It's the seemingly endless peeling, the frantic-tear inducing chopping, the cracking, the crushing, the never-ending organising, the forgetting - oh - the forgetting...the substituting, the can opening, the spice additions, the over-spiced bittery burn, the adjustments and the adjustments and the adjustments and the aftermath of the cleaning, with the water that seeps into your supposedly-industrial-strength rubber gloves* broken by the coconut milk can, the boiling hot water thanks-to-Britain's-two-tap-system, the washing liquid that feeds the eczema and induces a fit of scratching, the chilli fingers that burn for hours, and the stink of day old garlic that no amount of scrubbing or lemons will remove, and the time, the time that flashed before your very eyes all whilst this has gone on.
Don't get me wrong. I am a good chef and I love food. I enjoy eating food. I love experiencing new flavours and places to eat. It's one of my favourite things to do. I just hate the labour that goes into preparing food. There is no pleasure gained from cooking for me and consequently it becomes a chore. Something I have to do but never, ever in twenty-five years of living have ever actually wanted to. And when it comes to meal prep that lasts any longer for 5 minutes, and is for none other than myself - I don't. I never have, and I probably never will.
Generally speaking I eat well. In order to save time and money I batch cook dinner meals to last 4 or more days and breakfast is always the same (yoghurt with fruit, porridge or a smoothie), so I get a solid meal for breakfast and dinner...it's just lunch.
I work freelance and usually have a flurry of unrealistic deadlines that have to be met in non-existent time. Along with work I have a backlog of personal projects gathering dust, but not forgotten, all biding their time, burying themselves further in my must-complete-asap pile. I go to the gym, I love weight training, and with an appetite to rival a man's and a love of all things delicious, have to go to maintain my weight and size (touch wood so far so good). I look at my schedule, I look at the fridge, my stomach grumbles and I think what can I engulf in seconds that takes seconds to prepare, allowing me to scream at impossible deadlines and stare blankly at my asap pile.
This is actually a good lunch for me. Here you have yoghurt, banana and apple, with a nakd bar thrown in for good measure. (The pot of grapes and strawberries is for snacking). Sometimes it's a green salad with some beans thrown in (providing I've prepared a salad the night before for dinner and there's some left over). Rarely, if I am particularly hungry, it's super quick pancakes, with batter sloshed together in under 5 minutes, fried on high heat in another 5 (washing up done whilst the cooking is taking place) and then engulfed in another 5. A 15 minutes lunch. Typically and most commonly, especially when out of the flat and at work lunch it's a banana, a yoghurt, a Nakd bar and a cup of green tea. No prep required and around £1.50. (side note I'm intolerant to gluten, yes really, not it's not some crazy diet fad I promise you, yes there is real, stomach curdling, vomiting inducing pain if I eat it.)
So here it is. Why I don't bother with lunch.
(* I am trying to be as green as possible, despite buying loose food when possible, and recyclable plastics otherwise, my eczema ridden hands can't handle the washing up liquids which is why I am a slave to the rubber gloves. As much as I don't want to be.)