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The Adolf Hitler diet: the new foodie trend? #food #diet #fashion #hipster

Whatever about the current excitement over Corbynmania in Britain, there’s no doubt that the hottest political trend over the last few years has been the resurgence of the far right in Europe and beyond.

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Whether the National Front in France, Golden Dawn in Greece, the Party for Freedom in the Netherlands it seems that being a quasi-fascist is firmly back in vogue.

Quite clearly, this political phenomenon has permeated popular culture. Now I can’t pretend to be up with fashion trends, but if I nip out for a loaf of bread or a pint of milk I’m sometimes so shocked at the haircuts and styles emerging from the barbers or clothes shop that I want to run away and join the nearest resistance cell.

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The musician Bryan Ferry once remarked that the Nazis had ‘great style’ and a solitary glance at a pack of stylish young men these days will confirm that fact. Many wouldn’t look out of place in the Third Reich. Take hip London brand ‘Boy’, still favoured by numerous A-listers despite its logo’s unmistakeable similarities to the Nazi Reichsadler.

Then there’s the ascent of the aggressive crew-cut or slicked-back undercut. Although not the exclusive preserve of the right wing, this style is sometimes dubbed the ‘SS cut’ and sported by many a trendy young fella.

But why should this apparent popular homage to national socialism be restricted to the boys? Why should they have all the fun?

When it comes to the girls of today, by contrast, it’s pretty evident that emulating the staid mantra of Kinder, Küche, Kirche associated with Nazism is not cool. At least in the fashion stakes. The wholesome dumpy German housewife look might be indulged in by pretty young things at events like Oktoberfest but outside Bavarian-themed pubs you don’t see it very often as a style choice for the fashion-conscious young woman.

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But don’t let this apparent gender disparity fool you!

We all know that dieting is more popular among women than men. And it’s in the arena of the latest cool diets – assisting you in looking your slender youthful best – that the girls give the boys a run for their money in paying seeming homage to the Nazis.

Let me explain … I refer, of course, to the most ‘with it’ dietary fads of today and their unacknowledged debt to – who else? – Adolf Hitler.

Now, one of the most influential role models for diet-conscious young gals today is ‘Deliciously Ella’ – Ella Woodward – who offers recipes sans wheat, meat and sugar. Heard of her? Like Nigella Lawson, she’s the daughter of a fairly right-leaning politician but just check out her website (http://deliciouslyella.com/) and it’s all peace, love and avocadoes and not a hint of Hitler and his dietary dreams.

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Then there’s Hemsley and Hemsley (http://www.hemsleyandhemsley.com/) Now they are a couple of slender sisters who basically just eat vegetables. Occasionally, ever so occasionally, meat creeps in. But they’re singing from the same hymn sheet as our Ella.

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‘Yeah, OK. I know Hitler was a vegetarian, but what has all this got to do with the Führer?’ I hear you cry. Well, read on …

All these trendy girls are topped by Fully Raw – http://www.fullyraw.com – the creation of Kristina Carrillo-Bucanam, who rid herself of Hyperglycemia at the age of 18 eating nothing but a low fat raw vegan diet consisting solely of fresh fruits and vegetables, and the pinnacle of raw food cool. Of course, Kristina’s recipe ideas are confined to the realm of gazpachos, smoothies and salads. Cooking, she claims, destroys nutrients, “denatures the proteins, carcinogizes the fats, and caramelizes the carbohydrates”.

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You could counter that cooking releases certain nutrients as well as killing bacteria and, well, simply makes many foods taste better. Not to mention the climactic differences between Kristina’s Texas and Northern Europe; salads are simply less appetising without the sunshine. But to do so would spoil the fun and destroy the admittedly tenuous premise of this blog post.

So, where’s the link with Nazi cool? Well, Hitler was advocating all this stuff decades ago, darling.

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HJ auf Fahrt

He wasn’t a mere veggie, our Adolf, oh no! His dietary opinions went far beyond the volkish eintopfsuppe, the Germanic disdain for the western dietary impurity, and the longing to return to rye bread and autarchy. No, I tell you Hitler was the unacknowledged father of the hip diet of today.

Take this excerpt from Hitler’s Table Talk (5 November 1941):

“It’s not impossible that one of the causes of cancer lies in the harmfulness of cooked foods.”

 Or this, from 29 December 1941:

“the doctors used to say that a meat diet was indispensable for the formation of bones. This was not true … we have bad teeth … this has something to do with a diet that’s rich in yeast. Nine tenths of our diet are made up of foods deprived of their biological qualities … mortality is enormous among [people] who eat only cooked foods.”

Or this from 22 January 1942:

“When you offer a child the choice of an apple, a cake or a piece of meat it’s the apple he chooses … ancestral instinct”

So there you have it! Move aside, skeletal cool dietary gurus, Adolf beat you to it. And like the return of fascism in the fashion stakes, the extreme national socialist diet is quite obviously creeping in to trendy eating habits.

