A couple of days back, I was at the India Habitat Center in Delhi. I was dog tired. I had slept for a little over 3 hours the night before. I had dropped my daughter to school at 4 am, and then I have to make a presentation at 7:30 am to a bunch of 30 people. I followed it up with some meetings in Delhi, and by the late afternoon, I was done.
So, I went up to the Library Lounge, settled into one of the comfortable sofas, and decided to take a Power Nap. Note the capital letters, please!
As I was gently drifting into the world of dreams, I was yanked out of my slide by a conversation that was taking place between two learned gentlemen who were parked on the next sofa.
It went like this:
Gent 1 (G1) from now on: Have you had lunch?
Gent 2 (G2) from now on: No, buddy. No time.
G1: How about a asandwitch? They have some good sandwitches here.
G2: No, no. I have to watch my carbs. I control my carbs these days. Sugar, you know.
G1: What about some dessert?
G2: Good idea….
G1: I am going to have a lemon tart and a chocolate tart.
G2: I think I will have a pineapple pastry..
Guys, I felt like saying, who are you kidding? You watch your carbs, only to stuff yourself with dessert? Have you heard of complex carbs? Or, glycemic indices and glycemic load?
In nutrition, as in many aspects of life, we fool ourselves with the fashion of the day. Nutrition is a complex subject. Taking in the calories, for instance, does not mean that you feed yourself well. Apart from the fats and the macro-nutrients, we need a balance of micro-nutrients. You cannot divorce total calorific intake from exercise. Neither can you divorce the balance of the calories (fats, carbs etc) from the kind of lifestyle you lead.
We often study a subject at it’s most superficial level, and allow ourselves to be fooled by the latest fads. Or, we succumb to social pressures.
I worked in nutrition and health for many years. Many of my colleagues had some awful health statistics because they ate the wrong food and drank too much. Strange, huh? We preach, but don’t practice.
I add my name to the list of people who ate wrong and drank too much. One day, when the grey hairs starting peeping out, and the young girls stopped looking at me through lustful eyes, I told myself that I need to change my lifestyle and try and be healthier than I was.
This is something that I often have to remind myself about. Lessons preached. Lessons forgotten.
Chocolate tart, lemon tart, pineapple pastry and no carbs!