When I first committed to this journey, I met with a personal trainer named Richard Kirk. He wasn’t much older than my oldest son, which was slightly unnerving. It became clear very quickly he knew what he was talking about when it came to diets, and for that matter, exercise. You can read about my first meeting with The Captain, his last name is Kirk, here. One of the central components of how he wanted me to change the way I ate, was to not eat anything until at least 12:30! Needless to say, I wasn’t too sure that dog would hunt, as we say in the South. I looked at him and said I would not stop drinking coffee with non-dairy creamer, and I was not going to completely get rid of burgers from my diet as they are, as far as I am concerned, staples, the food of life, well okay, nirvana.
In the last few years here in London, we have seen a number of new burger places opening. Some home grown, others coming over from the States. Most were European takes on the good old American burger, but in true European style, they tried to improve them calling them “gourmet” burgers. Until now, if you wanted a decent burger in the UK, you really couldn’t find one. We had McDonalds and Burger King, and I won’t lie to you, I do like both of them. A couple of years ago though we saw the opening within weeks of each other a Five Guys Burgers in Covent Garden as well as a Shake Shack. I saw the announcement, and knew that heaven was expanding. Or at least burger heaven! The problem I have with European burgers on the whole is they try to refine them. Add Foie Gras or Caviar, and loads of stuff which was never supposed to be put on a burger. What’s interesting, is that the busiest burger place in London is Five Guys. So clearly the UK has excellent taste, and understands that the ingredients that go into a good burger don’t have to come out of a force fed Goose! Getting back to The Captain and his plans for my change of lifestyle: When he said here’s your diet, I said I’m going to have a greasy burger from time to time. He kind of look sideways at me and didn’t say much. So, one day, when I didn’t have a work lunch, I eat out most days with clients in my job, but more of that in another post. I headed off to the Five Guys closest to the office. So I wouldn’t feel quite as guilty, I walked the mile and a half to the restaurant and recorded it as a hike on my newley acquired Garmin Fenix3 which tracked my route through GPS and calories based on the pace and distance, sat down had a great burger and a diet drink, and then looked it up in Myfitnesspal! Well, it came up as 840 calories. Just for the burger. I am not a huge eater of fries, but if I had chosen to add those? Add another 953 calories for a regular fries, not to mention the 40g of carbs!!! Well, that would have been almost my entire calorie allowance The Captain has specified! Even without scoffing the fries, I decided I better walk back, as Myfitnesspal says, briskly. Interestingly, I burn about 300 calories walking that 3 mile round trip to the office. It made me feel better about the transgression. After that, I included a Five Guys once a week if I had a free lunch hour. Still do. It’s great, and now I know what I put in my mouth, I don’t call it a “cheat” or think twice about making that walk to Oxford Circus and having the best burger in London. When I do though, I always walk there and back. I told Her in Doors, my missus, about this one day, and she looked at me with a sly smile and said, “oh, I see, the walk of shame”. And that stuck. So when I want a burger, I take the walk of shame to Five Guys and never look back!