DANNY KATZ June 30, 2012
IN A gluttonous era saturated with cream-lapping, butter-licking mayo-humping George- Calombarisque foodlust, it's very reassuring to open The Sunday Age every week and read My Day on A Plate, the healthiest of all health-food columns, buried in the back of the Sunday Life magazine, usually between an ad for Plaistowe Premium Cocoa and a recipe for ricotta doughnuts stuffed with mutton tallow.
My Day on a Plate is written by Doctor Joanna McMillan, surely the toughest and most uncompromising nutritionist named Joanna in the land. Every week a young attractive celebrity or a healthy superfit athlete is asked to list everything they ate in a single day and no matter how much wheatgrass they grazed on for breakfast, how much chia they chewed for lunch, how many air molecules they inhaled for dinner, it's never good enough for Doctor Joanna and she'll tell them off, right to their gorgeous gorging faces.
World champion track cyclist Shane Perkins was asked to list his Day on a Plate and it sounded pretty good to me, it sounded highly nutritious, it sounded made up: he said he had muesli for breakfast, a turkey sandwich for lunch and brown rice with fish for dinner.
But was Doctor Joanna happy with Shane? No, she was disappointed. She started with a couple of positives, writing ''Shane does well to make nutritious choices such as muesli, good-quality bread, brown rice … '' but that was the end of the buttering up (with a zero-transfat butter-substitute). Now she got all savage, adding ''BUT I would like to see him eating a few more foods with healthy fats, such as nuts, seeds, olive oil, flaxseed, chia and avocado, which carry essential, fat-soluble nutrients''.
And I'm reading this and I'm starting to agree with Doctor Joanna, I'm starting to think, yeah, maybe it is a crap diet, maybe Shane has no respect for his body, maybe he should've had brown rice WITHOUT fish - just washed down with 2 mls of his own saliva. HE'S NOTHING BUT A WORLD CHAMPION OVEREATING GREED-MONGER!
When beautiful TV presenter Erin McNaught listed her Day on a Plate, it sounded very good to me, it sounded extremely nutritious, it sounded like she was lying. Breakfast was psyllium husks, lunch was a salad with mixed greens and dinner was baked salmon rubbed with coconut oil.
But Doctor Joanna was appalled, you could even see her eyes rolling with disgust in her byline headshot. She wrote: ''Salmon is a top source of omega-3 fats, but I wouldn't add coconut oil, which is simply more fat; the natural fats present are enough to cook it.'' And I'm reading this and thinking, yeah, you tell her, Doctor Joanna! And what about those psyllium HUSKS? Plural? Isn't one husk enough for breakfast? LEARN TO CONTROL YOUR INSATIABLE APPETITE, NAUGHTY MCNAUGHT!
I am in awe of Doctor Joanna: no diet will satisfy her, no food-choice will go unpunished, no eater can ever meet her impossibly super-nutritious standards. But I have tried this week, I have tried my hardest, and so I offer up my Day on a Plate and challenge Doctor Joanna to find a single flaw.
Breakfast: nuts and berries (spoonfuls of peanut butter with jam). Lunch: a chicken drumstick (Nabisco Dixie Drumsticks In A Biskit, 175-gram pack). Dinner: iron-enriched protein (meat-lovers pizza, eaten with fork). Dessert: ripe cherries (yeah, you get the idea). Then I finish with four hours of exercise on the couch, watching four eps of Game of Thrones, burning off millions of calories just by sitting still and growing body hair.