The Lazy Journalist - Too many burgers and not enough spinach

Steve Holloway
Steve Holloway

Young leaf spinach instead of lettuce leaves – that’s about the current sum total of my healthy-eating drive.

At this precise moment in time it’s an initiative which isn’t so much stalled, more horribly broken down, abandoned and reported to the police by angry neighbours for taking up valuable space.

He's strong to the finish cos he eats his spinach etc... (Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images)

He's strong to the finish cos he eats his spinach etc... (Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images)

The spinach thing is a desperate attempt to get some greenery down my greedy gullet, and is only one step away from when a friend of my mine used to secretly sneak it into her children’s smoothies for the same reason.

I’ve given up on kale, because I can’t bear those revolting stems which taste and feel like you’ve just grabbed a small branch from the nearest tree.

So, spinach seems a sensible alternative, especially when eaten raw in salad, because, A) as we all know, cooking them seems an obscene waste of food due absurd shrinkage (the ratio appears to be two shipping containers full of spinach to produce one dessert spoon of cooked produce) and B) Whenever I cook spinach it takes on the consistency of a towel which has accidentally dropped in the bath, and tastes about as good.

It’s a superfood, right? But how super is it? I think most people of a certain age will have been less than subliminally influenced by a pipe-smoking, brawling cartoon sailor (what better role model could you ask for?)

Spinach growers must continue to thank Popeye for the positive publicity, and you could also wonder if there was some PR chichanery involved in the creation of the widely believed myth that food scientists miscalculated the health benefits by a whole decimal point (a good story but since debunked).

But the grim personal reality is that my diet is closer to Popeye’s burger-obsessed chum J. Wellington Wimpy.

I think if I spent as much time eating greens as I do thinking about the two-for-one burger offers, I’d be the size of Olive Oyl rather than a stumpy, gone to seed Bluto.

Although in my defence, Brighton and Hove’s boozers have enough beef patty promotions to turn the head of most chubsters.

On the odd moments I haven’t been eating red meat this week I have managed a few visits to the gym but nothing too spectacular.

I’ve increased the number of weight-training exercises but I’m still not too far out of my comfort zone and concentrating too much on the top half and not enough below. To misquote another friend: The best I can hope to end up with is the upper body of Anthony Joshua and the legs of Anthony Worrall Thompson.

To find out more about Freedom Leisure’s gyms visit www.freedom-leisure.co.uk