Category Archives: Awesome India

Vegetarianism – The glass is half full

The thing about vegetarianism that I’m not a fan of is the focus on foods that ‘cannot’ be eaten. I understand the moral and religious confusion that is binding you to stay away from meat and meat products, but why the focus on the ‘cannot’ or ‘should not‘? Why not focus on the ‘can be‘ and ‘should be’ ? In other words, if you are a vegetarian you have a list of stuff that you don’t eat. But do you have a list of stuff that you should eat? Why not? Why do I hear “I don’t eat chicken ‘cos I’m vegetarian” a lot and never hear “I eat fermented dairy and spinach everyday ‘cos I’m vegetarian”?

You see my point? Why is the glass always half empty and not half full?

What is an optimal vegetarian diet?

Nutrition is nothing more than fueling yourself with nutrients. While there are moral, religious and preferential winds that influence one’s nutritional path, a good diet (and by that I mean the food you eat on a daily basis for any significant amount of time) should focus more on ‘what is needed’ than on ‘what shouldn’t be eaten’. Talking about the vegetarian diet, if you have made the choice (or have been forced to make the choice, as in most cases) to remove meat and meat products from your diet, you better find a nutritionally equivalent if you desire to live without nutritional deficiencies.

In the case of the current Indian vegetarian diet (which is possibly the only case where people are born as vegetarians and have a really hard time even considering starting to eat meat or even eggs for that matter), a replacement does exist – grains. While grains fill in the gaps (physically) and calorically, they are in no way nutritionally equivalent to meat, seafood and eggs.

Make no mistake – I’m not even hinting that all meat inclusive diets are optimal or even marginally superior to vegetarian diets. Enough junk meat and meat products are available and most people find themselves eating plenty of crappy meat/meat products that health and nutrition are not anywhere close. But when one does make an attempt to start eating real food, the vegetarians face more of a challenge than the rest.

And if you’re wondering, this applies to me too. I live in India now which is more of a vegetarian society than anything else. Even meat eaters (affectionately called “NV” or non-vigitarians) are nothing more than vegetarians who eat a little  meat. That and the fact that quality meat is not easily available, forces me to eat a vegetarian diet for the most part.

So then the question is – what is an optimal vegetarian diet? And, not surprisingly, the answer to this question is the same as for the question – what is an optimal diet? An optimal diet (vegetarian or not) is one that provides the consumer with all the nutrients required for optimal functioning.

Focusing on the half that is full

All that said, an optimal vegetarian diet should…

  • Include plenty of vegetables, especially spinach and other greens since they are abundant in Vitamin K, Vitamin A and magnesium. While this is a rule that applies to both vegetarians and meat eaters alike, it needs to be more prominent in a vegetarian diet for the reason that since most vegetarian diets are dominated by grains, vegetables are almost non-existent. Most folks tend to eat a meal of rice/wheat with some form gravy and a tiny bit of vegetables and end up neglecting vegetables. Read this article about how the Indian vegetarian diet contains no vegetables!
  • Include a significant amount of fermented foods, especially dairy due to their richness in Vitamin B12. Fermented foods help by introducing beneficial bacteria into our gut (probiotics) and adding in such bacteria has shown to be extremely beneficial to health. Relief from lactose intolerance, protection against colon cancer, reduction in IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and urinogenital infection severity and frequency are some of the benefits. Also, vitamins available in foods are more readily available when the gut contains a healthy dose of beneficial bacteria. Whole milk yogurt/curd, natural aged cheeses, kefir, natto and tempeh are excellent choices for fermented vegetarian foods (provided they are made from top quality milk/soy beans).
  • Be rich in saturated fat. If you’re concerned/confused about saturated fat and its health consequences, read my article The Saturated Fat Scam which talks in length about why saturated fat isn’t harmful but abundantly healthy. Ghee, butter, coconut oil, coconut milk and coconut in any other form are foods that feature right at the top of the list of healthiest foods.
  • Include whole eggs. I’ve said this a million times and I will say it again – eggs are as awesome as awesome can get from a health perspective. Egg yolks are one of the healthiest foods anyone (especially vegetarians) can eat. Eggs yolks contain choline which is extremely critical for the body’s proper functioning, lutein which saves eyesight, contains essential fatty acids and healthy dose of cholesterol which, again, is a substance that is absolutely required for the body to function smoothly. Read this article by Arvind Ashok – Eat that yolk! – that talks plenty more about why you should eat whole eggs. And sorry, while the lack of protein due to an egg-less diet can be compensated for in many ways, I don’t have a nutritional substitute for eggs (especially yolks).
  • Supplement with fish oil. Fish oil is magic! It is rich in EPA & DHA (the important omega 3 fatty acids that you don’t get from flax seeds or walnuts) and Vitamins A and D and has health benefits ranging from protecting against cardiovascular diseases to protection against cancer to much improved joint health to protection against alzheimer’s and much more. I’ve written about this in the past and you can read this article to understand how beneficial fish oil truly is. While it is not in anyway a supplement, from a vegetarian’s perspective, it is best considered a medicine and gulped!
  • Obviously be devoid of allergens like gluten, industrially processed vegetable and seeds oils, preservatives, artificial sweeteners and sugars.
  • Obviously not be dependent on nutritionally inferior foods like grains.

