26-Apr-2011

Eat and be merry



My mom still tells me the story of the day she decided to let me continue playing without summoning, coaxing and the pleading me into having a meal. She had already clocked in hours persuading me to eat. I would be so preoccupied with playing, and so utterly unenthusiastic about food, that each meal would be a battle of wits. Eventually one day an experiment was carried out. I would be left to my own devices and would be fed only when I was hungry. Morning turned to noon to evening without any signs of hunger at my end. A panicked mom eventually gave up and got back to the old routine.

Whenever I hear this story, I always ask myself ‘who is this kid and do I really know her?’

The present me needs to be fed roughly six – seven times a day. Breakfast before work. Mid morning snack around eleven. Lunch promptly at one. Mid-evening snack at four. Mid-mid-evening snack at six. Finally dinner at eight. Any delay and the stomach growls in the most threatening manner. Luckily most of the meals comprise reasonably healthy food.

Come weekend or any meal during a holiday and immediately the main meals of the day are consumed with the roving greed of a food reporter who needs to get through three restaurant reviews in a day.

Given a choice, my meal would comprise one or all of the following Рcheese-jalapeno nuggets, rice and sambar and chips, curd rice with potatoes cut thin and fried, tamarind rice with chips and/or potatoes cut thin and fried, risotto, white sauce pasta with chicken bits. For dessert, the list is limited to only cheese cake, rasagolla, caramel custard and cr̬me brulee.

Clearly the child is the not the mother of the woman.

As far as food is concerned atleast.

Which is quite a pity because till twenty five I had the metabolism of an Olympic swimmer. I was skinnier than average and looked gaunt quite often. By the time I discovered the delights of Italian cooking, I was already twenty two and only a few more years were left before the cheese started going directly to the upper arms and thighs.

If a time machine were ever to be built, I would probably go back and knock some sense into the little kid who refused to eat her meals.

I realized though that I do have a future me in my life who is trying to knock some sense into me.

My grandmother discovered the joys of eating varied food only at fifty. She now scoffs every time we turn away an extra helping of rice or meat. At eighty plus, she is luckily in reasonably good health but has to follow a strict diet imposed by high sugar levels and blood pressure levels. She simply cannot understand why all of us don’t consume copious quantities of food when the doctor still allows us to do so.

She clearly does not realize that unlike her, who used to be constantly engaged in physical labour just preparing meals and taking care of her house and kids, all of us only exercise our fingers the whole day long tapping away at the computer. Not to mention, in her day, high-calorie foods only appeared during festivals and functions. It was not like she could go out for a cheesecake every weekend.

Still, there is a lesson in it.

So lately, the goal has been moderation. Even when all the favourite foods listed above are present in a meal, I try not to go overboard. Plus, I indulge because I feel like it, not because the food is available. And if a day/week has been tilted heavily in favour of rich food, the other meals are kept light. Finally I have decided that half an hour of walking a day is better than making grandiose plans to join the gym and also learn tennis and actually not do anything (but that is another story).

While clearly I cannot make up for lost time, I can atleast enjoy the present before the future hits me.


1 comment:

Jasmine said...

These are exactly my favorite desserts as well!
I also like cakes actually.
I am still in the super metabolism mode though and am usually thinner than I should be even though I eat similarly,(one more dinner at 11:00 pm).
This is fun!