picture. and just in case, for the record, this is not really me. PHOTO CREDIT: Anthony Taafe/Coleman-Rayner. Tel US (001) 310-4744343- office Tel US (001) 323 5457584 – cell http://www.coleman-rayner.com

Is there a way to be both happy and content with life as well as keep your diet going and your gym regime? And if so, how?

How do you choose to go to crossfit over having sundowners with your boo (or is it bae now)?

How do you say on a great holiday in a far off land, oh let’s just have a salad instead of trying this totally delicious local cuisine together?

I’m personally not strong enough.

On my death bed, I don’t foresee myself saying, “Damn, I should have gone to more crossfit classes and cuddled J9 less”. “I really wish I had eaten more steamed hake and less falafel, I was really missing out on that hake.”

Ironically, I’ll be on that death bed sooner than most people if I carry on moralizing my current lifestyle this way.

Tricky. Very tricky.

There must be some sort of balance to this. What’s the root of the problem here? I really can’t find it. But I’m on the lookout for it. If you find it sooner, don’t tell me yet because I’m so grotesquely happy that skipping with 3 extra kilos feels like nothing at all.

The Five Eating Demeanours of Almost Every Woman on Earth

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To be honest, I do not watch other people eat. I am far too engrossed in my own meal to care about what’s going on around me. A flaming meteor with purple aliens having sex on it could come crashing down next to me and I wouldn’t notice because I’m busy reconstructing a sandwich.

I do think people watch me eat, though. People often comment about how I always make food look really delicious. They had to have been watching me in order to come to this conclusion which is strange but begs forgiveness because I do eat with fervour – Like a starving, feral dog who discovered half a hot dog in a trash can.

Sometimes I watch people eat and I noticed that women, in particular, have curious behaviours around eating. I think it might be connected to the shame we feel when we eat or the grotesque propaganda of the multi-billion dollar dieting industry saying that if you enjoy something, it will give you cancer and or permanent anal leakage.

eating crazy

No thanks, Oh ok, I’ll just have one because you know these can cause anal leakage….. I DON’T CAAAAAARE! NYOM NYOM NYOM!!

So here are the five most frequent eating behaviours that beg the question: Why the hell do I do that?

The Savour the Flavour

This occurs when you’re either eating something you’re not supposed to like an ice cream or by comparison to the leafy shite you’ve been eating that day this yoghurt is the tastiest thing to go down your gut. So you savour it. Spoon by spoon, lick by lick. Just really trying to be in the moment. No one should talk to you unless they’re eating it too and you’re savouring it together just nodding in silence with that wide-eyed ‘how good is this fucking spoon of yoghurt’ look.

Amy gif 2

This Low-fat yoghurt is life itself!!!!

The Peekachew

When you spoon food into your mouth then cover it gracefully straight away to hide your chewing as if the act itself is something that needs to be hidden. I mean, everyone else in this restaurant is chewing! Why you hiding girl? You’re allowed to chew. Millions of years of evolution gave you that right. Now you’re covering your mouth like a 13-year-old ashamed of her mouthful of metal braces. Is it philosophical? Like if I cover my mouth, is there really food in it? Is it shameful to chew? Are we afraid that if someone sees us chewing they’ll run for the hills?

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Here’s looking at chew kid!!

The Yummy Dance

This is the bop you do when you’ve just put something delicious into your mouth or it’s not even that delicious but it becomes a subconscious habit and now every time you eat you can’t help but bust out your moves. Some people even hum a theme tune of some sort while chewing. Like a yummy in my tummy soundtrack. If you have the hummer and the dancer eating at the same table, you’ve practically got a Broadway show.

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Mmm Bop ba ba doo wop loving this salad!!

The Shovel and Shuffle

One of your work colleagues is celebrating a birthday today and despite the fact that she knows you’re on a diet, she brings cake and muffins to work. What a selfish bitch. If you can’t have any cake or muffins, no one can right?! Or can you? If you pick at the tiny little corner of cake and then walk away really fast, does it still count? Of course not. If you return every 30 minutes just to shred a little more off the corner does it count? No, it doesn’t you clever person. Does it count when you realise that you’ve eaten three-quarters of the cake over a 9 hour work day. Yes. Yes it does.

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Just gonna take a teensy bit off the edge here…. CAKE IS EVERYTHING!!!

The Snatch and Sniff

When your diet gets so bad that you resort to smelling everyone else’s food because you’re not allowed to eat it. So every time your mate orders a burger and you’re crunching on salad, you ask if you can just smell it. Or when a craving for chocolate hits and you vowed never to eat sugar or dairy for the rest of your life because both are toxic poison for your body and give you cancer or diabetes or something. But it’s day 2 into your new healthy lifestyle regime and you miss it so you just smell the chocolate. You snort it into your nose pipes like a cocaine addict at an Iggy Pop concert in 1986.

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God almighty that’s gooooooood! I can almost taste it!!!

I’ve never met a man who covers his mouth while eating or who does a shoulder jive while chewing or hums an ode to his salmon salad. So why do we do it? Who was the first woman to cover her mouth while eating and set the tone of shame for all of us?

I don’t know but I’m going to continue eating like a feral animal with pride and is anyone missing a naked, purple alien? It came out of nowhere.

(A massive thank you to my work wives who let me film them! You are absolute champions!)