Wellness (why is it no longer plain old “good health”?) and diet…

Email to my friend Mayank, who posted about some “cereal-free porridge” made by someone.

Once again. I must enter an objection to this “cereal-free porridge”. Why does everything have to be “XYZ-free” to be “healthy”? What’s wrong with cereal now? Gluten? Or have they discovered some new danger-buzzword?

I repeat…I was brought up on all the “wrong” things…polished rice, refined oil, crunchies, sugar..and brought up my daughter on them, too. We were, however, moderate in our food habits (ok,ok, I used to make pizza from scratch at home because back then even pizza bases were not available!) She had fudge regularly at Corner House. In fact, I must own to one excess…I am a confirmed chocoholic, and firmly believe that it brought me through several bouts of depression! When I cheer up, my need for chocolate automatically comes down.

But certainly we’ve taken regular (in my case, moderate there, too) exercise, and led not-too-sedentary lifestyles. I cannot presume to say that it will suit others. I can only say that it’s suited us. My daughter runs half-marathons regularly. I actually gave up running, but walk everywhere, and have survived…so far. I have not developed the many ailments that I should have developed, congenitally. Oh yes, I eat a lot of the “good” foods as well as the “bad” ones…I make my phulkas, and yes,my general diet is a light one. An Indian diet is far lighter than a “western” one…but we are getting there fast with the burgers and fries. I need only to see the queues at the local “McD’s) to realize this.

Fads do come and go. I remember when it was so cool to have only “bottled” or “mineral” water, and drinking water from the tap was uncool. (So was cycling, when I took it up in the early 90’s in Bangalore.) I continued with the tap water right through this phase, and now mineral water is taboo in some circles, though the convenience of it still makes it very popular (along with the snob-price factor!) It became cool to offer “cooldrings” when someone came home, full of sugar…and now it’s uncool.

I remember when our “traditional” vegetables became uncool. I wonder if that trend has reversed yet, or we are still after exotic vegetables. I don’t know, because I have stuck to the traditional baingan-bhindi for decades.

Seems to me that people always need to feel that what they are doing (something different from the “uninformed average”) is right, and what “other people” are doing is wrong. “How can they live like that!”

Hmm…this is going to become a blogpost. But thank you for making me think about diet and nutrition.

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