Acceptance .. What Does It Mean?

Have you given this question a thought as to what acceptance may mean to you?

In the name of respecting each other, people sometimes require us to suspend our thinking faculties.

Let me share a story.

Someone I know happened to phone her dad to ask him to be careful. She shared with him how smoking was making people vulnerable to upper respiratory problems. And how with his age combined with many many years of smoking, it could expose him to deep trouble. Especially now, with all that is going on in the world with this COVID. Being so far away from him that she may not be able to help if things were to go wrong, she expressed her concern.

And what did her dad do?

He yelled back at her asking, do all five fingers look the same?? He angrily told how she should learn to be a little more accepting of people that are unlike her prim and proper self! Be respectful of my choices, he screamed at her.

Huh??

She was so stunned with that response that she did not know what hit her!

To her, it was her dad and his smoking habit, for a vegan person like myself, it could be my meat-eating friend, and with you, it may be a roomie that loves beer for breakfast every day – asking us to be accepting of them.

This is what acceptance means, folks.

Acceptance means not quarreling with facts.

Acceptance in this particular context means to accept that the dad is a smoker. And that he’s very likely addicted to nicotine.

Acceptance means that you make your own arrangements to deal with the reality of a smokey house if you were to visit him at his place. You don’t get to grumble and whine about his smokey house!

Acceptance means that you must be prepared to shell out some money and invite him to a restaurant for a meet ‘n’ chat – for yourself because you don’t want to endure being the passive smoker while you politely hang out with him in his smokey house.

Acceptance means you come to terms that he has all the freedom to buy his cigarettes with his money and smoke all he wants within the confines of his own house.

Oh and, accepting dad has NOTHING to do with accepting his actions. Acceptance is not a behavioral blank-check!!

So, acceptance does NOT mean that you have accepted smoking to be normal. Or correct.

Or that you would fund his habit or sit and smoke to keep him company!

With your friends and family, differences can come with any issue.

No one – no friend, no family – not even your own dad, can require you to suspend commonsense and your ability to think through things, in the name of acceptance.

Having clarity about matters like this is vital if you don’t want people in your life guilt-tripping you.

Love,

g

What Can You Do With 30 ml Of Oil For A Whole Month! It Is SO Less :-(

Tell me something – did you think this q yourself anytime?

Even if you haven’t, it’s okay – because I am going to answer it for someone else today – and you can listen in.

I’ve been after people who consult with me to eat less oil. Especially with this COVID threat, and we know that oily foods reduce our immunity.

So when this lady asked me this q on skype, I promised to email her my response. Some things you need to see in writing – on a paper – to grasp the meaning in its entirety.

And you get to see what I wrote for her. Please consider taking a print out of it and stick it on your refrigerator or someplace in your kitchen.

Q: What is the smallest teaspoon measure of oil that I have verified to work well for ONE dosa and tadka for a quantity of 4 people, etc.?

A: 1/8 teaspoon.

Q: How many 1/8 tsp measures are there in 30 ml of oil?

A: 240

Q: How many would that be per week and per day?

A: That would be 60 per week and approximately 8 per day.

Q: How would you use the quota of 8 one eighth tsp measures in a day – please enlist.

A: If I have to answer this Q for myself, I can never use it all up even if I want to! I always find myself having some on hand. Here’s how it breaks down for me –

a. Sambar – 1/8 – the amount of sambar I make and use, keeps for two days

b. Rasam – 1/8 – same as above, lasts for two days

c. Sabji like dry veg curries or gravy-like chole, rajma – 1/8 – keeps for two days

d. Idli – I never oil the plates

e. Dosa – I only oil once every 3-4 dosas

f. upma, poha, jeera rice, mushroom pulao – max 1/4 tsp

Oh and! I forgot to say this – for pressure cooking the toor dhal, I use even lesser than 1/8 tsp. I mostly use just a drop.

A drop (1/64 tsp), a smidgen (1/32 tsp), and pinch (1/16 tsp) measuring spoons are wonderful, even more importantly a necessity, to keep in your kitchen. They are usually found in bakery supplies aisle of your department store.

