Celebrations once meant huddling over delicious home cooked food. Now it is the culture of unhealthy packaged food and take-aways.
A distantly related grandmother, who visited our house very often, asked a seemingly simple question to my mother on one such visit, as we sat down to have tea.
“Why have you not put sugar in my tea?”
My startled mother replied, “You are eighty. I assumed you have given up sugar.”
“Why would I give up sugar?” she asked. Equally startled.
We cannot imagine ourselves uttering a statement of this sort, even at thirty. As modern women, we are always concerned about body image, the right kind of clothes, and weight control. Looks like we are creatures who are naturally inclined towards looking good and feeling good. On the contrary. Many women today are affected with all kinds of diseases like heart disease, obesity and diabetes. All related to lifestyle and food choices.
Where are we going wrong?
Being a woman, I understand hormonal cravings. But do we really have to binge on processed, sugary and fatty foods? Yes, it’s a pleasure to dip into a piece of buttery melted chocolate when you are PMSing; but it’s not pleasurable at all when the sugar and the butter stay deposited in your body as excess sugar or fats, spiking your sugar level. Binge eat and you will gradually develop insulin resistance.
Eat something healthy when you have a craving. Be conscious of what you are putting into your blood stream. Be conscious of what you choose.
We all love weekends. Reason being, we can get up late, order in food and eat junk. Well, who cooks on weekends? I don’t either. But it is important to note that because of our ‘laziness and excess obsession with staying late in bed‘, we may end up jeopardising our system.
Take the opportunity of cooking a meal together with family on weekends. You can always have a get together or a barbecue with friends at home or maybe a potluck. It is not only fun but also a zillion times better than loading your body with unhealthy sugar and processed canned food. Not only will your weekends be more social but also more healthy. If you HAVE to eat out, choose healthy options.
Remember the time when we were young and the system of home delivery had not yet penetrated into many parts in India? A celebration – be it Diwali, Holi or a birthday in those times meant elaborate food. I still remember lurking around in the kitchen with my cousins to get a glimpse of what was cooking. If we were lucky enough, we even got a bite or two before the meal. Home made food!
Those simple pleasures have been replaced in modern times. A celebration now means a home delivery from the joint that is the current craze. We all end up having the same old food but packaged in a different way and made addictive with the addition of of unhealthy ingredients.
Make celebrations a healthy affair. Include raw fresh and homemade ingredients in your celebratory feasts.
Coming back to my grandma, as I observed her carefully take two spoonfuls of sugar, I realized that this is one woman who has always led an active life, has always had access to garden fresh fruits and vegetables and has never heard of the dubious pleasures of canned food, home delivery and food joints. The result – two spoonfuls of sugar in tea without the fear of developing diabetes at the ripe old age of eighty.
Anyone can be like my grandmother. We do not need to suffer because of lifestyle diseases. These problems are reversible. All we need to do is choose health over cravings, binge eating and fun.
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