I promise you I am not a pig, I do try to eat relatively healthily whenever I can as that was one of my new year resolutions. It wasn't a bate "I'm going to go to the gym 8 times a week and eat clean all day everyday" kind of resolution because that would have failed before it even had a chance. However, something just had to be done to counteract the amount of cake, brownies, macarons, sugar, fat etc I put through my cake hole throughout the day job. So I drew up some guidelines:
1. Eat more fruit
I've re-ignited my love for easy peelers, bananas and pears (and come off believing real fruit juice in macarons counts for any of 5 a day...).
2. Drink more water
I'm still struggling with this but slowly working up to 1.5 litres daily.
3. Eat breakfast
I've started having almond milk (my tummy's never been too good with cow boob juice) with a small bowl of cereal and freeze-dried strawberries and it's been really helpful in curbing my snacking habits.
4. Cook more
Since closing the shop I'm not necessarily less busy but I am getting home sooner and making more of an effort to cook simple meals that aren't just revolving around some form of pasta.
5. Unfollow Insta-nutritionists
I completely believe in looking after our bodies - I don't smoke, barely drink, go to bed early, and prefer veggie meals which ALREADY makes me somewhat an awkward person to socialise with (why is EVERY new trendy place about "sharing" plates?!). So I can't really justify adding to my weirdness by imposing further, and ultimately unnecessary, dietary restrictions as I am luckily not allergic to gluten or dairy. Yes, I bloat like a pregnant walrus with the occasionally pizza but I've made peace with that and just put on my stretchy joggers. Hence as pretty as flatlay Instagram shots of grapefruit, granola and gluten-free avocado-on-toast breakfasts can be I am SO over feeling guilty for tucking into my fried egg 'n' bacon sarnie (or French toast with ice cream!!).
Avocado cheesecake, beetroot brownies, chia puddings...I've reluctantly tried them really hoping to be converted to eating "clean" but sadly they taste fowl to me. Still very much a real sugar and dairy butter kinda gal (in moderation of course).
Don't get me wrong, I follow a lot of foodie instagrammers who post images that inspire me for balance and variation at meal times (eg: @smittenkitchen, @mallikabasu_) but I cannot stomach "healthy" desserts dressed as a legit substitute for the real thing because it can never be. I'll have an easy peeler for dessert if I'm feeling a bit more rotund than normal, not a [insert-any-vegetable-other-than-carrot]-cake.
So finding Bella Younger's, aka @deliciouslystella, Instagram account was a revelation. Her ridiculous tongue-in-cheek posts crack me up and don't make me feel like a pig when I eat pizza.
It's the first time I've properly fangirled over someone (after J.Lo...I love J.Lo) so much so that we came up with a cake design in her honour - the #DeliciouslyStella cake, which not surprisingly is one of our best-sellers. This cake is obviously not taking moderation into account at all, stashed with real butter brownies, cookie dough, kitkats, maltesers, kinder buenos, rolos, oreos, basically the entire naughty aisle of the corner shop on a cake...BUT you don't eat a cake like that everyday and as Bella says, "corner shop food is locally sourced".
Hence ,you can imagine my absolute delight in actually having Bella attend a private cake decorating class with me to create her namesake cake and recording an episode of her hilarious podcast! I was SO EXCITED, wore my stretchiest joggers, and don't think I have laughed so much "at work" as I have teaching her.
Taking a cue from @deliciouslystella's approach to eating "clean" I've come up with our very own Faux Fried Chicken n Waffle cake - it's another insane Triple Decker cake design with a brownie base layer, red velvet and vanilla sponge layers, sea-salted caramel Swiss meringue buttercream, Belgian waffles and Faux Fried Chicken with sea-salted caramel gravy.
Uhhh, you're thinking, "Hang on, what's clean about any of that?! It sounds like the filthiest cake ever, and umm CHICKEN on CAKE?!".
Wellllll my dear reader, it's FAUX fried chicken...it's SO clean that it's not even fried and it's not even chicken! They're made with dark chocolate brownie "meat", and a chocolate covered pretzel and popcorn bone. Foooooled ya!
Download the Deliciously Stella podcast from iTunes or Spotify (Episode 4) and be prepared to snortle the whole way through. In fact, subscribe to her series and have a binge-listen as they are all a riot.
Thanks for coming Bella! They do say laughter is one of the best forms of exercise so I'm glad to have gotten such a good workout while caking ;)
Lots of love,