Now tell me, dear reader, how would you want to think of it –

just 1 ounce 

or only 30 ml 

or oh-wow-240-freaking-1/8-teaspoons of oil??

They are all the same. And not the same too, in a strange way!

Love,

g

PS: For my sanity, I made a rule about 11-12 years ago that I would NOT ever cook anything deep-fried in my kitchen. And I’ve found myself eating deep-fried food outside of home no more than 5-6 times a year. It is ALWAYS unpleasant afterward. And my body is slowly learning to reject it stronger than my tongue craves it – I observe them tussle over it.

“Hey G, What Does It mean To Heal Yourself?”

These last few days, I’ve been discussing paradoxes wherever I go, I don’t know why that is! I’m not complaining at all as these conversations are giving all parties concerned with some stunning clarity.

Let’s get right to the question someone asked me – “Hey G, what does it mean to heal yourself?”

Let me share the context a little bit – this person struggled around some seemingly small trivial issues for a very long time. Until it was no longer insignificant or unimportant anymore. And we were/are untangling it together and getting back on track. And they asked this question.

What do you think healing yourself means?

The moment I asked myself this, my inner girl shot back –

“It sure doesn’t mean that you can pull your own teeth and do your own surgery if and when that’s required, Girija.” 🙄

‘Oh my mooh phat is still active, huh’ I thought 😂 Jokes aside, what she said is correct! So, to that extent, ‘heal yourself’ is misleading.

Upon reflecting over this, here’s what I find ‘heal yourself’ to mean –

It means that you are the only person who can take responsibility to heal yourself. 

Only you get to decide to ask for help (or not), whether it is from a dentist, surgeon, dietitian, whoever. In normal circumstances, no healer will come knocking on your door, asking what part of you needs fixing.

But then, you must also remember that your trainer can’t make you fit any more than your bank can make you wealthy. Your growth, your learning, and your healing is an outcome of your own effort. It would help if you shouldered that responsibility.

See the paradox of it all, dear reader?

It would be best if you struck a balance between having the humility to ask and receive support. Without becoming a puppet in the hands of some doctor, teacher, guru, whoever – to the extent that you don’t even realize that they’re only saying the things you want and like to hear.

You must be able to listen to your intuition and receive constructive criticism and feedback.

So, all in all, you must be able to see and recognize opposing forces in action for any given situation. And above all else, deliberately choose to stay aware!

Thoughts? Hit reply and share it with me.

Love,

g

PS: If there’s any friend or anyone that you think would benefit from reading this post, forward it to them!

“How The Hell Should I Celebrate If Am Not Eating Paneer, No booze, No This Or That??”

No objects were hurled at anybody, and nobody was injured in this discussion – just saying! 🙂

Hi lovely reader,

I get to have some wonderful, deep, and meaningful conversations with women as part of the work I do. I can’t tell you how grateful I feel for the wisdom I glean from all this.

Today I’ll give you a peek inside one of those eye-opening exchanges I had last week.

Them: G, my brother, and I would have to share a cup of milk when we were growing up. My mother would say to us – “when you grow up, get rich enough to each have a full cup of milk, each eats a whole boiled egg. And eat your rotis with butter! But for now, this is all there is, kids.”

G: hmm

Them: And now, I am rich – I can have a whole cup of milk as many times I want, eat as many eggs as I like, and Persis (their very trusted house-help) makes the best rotis, but I had brown bread delivered! And white butter, too!! And here, you’re saying this is bad, that is bad.

G: Hmm, I only said what science says about it.

Them: wohi baat hai – all the same! After all this struggle to grow up, study, earn – why?? When I can’t even have butter on my bread, what is the use! How to celebrate?? No paneer, no butter, no booze, no non-veg – nothing!

Have you wondered about this anytime -about how more of something isn’t necessarily better by default?

No matter how much money we make, our bodies process only those foods it is meant to process;

No matter how rich we become, our stomach can still hold only so much food that it is meant to handle.

We can still only wear ONE saree at a time!

