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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Like to Loose Some Weight!




There is hardly anyone who does not have a fancy for food and likes to watch weight. A few minutes each day are spent in every home discussing ‘what is cooking’? The strange thing is that our lives have changed so much when it comes to food that those living in cosmopolitan cities very rarely carry the tag of belonging to a particular place when it comes to eating!

I remember in my childhood, the breakfast would usually be a glass of milk and a sandwich and the school lunch box was a seasonal vegetable with paratha( a bread) and in the evening again a dinner of dal(lentil), rice and seasonal vegetable ,and curd. The routine would follow in a cyclic manner with an occasional sprinkle of pakoras, pooris,(fried pancakes) or idli/dosa (Rice pancake and savories). Burgers, Chinese food, Italian pizzas started appearing on the landscape and thus we started our foray into the fast food world. Even the college canteens mostly catered to the Indian taste buds and were attuned to doling out a fare of samosas, chana bhatura and masala dosa( Indian snacks), with omelet and bread being permanently on the menu! Till then, I had never really ventured beyond, when it came to eating!

My brush with the global menu cards started the day, I stepped into the Navy! The mess (dining hall) resembled a lavish setting in a five star hotel  with a huge chandeliers on roof, immaculate white sheets on the table, adorned with silver cutlery and plates carrying the Navy insignia! The menu card displayed the fare ranging from baked beans, bacon, and eggs to order, cornflakes, milk, bread, butter jam and the works for the morning breakfast! The lunch and dinner would vary from a five course menu with a delightful pudding of all international cuisine apart from all Indian treat from different parts of the country. There were lessons in table manners in first few days on how to proceed when served, till closing the plate! The learning was a never ending process, I soon realized! I started to learn about the different soups, fish, chicken and puddings their fancy names which I had never heard before. There was no looking back now.

Whenever, I visited home, I saw the changes sweeping the city! Initially there was an odd Japanese/ Mexican or Lebanese restaurant serving to the more developed taste buds, delectable fare from the foreign shores. The globalization cast its long shadow on the cuisines in the city! There were mushrooming eating houses offering Korean, Japanese, Thai, and Italian food all over the major metro cities. No marriage party would be complete unless there were Chinese noodles, Live Pasta and Thai noodles on the menu.

The wheel seems to have turned a full circle! The TV channels promote the low fat, low carbohydrate, diet and promote multi grain cereals. The food experts sing paeans to promote the salads, need for having olive oil in dressings, humus and so on. Although, most of the Indians will still die for Chicken Tikka, Tandoori Chicken and Fried Fish and so on, but the clan of Sushi and lobsters lovers is on the rise. Virtues of having smaller meals after regular intervals and including more sprouts and salads is the latest fad being promoted by all health magazines to maintain an appealing and svelte figure. Low calorie or Diet drinks are preferred over regular colas. Baba Ramdev and his clan have promoted consumption of Aloe Vera and Gourd juice to the extent that at one point of time, the vegetable sellers said that gourd is in short supply for this upsurge in demand. Like fashion, the food industry too plays with the current sentiment of the masses! The advertisement campaigns of the edible oils, health drinks, keep educating the masses about the endless virtues of corn oil, sunflower oil over the hydrogenated ones and pro bio-tic drinks!

It leaves a common man in a dilemma over the choice to be exercised. Most of the saner elements do not get carried away by the high decibel advertisement and continue to lead healthy lifestyles with simple food habits and a daily regimen of physical exercise rather than bee lining to the ‘instant weight loss’ clinics or guaranteed return of money, if you do not see benefit of using the ‘special belts’ to reduce the waistlines. It is a constant battle for the poor housewife to choose from the options and more so when everyone in the family wants eggs cooked differently! Anyone, residing in a metro will vouch that the globalization and shrinking borders shows on the plate of what they eat each day, with a constant monitoring of calories consumed, if not of what we burn!

PS- Image Kind Courtesy Google

65 comments:

  1. I am a foodie and since I am a vegetarian I don't have much to choose from. But, still I indulge. It is difficult to control yourself.

    True, when you live in metros you get to see various cuisines. How to maintain a balance between intake of calories and burning it, is a mystery to me...:)

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    1. Saru, I too am a vegetarian and like you have managed wherever I went including in the Navy:)I too indulge and maintaining a balance is still as mysterious to me...

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  2. I've always believed in the 'diet' of eating in moderation which allows you to sample everything on the cuisine table, in small portions. However, we humans find it difficult to keep to the strict regimen of 'small' he he!

    I didn't know what fast food was until my family immigrated to the United States, when I was 7 years old! As the fast food industry began to infiltrate into other countries, I noticed the rise of obesity around the world.

    Great article! :-)

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    1. Thanks a lot Princesa, for liking! Fast food taken regularly can surely spell disaster:)

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  3. You are so correct- this globalization of food choices is something which has posed new problems. I think there is something about eating locally produced items- one thing is that fruits and veges which are locally grown tend to be pollinated locally and thus help us to build up resistance against allergies etc- it is when we started eating things shipped in from hither and yon that soo many allergies have surfaced.

