Plenty More Fish Fingers in the Sea: Introducing the Break-Up Diet

‘So what’s your secret?’ Harry asked in his best mock-Gok.

Bella smiled. ‘I’m calling it the Break-up Diet. All the slebs are doing it. Last month was the Five-Two – this month it’s the Misery Plan.’

Food plays an important role in any conscious uncoupling, doesn’t it? In Break Up Club the characters tend to swing daily between grief-induced starvation and comfort eating. Clearly, food and our emotions are inextricably intertwined. With that in mind, here’s how to get yourself through ‘The Sad Gap’ to the other side, where ‘happy’ you is waiting!

Phase One – ‘The Break Up Diet’ (weeks 1-2)

OK, you’re broken. You can’t eat because there is a big glacial rock where your intestines should be. So instead you begin a nutrition plan more ferocious than the 5-2 and the Montignac put together.

‘I’m serious. No food has passed my lips in days. Unless you count my own mucous, from crying so much,’ Bella said. ‘Does nasal mucous have any nutritional value?’

Sorry, that was gross – I promise the rest of this blog will be mouth-watering!
To this end, here is your shopping list for Phase One:

– Negroni – this cocktail is your friend because it has NO MIXERS. You heard me – it’s straight up oblivion. You’ll need 1x bottle of Campari, Martini Rosso and Gin of your choice.
– Prosecco, lots of.

For the mornings:

– Diet Coke (or Fat)
– To keep your stomach lining from eating itself, and for nausea prevention:

– Actimel pro-biotic drinks,
– Yoghurt
– ginger biscuits
– Mini cheddars
– bananas
– Soups
– Smoothies

Essentially, you’re regressing to the diet of a toddler, and that’s totes fine. For now.

Phase Two – Carb-loading (weeks 2-4)
The great news is that the big glacier in your belly will eventually melt, as you start to come to terms with your ‘new normal’. By now, the Food-Gates are ajar enough to squeeze some ACTUAL SOLIDS in. And here’s where you can reward yourself with the fattiest, cosiest food imaginable. Why? Because you’ve got a WHOLE TWO WEEKS worth of Calorie Credits!

Go nuts on:

-Cheese, all of the cheese
-Pasta
-Chocolate
-Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie
-Mars ice cream
-More Cheese – Take That if necessary
-Butterkist Microwave Popcorn (butter)
-Macaroni cheese
-Garlic bread
-Treat yourself to a Camembert roaster. Drizzle with rosemary and garlic. Dip all manner of kettle chips into it.
-Cheesecake

Phase Three – Fill the nutrition deficit (week 4…)

It’s time to start showing some love to your poor body, and reacquainting your cells with their old friend, nutrition. Start exercising lots and feeding your body with the good stuff. Then you’ll realise you’re actually self-sufficient and don’t need another human to make you whole! From green peas to fresh fish, the aisles are stuffed with plenty of natural highs and ‘Good mood foods’ to get you happy again in a non-bingey, boozy way.

With that in mind, here’s a suggested meal-plan. **Dons Jarvis Cocker dulcet tones**:

Breakfast: Grapefruit halves, topped with caramelised Demerara sugar. Grill until golden brown. Perfectly bittersweet; just like the end of love.

Lunch – A spinach, rocket, beetroot, avocado salad, with omega seeds, olive oil, balsamic, and Fish Fingers. This’ll give you a nice boost of brain food, so that your head can tell your heart: you are indeed better off without that douchebag!

Dinner – Salmon and leek in a garlic, pesto, white wine and sour cream sauce (tweet me for my recipe) (@loreleimathias), with Arborio rice.

It’s honestly delicious, healthy and guaranteed to cheer you up. Not only that, ‘All the food groups and ingredients are represented’ – as they say in The Breakfast Club. Even self-love; which we all know is the most important ingredient.

(originally published at http://www.danielriding.com/2016/10/author-guest-post-plenty-more-fish.html?platform=hootsuite)

Read more here:

Fall In Love With The Museum of Broken Relationships

Slide1

From a singular smelly sneaker, to a half-completed Sodoku puzzle book, my fictional characters would have gladly donated their break-up debris to the Museum of Broken Relationships. But when I first wrote the first draft of ‘Break Up Club’, there was no such thing. So the Club had to make do with building a bonfire that led to the fire brigade being called out, and almost being thrown in jail.

