A diet reminder to what you already knew, but forgot.
The smell of grounded spices in the air, as you enjoy the fresh hot puris with aamras. A hustling bustling space in your grandmother’s home, where all the ladies- even from neighbouring houses share the latest gossip as someone works the mortar with a pestle for the chutney you devour with your vadas. No, it’s not festival or wedding season. This was your typical Indian household. Indians love their kitchen. This space is the source of filling the air with beautiful aroma and producing the tastiest dishes in the world, yes we Indians also feel nothing can beat Ghar ka khana literally meaning home-cooked food, but it’s more than that, it’s an emotion.
Over the last couple of decades, with urbanization and nuclear families and more women contributing to the housing economy, the Indian Kitchen has changed. With cornflakes and packaged soups and ready to eat meals, the only thing different from the western kitchen is less of tin cans on our shelves.
In this process we have replaced ghee with butter, used less of common knowledge that fried is tasty yet unhealthy, overcooked our sabjis (vegetables) and vaporised all the nutrients, adopted more processed food in our diet means more sodium means more water retention- guess that’s why you feel bloated, replaced bajra-jowar with overly refined flour while feasting our eyes on the shine of polished daal and rice.
It’s not so much of Indian food than more of the Indian Food habits.
While we have seen meal prep in the house taking an entire day to place tasty but unhealthy dishes on the dining table, our healthy alternative is looking west rather than turning years back to our own ancient Indian diet. A vast population fight malnourishment in our country, however, we the “privileged” are overfed and undernourished as we indulge daily in the roadside chats post office hours. And then shocked by the weigh scale or the way your jeans fits.
What is a diet actually?
“Diet is a very misunderstood and misconstrued word, the definition has been changed over time as per people’s understanding, diet is basically whatever a person is eating, be it junk or a balanced meal- that is your diet.
People carry a lot of myths and misconceptions with respect to their age, community from which they are coming, such as the youth feel it’s fine to eat the junk. “
– Ms. Swati B. Patel
(Consulting Dietician- 24 years of experience)
You may have heard of the numerous diet plans that promise to make you lose all the extra weight you carry. Diet for bikini “bod”, Diet for post festive “bod”. Looking for such instant gratifications has shocked our body with so many different and sudden food changes. Strained our stomachs as fat lost in this way is gained back quicker only making your metabolism slower. Stop confusing your body! The goal of such diets has been restricting your calorie intake one way or other, coming up with new twists. In turn, we feel tired and less energetic and getting up for the workout becomes all the more difficult.
The key is to make healthy eating a lifestyle choice. The first step is attitude change and accepting the flaws in your daily food habits. Including packaged juices, which tend to be loaded with preservatives, in your breakfast is not same as making your own fresh juice. Wholesome diet cannot be a magic pill. Look back to your middle school and recall what a nutritious meal looked like. Minerals, vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, fats and fibers, along with enough water, oxygen, and sunlight – a balance of these, and you wouldn’t need those extra meds.
A restrictive diet, maybe due to choice, religion or illness, can also be nutritious as you tailor make the quantity of the substitute you choose for the nutrient.
Start listening to your body and stop killing it after FAD diets.