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Things That Were Diet Foods in the Nineties

By Annabel Rivkin and Emilie McMeekan of The Midults.

We’re proud to have sponsored three very special episodes of I’m Absolutely Fine, the podcast hosted by Annabel Rivkin and Emilie McMeekan of The Midult. From discussing hormone havoc with Lisa Snowdon to skincare SOS with Nadine Baggott, we’re declaring it a must listen. Plus, there’s a special ep with a guest appearance from Professor Simon Gaisford.

We also asked Annabel and Emilie if they’d write us a blog post, their theme of choice, things that were diet food in the 90s. Over to them...

If you look at us now with our kale-eating, Symprove-swigging, soya flat white drinking, self-care situations you’d think we’d always been temples of health, pillars of wholesomeness (*coughs*). But we lived through the 90s. And its diets. We’ve run the assault course of the Atkins, Cabbage, 5:2, White Wine and Eggs (don’t ask), and Broken Heart diets. We lost countless stones and put them back on twice as fast. And apart from the crazy diet plans, the following were firmly considered diet foods in the 90s. Oddly, the more we ate of them the thinner we didn’t get…

1. Porridge. Vast vats of it. Made with semi-skimmed milk. And honey. Then a bit more honey. And some banana because it’s fruit and we needed energy because of the workout we nearly did this morning. Porridge at desk at 9.30. Vastly expanded stomach capacity. Ravenous by 11.

2. Jacket potatoes. The skin is pure fibre apparently. And it’s a (large) vegetable. No, we won’t have cheese because that’s a bit fattening so we’ll just have that tuna mayonnaise instead. Yes please, butter would be good. Bit more? Mashed in? No, we won’t have salad. It will make us too full and we have a party to go to tonight.

3. Sushi. The rice bowls count as sushi because they come from the same kitchen as the lean tuna sashimi, right? Of course, right. And one of those noodly-doodly soups on the side. Do you even know how good this pickled ginger is for your metabolism? Like, so good.

4. Brown pasta, brown rice, brown toast, brown anything. You can eat literally as much of it as you like so long as it’s brown. Might as well be lettuce.

5. Lattes. We’ll just have three of these coffees and we won’t have breakfast. No solids.

6. Hummus with pitta bread. We are basically on the Mediterranean diet, skipping through olive groves, which means we’ll not only live until we are a hundred but we’ll look like Sophia Loren in about five minutes. Such good OILS in hummus.

7. Sugar-free sweets. An entire food group if we can just ignore the effect Sorbitol has on our tummies. Oh God. Back in a minute...

8. Diet Coke. As in ‘Can I have a Big Mac meal and a Diet Coke?’ Because the Diet Coke will make it ALL GO AWAY.

9. Baked crisps.

10. Juice. Gallons of it. What? Juice is basically a Mars Bar in a glass, you say? Why must you ruin EVERYTHING?

Listen to I'm Absolute Fine now.

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