When we go from a very very humble situation of very little food to eat and very few clothes to wear, it is reasonable to desire and have goals of having more of these things. A little more than what we need with some more to spare. Such that, it is not a hand to mouth existence.

But! If we don’t pay attention to our inner talk, go go go – hustle hustle hustle mentality can land us in deep trouble. We tend to forget that we are still the same species with the same kind of simple bodily requirements even though we may have advanced in the socioeconomic sense.

The question is not how much paneer or meat or milk or booze you can afford. The question must be, does your body require paneer or meat or milk or meat – and if yes, how much can it afford to process safely, isn’t it!

It was such an enlightening session for both of us that for me. Personally, I had taken some quiet time to reflect upon it, most of last week.
More money = more milk, more meat, more booze = more happiness? No!

Beyond a point, more of anything doesn’t lead to greater happiness or contentment by default. If we’re mainly talking about food, it requires deliberate effort to use the money wisely and appropriately so that the food we consume brings us the joy of good health.

We often need to spend money to free up time, eat, sleep, and move our bodies – some required activities that cannot be outsourced!
So, I request you to give this some quiet time and think through – 2020 is approaching fast. Make sure you have some clarity around this so that 2020 can be your best year yet!

Love,
g

The Math Of Weight Gain And Weight Loss

A friend set me up to hang out with four of her friends! It’s usually the same group of four or five of us women. We get together, and we chat. Given that each of us is involved in a different area of work, there’s so much to banter about.

But one of them wanted to shake things up a little bit and came up with this fun idea – and that’s how I got to hang out with four new ladies that are friends of my friend. And I had to share something impactful about my area of expertise in five minutes or under.
This is what I gave –

“On average, most women I speak to have some variation of this story … they share how they have gradually gained about 18-20 kilos in like, 20 years. And most of them tell me how unnoticeable it all was – as in, they felt the change only when they had to get into a blouse that was bought 5 or 10 years ago or some situation like that. Otherwise, they felt no change from month to month. Or even year to year!”

They were like – ‘how the hell do you know my story, were you eavesdropping on my thoughts?? Go on, bol dal! Tell us everything!!’

And I continued – “So, that makes it just about 1 kilo or less gained every year, consistently. That roughly translates to about 8000 calories worth of fat stored over 365 days. And that comes down to something like 20-22 excess calories per day! That is how much it takes to pile on those 20 kilos over 20 years. And not ever notice it.”

Now, my dear reader, we can do two things with any information. This is what I said to that group, and I’ll share it with you too – “we can allow it to empower us and guide our actions. Or we can choose to feel offended and think ‘oh this damn Girija .. always spoiling my fun!’

Whatever you do, know that it is a choice. My intention for sharing was to empower you.

Do you have any questions for me on what I shared?
Waiting to hear from you
g

“Hey G, dunno why but a part of me doesn’t do even the things I know _I want_ to do”.

“I know am supposed to eat veggies. I even know that *I want* to do it – and I’ve always felt great whenever I’ve gotten into the habit of it for weeks on end. But then, I go into these phases when I become indifferent and bored and disinterested – for no good reason, and get myself out of habit. I can’t tell you just how frustrated I feel!”

My dear friend, if you’ve ever felt anything like this before, here’s a virtual hi-5! This is not just with eating vegetables and eating healthy, it can happen with anything!

I can remember feeling bored while writing an exam – let me just scribble something and be done with it, kinda feeling. I’ve had women tell me they just how bored they feel about dressing up – even when they have a closet full of beautiful sarees they have lovingly picked up, but they find themselves wearing same set of 4-5 sarees for no good reason. A lady recently shared with me how she has it in her to prep well for an exam she’s taking towards earning a promotion at work. But she finds herself so indifferent to her ambition and she observes herself wasting time commenting “lol” and “omg” on random facebook posts.

Let me share with you all that I’ve learnt from working on my own stuff and from listening to my own coaches about these situations. You want bad news first or good news?? Let me get the “bad news” out of the way first – this kinda situation never really goes away completely. It is a life long thing, only that, what kinda stuff you’re indifferent to keeps changing, that’s all!