So what might such a vegetarian diet look like?

Sample meal plan

For someone who is ~ 70 kg the following should satisfy pretty much all nutritional needs.

Breakfast

  • 1 cup whole milk (maybe coffee/tea) with 1 tsp sugar/honey
  • 2-3 idlies/dosas (or idiyappam or 1 cup poha/aval/white rice) with 3-4 tbls coconut chutney and 2 tsp ghee
  • 2-3 whole eggs with 30g cheese and 1 cup vegetables (Scrambled, omelet, sunny side up, baked, boiled, curry etc etc!)
  • 1-2 tsp cod liver oil

Lunch

  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 cups vegetables cooked in 1tbls coconut oil or ghee or butter
  • 1 cup sambar or rasam or daal
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 2 cups raw vegetables topped with 2 tsp olive oil/sesame oil (i.e. non lettuce real salad)
  • 1 medium fruit

Dinner

  • 2 cups vegetables cooked in 1tbls coconut oil or ghee or butter
  • 1 cup daal or beans or pulses pressure cooked with simple vegetables, without oil and topped with 1-2 tsp olive oil/sesame oil
  • 1 cup horsegram upma or sprouted pulses toasted with shredded coconut
  • 1 cup whole milk yogurt or raita
  • 1 medium fruit or a couple of dates or a square of dark chocolate.

Snack options

Firstly, snacks are unnecessary unless you’re actually trying to gain some weight. So snack only when absolutely required. That means, don’t look for something to munch just ‘cos you have nothing else to do. Snack if you’re unusually hungry between two meals or realize the next meal is too far away. Here are some awesome snack options which will keep you full and satisfied physically and nutritionally.

  •  2 cups mixed vegetable raita (1 cup raw cut mixed vegetables like cucumber, carrot, spinach, green mango etc + 1 cup whole milk yogurt + seasonings
  • 1 tender coconut or 1 cup salt lassi/lassi and a small fruit
  • Fruit & veg bowl – Cut up avocado, raw green mango, onions, carrots, banana stem & tomato. Top with some olive oil, lemon juice, salt and spice.
  • Flavored paneer cubes – Mix up a bunch of spices you like and toss the cubed paneer (like a dry rub) and pan fry using ghee for 2-3 min per side.
  • Mix up  10-15 chopped nuts, couple tablespoons of fresh shredded coconut, a tablespoon of raisins, pinch of salt and pepper
  • 30-40g cheese/tempeh with a cup of fresh fruit

Note: This is NOT a fat loss diet. This is meant to fix you health by fixing your gut and once you’re able to do that, well, fat loss is just a side effect of that good health you just achieved!

