Friday, January 26, 2007

In Love with Leon!

In order to get fit enough for the trek, I really have to watch what I eat. It isn't that I eat badly, in fact I eat a very healthy diet, but I've been underweight for a while and I need to support my body to get and stay fit. This mainly means that I have to eat a lot more protein, so each of my meals needs to contain eggs or fish or meat (I don't eat diary products - well not often anyway), but, hilariously, I'm also on protein shakes twice a day!

We have a local store called Extreme Muscle and Fitness, which is staffed by great-square-boxes-of-men who look like they might split their clothes incredible-hulk-style at any given moment, and I have become a regular! Its too funny! I'm still trying to convince myself that I'm not going to turn into a man, seeing as all the jars of shake have hideous pictures of male, oiled, body-builder's torsos on them, but the staff assure me I'm heading more for a Sugar Babes or Girls Aloud physique - hopefully only physique though as this is no time to end up with their IQ!
The other place I've become a regular is Leon in London. Leon restaurants are healthy fast food outlets and I can't rave about them enough! Firstly the food is incredible: each dish I have had from there, which I often pick up on the way to the British Library as they set me up for studying perfectly, has been delicious! I can particularly recommend the Leon Gobi, which is a vegetable curry and the Magic Mackerel Couscous which is a mackerel and couscous salad.

The thing about their food which is so wonderful is that they contain so many good things. It goes without saying, considering one of the chefs is Allegra McEvedy, that all the dishes are extremely flavoursome, but they are the type of food that you'd make if only you had the time, only better, and contain all the ingredients you know you should be eating regularly, but never get round to.

For example, the Leon Gobi is a yummy, sweet potato and and cauliflower curry that just oozes with coconut milk and spices, but the dish also comes with brown rice that is filled with sesame and pumpkin seeds and there is even a side of cooling raw veg which is like an Asian coleslaw. Likewise the mackerel couscous, which is known as one of their 'supersalads' is just crammed with great stuff, again including seeds, and all manner of raw veg and herbs.

(I've also sampled several of their juices, brownies and bars of dark chocolate which come in varieties infused with herbs and spices such as rosemary or cardamom, and they are to die for!)

The prices are great too! the Leon Gobi is £4.90, the Mackerel Couscous is £3.95, which is I guess more than a Big Mac Meal (not that I'd know), but comparable, and often cheaper, than other places like Pret a Manger, Eat, Starbucks et al. And when you consider that you are getting a large healthy meal for that - I didn't mention the portions are great too - I don't think you can even make such comparisons.

I just wish there were more branches!


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