The race to keep fit is becoming more intense with every passing day. Pick up any magazine or a newspaper regardless of whether it is a travel, women’s , current affairs or even a gossip magazine, you will come across an article, or a column on the secrets of a perfect diet. If not, there will be an advertisement promoting a diet product ranging from a cold drink, cooking oil to a massage belt !In every home the ladies are busy discussing what to eat and cook and what to avoid with their peers and friends.
There was a time when I went shopping and never bothered about what to buy when it came to food. Buy any cooking oil as long as it did not have an intense odor, any kind of atta, butter , cheese, sweets, fruits or any seasonal stuff. Indulging in fried pakoras, poories once in a while was a done thing with no feeling of a guilt! This was true till the turn of the century but then the globalization caught us unawares! Soon, insistence on buying, corn oil or oils with low cholesterol level, including olive oil , refrain from fried stuff became the new buzzwords ! Calorie count became more stringent. With the first break of dawn, the day must start with a cup of green tea in lieu of the strong tea with milk. The breakfast looked much less appetizing with only fruits, poha, vermicelli, and upma now becoming ,more frequent sights. Parathas were sighted once in a month like a full moon and poories and pakoras became a rarity like a lunar eclipse!
Adding to the trauma was the constant shift in stands being taken by dieticians. One day, it was all right to eat chappati, vegetable and dal but next day it was suddenly discovered that wheat chappati was full of gluten and carbohydrates. It must be replaced with quinoa, or buck wheat to stay healthy. Honestly, I do not remember anyone in even far family circle knew about the wonder food quinoa a decade ago! Even the food channels, shamelessly exhibit their cooking skills by cooking exotic foods as if they were born in Mediterranean region. Half the things they rattle while talking about a recipe are unlikely to be available at the local grocery store. One needs to rush to buy the exotic ingredients at super specialty stores and burning a big hole in the pocket , without being too sure what health benefits are likely to accrue. On the contrary, likes of Rujuta Diwekar and Anjali Mukherjee are singing their way to the bank by guiding many looking for quick fix solutions!
In the fast changing world, there are very few takers of simple things that are congruous with nature. Getting up early and exercising to improve digestion are unlikely to have many takers. There is a beeline for those suggesting fancy foods and gadgets to improve the health and guarantee weight loss are in thing. We have to make our own choices which keep changing with the time we live in. The good old secret of indulgence in moderation can perhaps be an answer.
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