And the good news is that, it is figureoutable. I’ll explain to you one of the most effectively used models in therapy to deal with a situation like this. All of us have multiple “parts” living inside of us that take responsibility for different roles. There’s a coach part, doer part, protector part and so on. Central to all these parts is what some people refer to as “the loving center”. It is the most sensible, loving, caring part of you that is also the best manager of all the parts. When this part is leading the other parts, you feel like you’re in flow – it is the best feeling of when you are functioning at your highest potential.

But sometimes, the doer part and the coach part get in logger heads with each other! Your loving center sees this going on, tries to intervene but fails to wedge in and sort things out. But the warring parts can be very loud and the loving center feels defeated. That’s when it will complain to you, saying that exact sentence you often come and share with me – “a part of me doesn’t do even the things I know I want to do”.

There’s more to say on this but I’ll pause here for a reason today and continue next week.

But now, please hit reply and tell me – if it were your situation, how would you get the warring parts to quiet down so that you can wedge in and establish order?

 

The Language Of Self-love

In the previous post I wrote, it was all about self-love, love being a verb, and the actions of love to express to yourself. Today, let’s focus on the language of self-love. This is by far the most important and useful thing you’ll ever learn in this process.

Kindness. That’s the language. You know, we’re taught from very early in life to say please and sorry. To others. But nobody teaches us to pay any attention to how we speak with ourselves. And by default, we model how other adults talk to themselves and us. It is invariably very self-critical, harsh, and judgmental. To give you an example, earlier I was listening to clients who said something like this –

” I’m so stupid, G, that I left the house without eating. And without any food in my bag too! Sigh.”

” I came home and greedily ate up three samosas .. I am shamelessly saying it also. Whatever. Who cares! I’m just going to be like this only I think!”

” It was my fault to have gone to lunch. They must be thinking about what nakras she does. If I had just shut up and eaten my lunch, everything would have been fine!” 

(To give you some context, she had gone for lunch with her friends and ordered a salad. They all called her Ms. Health Queen and made fun of her choices. She so wanted to fit in with her group, so she ate Fried Prawns and other things they ordered. She came home and felt miserable about herself. )

If you had to translate these sentences to this language I’m proposing – Language Of Kindness – they’d look like this –

“I left the house without eating and without carrying any food.”

Cut out the judgmental, unkind parts. They are not only useless but harmful too. No good ever comes of it. Also, notice the voice and tone of your self-talk. And make sure it’s not sarcastic or condescending. It’s enough to state them plainly, whether it is to yourself or someone.

” I came home and ate three samosas. I feel helpless that I’m not changing my ways.”

There’s one thing women misunderstand – they think being aware and refusing to give in to temptations is harsh. And calling themselves stupid and bashing themselves for non-compliance somehow counts as an okay thing to do. It is precisely the other way round! Know that there’s a kinder version. Seek the softer, gentler set of words that express the same thing.

For example, “I’d like to remember that eating my lunch is the best.”

In life, there are favorable outcomes and lessons. That’s it. Reframing your thinking to see faults as lessons is a hallmark of high achievers. Also, it is doesn’t matter what others think of you – when you run those mental horror movies about what or how others think of you, it will pull you down. And it is not a loving thing to do at all.

Like with learning any language, this one needs practice, too. Being around other people who speak the language fluently will give you a chance to improve your skills by speaking it confidently.

kahi pe nigahein kahi pe nishaana

D is one of the most animated people I’ve spoken with! She’s fun, witty, and was an antyakshari winner at her club. And besides 100 s of things she does, she likes to make wish lists in her head. Hundreds of them! She can’t remember or keep track.

D: Hi G, can you write me a diet chart? I have a long wish list and have a terrible memory. Bad combo!

G: Really?! Tell me more about your list.

D: Matlab, the list is in my head. I don’t have a list – list. I want to learn to cook nicely. I want to wear beautiful clothes – matlab, western and ghagra cholis and all that – my cousin is getting married, it is a huge event, okay! It’s like a double dhamaka – valentine’s day destination wedding, and we’re all excited. Then, I’ll be taking cooking classes when we go to Kolkata. My s-i-l went to the same classes, and she’s a fantastic cook now.

