Allegro McEvedy says keep a pot of toasted seeds handy to sprinkle over salads. Mix pumpkin, sesame, hemp, coconut oil, sunflower and linseed seeds. Bake at 180°C for 12 minutes. Seeds are packed with manganese, which aids the absorption of other nutrients, as well as antioxidant vitamin E — vital for healthy skin. Coconut oil is also good for the skin. Learn more how to use coconut oil for eczema.
Less than most sandwiches. JoH It’s really great in terms of nutrient balance with slow-release carbs, protein, calcium from the cheese and loads of dietary fibre to help the digestive system. AL It’s definitely like having a complete meal.
M&S Butternut Squash, ra Pumpkin Seed and Chilli Salad (180g), £2.49 Per 100g: 140kcal, 4.3g protein, 12.5g carb, 7.8g fat, 2.8g fibre, 0.2g sodium
JoH The texture’s varied and I love the squash.
JM The seeds work well, too. JoH Great for carbs and it’s rich in antioxidants, specifically vitamin A. There’s calcium in the pumpkin seeds and selenium to protect against cell damage. Would that be enough for lunch? JM I think you’d need some meat with it as well.
Tyrrells Naked (No Salt) Fa Chips (50g), 64p Per 100g: 499kca1, 7.7g protein, 56.5g carb, 27.5g fat, Og sodium
Doritos Corn Chips Lightly Wodi Salted (200g), £1.19 Per 100g: 495kcal, 7.5g protein, 64g cart, 23g fat, 0.3g sodium
JH The Sainsbury’s ones look like mini poppodoms.
AM At least Tyrrells look more like crisps.
JoH And they taste of potato as well. The ingredients list in these is short: potato and oil. The potatoes don’t get heated so many times and the trans-fat content is lower. When you see “hydrogenated”, this refers to trans-fats. These start out as more healthy polyunsaturated fat, but processing at high temperatures damages their structure.
Marks & Spencer
vegetable & goat’s cheese pizza (350g), £3.99 Per 100g: 195kcal, 7.9g protein, 27g carbohydrate, 6g fat, 2.7g fibre, 0.4g sodium
JoH The base on this is quite bready. I preferred to have a tinner base on my pizzas. JM I’m wondering where all that fat’s from because there’s not much cheese.
In Pizza Express Margherita La pizza (270g), £3.85 Per 100g: 206kcal, 12.1g protein, 28.8g carbohydrate, 4.8g fat, 2.5g fibre, 0.5g sodium
AM I like the oregano.
AL It’s got 4.8g of fat per 100g, so actually it’s the lowest in fat per 100g. JM Domestic ovens don’t get hot enough to cook pizza properly. JoH That explains why the base is a bit soggy but the dough itself is quite nice and spongy.
El Sainsbury’s Be Good to Yourself Tomato and Mozzarella pizza (200g), £2.39 Per 100g: 228kca1, 15.8g protein, 25.3g carbohydrate, 7.1g fat, 5.3g fiber, 0.3g sodium
JoH It doesn’t look too appetizing but the base is good. AL It has double the fiber content of the other two and more protein but also more fat. JoH It will be the seeded base that ups the fat, protein and fiber content, so it’s still quite healthy.
Another lesson from our musical shoppers: they were really having fun. He was in and out of the changing rooms and she was in and out of the outfits quicker than a stripper trying to knock off before the last train home. It’s a timely reminder that one of the sexiest things you can do is buy underwear as a couple. And even if you don’t dent the plastic on the day, you’ll know what she likes for next time. Within a few minutes the pair have dropped several hundred nicker on everything from French knickers to more French knickers and Anisa, another of the angelic AP agents, has stepped in. Thank God. Discussing the technical intricacies of the quarter- and demi-cup was seriously stretching my ‘enthusiastic amateur’ knowledge on the area in question.
