Day 15 – We’ll all stay skinny ’cause we just won’t eat

For Pongal, I am at my parents’ place. Which basically means that I have spent today eating a lot, and considering it is the beginning of the long weekend, and that it is a festival, I am not in the least bit guilty. That’s the best kind of eating – guilt free sinful, festive eating.

I have mentioned my love for food many times here, but today I spent some time thinking about what makes me eat. I love eating, especially junk. But as you know, I am also quite conscious about my weight, so I do tend to control myself from over-eating, especially unhealthy stuff. Basically, my reasons to eat are quite contrary to the reasons other people eat, i.e. hunger. I almost never eat because I am hungry.

For example, I eat certain things because they are ‘there’. Like they exist, and are accessible. This applies heavily to sweets, especially chocolates. When it comes to chocolates, the only pre-requisite for me to consume it, is it being available.  So if there is chocolate in the fridge, I am eating it. Even if I am stuffed till my throat with food – I will eat it. Even if I have eaten 20 bars till then, I will eat it. Apparently, there is no such thing as too much sweet, or sugar overdose when it comes to me. The funniest part is that I won’t necessarily crave it if it is not available, but if it is available, I cannot be stopped.

Or, I will eat because I have been eating ‘too healthy’ through the day. This specifically won’t make sense to rational people. I would have spent the whole day eating healthy, drinking green tea, lots of water, having fruits, and suddenly, at around 7 PM, there will be this alarm that will go off in my head, which will say ‘Dude, you have been awesome today, you deserve a treat!’. And then I will waddle to the office bakery, and pick up the shittiest pack of deep fried nonsense and proceed to eat it all, rendering my ‘control’ of the day useless. The best part, I know there’s no point to it, but that half hour, I’m possessed.

I eat because it’s weekend. This is not as irrational, but I tend to overdo this too. On Saturdays, I start believing very strongly that my body can handle junk for a day in any quantity. Add to it the influence of alcohol, and I am super-woman, the kind who believes she can ingest anything and get away with it. So I do, I eat till I about to burst, and I go to bed a happy person. The guilt usually strikes when I am up the next morning.

I eat because ‘if we keep it for too long we will keep eating it so let me finish it fast’. This is like that joke where the kid is writing his exam fast because he is running out of ink and he wants to be done before the ink is over. I mean seriously, I actually believe at times that there is no point ‘storing’ unhealthy food in the house so let me just store it in ‘me’.

And ofcourse, I eat because it is festival season, or wedding season, or vacation, or a buffet, or I am at mom’s. Any of these times, I am particular about not wasting my appetite on the good things, and fill myself up with things I would otherwise avoid. In all these situations, I usually end up whining at the end of the day about being too full, because I am.

But I never, ever swear off doing it again – because I know I will. In fact I look forward to the next time I can go on a binge. Because in this one regard, I’m as anti Gandhian as I can be. I really, totally, absolutely live to eat.

Food Food

“The next time I see you fill your bottle at the water cooler and then stand right in front of it, to drink that water, and then refill those gulps you just took, I will SLAP you.”

Oh hi. Didn’t quite notice you out there. In case you are wondering, that, right above this, was my thought bubble some 5 minutes ago. No, I didn’t say it. Yes, I mean it. No, I don’t think I have the guts to actually do it. What I would actually do is roll my eyes conspicuously, hoping someone notices, because that girl won’t anyway, she’s drinking water right?

Let’s move on to the nicer things in life now, shall we? Like a very good one, that happened today. So we went to this tiny eating joint right across my workplace. 3 of us did. Of the three, technically, I am on a healthy diet on weekdays. So I tell them I will order healthy, soup perhaps. So we go ahead and order Nachos with cheese, cheesy pasta and one sole paratha (for one of us three, who doesn’t like anything but Indian food. Not me, never me.) Anyway. So like replacing my soup with a cheese overdose was not enough, the guy from the joint came over and said that they were launching pizzas next week, so would we be kind enough to taste a pizza they would serve? And give feedback? For free?

Yuh-huh. We did ofcourse. My friend thought it was because he thought we were ordering way too less and so he felt sorry for us. Which doesn’t make sense but fact of the matter is I had a very very unhealthy meal. Partly free. Totally Yum.

