Reflections on No Onion January

It’s only been two weeks, but Benjamin Partridge is already seeing the upside to a life without onions.

I’m doing no onion January” I sobbed. My friends thought I was joking, but I was deadly serious. For once, my tears were real, and not the result of chopping an onion. I’ve always enjoyed onions in the evening, but I felt it had reached a new level in 2015 where the only question I was asking when I got home from work was “white or red?”

I didn’t think I’d be able to do it, but at this stage (not even half way through) I’m starting to see the benefits. Let me impart my un-onion-clouded wisdom.

People at parties are actually really boring.
Under the influence of onions I would be laughing away with the rest of them (and ordering another round of onions!) but now I just feel like going home and waking up the next morning without my breath stinking like a canteen.

Not everyone eats onions all the time.
It always seemed to me that on a night out everybody was doing onions, but once I stopped eating them, I realized that lots of other people weren’t eating onions either. In fact, often I’ll look around a busy pub and see no onions at all.

Your friends won’t understand.
“Not even in a bolognese?”

The weight has dropped off.
Over Christmas I’d eat onions as if the baby Jesus had come to earth to tell us to. I mean, Christmas Day is basically the only day it’s acceptable to eat a raw onion before breakfast. However, as I stare down thirty, my weight had begun to creep upwards and I had the beginnings of a classic onion belly. Since I’ve stopped, the pounds have fallen off.

Shallots ARE cheating.
You heard me.

Your skin will thank you.
Only four days in, whilst buying 4 bottles of Spar’s own brand Vodka, Tiananmen Square, I was ID-ed for the first time since I was 15.

Your pocket will thank you.
In the past I’d think nothing of dropping 50p on an onion on the way home from work. Instead, do the maths. One onion per weeknight — £2.50 — that’s half a bottle of cheap wine.

You CAN relax without an onion.
My biggest worry at the beginning of the month was that I wouldn’t be able to unwind from my stressful job without reaching for the onion bag. Luckily I’ve found there are many alternative ways to relax, whether it be a hot bath, a scented candle or a 6 pack of Spar’s premium European lager, Budapest Rising.

My intention here isn’t to make you think that it’s easy — it isn’t. However, I am beginning to feel that I will make it to the end of the month, and maybe keep going. And if I can do it, anyone can.