The Hitler diet: the next big foodie trend? Remember, you heard it here first.

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Jottings from the Irish Book Awards #bgeibas

Champagne. Dickie bows. Bright lights. Cufflinks. Polite conversation and sirloin steak. An Irish celebrity love-in of a literary awards ceremony.

The Old School Tie

‘Jeffrey Archer is a loss to politics’ gushed George Hook in introducing the disgraced former peer, the recipient of some sort of international achievement award at this event. Amazingly, this was one of the least ridiculous statements by ‘Hooky’ as he paid homage to Archer, whom he compared not just to Charles Dickens but to nearly ever other great dead author he could think of, his voice getting squeakier with every superlative he wantonly hurled at Archer. He might have even thrown Tolstoy in there in listing the greats that Jeffrey Archer ranks alongside. I can’t be certain as I was scrambling for the exit by that stage. When I returned, Jeffrey himself was on stage and relaying a yarn which delighted the audience.

“About a decade ago, I was walking down O’Connell Street when I was stopped by an old man. ‘Archer’ he said to me, grabbing me by the arm, ‘do you have any Irish blood in you?’ ‘No’ I replied. ‘That surprises me’, said the old man, ‘for you, sir, are a Seanachai [story-teller]’.”

The old man was right; Archer certainly does spin a good yarn. So good, in fact, that in an earlier version of that anecdote I’ve heard relayed by Archer, that very same old man was actually a young tramp. ‘You Irish greet complete strangers as if you saw them only yesterday and bid them goodbye as if you will see them again tomorrow’. Delightfully condescending.

I couldn’t resist the urge to chat with the former Lord Archer because he is an old boy of my former secondary school, don’t you knay? I asked him if he ever returned. Well, he does get invited back to do the annual prize giving every so often, don’t you knay? And he’s met the new headmaster and he’s a bloody good chap. Moreover, he attends the annual old boys’ dinner in London every year, don’t you knay? Funny, this is the first I’ve heard of that event … my invitation to that annual shindig must have gotten lost in the post these last few years.

Roddy Doyle, like me, was nominated for an award having ghost-written a former footballer’s autobiography

That footballer, of course, was Roy Keane. But Doyle was full of praise for the book I wrote with Alan McLoughlin, and said it should have won. That was nice. And he’d actually read the thing. I returned the compliment. I think we were both a little miffed that The Rugby Book book took the prize. Brian O’Driscoll’s ‘The Test’ was safe, dependable stuff from a national treasure. And safe, dependable stuff from rugby itself: a game which, unlike football, doesn’t have a persistent image problem. A safe, dependable read from a safe, dependable guy.

One thing Roddy Doyle and I have in common, we discovered, is a guilty pleasure in ‘researching’ footballer autobiographies. They are a great bedtime read. They might be lowbrow as literary works, but who cares? We discussed the crop from former Irish international footballers: from Niall Quinn (very good) to Frank Stapleton (shite). One thing’s for sure, Roddy’s made a pretty penny from his sojourn into the genre.

Every year my brother buys me a Daniel O’Donnell calendar or diary

These come complete with Daniel wearing pastel-coloured sweaters and smiling into the sunset. Every year my brother gets me with this routine. Every year have to put up with people’s faces contorting into a worried frown as they step into my office and notice the Daniel O’Donnell diary atop my desk. I’ve stopped explaining at this stage. Which I suppose makes me a fan. So what better way to repay the favour to my brother than to get not only the autograph of wee Daniel from Donegal but also the autograph of his lovely lady wife Majella. That should put a stop to the Daniel O’Donnell tat – I think I’ve won now.

Majella’s book came as a freebie in every goodie bag on the night. It’s the story of an unassuming Tipperary girl who meets the man of her dreams and then goes on to get her head shaved on live TV. Gripping stuff.

I couldn’t think of a single thing to say to Graham Norton so I started talking to Paul Galvin instead

I’ve always liked Galvin because being only half Kerryman, I’m a fair-weather fan of Gaelic football. And Galvin is everything the Gaelic footballer is supposed not to be: image-obsessed, a snappy dresser, a bit of a ‘trendy’. He lived up to this – wearing a granddad shirt with his dinner jacket and sandwiched in between a couple of stunners. He was very complimentary about my young cousin Fearghal, a footballer who he’s played alongside and against. And his bushy black beard is looking great.

My doctoral supervisor Michael Laffan was at my table

And it was great to catch up with Michael, whom I love and respect. His book, a biography of WT Cosgrave, was a labour of love five years in the making – a brilliant academic work which is also very readable. It didn’t win. Proof, as if it were needed, that this awards was all about celebrity and not about literary talent. For all that, though, it was – I’m sure – better fun than the Wellington School Old Boy’s London Dinner.

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