Think about what she wants (and all the ladies will love you…)
Not all men are as thoughtful as our rock star, Anisa explains. “Occasionally you get a man who says, ‘I like this.’ And I ask, `Do you think she’ll like it?’ And he’ll say, ‘Frankly, I’m not bothered’!” This is clearly not the best way to win favor with the sales team or, more importantly, the lady in question. “It’s great to hear a man say, ‘She’ll love this,- says Anisa. “It’s like when you see a guy walking down the street with a bunch of flowers. Every girl who sees him thinks, Ah… there’s a man who cares.- So it seems that if you’re thoughtful, they’ll all love you. And with undies, as with everything else in a relationship, taking time to understand what she wants pays serious dividends with the lucky lady.
My next customer proves the point. Riz works in IT, dresses in jeans and pumas, and has a problem: “She likes black underwear, I like white,” he says. “When I first met her it was hard to find a compromise. She used to pretend she liked it, then I’d never see it on her again. But now the more I know her, the easier it gets. It’s actually made us more honest with each other about what we like.” So there you have it, underwear giving can be couple therapy, and it’s a lot more fun than Relate. After some umming and ahhing, Riz does the right thing and puts a £125 set on hold. In black.
Don’t judge a book by its cover
My first female customer is a businesswoman in her late thirties, dressed like she runs a big law firm, or possibly a small country. She knows exactly what she wants: a Leila peep bra. She’s a self-confessed AP addict. “My husband loves it too, but I buy it for myself,” she says, then asks to see “the most slutty stuff you’ve got, please. In pink.” She also takes home ‘slit’ pants (crotchless knickers in Currant Bun parlance), and I realize that there can be a Jackie Collins affair lurking in every War and Peace. Even the most `sensible’-looking women sometimes like to see themselves, and be seen, as sex objects. And I start to gently reappraise my atheism.
The next woman through the door imparts the same lesson. With paint-splattered cords and short choppy hair she looks like a refugee from the achingly trendy ghettto of Hoxton, but she knows exactly what she wants. “I want to wear those shoes,” she says, pointing at a pair of impossibly high heels. In fact, the stream of mothers with daughters and girls in jeans and trainers totally destroys the misconception men have that the only women who wear burlesque undies are the kind who wouldn’t look out of place on the pages of Playboy.
Stripping off reveals insecurities
Ironically enough, the next woman to walk in looks like she actually has fallen straight off the Playboy centre spread. I liked her shiny hair. She gave some advices how she takes care of it. What she recommends for its care was a hair supplement from Trend Statement. She’s glamorous, gorgeous and, amazingly, very insecure. “I could never wear that,” she says, pointing to a corset and dashing my fledgling fantasies. “I’d look fat.” Some of the most unbelievable-looking females suffer the most unbelievable ‘body issues’. It seems that, however confident and unapproachable they may appear, even the most beautiful women can be nervous about their bodies. They need reassurance, and they’re not necessarily ‘out of your league’. Only my consummate professionalism prevents me testing my theory.
As a beautiful oriental girl kneels at my feet folding a drawer full of pants, and the Playboy model discusses corsetry with me as if we were chatting over the office photocopier, I think I may have died and gone to heaven. Then it strikes me again that the key lesson for us to learn is that women find sexy lingerie, well, sexy. They don’t see it as a ‘man thing’, they see is as an indulgence that makes them feel great, as we might see a Savile Row suit. And they don’t see men who buy it for them as members of the dirty mac fraternity; in the world of fancy pants there are no losers. So, as an authority on procreation may have said, `Go forth and panty buy’ – she’ll feel great. And when she feels great, you know you’re going to feel a whole lot better.
In Helsinki the cure for any ill, the balm for any evil, is the sauna. It’s hard to exaggerate the Finnish obsession with this ritualized heat bath, and the constant proselyting of its virtues to foreign visitors.
Why is it that a Helsinkian would rather sit naked in a sauna beside a total stranger than say hello to him on the street? At the Sauna Seura (society) of Helsinki, President Dr. Harald Teir tried to explain. He told me of the idealism with which the sauna is taken, the tranquillity it generates; then he thrust me into an oven where half a dozen grinning retirees were beating themselves with birch branches in heat higher than 200°F.
“I had a friend here from Chicago,” one of them recalled, “and after we sat up here in the top tier for five minutes, he looked at me and said, ‘Seppo, if this is your pleasure, what is your punishment?”
