My diet is bad. Very bad. My Dad would call it minging. It’s been awful for years. Too much of the bad stuff. Too little of the good stuff. I drink that much coffee that the fluid in my body is no longer water, it’s pure caffeine. That’s probably why I don’t look like George Clooney. Oh hang on George does coffee – that doesn’t work does it. Anyway I’ve not looked like Clooney, suffered from IBS and had a nervous tummy since my college days. The last couple of years haven’t helped it at all.

I knew something had to be done but I kept putting it off. Then I read some great posts on healthy eating and food detox cleanses. This was one of them

Riddle from the Middle

Well finally the penny has dropped. This is Day 8 of my food purgatory. No junk food, no sweets, no chocolate, no crisps, no chips, no popcorn, no peanut butter, no spicy stuff, no dairy, no gluten, no soya, no artificial or processed rubbish. NO COFFEE….. It’s been steamed veg, boiled rice, organic protein, herbal tea and tanker loads of water with a slice of lemon. And as much exercise as time and the body will permit.

Food wise it’s not been too bad. Not been that hungry – although I have been found gnawing on chair legs a few times. But coffee that’s been tough. Especially on the morning. Badly needed an alternative to shift me out of the non functioning zombie state. Luckily I’ve stumbled across one. A squeezed lemon with a ton of fresh ground ginger. Granted it’s an acquired taste. But it doesn’t half shock the system. I understand a similar recipe was used by NASA as fuel for the Apollo Saturn V rocket.

So it’s been a self imposed purgatory. NOW Son has come out in support however his is not quite so self imposed. Last Week when he returned from school he had been eating us out of house and home. Well on Friday I checked his online school lunch account to see if it needed topping up. Bizarrely it had hardly been used that week.


Son what have you been eating at school lunch. You have hardly spent any money this week.

Not much really Dad.

Why haven’t you been hungry?

No been starving. On Monday in the class before lunch the teacher kept us back because of the behaviour of some of the other kids. When we got to the kitchen they had sold out of flapjacks and sandwiches the other food wasn’t good for me. Tuesday was fine and got my usual. Wednesday and Thursday we where on the other side of the site. So when we got to the kitchen the queue was massive and it was taking ages so I grabbed a bottle of water as all the good food had gone. On Friday by the time we got to the end of the queue it was almost time for lessons to start so I grabbed a flapjack and went to class. Your not allowed to eat in class so I had that on the bus coming home.


So school got another angry phone call and another formal complaint. The problem is that schools in the UK have been forced to cut back on school lunch expenditure. Plus the pressure to deliver the set national curriculum has forced many schools to drastically cut the school lunch breaktime. It’s the only way they can meet the demands of government. Feeding kids is not up there on the priorities. In all the surveys and questions we have had to complete for school inspections Lunch has never once been mentioned. It’s all about the national curriculum. How can a kid learn when he’s hungry. Let’s not beat about the bush most of the reasons for these problems is down to those in charge of our countries education. Basically the government picks numpties with Victorian values to run education. I’ve previously mentioned the Minister who viewed kids being off after a bereavement as AN EXTENDED HOLIDAY.

The school argues that they are following government policy, that the budgets have been slashed and that some food is always available. Problem is that when you are an Autistic kid the range of acceptable food can be limited. If it’s the wrong colour, wrong texture or mixed up with other food then it never going to be consumed.

A pack-up is not really easy most days as his big school bag is filled to busting with essential books, equipment and sports kit. Most days he’s already walking around school with a full bag on his shoulders and hands full with books he can’t fit into the bag. I have started filling up one side pocket with chocolate bars and snacks so at least he’s got something to snack on. A supersized school bag is on order which will hopefully be big enough to fit in a pack-up box.


So this is a house of food purgatory for a variety of reasons. Hopefully it will make me healthier. Hopefully son’s purgatory has ended. It might even make both of us better prepared for the potential food shortages if our PM gets his way and we crash out of the EU in six weeks. As Monty Python say – always look on the bright side of life.

114 thoughts on “Food purgatory

  1. Would you like me to cross the pond and come have a go at your son’s damn school? This is unacceptable. Everything you have written has such a Dickensen quality to it regarding school. Arggggggggggggggggggggg can you feel my anger for you????? This one really ticks me off because children require food. Without food their brains don’t work as well. This is a proven fact. Not something someone has made up. I am sorry to be so riled up on your behalf but this is absolutely ludicrous. Sending big hugs to you both. 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

      1. Absolutely appalled every time I read about the system over there. Grrrrrrrrrrr I wonder how the gov”t ninnies would feel with time structures and demerites and lack of time to eat. Give them a taste of their own medicine. I will be the Headmistress lol that would be fun. 🤓😂😂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I was talking to someone who has been in meetings with these government numpties. He said they are worse face to face. Completely self absorbed, not willing to listen to anything accept praise and so dismissive of the General Public.


