Fighting fit

For today’s post we have an etymology lesson, a Dukan recipe and self-portraiture rolled into one.

Fighting fit, which seems to have originated as a military term in Great Britain, means to be “very fit; in the peak of condition.”  The following newspaper article is from the Fielding Star, 24th February 1916.

I’ve been feeling extremely fit, not only having lost 6 kilos/1 stone/14 lbs on the Dukan diet, but I’ve been going to the gym three times a week.  And not just because of the diet.  I’ve been lifting weights for 30 years, since I was 18.  I was a tomboy when I was a kid, so was always healthy and strong.  The weight lifting started out partially from there and in part because I was obsessed with my weight and body image to an unhealthy degree in my teens and early 20’s.  By my mid 20’s, when I came to terms with my eating disorder, I still enjoyed exercise and working out, so that has pretty much carried on since.  Some years, I take a few months off and I only go when I enjoy it.  Oh yeah, I took a nutrition class when I first started college and learned that one of the best preventions for osteoporosis (porous bones) which affects post-menopausal women is weight bearing exercise before the age of 40.  That was another reason for weight lifting.

So as a result, when I shed my layer of excess adipose, my muscles popped back into the fore.  In addition to lifting weights twice a week, I’ve been going to a Kettlercise class, which is about an hour of 60 second resistance exercises using a 4 kg weight.

Anyhow, I had one of my favourite dishes for breakfast – Little Joe’s, which is one of our staples on the Dukan diet.  It’s a beef and egg dish, supposedly from San Francisco, with hazy origins.  I felt like a prize fighter when I was cooking it.  They eat a lot of protein and eggs, right?  So I dreamt up an alter-ego called Little Joe Dukin’.  A bantamweight boxer who goes to her favourite diner for breakfast after an early morning workout in a sweaty, Mission district gym.  I don’t box, by the way, yet!  So I pulled on pair of oven mitts for the photo shoot.

I was inspired by Sonny Liston, an American professional boxer known for his toughness, punching power and intimidating appearance, who became World Heavyweight Champion in 1962 by knocking out Floyd Patterson in the first round.

I also found a Photoshop tutorial on how to make a retro boxing poster and thought it would be fun to make one of my own.

Little Joe’s

  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 200g lean ground beef
  • 2 big handfuls of spinach, steamed and chopped
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Tabasco sauce
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

Put the spinach on to steam while you sweat the onion in a little oil.  Add the beef and cook ’til brown.  Stir in the chopped spinach and season.  Add some Tabasco sauce to the eggs, stir them in and cook it all up until it’s set.  Top with Parmesan cheese.

This recipe can easily be scaled up to feed a boxing gym full.  If anyone is on the Cruise phase, just omit the Parmesan.

"Guaranteed to have you fighting fit in no time"


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