And just so we’re clear

  • 1 cup = 240 ml. Anytime someone tells me ‘1 cup vegetables’ they’re talking about a cup so small you can fit in like one pea and anytime (the same) someone says ‘1 cup rice’ they’re talking about a barrel so big you can easily fit in a truck! So FYI, 1 cup = 240 ml irrespective of what is in it!
  • If you weigh more or less, adjust accordingly.
  • If fat loss is the goal, eat starch only during the meal that is immediately post workout. On other meals, stick to vegetables, cheese, milk/yogurt, lentils and fruit and stop eating well before you’re full. The best foods to pull out of this plan (when looking to lose fat) are snacks, rice and fruit in that order.
  • If you feel starved, eat more of the good stuff. Stay away from starch when you don’t need it.
  • Depending on what your current nutritional deficiencies are and what diseases you suffer from presently, you will need different amounts of different foods. It is on you to figure that out.

So what do you think? Is this a template something you can stick to (80% of the time) for a lifetime? Are there more things you’d like on here? What else stops you from eating real food? Talk to me in the comments section!

Stay sane. Stay patient. Don’t be greedy for weight loss. Focus on food quality and you’ll give yourself the gift of lifelong health and fitness.

Peace out.

Sample vegetarian real food ‘diet’ or what I eat on Sundays

Sunday is my only day off and I tend to take it easy… really easy! I hang at my parent’s. I wake up late. Chill at home. Dont see any clients. Listen to plenty of music. Catch up with friends. You know… the usual drill. In addition to all this, I also make it a point to not workout and/or worry too much about food. I just like to go with the flow.

I don’t count anything. I eat per appetite. And since I’m taking it easy in general, I also like to give my gut a chance to take it easy and hence eat strictly real food.

So here is everything I ate today,

Breakfast

3-4 cups of lemon tea

  • I woke up at like 10:30am and didn’t find the need to eat breakfast as I wasn’t hungry and lunch time was around the corner. That way I get to eat with my mom and grandmom who talk memories and recipes to me. Priceless I tell you!

Lunch

– 4 cups of avial

  • The avial had green beans, potato, carrots, plenty of coconut, coconut oil and yogurt.
  • I topped that avial with 2-3 extra tbls of coconut oil and a handful of fresh shredded coconut.
  • 4 cups = 1 liter

– 3 cups spinach daal

  • Soaked lentils and fresh organic spinach cooked together with spices.
  • I topped this with about 1/2 tbls home made ghee.

– 1 cup whole milk yogurt

  • This if yogurt made at home from fresh cow’s milk

– 1 scoop (not natural, overly sweet) whey in 1/2 cup whole milk yogurt

  • ‘Cos my ON Natural Whey is at my place (and not at my parent’s)

– A handful of organic raw almonds

– 1 small banana

 Snack

– A cup of black coffee with a few almonds and raisins.

Dinner

– 2 cups of leftover avial

  • No excess coconut oil this time.

– 1/2 cup of horse gram sundal

  • Organic horse gram pre-soaked, pressure cooked and sauteed with spices in coconut oil.
  • I had this with about 1 cup of whole milk yogurt.

– Paneer subji country eggs in a tomato base

  • The paneer was home made from fresh cow’s milk
  • The subji had paneer from about a liter of milk and 2 country eggs mixed in.

– Some organic fresh papaya. Say about 1 cup.

Note: All vegetables, fruit and legumes are completely organic. You can find a list of awesome organic food stores in Chennai, India here.

So there ya go. Eating real food is simple, easy, healthy and absolutely delicious. If any of this seems to not ‘fit your style’, make it fit your style. I love avial and so I eat cartloads of it. If you don’t eat, something else there. Eat more food if you’re hungry. Eat less food if this is too much. If fat loss is a goal eat slightly below appetite, skip a meal and eat food that is less dense (skip the oil etc.). If mass gain is a goal, eat up! Eat till your slightly uncomfortable and squeeze in a breakfast and/or a snack.

Keep it real. Keep it simple. Keep it sustainable.

Peace out.

