Kate at the gym must be feeling like a dinosaur every time she meets me. I chew her brain.

“So, which exercise is good for reducing the fat around the stomach?”

“I think you must do a lot of cardio.”

“What is cardio?”

“Well, you work on the Bosu, boxing, core, cardio step, spin bike...”

“So cardio is good...?”

“Oh yes, speeds up metabolism.”

“So how much calories will I lose in 40 mins of practice?”

“About 300-400.”


“Yeah but it doesn’t mean you will go and snack in a 600-calorie meal.”

“But I have sweet cravings.”

“Well, eat these artificial chocolates.” (They taste shit).

“I feel like a Vanila Slice or a Tiramisu most days.”

“No, not good. Cut down your carbohydrates, and eat more proteins.”

“I do... but I don’t know where I am going wrong, I am putting on weight.”

“Start with rye bread and peanut butter, have some nuts too and snack on celery and carrot sticks dipped in hommus.”


“No Hommus, it is full of proteins. Good for you.”

“Use only olive and macadamia oil in cooking. We made this beautiful banana cake the other day and it had no sugar or milk. We used soy milk. It tasted so good and is very healthy.” (Can you imagine eating a cake with no eggs and real milk?)

“I do use Olive oil but I do some Indian cooking and that tastes better with mustard or vegetable oil.”

“Oh No, not good at all.”
So what is good? Given the different theories in eating I am constantly trying to adapt! I am not a Hungry Jack burger king and fries person, but I do love my rice and wine and beer, and no I am not turning alcoholic but I can’t stop at a glass. I need two. Is this too sinful? Then I get involved in cooking, I love real spices, good taste in food and rich, but there is the constant nag about calories. Everything and everyone around me is obsessed about healthy eating and calorie intake. I can’t help it either. I eat something and fret about the calories.

Then there are friends who have taken to Weight Watchers and eat small meals to ratchet up some points! I have been through the diet grill – eating good breakfast, snacking on fruits, bran biscuits and having light dinners, but it is not something that I can follow on a long term basis. I have been trying a lot of Thai and Chinese cooking too after spending hours in the Asian shops and, discovering in the process frozen sator seed (yongchak in my language), but after a few days, the cans of coconut milk and bok choy make me want to throw up. Maybe I am a dysfunctional dieter.

And now with Lolo going organic, I am in a state of utter confusion. In Germany, 70 people died of e-colli infection from organic vegetables. So what exactly is safe? And how are farm eggs, cage eggs different from free range eggs? Don’t they all taste the same? And how do we know if plants are truly organic? Maybe someone grew it on a pot near the drain in his house covered with insect larvae. Everything looks genetically modified, anyways. I have never seen such huge egg plants, such big lady fingers, the size of my arm before I came here.

This October we are going to Bali for a yoga retreat and organic food. A friend was asking me what has happened to me, she thinks if I am going to Bali I must go for the right reasons. Yes I don’t want to turn into one of those – sipping hot water with a slice of lemon early morning, although I do have a glass of water. And although Kate says, “It is Vitamin C and helps metabolism.” Well when it comes to food, I think, I can’t forget my roots – pork and bamboo shoot, dried fish (utonga) and rice.

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