Now that we are talking of food, I guess we should just continue. I am not sure if I have mentioned but I am one of the rare (I think) pure vegetarians turned non vegetarian kinds. As in, till I met The Dude, I was very particular about my Tam-Brahm roots which pretty much do not even allow eggs (though I had always had that). I even had an incident which scarred me for a while. But when I met the Dude, I think it was my introduction to how carnivorous human beings can be. I mean, this guy, he has to have meat to call it a meal. He genuinely feels sad when people spend money on vegetarian food, when some thing meaty is available at the same price. I mean, when I say ‘ I will have Subway Aloo Patty’, you would think he was a 5 year old who was told he would get only spinach for dinner for life. And I am talking about what I am ordering for myself here. He honestly believes that vegetarians are missing out on something big in their life.

So yes, I never felt the need to try non-vegetarian food, and was pretty ok, and actually loved my Baby Corn Manchurian, and veg spring rolls. Still do. The Dude made me try chicken once, but I pretty much wrote it off as Paneer. I know, I can pretty much imagine all the non-vegetarians have a stroke, but that’s the fact. Chicken for me, was Paneer, which I don’t like by the way. Only more chewy, and on top of it with bones in it, which really doesn’t make it better.

Then this one trip to Chennai happened, when The Dude and I met up with a bunch of his friends in Mahabalipuram. We went to a pretty exotic buffet lunch at a nice place, Fisherman’s Cove was it? Will confirm. Anyway. This place had ridiculous junk in the name of vegetarian food. I distinctly remember the hara-bhara kabab, which was neither hara, nor bhara, nor a kabab. More like day old, stale daal wada which I don’t like fresh itself in the first place. Yeah, so at that moment, everyone was talking about how awesome the prawn curry was. I mean, come on, we were in Mahabaleswar, and this was fresh sea food. So, finally, I gave up, and got myself that.

Prawn Curry. There was that day, and there is today. And I don’t think there is any menu where I don’t check for Seafood first. Some people find this weird, theory being Seafood is usually the last thing a vegetarian would like because of its considerably strong scent? But guess, I think I love it no questions asked. I never took to other meats, Chicken I like in some extremely unhealthy forms read KFC, or sausages,  but everything else is still taboo. But Seafood. Ah Seafood. The Dude still thinks Seafood doesn’t really classify as hardcore meat, as it doesn’t ‘fill’ him, but I think that’s the best thing, it is light, yum, and technically, good for you if cooked right. So I am an out and out Seafood person now, much to the delight of The Dude who I guess was worried he would end up having to eat leftover crispy fried vegetables (another thing I love by the way) after every meal for the rest of his life.

So that’s my food story. Our food story actually. This change that I chose to make, honestly added a different dimension to our travel too, one we love, one where we try cuisines from all places we travel to. We still have reservations about a few things I think (I doubt and sincerely hope that The Dude will not want to try Dog, or Alligator, or fried bees, which my bro-in-law did, along with steamed larvae, yes, you are allowed to have a stroke now) but those are far and few in between, and I think the openness to meat in general gives you a huge variety to choose from in other countries.

Also, we are very particular to avoid Indian food whenever we travel. Heck, I don’t order Indian food in any restaurant unless it’s a Dhaba meant for North Indian food, or a Kamat/Udupi restaurant for it’s idli-sambaar-wadas. By the way, yet another thing The Dude and I have exactly the same thought process which basically means he doesn’t have to finish up his steak with the the Navratan Korma I did not finish.

Wow, that was some ramble huh? I don’t think I have written a tenth of the stuff I can when it comes to food. And guess what, all that talk, has made me crazy hungry now. But good girl that I am, there will be no eating until dinner, which is still atleast 2 hours away. Till then, all I can do is wait. And wait for the healthy food back home, that is. For the junk, there are TWO whole days to go. *Gulp*

Koi weekend ko bulao yaar. Please.

Hunger games etc.

Lately, I have been digging my way through the archives of a couple of blogs I religiously follow. These bloggers are terribly, horribly regular. And they are interesting, very. I am usually amazed at how they find something interesting to write about all the time. But when I read more and more of their posts, unable to stop, I concluded that it is not that the stuff they write about is interesting, it is just that they have the knack to write so well, that even chicken curry* becomes interesting. And no, not for the foodies alone.

