I haven’t eaten a bag of crisps in over 4 weeks now.This is a pretty major deal for me. Crisps are my weakness…my nemesis…my love…my friend!
On a typical day the old me would eat a multipack of McCoys crisps – 6 packet of ridgey loveliness. In a week this means I was eating 42 packets of crisps. Which meant I developed my own ridgey loveliness…well, more like rolls of not so loveliness!
I do remember a few occasions when those massive bags of Walkers were consumed in a day. Now when I use the word ‘massive’ I am not referring to a share bag. I am referring to the massive multipacks designed to last a family a month…is it 28 or 36 bags? I am not sure. I never counted them…I just ate them!
6 packets a day is 2190 packets a year – or 346,020 calories which equates to 99lbs of additional weight if I ate these crisps over and above my calorie intake for the day…which I did – I didn’t reach 43st 5.5lbs without going over my calorie requirements!
I wrote a blog post about crisps last year I think it was. It nicely details my obsession with crisps…
First of all I began to wonder where the humble golden, crispy delight originated from. Apparently, crisps were invented by a temperamental chef…as are all great food items! Back in 1853, George Crum from Saratoga Springs, New York, got so fed up with an awkward customer who kept sending his fried potatoes back for being ‘too thick and soggy’, that he sliced a potato as thinly as he could. He then cooked them to a ‘crisp’ so they would be difficult to eat with a fork, and sent them out to the annoying customer. His plan backfired though as the guest loved the crispy chips, so much so, that they became a regular on the menu! In fact, crisps were originally known as ‘Saratoga Chips’ after their place of origin.
Crisps used to be stored in tins, but would soon turn stale and damp. That was until another American came to the rescue – Laura Scudder – who ironed two pieces of wax paper together to create a bag with an airtight seal, keeping the crisps fresh until opened. And the humble crisp packet was invented.
I don’t know how true the following facts are…apparently German crisps only come in paprika flavour! And in parts of Canada, people keep their crisps in the freezer, and even eat them while they’re still frozen. I know fellow slimmers who eat frozen Curly Wurlys as they last longer, but I don’t fancy frozen crisps! This one I can vouch for; Americans use crisps (or chips, as they call them) in lots of different dishes. They crush them and use them in cookies and pies, as breadcrumbs for meatloaves and hamburgers, as casserole toppings and even in sauces and dips. When I open a packet, they don’t survive long enough to make it into a meal though!
Oooh – this might put you off Pringles…light one and see how long it burns for and watch the crap that comes off it – very nasty!
Given our crisp consumption – Walkers produce 10,000,000 packets per day and use more than 350,000 tonnes of potatoes each year – UK dwellers were rather late in jumping on the crisp bandwagon. They weren’t seen here until 1913, when a man called Carter first produced them, claiming he had seen the idea in France, not in the United States.
Let’s have a quick look at size – it is everything after all! The largest bag of crisps was made in Ohio, US, in 2003 and weighed in at 1,085lb 8oz, and the largest crisp was created on 3rd June 1991, by food engineers working for Proctor and Gamble, the then owners of Pringles. It measured 25 x 14 inches, weighed 5.4 ounces and equalled the size and content of 80 regular Pringle crisps.
And now for the controversial…I saw a news clip with an old lady spitting out this particular flavour of crisp live on TV…she looked like she was enjoying it until they told her the flavour! In 1981, Welsh pub owner Philip Lewis produced a flavour of crisps that would go down in history. An independent manufacturer, Philip’s hedgehog crisps caused such a stir that the Office of Fair Trading had to intervene. They found out that the flavour Philip was using was actually pork. After several court appearances on the charge of false advertising, the case was finally dropped when Mr Lewis’s defence lawyer called some local gypsies to the witness stand. They testified that, yes, hedgehogs really do taste like pork!
Now I think I could have been in line for this title; the largest collection of empty crisp packets went on display at the Hamaland museum in Vreden, northwest Germany in April 2008. The collection belonged to local resident Bernd Schikora and contained 2,000 packets. The exhibition was entitled “Snap! Towards the cultural history of a snack”. Given that I used to eat at least six packets a day…that works out at 2190 empty packets a year…why did I not save them?!
Who hasn’t stuck a crisp packet in the oven and shrunk it – no? – then you haven’t lived! I need to get rid of this weight and get back to work quickly…I clearly have far too much time on my hands.
My little dedication to crisps is nearly finished – and yes, I can hear you sighing in relief – but I thought I would try a little ditty first…rap stylee…
Wotsits, French Fries, McCoys and Pringles
When I see them my spine tingles
Cheese and Onion are the best
But if I must I can do the rest
Without any bother or pause
Just can’t explain the feelings they cause
Pleasure, delight, greed and lust
Eating crisps is a must
I couldn’t have stuck to healthy food
If my crisps were banned, oh no, my mood
Praise for Slimming World and the syn
My crisps aren’t relegated or in the bin
I can enjoy them when I stay up late
And still lose lots of bloody weight
Oh my goodness; somebody section me now!
On a serious note, had you told me to cut the crisps out of my diet in order to lose weight…well, I don’t think I would have ever started trying. I couldn’t – as stupid as this sounds – see myself ever not eating crisps. Yet here I am, not forcing the issue – not banning them from my diet – but I have chosen not to eat any for over 4 weeks. I will eat them again at some point, but feel so much more in control…I am choosing what to eat rather than the food ruling my life. I guess my point here goes back to that ‘progress…not perfection’ thing I talk about…you can improve along the way, for now – just get started and make small changes.
Anyway, you will be deeply relieved to know that the rapping is over…let’s get on to today’s usuals…
It has been a jam-packed day. I had a lovely coaching session this morning, followed by a tough workout – 60 minutes on the rowing machine. My trainer couldn’t quite believe it, so he wrote it down for me! It was almost 11km. I then met up with a colleague of mine about a project we are going to work on…it was great to catch up as we live miles and miles from each other. Then it was off to see the horses, and then a catch up with a coaching client who wanted one session to focus on a particular issue…and this ended up turning into a three hour chat about all sorts – with a good coaching session in the mix! She is a horse lover too and we met at my stables, so we got side-tracked! And now home to relax before my PT session tomorrow…my trainer told me that he wants to ‘kill it’…not sure if I am the ‘it’ he is referring to!
Breakfast: Rice, veggies, and Linda Mc sausages.
A good food day again! I enjoyed a bigger breakfast…it fuelled me nicely for the gym! It was the same as last night’s dinner. Lunch was what I usually have for brekkie, and dinner was the creamy tomato soup recipe – a tin of carrots, a tin of baked beans, a tin of tomatoes, and a couple of pickled onions all blitzed up. It kind of tastes like Heinz tomato soup…which is quite nice. Lots of strawberries and my Nakd bars for my evening treat.
Exercise: 60 minutes on the rowing machine, 5 minutes on the treadmill.
Thank you for reading,
Weight Loss Bitch xxx