    1. Cutting out coffee. Yes a major life change.
      I was going through 8 to 10 cups a day. Could have done it by intervenous. Would have been more efficient. I decided one day that it couldn’t be good for me. Went cold Turkey. Had a headache for a week. That confirmed for me coffee should be avoided. Haven’t had coffee in over 20 years. Still hoping for the green hair to fade.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so proud of you!! I feel your pain. I know how rough that food purgatory is, and the first day you get your coffee back is one of the most glorious days ever. Keep your head in the game — you’ll feel so much better once you’re out the other side. Good luck!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. God knows what school dinners are like now, but when I was at school having a school dinner I can remember how I didn’t always want chips on my plate, but it ended up that way because they ran out of potato.
    I started skipping meals at times. I went on to packed lunches, then coming home for lunch in my final years at school. I wasn’t far away from school, but it wasn’t long at home before having to go back out if wanting to get back on time.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. And meanwhile I learn my son’s been spending an EXTRA bit of his money each day…

    I’m so sorry about yours. That’s no excuse! He’s already practically starving with only getting flapjacks.

    As to the chair leg: the sofa legs are more filling.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. If your son survives his school years he can be assured of being able to survive anything – Nuclear Winters and Britain without Europe combined!!

    Interesting coffee substitute! I’ll be interested to see how long that lasts, and what the after effects will be – is there any chance you’ll turn Ginger? Maybe you can be Meaghan Markle’s next hubby?? 😉

    Just remember my #1 motto: ” A life without chocolate isn’t worth living!”

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I’m not going to infodump on why there’s no such thing as a “detox” diet and why diets in general don’t work.
    You having IBS makes me even more sure you’re autistic.
    And don’t get me started on school lunch times. Despite having it written down that my daughter was to get extra time to eat, that didn’t happen and she ended up dangerously underweight and needing supplement drinks. Plus they had a “healthy lunch policy” so I couldn’t even sneak her chocolate bars.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Ta dah ta ra ta ta ta tate ta.. Sorry just adding that bit to the song about life. Just get in the training now. Totally sympathising on the coffee. My failings are wine, chocolate, peanuts and coffee. Of course I make nice meals but these are my failings and the coffee was out of hand. I had already cut the 3 sugar spoons to one and that was hard BUT when we doing rehearsals for the Mr’s play two years back I realised just how much coffee I wasn’t drinking during them, just water and then I took a longer look And I cut down to 1 tea and four coffees a day from an amount I would not like to reveal and the copious water I was then drinking cos it dries you. But I think it was linked to writing… just get another cup, oh go away and think of that point etc etc, RIGHT on top of having had a cup on top of another of another cup. Tell you that was hard. Even now two years later that is hard. I did have it down to one cup less than the five to start with but I couldn’t do in the long cold winter afternoons. But it can be done. It CAN be done. It CAN BE done. Minging is a braw word. Good to hear it today

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s only been a few days but the coffee cravings are first thing and at night. Herbal tea just doesn’t cut it at night. Over the years I’ve tried the other non caffeine alternatives to coffee and they either just taste of tea or are as bad for you as coffee. Yes I can see that coffee and writing link.


      1. I tried lots …like the non caffeine. I tried sweeteners.. It’s a killer but I will like…in the morning have one nice cup, one of these actually quite okay instant latte ones, where I put in all the trimmings, with a small thin bar of chocolate and I take my time. Make it a wee treat on both scores. Kind of live for it a bit in the morning but hey. .And yep there is something re what cuts it when. But keep battling. And it is a battle.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You speak to the wrong shot of booze person here that way. Seriously I think the market is open for some kind of beverage that takes account of peoples’ lives and even how they differ 24 hours to 24 hours. I think the night craving is worse than the morning one cos you have the day before you in the morning whatever and however. So, I would experiment re what to try with that milk. AS for the rest, re meals in school?? Meant to say, breathing heavily down the nose here. Was just trying to stick with experience in what I knew in the sort of hope that that gets sorted…then, you are ready to battle elsewhere though sometimes you look at the mountain and wish you just lived somewhere else. in a diff world and wonder why we all can’t.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. There is always a way. His 2 school bags are filled to bursting today. Yet I managed to squeeze some snacks into his sports shoes. Always a way. Last night at tried an over brewed drink of decaf tea – brewed for an hour. It sort of worked.


      4. Looking at the news today. It was all about Corbyn and everyone of his faults. Yet not one mention of our PM turning up to one of the biggest meetings in our history and presenting the EU President with a copy of Mays agreement but with a bit on Ireland crossed out. That’s his so called plan. You couldn’t make it up.