    I like variety in food- but I see the sense in eating smaller portions and more simplistic meals. the key is burning more than what we take in- otherwise, it definitely will not go to 'waste' but to our WAIST!

    Very good blog update.

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    1. Thanks for this add on, Anjali regarding the aspect of allergies for foods imported from all over! A balanced meal generally keeps the WAIST problems in check:)

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  4. Where is the good old seasonal eating? Today we have all vegetables and fruits all through the year and we know it is all coming from the deep freeze from different parts of the country and world. So while we have a variety of tastes, they have little nutritional value and so we have supplements and vitamins and then fight food allergies and infections. This is all glitz and no substance. Loved your round up. Sorry about the rant :)

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    1. True, Zephyr! I still try to stick to seasonal fruits n vegetables even if someone wants to pick holes in my way of thinking:)

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  5. I like the way you share the 'Then and Now' scenarios!
    Agree with Zephyr completely... And our current lifestyles has led to this is eat and then 'how to burn' cycle... if only we could 'Keep all of it Simple'!!

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    1. Yes Shilpa, what you and Zephyr said makes a lot of sense! Comparing with not to distant past at least keeps things in correct perspective:)

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  6. Even after eating all the worldy cuisines, we all tend to bend towards the infamous ghar ka khana. Our staple food!
    Rujuta Diwekar, the dietician has mentioned in her book.Dont go for all the senseless diet plans. Eat what you always ate when you were a kid (in moderation ofcourse!) and you would be just fine.

    Ahh the Navy!!!Men in uniform are really a class apart! Total admiration :-)

    Great Post!

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    1. True Jenny, no matter what one eats, it is the basic ghar ka khana that one yearns for!Rujuta is oft discussed at my home too:)A bow to you for that admiration for Men in White!

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  7. Totally agree! Its fad! Consuming fast food to burning the calories..its all fad.

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    1. Fad for sure! Even technology does not come to rescue here:( However, basics still do not change!

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  8. you have written this one really nicely - the past and present scenarios - the way you got introduced to different cuisines because of your vocation - the way things are now - so varied that it is almost crazy for some of us :)

    the simpler the food habits, the better it is - is the simple truth

    """"calories consumed, if not of what we burn!""" i think this is an awesome line esp for someone who into all kinds of fads/crazy diets. it sums up the whole weight/fitness debate

    very well written Sir

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    1. Sujatha, I did see a bit of world in terms of learning about different foods but am a vegetarian and lover of dal and rice( simple food)!As they say in management world the KISS - Keep it short and simple:)Thanks a lot for those nice comments..

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  9. Nicely described sir !
    good way and best way to make readers grasp.
    EAT whatever but have to die soon
    EAT very selected things and Let's extend our time :P

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    1. So right you are Deepak! Life is about making choices especially in matters of food choice:)

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  10. Eating everything in moderation is the key . Last Sunday I noticed two kids of around 8-10 yrs age bringing down the hotel- management just because their pasta was overcooked and some mushroom dish they had ordered lacked proper seasoning .Amazed I was at their knowledge of different cuisine (the ordering food was a scene to remember).Their parents looked lost though.

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    1. Kavita, that just goes to show how intelligent the present generation is when it comes to knowledge about food:)

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  11. Very interesting read.. As usual you work is splendid.. Yeah globalization defiantly brought lot of change on our platter. My dad has a strict south Indian taste buds.he stills doesn't get the noodles, pasta and burger craving of ours. I cant completely say that eating all delicacies in my dad's dictionary junk actually adds lot of weight to our waist.We stress so much about what we consume and counting calories that we are anyway going to add few more pounds because of that stress.. Well written...

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    1. Single girl, the earlier generation is more inclined to stay with conventional food but the younger generations like to be more adventurous:)Stress needs to be avoided:)

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  12. A great article dear Rahul. Yes it is confusing, we are told this and that about certain foods, then the experts change their minds again and again. I just stick with small servings, a variety of vegetables and fruits and small amounts of meat. I don't eat take-away fast foods or many sweets.
    xoxoxo ♡

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    1. Dianne, am happy you liked it! Well even the science keeps getting baffled when new findings are made so what had virtues some time ago, is associated with vice:)

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  13. Interesting post! Today as you say the food options are so many that we are all confused as to what to eat. But then growing awareness about health is also at an all time high. It seems like a bit of a contradiction - this world that we are living in now!

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    1. Totally agree Meera!Awareness about health and fitness is ever more, but at the impressionable age, people tend to get carried away, by too much publicity and misleading advertisements:)

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  14. U wont believe Rahul ji, this is what i was thinking a few days ago...I was wondering how it used to be earlier, how breakfast would mean parathas made in ghee and achaar etc...but today we think ten times before having ghee, in fact i dont even remember the last time i had ghee! Times are changing fast. But to me nothing can replace 'ghar ka khana'.

