Sometimes you just fancy something, you want it, you deserve it, and you know it will hit the spot. A guilty pleasure.
Yesterday, I ran a half marathon. Sometimes runs go well, and sometimes badly. But when they go well, endorphins kick in, you feel rightly proud of yourself, and on that “high”, you want to treat yourself. My Garmin (a GPS gadget worn on my wrist) told me I burned off 1900 calories. I beat my personal best by 15 minutes (though when you’re as slow as me in the first place that explains how it would be possible). I felt good.
I headed for the ice-cream van. There it was, just what I wanted. Cool, refreshing and memories of childhood. A “99” icecream with Flake. For those who don’t know what a 99 is – here it is immortalised by the Royal Mail on a British stamp.
Just as I approached the back of the short queue, I remembered. Processed whippy ice-cream, it’s probably got palm oil in. Come to think of it, so has the cornet. Oh, and even the Flake, which is Cadbury’s milk chocolate. Disappointed, my nose smelt another mouthwatering smell – that of bacon wafting over from another stall. Bacon cobs/rolls/butties, call them what you will – manna from heaven.
But won’t the rolls, processed out of a supermarket packet, contain palm oil? Probably. And can I believe what they are spreading? I can. I can believe that it isn’t butter too …
Somewhat deflated, I headed back to the car for a Nature Valley cereal bar. I love these things and they are palm oil free. But somehow, as third choice, this one didn’t seem so good.
Today – after my flying supermarket visit (always longer that they should otherwise be due to the need to vigilantly check labels) I did what I didn’t do on day 8. I went into the fish and chip shop next door, still looking for that treat. There was no queue, so I didn’t feel out of place asking the question. I thought carefully how to phrase the question, and rehearsed the answer I wanted to hear in my head …
“Excuse me, can I just ask a quick question before I order? What oil to you use to fry your fish and chips, is it sunflower oil?”
“Oh, I don’t know, let me have a look”. The assistant left the shop front, but clearly in view stared at a large vat of oil, before returning with a smile. “No … it’s palm oil”.
It’s hard work being virtuous and sticking to a principle. Today at work there were Krispy Kreme doughnuts for all to share and every day offers temptations. I can’t complain – I have all-butter palm oil free shortbread staring me in the face now as I blog. Options are limited and spontaneous ones even more so. But if one more person asks why I, of all people, am turning down doughnuts and ice cream to nibble on cereal bars and home made flapjacks, then the word is spread a little further and it’s worth it.