      5. That is good you found a way fro your son. Also the tea. I think you have to find ways to make a change palatable or it’s just murder to stick it out. AS for the rest.. Well, some of the press are ranting, gutter rags, run by right wing millionaires, alas red by people they actually despise. You do get fair reports but it is beyond disgraceful the lies that are told in the rags, the hatred that is being stirred up by the screaming headlines. Bodge made a total tit of himself the other day, a total tit and by last night the screaming gutter rags had turned it round how he was being humiliated etc etc. He humilat4ed himself. I have not looked yet today. Younger girl gets married on Friday, so I have the shopping day to today and am just bashing through stuff as tomorrow we are away to the hotel but I will get a look.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Indeed he does. I see he got another mouthful today. Thing is these public walkabouts are policed , for every person we are seeing mouthing at him, just think of the ones who never got within a 100 yard radius. That is also unprecedented. Just glad the wedding is tomoz and not later this year or it might be fried grassblades we get served. I am As for the day itself? Well, this sounds abso dreadful but given certain family members ain’t coming you have no idea of what a piece of cake this day should now be.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. I see the media pack hounds have moved the story away from him caught telling fibs again, or him not focusing on Brexit or him not developing his new policies. But on the poor chap with a seriously ill kid. So being interested in politics of the left precludes you one speaking to the PM when he’s showboating.


  8. Sending your son with a packed lunch is something I’m sure you can easily do if you have to – if there’s little else going on at home. But that isn’t the case so it will be tough.

    One option would be to check his schedule to determine the days he’d be likely to miss school lunch hour, then send him to school on those days with a packed lunch.

    If and when you decide to do lunches for him, weekend prepping might help a lot. That and prepping the night before too. Often, it’s the little things done earlier which help to ease the morning madness a bit.

    But I’m really sorry you have to face this, on top of everything else.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. This makes me so angry on your son’s behalf. This has been an on going problem (I know because you wrote about it before). There is no cost to budgets to save him some flap jack or knock him up a sandwich which is the least they can considering he is an autistic child in a mainstream environment coping with very little support and anyone with even a basic knowledge of autism will know about the sensory issues around food. As for keeping him in at lunch time, he needs his breaks and should be exempt from these detentions unless he is directly, wilfully responsible for them. Neither of these strategies would cost the school a penny and would help him enormously.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Grrr. In other words because we can’t see his suffering he is not? Poor kid needs to be able to eat and it is a proven fact that hunger disturbs concentration and the ability to learn. You are so right about the lack of flexibility in the current system.

        Liked by 2 people

  10. My goodness, that is so frustrating. Good thing you caught it. That’s how I catch things too – they don’t come home and tell me what happened right away – I have to notice something is off and then BOOM. Now hopefully, no thanks to school, your son will have a bit more food options than starvation. Geez.
    And I completely know the gnawing on the chair legs feeling 🙂 Been there myself. But hey, great job on trying some new changes! Change is hard but sounds like you are doing well! (Besides the whole chair thing 🙂 )

    Liked by 2 people

      1. The kids are just far apart in age that Declan will never be in school with a sibling again. Kind of. When I get irked about school I think about it and then I remember that Declan is an angel at school and saves the harder parts for me. Probably wouldn’t be a good fit, but if things got bad – maybe!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Good for you. I gave up gluten and switched to a Vegan diet to get my life back and my stomach sorted.
    I don’t know what your son will eat, or won’t, but perhaps if he can choose some veggie sticks with colours that appeal, you can wrap them all separately (so they don’t touch each other), for some nutritious nibbles with the flapjacks. Julienne’d (thin sticks) of carrot, red pepper, celery (but just the mild non fibrous bits) usually please kids. Plus they are fairly hardy if a heavy book threatens to crush them.

    Good luck with the diet… You will lose weight if you stay away from the bad stuff. I have been doing this so long (over 5 years now) that I have lost my sweet tooth. Now, the thought of ice cream or a box of Quality Street, makes me feel sick at the thought. I cannot drink sugary or even sweet drinks… To me, plain green tea tastes sweet. Fruit is my sugar kick.
    I do have a weakness for plain potato crisps, and peanut butter, but I gotta have a few evils. Tend only to drink the chicken weakest of weak instant black coffee just to fire me up of a morning or (one or two cups per day only).

    Liked by 2 people

  12. My daughter sometimes takes a bit lunch to school in a thermos flask designed for lunches. (I’m sure there must be a proper band for it but I can’t remember.) It’s not too big and it dies keep stuff warm till lunchtime.

    Anyway, good luck with the new food regime.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Bento Cups are something different, I think, going on the internet search I’ve just done. What are they made out of? The thermos keeps the food properly warm (up to about 8 hours), or cold (maybe up to 16 hours). It’s made of stainless steel.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. Try chifir. Start with 50% cooking-waiting, otherwise too strong 🙂

        Chifir is an exceptionally strong tea, brewed in Soviet and post-Soviet detention facilities such as gulags and prisons 😂😱


  13. This is also a problem here. When I worked in a low income subsidized school, some children only got the one meal a day in their lives. It’s important to feed the brain and food is major. The amount of things kids have to carry in those backpacks is huge. I feel their backs will suffer later on. At the junior high no backpacks are allowed. Another item on the plus side for homeschool.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Wish you luck with the diet Gary, and there are some good tips for your son’s lunches here in the comments. I used to prepare the sandwiches the night before and wrap them in clingfilm before putting them in the lunch box. Hopefully some of the stuff I eat and have posted will appeal. SW is still working for me.

    Liked by 1 person

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