We know the rules to clean living, so why not follow them? Could it be that we simply prefer our bad habits and are willing to suffer the consequences?  Aisling O’Loughlin is not beating the bloat this January on purpose.

Everything I do is ‘wrong’.  Too much sitting.  Too much dairy.  Too much wine.  Too much bread.  Too much pasta.  Too much coffee. Too much tea.  Too much butter.  Too much chocolate. Too much pastry.  They say behind every woman is a dietician, so if I know theses things won’t make me the skinny bitch I crave, then why the hell do I keep putting them in my shopping trolley?  The reason?

Kale goes stale in my fridge. Quinoa remains in the cupboard for years, unopened. Quorn eventually gets thrown out with a major defrost. Seeds makes a mess eventually.  

My myriad of clean-living recipe books gather dust, after too many failed attempts to make palatable meals on a consistent basis. Add children to the mix and you’re throwing shameful amounts of food in the bin, uneaten and stress inducing as it’s all been a big, waste of time and now you’re going to have to start all over again.

Quinoa, good in theory.

This morning, for example, after the kids had their cereal (I know, I know, that’s wrong too) my breakfast consisted of a coffee and a pastry. It made me very happy. I sipped the coffee from my favourite crockery and savoured every morsel of the pastry. Do I have gut issues? I do, reader, I do.  Any expert would tell me this is a bad idea for breakfast and I would nod in agreement.  It’s a terrible idea when you’ve got dodgy digestion and suffer severe bloating. Does that stop me reaching for the bun?  No.  I reach with full understanding of the consequences.

There may be trouble ahead, but while there’s coffee and croissants and love and romance, let’s face the music and dance…

Sinus problems are another issue.  Give up dairy, I’m told time and time again. So bad for those sinuses.  I know this but I don’t like soy milk.  And almond milk is terrible in coffee.  Rice milk is meh. And coconut milk is too coconutty.

AND I LOVE CHEESE!  In a big way.  How can you give up cheese and possibly be happy?

What would you eat instead? What would you put on a cracker of an evening?  And yoghurts are bliss, and apparently good for gut balance!  Just not mine, evidently.  Try making porridge with water.  It’s the saddest breakfast in the world.

Cheesey smile. Who can resist a cheese board?

Tofu is plain awful. It’s like eating soggy cardboard. Quorn is like chomping miserably on tasteless nothing.  Why is healthy food so yuck?

Food has become a problem.  Especially with the bloat.

It’s baaaaad at the moment. Might as well be six months pregnant again…she says, taking another sip of red. Don’t misinterpret me, I’d only have a glass (not one of those giant ones) a night and yes, I know that’s also not the wisest move.  I know I should stop.  I won’t.  I love my glass of wine in the evening. Mothers need wine. We work like slaves all day and night. We need wine. End of.

Is it wine o’clock yet?

I read the most wonderful book recently that resonated in a big way.  Track it down if you need a change.  It’s called L’art de la Simplicité, How to Live More with Less’ by Dominique Loreau.  This french author is all about chucking out everything you don’t need and eschewing the life of consumerism that she believes, does not bring fulfilment, only endless clutter and anxiety.

Loreau thinks we’re fussing too much over food.  I tend to agree.  

Loreau recommends buying a simple wooden bowl and eating your three meals from it daily. Rice and some veg should do the trick according to Loreau. Keep it mega simple but make a meal of it, sit down, eat slowly in a beautiful, clean, decluttered environment. No mindless consumption.  No drama.  It’s Loreau’s contention, and I love this, that in case of emergency, all you’d need if you were leaving your house in a hurry, would be the clothes on your back and your wooden bowl for survival. Talk about treading lightly on this earth. I’m certainly not there by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s an appealing notion in a world of too much.


Back to reality and the decluttering has begun in earnest. As Loreau predicted, once you start, you shed all manner of people and things and your life comes into sharp focus.  It’s a powerful exercise, be warned.  The food bit is still an issue though.  I’ve got the bowl just not the desire.  So until I change tack, and edit those habits I enjoy so very much,  I’ll put up with the blocked nose and pot belly and consider the alternatives.  But they’ll have to satisfy or else they’re toast.  Speaking of which, I’m about to make some with a good spread of butter, and real butter at that.