Enlightenment aside, I have decided to post more often. This might explain why I am here 2 days after my last post. The disclaimer being I cannot for life make chicken curry interesting, no, strike that, I cannot even make chicken curry. What I can make is a good rasam. And I can make it all the time. Every couple of days, that would be the aim. The cool part of it is, I am sure there are people out there who like rasam. And once they get bored, and there are no takers after a while, I will drink it up myself.

So yes, for starters, the nose is better, much better. This might be the cold finally wearing off, or the fact that it is Friday tomorrow. It is amazing what wonders the mere thought of the day can do to one. And if it is a Friday leading into a long weekend, I guess that would define bliss in the true sense. Which is what I am experiencing right now despite the fact that today, which is still on, is packed with meetings.

Not wanting to jinx it already, but we might do yet another trip this weekend. Now as I already mentioned, this city might be full of roads which provide a full body rattle every time you pass through them, but what it also has is an abundance of abnormally beautiful places around. And if I, a beach person who feels all hills are the same can say this, there is some truth to it. What I have noticed however is, when the Dude mentions a trip these days, the first thing I check for is not how picturesque it is, or what are the not to miss places there, but what is that I can eat there?

Food. Somehow, after all the control exercised on food during the last year, my love for all things yum is coming back full force. In fact, my only issue with us heading out to the ghats every weekend is we are not getting to try the famous eating joints in the city. I am assuming a when the enthusiasm calms down a bit, we will start alternating between eating Zunka-bhakri at Singhad Fort and Lasagna at Arthur’s theme.

This kind of appetite will bring back the need to visit the beloved treadmill at the gym. Only, the gym in the complex where we live, has no treadmill. *Pause for reaction*. Are you as apalled as I was? I mean really, what sort of gym doesn’t have a treadmill? Also, our gym doesn’t have any cardio equipment. None. All they have is some heavy-duty muscle building equipment, and a collection of dumbbells, all of which I am assuming could be used for boinking whoever set up this ‘gym’, on the head.

But the city, and more specifically, the area I live in has something Hyderabad didn’t. Lush green spaces where you can run. So if you think about it, the world is my treadmill. Only, that is easier said than done for someone who has never run without a machine that ensures she falls if she doesn’t. So after a lot, ‘Ooh, but it’s raining, tomorrow perhaps?’, or ‘Let me settle down first and then think about running’, I finally realised that this was not an opportunity to be missed, and embarked upon a jog in the open mission. One which was highly successful for 4 days, after which the whole illness happened.

But hopefully, I should be back on track soon. Literally. And this time, without any long-lasting impact on my ageing body. Except that of losing weight, something I always want more of. Nothing as exhilarating as seeing the calorimeter show a number higher than 300.

Except perhaps a cheese Dabeli. Afterall, one needs to ensure there are enough calories to lose yes?

* Why chicken curry? Because I was reading a post on chicken curry when I decided to hop over and post myself.

Much ado about nothing

I hate paneer. Hate it. I think it is tasteless, and it’s milky, and rubbery, and chewy, and thinking that it will make sense if it is mixed in a plethora of spices is a plain joke. Yes, it tastes different that way. But the only way to describe that taste  would be milky, chewy substance soaked in spices. I will never understand how it is made out to be the grandest of all vegetarian dishes. I was a vegetarian till a few years ago, and even then, paneer would be my last choice on any menu. There is so much more to vegetarian food, and paneer is just way too hyped for my liking. And no, paneer tikkas are in no way the unquestionable vegetarian starter. Baby corn, potatoes, even our very desi ‘Gobhi manchurian’ tastes so much better. So ask, next time!

And then there is Cheese cake. Ok, the minor difference here would be, I do not dislike cheese cake, in fact I think it is nice. But it is not awesome. When I first watched the FRIENDS episode, TOW the cheese cake, I was all in awe of it, and I could feel my mouth watering the very same way it would when I would read about scones with jam and cream in my beloved Enid Blyton’s. But when I did  finally get to taste the thing, man, I was disappointed. And I am sure if it hadn’t been for all the exaggerated awesomeness of the thing, I would have atleast liked it more than I did. But I didn’t, it was ok, good to taste, nice, like any other sweet. But nothing more. Tiramisu, I understand, Cheese cake, no siree.

