5 a day, the liquid way

Whilst standing in a Kebab shop at 3 in the morning the other day I found myself asking for extra salad on my doner as I was feeling slightly worried about my unhealthy diet. Now as we know this is akin to getting a diesel Lamborghini Diablo or asking Megan Fox if she can recite Pi to the nearest 9 decimal places – not only is it a stupid waste of time but ruins the original in the process.

Whilst at home munching on parts of an animal that hasn’t walked the earth since the Mesozoic Era I began to get annoyed nay angry at the health conscious world around us that insists on your ‘5 a day’ like it is a simple equation. As a bartender the hours worked are just not conducive to healthy cooking no matter how much I enjoy it.

Needless to say the anger abated soon after the second sip of the large Woodford Reserve I had poured myself slithered down my throat and stopped the Kebab from having an internal conversation with me. Anger was replaced with an idea (I knew it was an idea because it was a thought that made my head hurt) – who says you need food to get your 5 a day?

So the mission was set – 5 a day via the medium of the cocktail

First port of call was a Dietitian friend to explain to me the rules of the scheme. Most importantly is the silly but strict rule that juice can only count for 1 of your 5 a day no matter how much you drink and no matter how many different fruits or veggies you use to get there!! The reason is simple – when you juice something all of the roughage is left behind in the juicer and with it most of the goodness.

5 a day in a glass
Spot the odd one out

The mission was harder – juice could only count for 1!. Ahhhhh not so smug now are you? No nor was I. But like a drunk with a key that won’t go in the door I wasn’t going to give up that easily.

Juicing is a no no but blending is fine as long as you use the whole fruit/vegetable in the drink – bits and all. Well then if blending is good then surely muddling is good too – right?

The start was easy and I am sure you can all see this one coming – Yep the good old Bloody Mary. If like me the size of the glass you use to make your Bloody Mary is entirely comparable to the size of your hangover then prepare for a thumper. Next up don’t use any of that processed Tomato Juice crap, grab a couple of handfuls of fresh baby tomatoes and chuck them in the blitzer. Add to this lashings of vodka (or Tequila if you prefer Maria etc) and your own preferred secret mix of herbs and spices and voila that is 1 for the day. But hold on there, why not garnish it? Use a stick of celery and a piece on cucumber similar in size to the BFG’s little finger and you’re up to 2 for the day! And that’s just breakfast.

Next up lunch

Something light and refreshing but with the all important 1. Well how about a good old fashioned Mojito or Caipirinha? Those South Americans have those beach bodies for a reason and remember muddling is goooooooddddd so bash away at those limes to get all of the bits out (no double strainers here folks) and bang we are up to number 3.

Number 4 I chose to have in between my evenings split shift. I had been so careful with my choices up to this point I had yet to use my allotted one juice drink. Is that cheating? Maybe. Do I have to start work again in 25 minutes? Yes. Okay then one juiced up drink coming my way. With a quick flash back to my holiday on the beach earlier this year only one drink will do – a good and I mean good Pina Colada. All that healthy Pineapple Juice and of course the sweet, sweet rum. Mixing one up I check the portion sizes list – 150ml of Pineapple Juice = 1 a day! Shit. I keep my Pineapple juice down to 75 mls max. Ohhh what about the coconut?Nope coconut doesn’t count towards your 5 a day. Fuckers – well I best have two then!

The final push

My shift is over, it’s late and I’m tired yet I’m still one short of my 5 for the day. I want something strong and short to finish me off. Old Fashioned – orange peel not eaten, Negroni – same problem…. Hang on a second here an edible garnish ala the Bloody Mary. What better than a Martini with olives? Olives are fruits (or vegetables – either way they’re green so they have to count) I start to search for the list my friend gave me with the amounts needed to give you a 1 count. Searching fruitlessly (come on that’s a good gag right there) I mix myself up a Martini to help and garnish it with 4 olives – I am feeling healthier already. No list but I am confident I have done it, and with ease.

5 a day in liquid and alcoholic form – easy. And there is the list, well just to prove to you all I have done it I check out the olive count. There it is in print taunting me, as if to prove that the 5 a day isn’t possible without a knife and fork – number of olives equal to 1 a day is 30!

Fucking monkey piss! I down my Martini pop the 4 olives from the cocktail stick into my mouth and take a deep breath. This is, after all, going to be a long night – 4 olives down and 26 to go. By my reckoning that means another 7 martini’s before I can go to bed!

The Gooch recommends the following sites for your 5 a day exploration and does not recommend 8 martini’s before bed!

5 a day – Portion sizes
5 a day – FAQ