Metro 121

Richard Herring: Soaking up my busy dairy diary

Wednesday 2 Jul 2014 
I’m taking part in the Men’s Health Abs Challenge, in which a group of comedians are trying to turn their flabby stomachs into six-packs in just six weeks (one pack a week). I’m three weeks in but I don’t think anyone would mistake my abdomen for a washboard just yet.
I’ve been meeting with a nutritionist who asked me to keep a food diary. She wrote across the top: ‘loves yoghurt.’If you’re a regular reader of my column, you will recall I was falsely accused of yoghurt love before, when I was buying nine yoghurts at the supermarket and the checkout lady commented: ‘Someone likes yoghurt.’
The truth is I don’t like yoghurt any more or less than the average lactose-tolerant person and yet still the rumours spread. I’ve put out a DVD explaining how I don’t particularly like yoghurt to nip this in the bud. Please buy it for everyone you know at – it’s the only way to stop this baseless gossip gaining ground.
It is true that I ate quite a lot of yoghurt in the week of my food diary but that was just an aberration. I had bought six yoghurts from the supermarket because they were on a deal. No one could claim that was too many, as the shop was encouraging shoppers to buy that amount. I ate about one of those a day.
And I had also discovered a good low-calorie frozen yoghurt, which I would have a little bowl of every day as a treat. I don’t even count that as yoghurt, though, because it’s really ice cream. Of course, I always have an Actimel for breakfast – but again, that’s not a yoghurt but a drink. So the nutritionist’s case is clearly falling down around her ears.
Unluckily, as it happened, my wife, without asking me, made a couple of desserts using yoghurt from her own personal yoghurt stash. I could hardly have thrown them back in her face and called her a yoghurt whore, could I? Out of politeness, I ate them.
So if you think seven yoghurts, seven Actimels, two tubs of frozen yoghurt, a yoghurt banana smoothie and some caramel yoghurt with some dried apricots in it constitutes a lot of yoghurt for one man to eat in a week, then I am afraid that is your problem, not mine. You’re the one with the yoghurt obsession for even noticing it. Out of context, it might make me look like some kind of yoghurt-scoffing, yoghurt-coated, fermented milk obsessive. But I am not.
The nutritionist said I should eat less yoghurt, which won’t be a problem for me. I can very much take it or leave it.
Plus she wanted me to eat 700g of green vegetables a day. But I didn’t say to her: ‘Ooooh, someone loves vegetables!’ did I? She wanted me to put vegetables in my porridge for breakfast but I didn’t start having a go at her bizarre and unnatural lifestyle choices. I just asked: ‘What if I put vegetables in my yoghurt? Could I eat yoghurt then?’ She said no and seemed very insistent about the insane idea that vegetables are better for you than yoghurt.
This morning, I sat down for breakfast to eat soaked, salted oat groats with kale and asparagus. It’s basically middle-class gruel. I was an over-privileged Oliver Twist asking: ‘Is there any chance of a little bit less? Or a yoghurt?’
To be fair, though, the weight is dropping off. The closure of thousands of European yoghurt factories is merely a coincidence.
Richard brings his show Lord Of The Dance Settee and his play I Killed Rasputin to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August.