G: So, how does the diet chart help you with any of this, D?

D: See, I need to lose weight to look good in western. And then the ghagra choli also, I can’t wear. I am embarrassed! And if you write some simple things I can eat, I’ll be able to manage okay. By the end of March, I’ll be trained to make at least 15-20 varieties of delightful dishes, Indian and western desserts, both I’ll be learning. With all this, I’m in charge of all the songs and dances for the wedding, too!

G: My dear D, you reminded me of that Kajol and Shah Rukh movie ka sangeet scene. Kahi pe nigahen kahi pe nishana! It’s like going to the airport to catch your Duronto Express.

Pause.

We often have enough wishes for the next three years. And that too, all in our head! Nothing on paper. And because it is all so nebulous, nothing ever gets seen and because there’s nowhere to see how it is overflowing – more are continuously piled into the “list.” And often randomly! How would you accommodate a goal for eating healthy and a goal for becoming a master halwai, without one canceling the effect of the other?

Is your “list” in the head in screaming conflict with the activities you choose to do? Like these – all examples of kahi pe nigahen kahi pe nishana?

No unnecessary spending, and you would have gone visiting the Grand Shopping Festival. 

Not eating sweets for three months, and you watch Desserts Show on Netflix every evening.

Must wear my own wedding sarees to functions. You pick up a designer ghagra at a “deal price.”

Let me make it easy for you!

Please write down what goals you have for yourself. At the time of taking action, get in the habit of checking if all your efforts are in alignment with your goals.

If your goal is to eat vegetables for breakfastdon’t stock up on breakfast cereal.

If you want to eat no sugar, stop trying out the dessert recipe videos, your friend puts on her youtube channel.

If you intend to order a soup and salad only, don’t read through that damn menu card at the restaurant.

Some of my clients are quick to intervene and say, no G I only saw the cake video. That’s all!

Arre yaar, every unwanted saree purchase also started with seeing the pictures and asking a harmless “pp” only, no!

Stay on the alert to see if you’re sticking out temptation traps for your self and undoing your efforts mindlessly.

And for those of you wanting to take it to the next level, here’s a little homework for you: grab a notebook and pencil, set the timer for 30 minutes, and turn off every distraction. Now answer the question – how do you identify yourself. What are your top 5 values? If you need any guidance to go deeper, I have a pdf here that you may download.  Many of us start the answer with our roles – I am a mother, a daughter, sister, CEO, and so on. These I just mentioned, they sit well with each other overall, though there may be transient periods of conflict.

But, if you identify yourself like so,

baker of cakes

maker of sweets

drinker of drinks

eater of desserts

try-er of every new restaurant in town

an everyday cook of exotic recipes out of a vast library of cookbooks and cooking courses

then, without a doubt working on your identity is the best starting point of getting past the kahi pe nigahen kahi pe nishana muddle. So, get curious.

What tags do you have for how you identify yourself?

What are your values?

If you need any guidance to go any deeper, I have a pdf here that you may download.

 

“G, I want to be happy this year .. that’s my goal for 2019”

Background – ‘A’ was someone who worked diligently, lost a lot of weight, and maintained it effectively. Now, she’s worried that she’s not “naturally thin” and “happy”.. whatever that means! We tend to put pressure on ourselves to make resolutions and be happy around this time of the year, therefore sharing it with you at an opportune moment. Here we go!

G: Hey, A Excited about our session ..! Can we start? Tell me what you need my support with?

A: Hi G! Me too, basically I want to be happy G. That is my goal, really. I don’t know what all types of details you want. I have checked my weight just this morning, got some blood tests also recently. If you ask specifically, I will share it.

G: Oh, for this goal we will need other things A. (looking seriously)

A: Yeah, yeah! I will make a list and have it ready for our next call. Tell me.

G: All we’ll need is a smile. A b-i-g bright, cheerful smile!

