It’s 2017: Healthy Eating and Pie

Me, near the end of Race to the Stones in 2016.
Me, near the end of Race to the Stones in 2016.

While part of me knows that the point in our planet’s orbit around the sun that we have decided marks a new year is pretty arbitrary, midnight on December 31st still means something to me. There’s something enticing about a blank slate, a new opportunity. While I’m not big on the idea of new year’s resolutions, I am taking the start of 2017 as a chance to assess a few things and make a couple of changes. One of those is how I eat.

That, in turn, has brought me to airing a few thoughts that have been with me ever since I launched Yorkshire Grub. By writing about a cuisine riddled with pastry, butter and cake I’m quite willfully (and gleefully) swimming against the current of smug, faux-virtuous clean eating books, YouTubers and Instagram celebrities that has surged across our food landscape for the last few years. I’m also aware, however, that in a time when many of our diets are making us unwell I’m writing about pie and pudding.

So, while it’s probably not necessary to articulate this, for posterity’s sake I’ll say it anyway: pie and cake are not all-the-time foods. I’m in no way advocating for deep-fried stuffing balls followed by a meat and potato pie followed by a chilli parkin ice cream sandwich every day. I am saying, when you feel like being a little gluttonous (and I strongly encourage a bit of mucky eating every now and then) then we’ve got you covered.

Personally, I ran my first ultramarathon last year then proceeded to pack on a stone and three quarters. I’ve joked that I replaced 15-20 hours a week of running with cooking pies for a food website on more occasions than my friends would care to mention. I’ve also been enjoying one of the benefits of not being in intensive training – beer – a little too much.

But, I’m planning another ultramarathon this year, so that weight’s going to have to clear off. And my eating habits are going to have to change (again) so that it doesn’t come back. To that end, I’m basically aiming to really emphasise veg (and fish, to a degree) in my diet and cut back on the cheeky midweek takeaways, with some cuts to my IPA intake while I’m at it. Right now, around 70 per cent of my meals are meat-free and I’d like to keep it that way – not just for the benefits to my waistline, but for the environment, too.

But, when it’s time to indulge myself a little more, there will be pork pie and crusty cheese bake recipes waiting for me.

Which is a roundabout way of saying that you might see a few more healthy recipes pop up on here (next up, herby wholemeal scones) but don’t think for a second you’ll be seeing the words ‘coconut’ and ‘oil’ in place of ‘butter’ on here.

Eat with care and love, folks, and good luck with 2017.

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