 

Organic food stores in Chennai – Part 1

In the last post I explained why you need to stay the hell away from pesticides. If you aren’t convinced or haven’t read it, do me yourself a favor and (re-)read the article… this time, read the studies/publications that are linked to it.

Now for some stores in Chennai that sell truly organic produce.

Green Shoppe, Annanagar, Chennai

No. 2, B-Block,  2nd Avenue,
Chinthamani,
Annanagar, Chennai 600102.

Website: n/a

Phone: 96262 78090

Contact: Hemalatha

  • Fresh produce is available on Fridays, Saturdays & (limited produce on) Tuesdays from 10am. Other items (grains, pulses, oil etc.) available all days.
  • You can pre-order via phone and just pick-up at the store.
  • Prices – Reasonable

ReStore, Adyar, Chennai

No. 27/ 10, 2nd Main Rd.,
Kasturba Nagar,
Adyar, Chennai 600020.

Website: www.restore.org.in

Phone: 98417 66299

Contact: Ms. Radhika

  • Fresh produce is available on Tuesdays & Saturdays from 4pm to 7pm. Other items (grains, pulses, oil etc.) available all days.
  • You can pre-order via phone or email. Contact the store for more details.
  • Prices – Very reasonable (Not for profit organization)

Annai Organic & Natural Foods, Adyar, Chennai

No. 8, 1st Avenue,
Shastri Nagar,
Adyar, Chennai 600041.

Website: www.annaiorganicfoods.com

Phone: 94432 06790

Contact: Mr. Rajendran

  • Fresh produce is available on Saturdays, Sundays & Wednesday from 3pm to 7pm. Other items (grains, pulses, oil etc.) available all days.
  • You can pre-order via phone and just pick-up at the store.
  • Prices – Reasonable

And yes, I did talk to the owners about where they get the produce from and how they are farmed and I am convinced that these are indeed truly organic produce. If you are skeptical (and you should be), please spend a few minutes talking to these guys. Ask them about why they are doing what they’re doing, how the crops are farmed, where they get it from, how they inspect the produce etc etc.

While these are the only three stores I got a chance to visit, interact with the owners and try out, there are plenty more such small stores that sell organic foods (fresh produce, honey, milk, eggs, grains, lentils, ghee, oils etc.) in Chennai especially in the RA Puram, Alwarpet and T. Nagar areas. I will be visiting more stores in the coming weeks and will be sure to share the knowledge. Until then, these three stores should be able to help you go completely organic with the spread they offer. Now if only I can find a place that sells organic meat…!

Seriously folks – its worth the drive and a few extra rupees. Make the change now!

Peace out.

 

 

Eating real food? In India?

After many grueling days of head spinning search, I finally found a house to live in Chennai. The house was perfect for the most part. The location was pretty awesome really. It was super close to the beach and within a 0.5 km (0.3 mile) radius, there were 10+ restaurants (including a bunch of places that sell unbelievably awesome desserts), 2 grocery stores, 1 specialty grocery store, 2 health store, an awesome bookstore, 3 banks with 24 hour ATMs, innumerable tender coconut and sugarcane juice stands and much more! The house, though, was, in my opinion, pretty great. It had 2 bedrooms, 1 living, 1 dining room, 1 study room, 3 full bathrooms, a spacious kitchen which will definitely be overused and a prayer room which will remain unused. Other than that, the bathrooms were fine, the flooring was granite and tile, enough lights and fans and other usual stuff.

So after I finalize the rental and pay the advance to the landlord, I take my then to-be wife to the apartment to check it out. She walks in with me, checks out the space and her face shrinks. You know, the typical ‘Well, I hate it like you hate Justin Bieber. But I’m going to try real hard to make it seem like I just hate it to a normal extent‘ look. It took me a while but I finally understood why she hated it.

All plug no play

She and I lived in the US for a good chunk of time and while she is Indian at heart, she is still (for good reason) used to the US standard of living. The thing in India is that you don’t have many things that you can just plug and play. Everything is available, but nothing is readily available. See the difference? Let me give you an example.