A: Aww, so sweet! That I have now only G, but I want to be happy in a different way. I have a sister, G. She is just so beautiful, naturally thin. Not like me! Eats whatever she wants – cakes, chips, and nothing bad happens! I did double masters. I work, have good kids .. good husband .. lost weight too – everything is beautiful. Now I want to be happy.

G: A, did you know this thing Kannada people do .. I am from Karnataka and for Ugadi (new year), we people have a teeny bit of jaggery with a teeny bit of neem flowers, the first thing in the morning after bath. You know why?

A: Oh, I did not know. Tell me?

G: To remind ourselves that life is 50-50, like it is for your sister, for you and every one of us. That is the nature of life ..! It is not about anything else – rich, poor, job or studies – none of that matters. Right?

A: Yeah, but some people eat anything anytime in any amounts they like no, G?

Pause.

I was reading somewhere how the conversation you have with your own self is the most important one!

Just like losing tens of kilos did not lead to happiness, so eating cupcakes like there was no end, wouldn’t make you happy. It would make you have a stomach upset and throw up, that’s all. Going by other people’s external stories gives ZERO clues about their inner struggles, even if this other person happens to be your sister!

Happiness is a decision you can make. And that’s all there is to it! Your situation doesn’t have to change even by a dot for you to be happy!

Even when you have identical twins, genes aren’t entirely identical. Siblings are always similar in some ways, different in other ways.

Do you want to be happy in 2019? Then, please give yourself permission to be so and decide that you will be satisfied no matter what.

This is what you have to do – think happy thoughts!

If you’re sad about your fat thighs – think a grateful thought: “wow, I have thighs!”

If you’re upset about eating junk food – think a happy thought:” wow, I get to eat!”

A friend who lost her beloved dog thought, “wow, I was fortunate to have had this dog” and felt grateful even in her grief.

You do not need to criticize yourself and berate yourself, to eat healthy, to go on a diet, or to work towards a better body or wanting to improve in some other way. Healthy eating for its own sake, weight loss for weight loss’s sake – that’s it.

Want another option?

You can choose to be whole, see the value on the other side of ‘happy’ and allow for it!

Do you know what this would look like?

It’s like saying –

“hey skin, please hurt if I were to touch something hot – so, I’ll be more careful next time.”

“hey eyes, please cry if some dust went in and is bothering you – so’ I’ll remember to protect you better “

“hey mind, please go guilty if I were to do Facebook 5 hours a day – so, I’ll be more mindful how I use time “

While hurt, cry, and guilty are f-a-r from happy, they have a purpose and place.

So please, realize while you can be happy no matter what, recognize the usefulness of non-happy and embrace it.

I promise you it’s going to make 2019, and every year after that, a significant one for you!

“G, should I do keto? Or Paleo?”

The quality of questions will determine the quality of the answers. This means you must be invested in examining your issues and upping your game around them.

“G, should I do Keto, or should I go Paleo?” For most women, this question is no different than asking, ‘should I go for bandhani saree or ajrakh?’

For the slightly more seasoned ones, it could be ‘keto – vegetarian or keto-pescetarian’..! Or how about ‘gluten-free paleo’? Just like saying, bandhani saree with ajrakh palla! This is like the ultimate sophistication. At least inside our heads.

I promise you. There isn’t a hint of sarcasm as I said that. I’m just holding a mirror to the conversations I’ve personally participated in, many many times.

My firm belief about clarity is – the quality of questions will determine the quality of answers. And this means examining those questions and striving to ask better and better ones each time as go further in life. It becomes imperative to do this. So what are some right questions you can ask around healthy eating as a topic? Giving you a peek into some insightful questions and answers to inform your thinking.

Whether you decide to go keto or paleo or gluten-free or some other combination, the greatest challenge is to be able to do it long term. And another dampener to most regimes is that persistent preoccupation with food and eating. Frankly, it’s just plain and unmistakable physical feeling of hunger! How to get past that?