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    1. Ria , am no nutrition expert but at least common sense tells me that anything in moderation including Paratha and achar are harmless( my favorite too!)Ghar ka khana cannot be replaced with anything:)

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  15. Good post, Rahul and nice to see this coming from a man :). I remember my childhood being similar. My mom was an expert cook and weaved great dishes around everyday ingredients. She made huge varieties of pickles, lovely innovative dishes and had the art of getting recipes out of fierce aunties :). Oh, I miss her cooking. Today, everything is adulterated, available all the time and everyone fusses over food. One thing that I do is cook great food at home by myself. We don't eat out too often. One great thing are the cooking shows and internet, so one can just check any recipe and prepare. I make Thai, Chinese, Mexican, Italian and Indian all at home :). I hope my sons' will inculcate good eating habits and the art of cooking and loving their food from me :).

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    1. Rachna, I really admire you for the way you lead your life as a perfect balance between modernity and conventions!It is rare to hear that a homemaker makes all kinds of food at home to get best nutrition and am sure your children will learn a lot from you:)

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  16. Life, like the food, was much simpler earlier on.

    Still, I'm grateful for the chance to taste a wide variety of different dishes.

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    1. LadyFi, so true! At least we now now what everyone in the world eats and can try new cuisines:)

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  17. I don't eat anything in excess, even if I like the food very much. Now, I have started making pastas and noodles and lasagnes too. I learn from internet for the sake of my son. Non-cheesy foods I prefer. Pasta seems to be interesting even without cheese. I never thought I would be using other oils like olive oil until a few years back!

    If we burn after eating, nothing is wrong. Very interesting post.

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  18. nice post
    gain weight or loose weight both are difficult

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  19. ooooooooooooooooo, sndwitchesse mattuma saappdaruthu,

    palassa kanjieem, pulissa saambaarum saappidamaate,?

    endaaa eppideee,

    pidichathu burger, kedachathu koluckettai,

    appady poyickitte eruckenam

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  20. I'm very picky with food, so it is easy to be thin:-)

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    1. Tanya, your peak fitness is an indication of your choice of food:)

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  21. Yes choosing daily menus are a head ache. Now more and more people are becoming health conscious so what they eat are well thought of.
    www.thoughtsofpaps.com

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    1. Agree PAPS! For a homemaker, it is a daily challenge to decide what to cook:)

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  22. I'm not much of a foodie...I could eat just about anything that's convenient. But it's hard when you are a vegetarian like me (although I do eat fish sometimes)...so I understand the predicament!

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    1. True Ameena! I am in the same boat like you , being a vegetarian!

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  23. This is was some interesting insight into food. I am a huge foodie, so I like trying out different cuisines and such. Its lucky that you have tried out so many! Which was your favourite? You are so right about the fashion of food! Never thought of it that way before.

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    1. WoW Sam, it is good to learn that you are a foodie too:)Thanks that you too find some similarity in fashion and food industry:) I like Italian food among international cuisines but there are so many special dishes in each kind of food that it is difficult to really tell!

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  24. Interesting post.Nice to know about your navy experience :)
    I agree with last paragraph :) I'm thin yet i like more of home made food rather than fast food or Italian :P My mom still wonders why is it so.. lol

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    1. Thanks Sunakshi! Welcome to my blog and a sincere thanks for following! East or West home food is the best:)

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  25. interesting insight on a fav topic... :)

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  26. This post is gonna help many, lol! :P

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  27. I love food, especially oriental food. I hardly ever eat fast food though, it just tastes bad!

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    1. I love sea food!
      in the post you mentioned here ..how simple home made food to lavish ..cuisines reminds me Army mess dad use to take us ..very similar to that ..But when specially we are outside india its hard to believe the types of cuisines and people cook wht not..Sometimes its annoying as this can also be food!
      I was in Vegas ..and happened to step in some restaurant ... where day's menu was WORMS ..Delicacy ..and trust me I saw bowls of soups people gurgling .. with worms which was hard for me to stand ..
      its all personal liking too,,

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    2. Yes Harman, quite true! Food is such a topic on which everyone has a different view!

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    3. Agnes, In matters of food everyone has a different like and fast food is definitely not healthy:)

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  28. And you know Rahul ji, I always get confused. I want good yummm Indian food but then, soups sound healthier...

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  29. Chintan, this continues to be a never ending dilemma for most of us!:)

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  30. You are absolutely right about the endless choices and varieties these days. Addionally, what tastes good isn't always good for us in the long run. I prefer to cook simple rice-daal-sabji-fish for my household. But with growing demands and changing tastes, I don't know how long that simple routine will hold ;)

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  31. So true, the simplest things in life give the utmost joy:)

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  32. Absolutely. People are so attracted to this "Instant Weight loss" promises, that the forget to use their Brain when they see such advertisements. A healthy lifestyle can come only from eating the right food, at the right time, at the right place, in the right quantity, along with physical exercise. Occasional indulgences can be accepted, provided they stay occasional.

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    1. Thanks a lot for that lovely comment and taking time off to read all my posts:)

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  33. sir, read your blog and found it interesting. I have cleared SSB and will join naval academy in July this year. I am a ardent vegetarian. would it be easy for me to remain vegetarian while in Indian Navy? Please reply...

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    1. Best of luck for joining the Navy!I could remain a vegetarian and now it should be even easier, with so many options available:)

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    2. Thank you very much sir...

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