Luckily, now there’s a real place you can send your break-up detritus (date-tritus, anyone?). I was lucky enough to go to the sneak preview ahead of its opening today, June 4th, at 6751 Hollywood Boulevard.*

#BrokenshipsLA is a cathedral of catharsis, where only the brave have shed their most intimate, sentimental memories, and laid their broken dreams to rest. Reading the plaques, the relief is palpable. You get a real sense of these people having finally attained peace in themselves, having finally let go.

Being a geek about break-ups (an occupational hazard), I’ve been to the museum twice before over the years. But this time, I was struck dumb by the quality of the writing in all the stories. I feel disloyal saying this, but I don’t remember the plaques in London all being as impeccably written. Perhaps there has been a more shrewd editing process this time, but they are all brilliantly balanced – both as pieces in themselves, and in relation to each other. Sensitively curated, some stories are brutally short; a real power in their brevity. Others are as long and meandering as the lifetimes they span.

The artefacts range from the funny (a mirror weighed down with the memory of a break-up), the freaky (curled up contacts collected in a baggy), the frightening (belly button fluff)… to the heartbreaking (the teddy who no longer has music in his fingertips)… and the adorably mundane:

minty fresh

At this point I can’t not mention another similarity to ‘Break Up Club’ – which has its own fluoride motif, first mentioned here:

Slide2

But back to the museum. Below are some of my all time favourites.

Yard 2
Heavy baggage
yard1
Free in every sense of the word
comic
Nobody’s hero
The butterfly effect
broken wings
When a butterfly flaps its wings… all the way to the rubbish dump
bearly there1
Bear of little heart
bearly there 2
No picnic
bearly there 3
Uncomfortable silence

After an hour in the Museum, you are bowled over by the universality of break-ups. A sense that Love is the best feeling in the world, whereas break-ups are worse than death. But most of all you come away realising that it’s only by sharing our hoarding with others that we can declutter our emotional attics and finally move on. A break-up shared really is a break-up halved.

In the spirit of sharing, then – if I was ever going to donate an object, it would be one red high-heeled shoe. A symbol of one particularly significant love story I lived through. I won’t bore you with the details, but it began with a romantic Cinderella-esque meet-cute, and ended when the relationship turned into a pumpkin 10 months later. Sadly, I can’t donate the original shoe because the ‘real life Break Up Club’ and I burned it in a bonfire. This was back in 2009, before Zagreb’s first Brokenships had opened. So like my characters, we had to improvise.

I had to laugh when the invite came into my inbox with one red high-heeled shoe on it. 

MoBR_Invite21

IMG_3180

*Incidentally, ‘Break-Up Club’ itself has also finally just opened its doors, thanks to Harper Collins. You can join here, or find out more at breakupclub.co.uk

 

 

Break-Up Club on Tour! First stop: Venice Beach, CA

 

Howdi!

A quick missive from the Land of La La, where I’ve come to live for a short while, having just gone on a year-long sabbatical from my ‘day-job’ in Advertising. Hurrah. Feeling very lucky! I’ll keep the smug-posts to an absolute minimum but this is just to say that in my first week I’ve ticked off a number of important Californian Cliches:

  • Making friends with a plastic surgeon in a coffee shop
  • Being told we have ‘cute accents’ about 457 times
  • Going on a midnight drive to find the Hollywood sign, and not being able to find it – instead, getting into jetlag-fuelled delerium in our attempts to pronounce Griffith Observatory without laughing. Just try and say it without sounding like you have a speech-impediment. It’s nigh-on-impossible. But maybe it’s the jetlag.
  • Going for a jog around the canals followed by an EXTREMELY green juice.
  • Yoga on the beach daily
  • Falling over while in Eagle pose, daily. Yoga on soft sand is very hard.
  • Being offered the chance to look at a turtle with two heads. Politely declining said offer.
  • Making lots of new friends because you can’t not, when everyone is this friendly.
  • Meeting two drunk men in a bar having a homo-erotic fumble – one who turns out to be an actor from Sex and the City.
  • Making friends with our Lyft driver who turns out to be an AMAZING musician called Slark. His latest track  – of course – is called ‘Break Up’ which he wrote about his recent conscious uncoupling. It’s going in the BUC soundtrack as soon as it’s on Spotify!
  • Realising Netflix is so, so much better here. They have The Wonder Years! Which was pretty much the defining show of mine and my roomie’s childhood. So now we watch an episode a day, and I have so far cried at Every Single One. Kevin&Winnie4Eva.

IMG_2461.jpg

That’s all really. Except that, my book comes out on Thursday, so I might say a few words then! ‘Til then, here’s some wise words from a wall in Venice Beach – good to remember in a break-up, but also in life. Have a really, really really nice day y’all.

Lx

IMG_2450.jpg