A great question in this context would be to ask, how do I diet or eat healthy as if it’s a way of life. This is indeed an excellent question to go after, and I get asked all the time. Some variation of this would be how to eat a certain way like forever, like not even wanting to want those things that aren’t all that good for me?

Can you even diet and not feel hungry all the time? Is it possible to have a diet and not-hungry in the same sentence?

The answer is yes! It is indeed possible to diet and not feel miserably deprived and hungry. Yes, it’s possible. It would help if you only matched your definition of diet and hunger to how your body thinks of diet and hunger.

Is there something like that, a human diet??

Of course!

Diet – by your body’s definition, would mean eating in alignment with the natural history of human species.

So, what’s the diet that is natural to our species? Humans, for the most part, have survived by eating starchy tubers.

How do we know this? Some scientists have taken an interdisciplinary approach to study paleontology, anthropology, genetics, and evolutionary biology. And they have documented a series of evidence that proves the human survival story to be primarily relying on starchy foods. The human body and its processes are also designed for precisely this feature.

Most women immediately say how the early humans were hunters and how it feels hard to reconcile with this idea that we may have survived eating mostly starchy tubers. Why would you accept everything you read or what you were handed down unquestioningly? My suggestion as always is, get curious. Sometimes a great question to ask in a situation would be about the view that you’re opposed to.

How do you support your argument that we humans have been starch eaters historically?

The human brain runs mostly on glucose, and glucose is a byproduct of eating predominantly starchy foods.

Human DNA, be it from the deep forests of Amazon or the city dwellers from anywhere on earth, contains a gene called Amylase 1. Which is to say we’re genetically programmed to make amylase-rich saliva. The human saliva containing this enzyme called amylase is vital for breaking down the starch into glucose.

But you aren’t saying anything to say why we weren’t hunters, are you?

Like how a lion is designed for predation, a human is designed in precisely the opposite way, for foraging. That is, to eat something that doesn’t need to be chased after.

This is also why the lions have an enviable stride length and run at 50 plus km/h speed. At the same time, humans are designed to have massive pillar-like legs meant for endurance activity like foraging, which involves walking across a large area.

For the same reason, a human did not necessarily need the forward-deployed feature like pointy claws – we have flat and blunt nails. Neither do we need canine type teeth that are shaped to bite, rip, and tear. Ours is a jaw and teeth structure optimized for side-to-side chewing.

For example, a lion goes hunting at night because that’s when it has the best advantage of preying on a weak or sick or sleeping animal. After all, it makes for an easier catch. And herbivores – their prey, do sleep at night. All carnivore animals have a super acute hearing, fantastic night vision that is oriented to perceiving movement more than anything else. Their sense of smell is extraordinary too. This is how they can sense from very great distances if their prey is diseased, infected, or infirm.

How else do you think we are different?

On the other hand, humans are innately drawn to the most luscious, colorful, and healthy-looking leaf or fruit or other plant parts as we recognize this to be nutritious. We would forage only during the daytime, which is when we could assess the quality of food best. We are the kind that needs to eat small quantities several times a day and are not built to hoard huge amounts of food inside our body. And by the way, only a tiny fraction of the hunts are successful. That is why these carnivore creatures are sedentary and sleep for most of the day, helping them conserve energy during the long gaps between meals.

When a lion pounces on its prey, the front of the animal is protected – thick furry skin, shoulders are very heavily padded, the heart is deeply set inside the rib cage, and the vulnerable body parts like the abdomen and gonads are way in the back. Gonads are another word to say sex organs. Humans have exposed anatomy – abdomen, which is not covered by bones is in the front, as are the gonads. We have relatively hairless skin laden with sweat glands to cool our big and bulky brain.

I’ve heard paleo and keto ways of eating are very good for women, especially with regards to fertility, hormones, and weight loss. What do you say?

Do you think your women-ancestors would be able to survive chasing after prey and hunting for food? During pregnancy??

If you see the pregnant females of our species – which is again entirely front-focused, plus upper body strength is much lesser compared to carnivore females – predation is impractical. And nowhere in nature do you see the females of a species depending on the males of the species for food, for their survival.