In a place like Chennai, an air-conditioner is pretty much a necessity. So, if you walk in to a store to buy one, the sales dude will tell you the price and features and sell you the unit saying their company will take care of everything. He will promise you that as soon as the payment is made, an engineer will call and schedule an appointment and will very promptly fit the unit for you. All charges included. No hassles.Plug and play right? Wait.

In reality though, the engineer will call and set up an appointment for say Monday 10am and the guy might turn up as early as just 5 hours late or as late as ‘I’m on my way right now, I’ll be there in 3 days’! And only after this are you told that there needs to made a melon sized hole on your wall and that the power source is too far away from where you want the a/c and yada yada. So you battle it out for a few days and finally when you have the a/c installed and working, you feel like you’ve been blessed with the gift of temperature control. And this is just one example.

So in the case of moving into a new house, the house is EMPTY. There is literally not a thing in the house that you can use. You will need to buy and install your own a/c, fridge, washing machine, water filter, microwave and even change switch boards etc in many cases. All these things are available… but not readily available. This is the reason my US-trained wife hated the apartment at first glance and this is also the exact reason why people freak out when they consider moving to India.

The point here is to look a little deeper. What seems like an ugly empty house, could actually end up being your dream home if you spend some time and effort to set it up. The case with nutrition is the same… exactly the same! Pretty much everything you need is available… just not readily available. Let me break it down for you.

Moving on to nutrition

I think we will all agree that good health is a direct result of good nutrition and good nutrition is a direct result of eating real food rich in nutrients and avoiding foods containing anti-nutrients. That being the case, as I mentioned in the previous post, irrespective of whether it is paleo or primal or GAPS or WAPF or the sustainability focused Eat Real Food, the recipe for good nutrition calls for plenty of vegetables & fruit, seafood, meat, eggs, poultry, dairy and safe starches and limited amounts of soaked/sprouted nuts, lentils, beans and legumes.

So, the question then is, if you did move to India or live in India (or any other developing country) can you sustainably eat a diet that is focuses on food quality?

During the last couple of months, I have been on a search for real food. Unlike in the US, where you buy real food in a box or with a label, here I had an opportunity to look for ‘actual’ real food and not just food that is labeled as real food. Thanks to  the folks from the BootCamp and from my FaceBook group, my search moved on from branded grocery chains to local shops to street vendors to seemingly dirty but factually clean farms/home-stores where real food is really available. In other words, I had the chance to actually interact with the people who produce and/or source these foods and discuss specifics about the food.

Vegetables & fruits

Yes the commercially available vegetables in India are loaded with pesticides. But there are places that sell real organic vegetables and fruits (no pesticides) at extremely reasonable prices. One such store is ReStore in Adyar, Chennai. These guys are a not-for-profit organization who sell purely organic produce and groceries. Since it wouldn’t be fair to them if I even tried explaining their passion and service, I recommend you check out their website.

Seafood

Chennai is one of the few big cities in India that has a shoreline… and a big one at that. So finding fresh seafood caught from the ocean (i.e super fresh wild caught seafood) isn’t an issue at all! There seems to be plenty of stores that sell fish that was caught the very same day and if you’re not ready to trust the guys at the store (and you shouldn’t), you always have the option of buying fish from the beach itself!

Red meat

I have had very little experience eating red meat in India (cos of the taboo associated with eating the cow) and so I’ll share what one of my well-read readers, Vizeet Srivastava, who is very passionate about good nutrition and consumes mostly high quality real food, had to say.

I think lamb meat you get here is not labeled as grass fed but it is grass fed. Cows may be getting hormones and antibiotics injections to some extent but not large doses as being done in US (as many things are not very commercialized here).

Goat meat is generally safer for two reasons:
1. Goat is mostly domesticated by poor people.
2. Goat milk is not popular and not easily available so most of it will be consumed by the baby goat and will have better immune system and health.
I buy from local shop who keeps smaller breed which means there is lesser chance that it is farmed. Moreover I do not think goat factory farming is profitable given number of people who keep them at home.

