I've never really given that much thought to what I eat. And I've certainly never been on any kind of diet at all, ever. Like many people, I'm vaguely aware of what counts as healthy - five-a-day, cut down on fats, reduce salt, that kind of thing - and do it when I can. Having a family, of course, obliges you to put something healthy on their plates and we don't do ready meals at all or take-aways too often. But other than that, as I say, I don't really give my own intake much consideration.
But I should. Type 2 Diabetes develops through diet and can be just as easily prevented. So as an extension of Tesco Diet's 'lbs for £s' campaign (promising to turn every lb you lose into £1 for Diabetes UK) I'm being given a weekly sit-down with one of their nutritionists as well as membership of Tesco Diets - a dedicated service offering information on nutrition and healthy eating linked to a range of specially-prepared menu options.
The idea is - you sign up, you answer some questions (age, height, weight, lifestyle etc.) and they provide you with appropriate menus for the week plus a shopping list of ingredients. You don't have to, but you can even link to Tesco Direct and have it delivered to your door.
I was pleased to see that breakfast this morning was a BLT (low fat bacon, wholemeal bread - the latter most certainly not fried - but still... a bacon sarnie). That's certainly a good start. And the link from menu to shopping list is perfect for a supermarket browser such as me. I'm afraid I tend to buy first and look in recipe books after (if at all). And while nobody's complaining, our family meals are stuck in a bit of a predictable cycle.
So today for lunch (instead of, *ahem* Pot Noodle) I'll be having a bagel (for the first time in my life) with cream cheese and smoked salmon and tonight... well, tonight's menu is chickpea stew which, frankly, may not be happening. I'm subbing a healthy roast chicken for the family instead (lots of carrots and broccoli) but that kind of thing's allowed. Oh, and there'll be some wine for my ticker, just in case.
If I'm honest, I thought that following a menu would be tedious; the idea of it has always put me off. But as I look ahead to the week's meal (family-friendly fish casserole tomorrow evening, beef curry on Wednesday, sausage sandwich for breakfast on Thursday) I'm actually quite inspired. Even better, I know I've got all the ingredients.
What could be simpler, eh? Well, sticking to it, I suppose. I've signed up for the next three weeks and - at the moment - things are going well.
As they do when the diet starts with a bacon butty.
But then, it's early days.