The length of gestation is dramatically different for humans compared to carnivores. Carnivores have short pregnancy and very low birth weight babies – this means that a pregnant lion can go and absolutely would go hunting – with no fear of miscarrying or abortion or losing the baby in some way because of the physically stressful act of hunting.

A heavily pregnant human female is much less mobile. She has a long gestation period, which is very typical of large herbivores, and give birth to a single baby – single births are the rule – and babies are born with eyes open at birth in herbivores and humans, alike. The eyes being open is a measure of the extent of brain development. Human embryology suggests that herbivore way of eating is a prerequisite for our brain development.

So, are we all plant-eating herbivores then?

No, we are omnivores only. The scientific literature points out we have a capacity for a wide range of foods, including meats. But this doesn’t mean we get to weave theories about our evolution and change historical facts to make us feel better about our choices. We should not be curating diet regimens to include foods that we aren’t willing to let go of and sell it as the best diet for humans.

This concludes Part 1 of this post – this post happened thanks to some courageous women that were willing to ask uncomfortable questions and listen. I request you to carry on this spirit and help every one of us learn better. After all, what you do for yourself, you’re doing for the entire humanity. Please tell us in the comments below, what was the most eye-opening part for you – how did this bring you clarity?

“All was well .. until I went to that function and saw others eating sweets!”

“Hey G, I was eating so nicely according to plan until that function happened! It could not be missed, and I went. People were eating such delicious sweets anywhere I saw. I lost it and how! Since then, it’s all been downhill. Now tell me how not to eat sweets?!”

This was R’s question a couple of months ago. I know this is a very, very common one too! I coached R, and since then, she hasn’t touched anything sugar – it’s about eight weeks and counting! Read on if you also want to kick your sugar habit for good.

Some background info: R is a big B fan, and she loves cooking and baking. Sugary things were her only weakness.

And here’s the highlight of our coaching session.

G: I know just the mantra for you – ‘zafrani pulao mein cheeni nahi dalte!’

Each time you reach out to eat anything sugary, you must say this mantra aloud. And you will stop eating sweet things after this 

R: Whaaat???

G: Have you watched cheeni kam? Remember big B firing that chef in the kitchen – that fellow who had his wife’s pic stuck over his utensil rack, and he’d dip into identical jars of sugar and salt for the cooking. Had he sugared Tabu’s order of zafrani pulao – storyline yaad hai?

R: Connection kya hai. Am still puzzled 

G: When you’re baking or cooking something sweet – let’s say while you’re baking a cake – and you’ll see some luscious kashmiri mirch you picked up. Would you toss it in your recipe? It’s luscious! Soooo colorful too – why not??

Of course, you will not! You will maintain the integrity of your ingredients to the recipe until the dish is created. You do that even after it is created! You wouldn’t serve that damn cake with some avakkai on the side. Hai ki nahi!

R: smilingly agreeing 

G: Now imagine you are making a dish – savory dish – and it’s called Slimmer-me. There is NO sugar-related ingredient in this dish – EVER!! Anytime you lose track of what you’re making and start putting sugary things into Slimmer-me, you ARE ruining your dish!

All those other people you saw at the wedding, they’re busy making some other dish. It’s a dish called EatNowCryLater! Did you want that for yourself? Then it would be best if you started doing what they’re doing! If not, your only focus must be on making Slimmer-me! Don’t wreck the process carelessly.

R: Oh, my God!! Okay, hereafter am going to say to myself ‘zafrani pulao mein cheeni nahi dalte’ each time I feel like planting my face in a sweet.

Some 10 -15 days ago R messaged – “damn it G! I am unable to eat a sweet after I say that mantra. I was at Ry’s parents’ house (Ry is her American husband), and when I reached for something sweet, Ry hissed at me – you don’t sugar your pilaf, do you! Bhaag gayi sab udhar hi chod ke!!”

You’ll feel angry sometimes and sad at other times as to how unfailingly this damn mantra works! The bottom line is, it works. 

Try pushing yourself past it. Your sweet will not feel so pleasurable anymore!