Poultry

Free range chicken is definitely not easily available in India, but again there isn’t much nutrition in chicken anyways and hence I don’t see a need to invest any amount of time in finding a source of good quality poultry. That said, free range ducks seems to be available fairly easily.

Eggs

Country eggs (naatu kozhi muttai), quail eggs and duck eggs are available in most places. Since these are not farmed as commercially as regular chicken eggs, chances of finding free range eggs are fairly high. They surely wont be labeled ‘free range’ or ‘cage free’ or ‘blah blah certified’, but if you spend a couple of minutes and talk to the grocer/vendor and ask him where he gets his eggs from, you’ll be able to find good quality eggs.

Dairy

It is true that grass-fed dairy is unheard of in India. But why would I go ask for grass-fed dairy if I can walk into a dairy farm and ask the farmer what he feeds his cows? And will I have anymore questions if he points to green grass and hay and says I need to pick up the milk every day within 2 hours of milking? Granted, the cows feed on a mixture of grains in addition to grass and hay, but the fact that these cows have never been exposed to hormones of any sort and that the milk is ‘as milked’ and unadulterated makes it legit! How awesome is that? And how many skim milk/low fat milk/soy milk chugging ‘health advocates’ actually know how wonderful real milk tastes?

What is my diet like right now?

Still a work in progress but here is what I normally eat these days…

  • Scoop of whey in water while coaching.
  • Shake with 1/2 liter whole milk, 2 big bananas and 1 scoop whey right after working out.
  • 3-4 cups of avial (traditional south Indian dish made with mixed vegetables, coconut, yogurt and spices) or kootu (lentils + vegetables + coconut oil), 3-4 whole eggs, 1 cup cooked white rice and a cup of whole milk or yogurt for lunch.
  • 1 cup of whole milk, a bunch of almonds and a fruit or two in the evening.
  • Some fish, 3-4 cups of vegetables cooked in coconut oil or ghee for dinner.
  • 1 cup of whole milk and a fruit bout an hour before hitting the bed.

So what am I trying to say here?

Simple – If you are ready to go that extra mile and ‘hunt for real food’, you can rest assured that you will get food that is high in quality, exceptional in taste and easy on your wallet! But if you choose to be lazy and just accept what is readily available, I swear to God you will be stuck in a hot and humid room with an uninstalled air conditioner eating pesticide/anti-nutrient filled food!

Go the extra mile just once, do the foundational work well and eat real food for the most part ‘cos life is just better when you’re fit and healthy!

Peace out.

Paleo, primal, eat real food, GAPS… really?

This is probably what you'd look like at the end of this post

I think everyone will agree that the best way to eat right is to eat plenty of nutritious foods and, if possible, eat only nutritious foods. And hence the nutrition concepts concepts such as paleo, primal, eat real food, GAPS, WAPF etc. are pretty awesome. Forget the different diets circling around the internet. Forget high fat low carb. Forget moderate protein. Forget macronutrient ratios. The concept of good nutrition is that quality of food is paramount. As long as one eats foods that are devoid of anti-nutrients and wholesome and unprocessed, it can be accepted that the said person is ‘eating right’.

So in as little words as possible, any good diet concept should preach the following.

  • Eat meat, whole eggs, vegetables, roots, tubers, fruits, unprocessed whole dairy and nuts.
  • Stay away from any and all potentially allergenic grains like wheat.
  • Stay away from any and all legumes, beans and lentils unless they are soaked/fermented.
  • Stay away from sugars.
  • Stay away from anything processed.

As you can see, the emphasis here is staying away from all foods that could potentially hurt you and eating only foods that are benign. And as it turns out, the foods that don’t hurt you are actually filled with plenty of nutrients and actually help you w.r.t health and longevity. Now getting into a little more detail, the following minutiae really matter.