After a few minutes the gentlemen, still grinning, filed naked out the door, and lowered themselves into a 20-foot-wide hole in the frozen Gulf of Finland. I followed, cursing all rituals. But later we had salted herring and boiled potatoes with dill, a cold bottle of Karjala beer, and, as always, that sense of light-headed well-being.
The sauna mystique is endemic. Finnish President Urho Kekkonen often uses the sauna for international diplomacy, heated or otherwise, and much big business is conducted in this restful ambience.
Hilkka, divorced and the mother of two small children, typifies several of the problems of Helsinki’s workingwomen. Sixty-eight percent are in the work force, one of the world’s highest percentages, but few of them reach prominent positions. The divorce rate is high, and women outnumber men by 55,000. In the short days of winter, life can be severely depressing.
“What I hate,” said Hilkka, “is going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark. Sometimes I just go dancing.”
These “tea dances” are innocent affairs between working hours and evening. There is no disco music here, but a schmaltzy stage band squeezing out waltzes, tangos, and polka-like humppas. And on Thursdays at the Vanha-Maestro dance hall, the worm turns; it’s ladies’ choice night. The lines outside are prodigious.
FOR TOO MANY Helsinkians the melancholy of isolation and darkness has produced what some call “bad sisu,”the intemperate use of alcohol.
“It’s not really a problem of alcoholism,” said Dr. Klaus Makela of the Finnish Foundation for Alcohol Studies, “but a problem of disruptive drinking. The attitude of Finns toward alcohol is similar to the attitude of people in some countries toward taking drugs. The goal is to get intoxicated.”
One Friday night I joined Senior Constable Bengt Lindholm and Sgt. Bjarne Eriksson for some practical experience, answering emergency calls in their Helsinki police cruiser. At 8:35 we got our first, a man named Suominen, 51, drunk and bleeding from the head in Harjutori Park.
“Ah, Suominen,” said the young orderly at the emergency room, “where have you been? We haven’t seen you for a while.”
By nine o’clock we had been summoned back to the same park to take away another offender, this time to the city drunk tank, where 10 television monitors keep a 24-hour vigil over 45 separate rooms.
“In the wintertime,” said the sergeant, “some of them like to come here. It’s warm, it’s cozy to sleep. The police are watching over you. One homeless man will call up and say, ‘There’s a gentleman asleep on the park bench, and I can’t wake him up.’ Then he’ll go lie on the bench and wait for us.”
Through the hectic night almost every call had something to do with liquor. Take away demon drink, was the impression, and the yearly crime of Helsinki might fit inconspicuously into a bad week in a large American city. Handguns are rare. The city has only 10 to 12 homicides a year. And a list of all the stolen cars in Finland (about 30) is taped to the dashboard of the patrol car.
Helsinki has worked hard toward solving its drinking problems. One step was the opening of Kylasaari Clinic in 1979, an asylum for homeless alcoholics.
Others find solace in the Siiloan Church, whose revival tent attracts 500 a night to hear the word of fundamental Christianity.
“I was a drug addict,” witnessed one baby-faced young man. “My wife left me, and I was contemplating suicide. Now I’m a new man in Jesus.”
A revival meeting in Finland is a little like flat beer—the substance is there, but the sparkle is missing. Yet the nasal monotone of the Siiloan preacher seemed to hypnotize the gathering. People nodded in the heat that smelled of canvas and closeness; some wept. Behind the preacher a row of earnest young guitarists made music for lost souls.
Not far from the tent a lone woman with gray hair and a gash of lipstick across her deeply lined face stood defiantly, thrusting literature at passersby. In her right hand a red flag bore the likeness of another prophet.
“Lenin is the light of the world,” she said to an audience of one.
Among Helsinki’s young, the old Marxist revolutionary has big competition from the late American actor James Dean, whose astonishingly large following of teenagers, called the diinarit, emulate what they think was the American tough guy of the 1950s. Many youths on the streets appear to be rebels without a cause—torn denim jacket,Helsinki: City With Its Heart in the Country sewn-on Confederate flag, hair in a wavy torttuptiti, or cake head, pants pegged, menacing swagger. Trouble . . . except that the feeling persists that under each ducktail haircut lurks a streak of incurable Finnish wholesomeness.