And it’s not only about food. Switzerland. Where do I even begin. Some of the world may argue saying Basel isn’t Switzerland, but Lucerne is. It is what Switzerland is made to be. The Alps, and the cold weather, and the snow, and the greenery. It is beautiful, it is lovely, and I might even spend a good 10 minutes each morning staring at the awesome-ness in front of me. But that’s where it ends. The awe. I cannot see why Switzerland is even a teensy weensy bit better than any of the hill-stations in India. And Ladakh, I think no place with mountains et al beats that place! But thanks to DDLJ, Switzerland was always my dream destination. And after being there, now I would not even consider shelling out all that moolah just to see something that is right there in my country, in far more awesome glory. Just like I would never shell out cash to go to a beach abroad to chill out, when we have our super amazing Goa.

Then there was Stone Henge. Egad! The hype! The preparation, the stories, the whole sales and marketing effort that goes into making a big deal about the place,that, I give full credit to. I even give some credit to how green that place is, and how clean, and how general public can’t come within 200 metres of the said place. But the actual thing? The Stone Henge? The 15-20 stones, lying around in the randomest order, eh, not so much. I mean seriously, a whole 60 minute monologue on the ‘possible’ ways the stones might have landed at the place? Giants? Magic? Seriously? Dude, Gachibowli has to be a preserved historical site that way, considering the gigantic stones lying around, balanced precariously one over the other, all over the place. We just don’t sell it saying Martians might have dropped it from their space crafts.

And before I forget, The Alchemist. It is one thing to read self-help books. It’s another to quote this very slow, mediocre, and downright boring book as life changing. Here’s the thing. If it were just another book, I might still have read it, and found it ok. But the hype! The whole quoting and re-quoting the ‘ if you want it enough, the universe conspires to get it to you’ line, *gag*. Really. If you want it enough, you end up working hard enough to get it. Give yourself credit. Universe conspires indeed. That being said, I have liked other books by said author, a couple of them atleast, especially Veronika decides to die, I thought that book was one which would give hope, and some like me who is totally cynical about this genre of books saying this, means something. The other one, not so much. In fact, not at all.

And why this post? No reason really. I was at this lunch Buffet yesterday, when I had this bit of a cheese cake, among some 10 other desserts, and I realised that it was not so great after all, not even in the top 5. It might have been this one instance, but the other day, I ordered it off a menu at a dependable place, and it wasn’t so great there either. The other stuff was much better. And that got me thinking about all those things that are made out to be so awesome, that they end up disappointing. Poor things, it is so unfair to them, but so is it to us. And hence the post.

Do you have such a list too? Things that have made you go “Eh? Seriously? This?”. Let me know, I’m listening!

GM Diet ke side effects

We have been there. Done that. And the learnings remain the same. Those who know of the GM diet, obviously know of it’s effects.
But for those who want to know more, here is the otherwise ignored list of side effects that this self-imposed torture has!
1. Day 1. You hate apples; Day 2. Could someone please give you just one bite of an apple?; Day 3. Ugh, why do all fruits and vegetables taste alike?
Basically you’re losing it.
2. The whiteboard at your desk has tallybars for the number of bottles of water you’ve had during the day. Especially if you are a self-proclaimed camel who can survive with no water the whole day like some.
3. You wonder whether the actual reason behind the whole weight loss is the change in diet, or the countless trips to the restroom you end up making, thanks to those countless(counted?) bottles of water you consumed.
4. You eye the extremely bland curd rice with pickle that your collegue is having for lunch with jealousy.
5. You take vows like “I am going to eat two icecreams, and a whole pizza the day this gets over”; that it would actually defeat the whole purpose of the diet is a conveniently forgotten point.
6. Every call that you make to the partner in crime (endeavour, one might call it) starts with a ” So how are managing so far? F*** this whole thing really, and let’s order pizza tonight!”
7. You tell yourself ” I’m not that unfit really, do I really need this?” everytime you look at the mirror.
8. You curse everytime there is a food related commercial on the television. Or a restaurant scene in any of the movies or soaps you watch.
9. You sprinkle generous amounts of chat masala on the fruits you are expected to finish. And then justify saying “I checked the ingredients on the box, they are all natural and healthy”.
10. Whenever anyone asks you if the diet has worked so far you reply saying ” It’s not for weightloss really, I am just detoxifying myself. It is supposed to have a positive effect on the mind as well”.

Oh by the way, today is Day 2, and to say I’m not liking it, is well, an understatement really. But then, what do you say to a person who repeats the same mistakes over and over again? Nothing. So let’s leave it at that.

So, if all’s well, see you on the other side of the week then huh?