  • Red meat is great but all red meat should be grass-fed/finished.
  • Poultry is healthy but all poultry should be free range.
  • Seafood is filled with nutrients but all seafood should be wild caught.
  • Whole eggs are more loaded than multi-vitamin tablets but all eggs should be organic and free range.
  • Vegetables and fruits are king but all vegetables and fruits should be organic.
  • Dairy, and especially dairy fat, is healthful but all dairy should be from grass-fed animals or should at least be organic.

What’s the problem really?

All these nutrition concepts – paleo, primal, eat real food, GAPS, WAPF – work and there is absolutely no surprise there. If you eat high quality food and stay away from any and all anti-nutrients that irritate your gut, there is no chance that you won’t get healthier.

But here’s the catch. These concepts only works under one condition – you have got to do it right!

Let me explain.

Health is a not short-term goal. Health is the cumulative result of many years of eating good food among other things like leading an active and stress-free lifestyle. So for any of these nutrition concepts to help with long term health (and hence longevity), one needs to ‘do it’ for many many days. In other words – the diet needs to be sustainable. So then, the question is…

Are these concepts sustainable?

If you live in the US or in any other developed country, you’d notice that most things are easy. This holds true for everything from cleaning the house to depositing cash to eating nutritious food. But if you live in India or in any other developing country, you’d realize that it is indeed hard to get things done. And eating right isn’t an exception.

As much as advocates of all these nutrition concepts (yours truly included) argue that their concept of eating is suitable for everyone, sustainable and more environmentally friendly than agriculture dependent feeding, I still haven’t found answers to the following questions.

  • If meat, seafood & eggs forms a considerable portion of one’s diet and if high quality meat (grass-fed, wild caught etc.) is a requirement, what about places where high quality meat is unheard of?
  • If dairy is healthful and necessary for healthy living (especially in the absence of meat), what happens if grass-fed cows don’t exist and the term organic milk is always associated with ‘what is that?’ or ‘now you owe me your car’? You could go raw, but what happens if raw milk is diluted with questionable water and if raw milk is indeed unhygienic?

If you’ve read even some of my articles, you’d know that I’m a big proponent of sustainability and I keep banging on the same point over and over again…

Is your super healthy diet and/or nutrition concept sustainable?

The answer to this question depends on many factors and two of the main factors are ‘availability’ and ‘affordability’. Sure, you may have discovered the world’s best diet, but can you ‘do it’ right? Are high quality foods available? If yes, are they reasonably affordable? If yes again, is this affordable availability sustainable?

And IMHO, if you don’t have answers to these questions, then you’re just buying into another fad! Why? Well, because what isn’t sustainable doesn’t last!

Coming to India:

As most of you know, I recently moved to India (a developing country) from the US (a developed country) and I cant guarantee that the fight to ‘eat right’ is harder here… much harder.

Allow me to elaborate.

Let’s say Rahul, a chubby 40+ metabolically deranged desk-job worker with a sedentary lifestyle and limited experience and enthusiasm towards health and fitness, has been advised by his doctor to ‘eat right’. So he decides to try one of the above stated nutrition concepts. All his meals contain mostly meat, eggs, vegetables and fruits. He consumes limited whole milk dairy and enjoys a cup or two of rice say every once or twice a week.

While Rahul read the right literature, took the best advice and is following the plan as closely as possible, he doesn’t realize a few things.

  • The commonly available meat (beef, lamb, chicken etc.) is in no way close to grass-fed or free range.
  • Most commercially available seafood is farmed.
  • All commonly available eggs are from factory farmed hens.
  • Whole milk available in regular supermarkets are made from milk solids.
  • Vegetables and fruits are loaded with pesticides.

Ummm… this is what I call – epic fail!

I’m sure many of you can relate to our imaginary Indian – Rahul. You’ve made up your mind, modified your pantry and even tweeted your resolution! But are you doing it right? If yes, care to share? If not, what are you going to do about it?

Do I have answers to these questions? Have I modified my dietary recommendations? Are things really that bad or am I just orthorexic? We’ll find out in the next post.

Peace out.

%d bloggers like this: