It Is A Custom, After All ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Today am going to tell you a story. It’s from the time when I was within this Endocrine team and I would function like my boss’s assistant and sit through the patient consultations, take notes and explain the conversation in simple language to the patients later and so on. When I wasn’t assisting him, I’d work as a dietitian and diabetes educator.

This doc had a charming way of making small talk with patients to put them at ease. But the thing that would most catch my attention is how he’d remember details of the conversation and even make notes – to use it at just the right time to drive home a point. Like, spot on timing!

That day, we were seeing a man with diabetes who had come in with his wife. That particular day being a festival, my boss asked the lady if her husband had bought her any new saree. And she replied how he had bought one last month for her birthday and therefore, he gave this festival saree a skip.

We were seeing the man that day as he had injured his feet upon walking bare feet on a recent temple visit. So, understandably my boss was upset that such a well-informed man had gotten himself into this horrible mess – which was entirely avoidable in the first place.

And the doc went on pointing how this patient had received several sessions of diabetes education from me, and how I had already given him instructions on how to handle different situations as a diabetic – low sugar, foot care, eating out, adjusting insulin and so much more.

Thank goodness I had made my notes for all that I had covered in my sessions! The man who was quiet the entire time now said to the doc – “I could have very well walked with my shoes in the park next to temple, all the while chanting my prayers.Am sure the gods would be happy. But I wouldn’t be. Customs, you see! Just how do I give up the custom of doing pradakshina, please tell me!!”

My mouth fell open upon hearing how this man did not think anything of his diabetes. And for him to have walked bare feet around the temple doing a pradakshina in the hot summer sun, all in the name of custom?? I was stunned.

My boss turned to the man’s wife, looking her straight in the eye he said, “it is absolutely a custom that he must buy you a new saree for Gowri habba ( festival of the day). So what if he bought one for your birthday last week! Oh and! Make sure it’s a festive silk one – not a paisa less than 25,000 Rupees. And definitely remember to get one each for Dasara and Deepavali too. It is absolutely customary to do that.”

Both of us ladies gleefully laughed! The husband was stumped. And my boss had delivered the lesson perfectly, along with a dash of humor.

I remember this story especially around festival times, when people tell me ‘oh Girija, I just had to make milk payasam or ghee something-else and have it as a family .. after all our customs no!’

I think it was the great George Bernard Shaw  who once said – am paraphrasing, in the name of custom, one can get away with any atrocity. True, isn’t it?

Now my dear reader, will you take ten minutes to reflect and see what absurd things you may be doing in the name of custom?

Want Freedom From Procrastination?

Firstly, happy Independence Day!

On most special days, holidays and weekends – pretty much on all the days when I can laze back in bed for an extra ten minutes – I ask myself ‘how can I stop being lazy’ 😂

10 on 10 for the irony of it all!

Looks like am not alone at all.

Someone recently was saying to me ‘Girija, if I am so smart why can’t I get this crap done once and for all??’

They are trying to lose 20 kilos.

And another friend was saying of her cousin, ‘I dunno why she drinks so much – she’s way too intelligent for that’.

And apparently in both cases they are saying – ‘yeah yeah, we’ll get to it one of these days’

Familiar huh?

I know I do it all the time! All I’ve control over is, to do less of it .. that’s all.

What it is that you are procrastinating doesn’t matter – whether it is starting to eat healthy or learning some skill, or whatever it is, the dynamic of procrastination is the same.

When you sense that other people’s assessment of you is much higher than your own assessment of your talent or skill to get that specific job done, you will not like to risk losing your value in their eyes.

Therefore, in running the cost – benefit analysis of things (our brains are always running cost – benefit analysis on everything), your brain will decide it is much better to not ruin that false but favorable assessment of the world (she’s way too intelligent) or sometimes it could be your own self-assessment albeit a distorted one (I am so smart) about your “talent”.  And therefore it decides that it is wise to indefinitely postpone doing or even starting the damn thing!

This is what we call the ego trap in evolutionary psychology circles. And this is exactly what you must learn to recognize and choose to take the counter-intuitive step if you want true and lasting freedom from procrastination.

Ask me why.

It’s because, that is where your opportunity to earn the precious self-esteem lies hidden!


What Two Of My Fav Writers Say About Tracking

Depending on where in the world you are, it’s the last day of July.



Yes. It just flew by us, no? All of July I discussed Leela’s story with you. Even in bits and pieces it gave you a glimpse of how tracking is a useful habit. Today, I’ll share with you two of my favorite writers/influencers and their insight on the topic of tracking.

My lovely friend, whether you’re learning to add a salad to your meals, trying to lose some weight or looking to fit in some exercises into your routine – you just got to track whatever it is that you are doing. And then, in very small increments steadily improve upon the metrics.

See what this eminent surgeon and author Atul Gawande  and productivity expert James Clear say about tracking.

Today, take a 30 minute-break to be by yourself.

Just you .. with your thoughts, notebook and pencil. Tomorrow is the beginning of a new month. Ask yourself what you’d like to accomplish – it doesn’t have to be some mega big ambition. Even that desire to wake up 10 minutes earlier is a valid goal to go after. You know, 5 months is a l-o-n-g time to get stuff done. Okay, at least long enough to get it started and get some traction.

You can’t ask for better mentors than Atul Gawande and James Clear for what you’re setting out to do, dear reader. Hope you’ll check these links out.


Story Of Few Minutes Of Being Uncomfortable And Disproportionate Results

Hi my friend!

Welcome to today’s post! I’ve another story for you.

I was heading to the beauty parlor today to get my eyebrows done and missed my bus! So, I happened to chat with one exchange-student from Europe, who was also waiting at the stop.

After some back and forth about our respective professions, and generally how diets  don’t work et al, she asked me about those people that were successful – she wondered aloud, “what makes them achieve a lasting success with dieting against all odds?” she asked.

It’s a wonderful question to ponder over, isn’t it? This is what I’ve seen to be the reason, for their results.

Success comes to those who are willing to be uncomfortable in the present time, as a trade-off for results in the future.

Not just with dieting, it’s true of everything .. if you just think about it.

It is so damn uncomfortable depriving yourself that beer now for for some future well-being of your currently functioning and wonderful liver. Whaaat??

The brief discomfort of saying no to beer, will help you keep the kilos off and your liver safe. 

That movie date with the cute boy who has no job feels like a balm to your lonely heart today, but it eats into your time that you’d otherwise invest in looking for someone better placed and more deserving of you.

The brief discomfort of accepting loneliness, will eliminate the distraction and gets you focused on actively looking for someone more aligned to your values.

Buying that n-th saree this year – for which you don’t even have room in the closet – is an inability to endure the discomfort of shopping seduction and anxiety of passing up a sale without buying anything.

The brief discomfort of temptation to spend money on something you don’t even need, will help you realize how you’ve enough money to invest and grow your wealth.

Looking back, you’ve successfully traded many short term gratifications to get here in life, my dear reader! I know you can do it. And you know you can do it too.

But we all need reminders, don’t we?

Tracking is a tool that reminds you just this! Tracking helps you see it when you fall off the wagon and reminds you if you want to get back on track.

This is what my client – whom we’re calling Leela, realized in her tracking and philosophically calls it her Jr G 🙂 which nowadays speaks to her even as she reaches out to those “foods”.

A tool that doesn’t react to your going off-course, but gently holds the mirror – isn’t that such an adult-like way to do it?

Jr G famously alerts her several times a day now asking, “Short term instant gratification is just that, it is a brief thrill. It comes in exchange for unnecessary pain, want this??”

Now my friend, tell me this – would you like Jr G to help you too?


Wise Counsel I Got Today

“You must be far more concerned about your current approach than about your current result”

I have a mentor .. someone who gives me precious feedback on biz and personal things. And this is what they had to say to me today.

The context was to say how everyday efforts come off as almost meaningless and too trivial. And because of that, I’ve been under the wrong impression that it won’t matter so much. What hell will break loose if I skip my salad just for a day? kinda thinking. Like you may have also, many times. Right?

That is, until they gave me this feedback. The way they said it, the situation .. I don’t know what it was. But it got me today!

We all tend to worry way more about results than about our approach to things generally .. that’s why I shared that wisdom with you, my lovely reader.

I’ll keep this email v v short – have a fun recipe for you here and here.

I’ve a recipe for a sweet variation just for you, my lovely reader of this blog post. Here’s what I did – took a 1/2 cup of boiled chickpeas, 4 soaked dates, 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder – processed it in the food processor. It made for a delightful chocolate hummus, which I used as a sweet filling in the roll.

Hope you’ll try making this!




Flop Stories. And Lessons Only They Can Teach

My lovely reader,

Week after week, when you read my posts about inner work, beliefs, transcending cravings yeh woh – it may very likely give you a picture of everything being ultra organized smooth sailing perfection on the other side of the weekly email.

Oooh! I wish I could show you my picture as I write this, my friend – an entire day of work that hasn’t gone well, more drafts than I care to admit that just did not feel right and recipe video that I could not edit for the life of me! Am irked and sleepy. And I had nothing to write to you or put on the blog post. I want to hide under the table and not come out ever again!

And! I found it impossible to sleep without writing something to you. What would I say to my coach and mastermind group – that I chickened out?? I’d rather own it to you! So, sit down – let’s chat 🙂

This is the ugly underbelly of commitment, my dear reader . It stretches you, and it clobbers you to doing what you’ve promised. Even when no one is seeing, that person inside is always looking!

Whether it’s writing a blog post or eating vegetables at every meal, commitment to doing it consistently – against all odds, no matter what – can and does feel like it totally sucks the energy out of you.

It is normal for one to sometimes wonder what the hell am I putting myself through. The trick however is to feel that and yet do what needs to be done. You gotta own the suck-y feeling and do the best you can. It doesn’t have to be perfect. But it better be earnest!

The messiness of life is universal, my lovely reader. So, that’s no excuse. And like my coach says, we gotta decide which one we’ll keep – excuses? Or results? Because, there’s room for just one of them!

Lots of love until next time!

A Habit That Keeps You From Reaching Your Goals

I’m going to share a little story about myself – all real – to illustrate a point about eating healthy and dieting. More precisely, it’s about one of the top three reasons why women fail to realize their healthy eating and weight loss goals. So, here we go –

For the last three or so years, I’ve gotten curious about botanical fragrances. This interest has taken me to places where I could meet with people that distill essential oils as a hobby, people that blend heavenly perfumes out of foraged plant material, smell essential oils at flower shows and other plant-centered events. It brings me great joy to connect with folks that are primarily into caring for the plants and our earth.

One thing led to another and I was now dabbling with blending my own botanical perfumes for fun, as a hobby. And recently, I found myself wanting to study more with a seasoned fragrance artist (look up Roxanna Villa if it interests you) and take courses. If you know anything about essential oils, they are precious precious plant offerings – which is reflected in their prices. It is not anything that one can simply goof away with! And therefore, I was bogged down with ‘why am I wanting to study this out of blue?? who am I to become some fragrance artist?’

This is exactly the kind of self-doubt that stops so so many women from working on themselves. And I wanted you to know and seefrom my own example – that it happens with every single one of us! What’s worse, these self-deceiving thoughts that hold us back from doing things we’re so meant to do, sound perfectly legit and reasonable. And when done often enough, they become a habit!

Here are some statements that I get to hear from my people all the time –

“Girija, I need to start watching what I eat. I’ve fallen off the track too bad! But things at work are terribly busy for the next 3 months. Am drowning in my project related work”

“G, I’ve been meaning to call you and set an appointment. My aged in-laws are visiting and can’t tell you how occupied I’ve become! And it’s not even like they’re bedridden or anything. But people, visitors .. oh dear, am full!”

“I can’t do such strict things around food ya Girija. Others may do it fine, but I can’t make time for all the effort it takes to eat salads.”

This time I had to navigate my own self out of a similar self-defeating mess. Trust me, it took a while to recognize that about my own thoughts – like I was saying earlier, the thoughts were totally rational. But it all magically cleared up when I asked myself how I’d handle it if one of my clients or friends were in a situation like mine.

Taking the course with my fragrance artist teacher would give me the clarity as to what I’d do with that knowledge and experience .. and not the other way around. It’s always taking action that gives you direction and clarity.

Within minutes after this dawned on me, plans were made and class seat, hotel room and tickets were all booked. I still felt somewhat shaky and anxious but deep in my heart it just felt like I had done the right thing for me.

Whether it is eating healthy, getting back on track with something or taking that class – merely thinking about it and waiting for a feeling of readiness to fall from skies, doesn’t advance you at all – it will only keep you spinning wheels in the mud.

And now that am back from taking the class, I can’t explain how good it all feels. I don’t yet know what am going to do with it all yet but am so relieved to have just done it! In listening to my story, I hope you’re encouraged to take stock and see if there are any banish self-doubting thoughts lingering in there and take action too 🙂




If You Can Hold A-n-y Belief, Why Hold A Useless One??

“Money is the root of all evil!”

“Men don’t find slender women attractive!”

“True love comes only to a lucky few!”

“Only women with zero ambition choose to stay home!”

“Coaching is for lazy people who can’t figure things out on their own!”

“Who the hell goes to a class to learn how to eat? Or how to breathe?!”

There! I’ve shared half a dozen examples of useless beliefs. And I’ve so many more that are tumbling out from my memory. These are very real examples of limiting and useless beliefs that I’ve seen people carry – like they’re absolutely legit. They felt like it was only a dimwit who’d question it.

When does a belief become useless, you may be wondering. Any unexamined belief especially the ones that stand in the way of what you want for yourself is likely a useless belief. If you’re someone that desires to accumulate some money, with a belief such as ‘money is the root of all evil’ you will not be able to hold on to any money for a long enough time – whether you’ve slogged for it or it was generously given to you. So, the belief is a useless one for you to carry, as it is blocking the very thing you desire to have.

Women do the eye roll and give me duh kinda response, when I say this. I know I’ve done the exact same thing with my mentors! But these beliefs aren’t very visible unless you look for them. You’ll get a hint of their being active if only you tune in to the things you speak, and the words you use. And of course, the results you currently have are a dead giveaway.

Think of it, for instance if you ardently believed that that there’s no point trying to lose weight – as you’re going to be chubby anyway since everybody in the family is plus size too – why would your intelligent brain let you waste your precious time and and energy over learning to shed it?? The towering belief that ‘I am just like others in my family’ will lead you to implicitly be and do everything the way your family has always done – cook a certain way, eat in a particular manner and so on. And sadly, you’d have failed at something without even trying.

I’ll leave you with what Dr.Bruce Lipton has said on this topic –  “human beings have a great capacity for sticking to false beliefs with great passion and tenacity .. people need to realize that their thoughts are more primary than their genes, because the environment, which is influenced by our thoughts* controls the genes”

I have a very tough ask of you … ask yourself what thoughts are you stubbornly holding on to and get curious about them. Just tease yourself and ask ‘what if this isn’t true’ and come up with a contrasting argument for your own original argument. Since you’re doing it in the absolute privacy of your mind (or a journal, utmost) you don’t have to worry about losing face – it’s going to be safe. Oh why, it may even save you a ton of pain, who knows!

* A belief is only a thought that you think often.

Keyboard Shortcut Equivalent For Your Brain – When They’re Great And When They Aren’t!

Today, I’d like to draw your attention to another thing that we all do when it comes to our beliefs. No matter what you believe, you can find evidence to prove that _your_ belief is the right one!

This may feel crazy to you, but your brain has this reflexive mechanism built into it such that it is constantly looking out for evidence to make your existing beliefs feel right.

Now, I don’t want to paint a horrible picture of what is one of the most useful features of human brain. This reflexive mechanism I just discussed or cognitive biases as they’re also called, are like keyboard shortcuts on our computers. They simplify routine learning and perception.

But you must guard against these processes becoming your default mechanisms! As if you’re staying loyal to prior belief systems and thoughts just so your brain doesn’t have to “waste energy” looking for new ones – this is self-destructive. And self-deceptive.

Self-deception by way of unexamined faulty thinking is no different than any other buffer that you may be resorting to – food, work, busyness and what have you – to avoid addressing the real issues in plain sight.

Remember, that’s what we discussed last week – your brain has this exact tendency.
See how Warren Buffet nails it when he says this –

“What the human being is best at doing is interpreting all new information so that their prior conclusions remain intact.”

As if this weren’t enough already, your brain has an affinity to any belief that feeds its pleasure seeking and pain avoiding tendencies. And you know what, more often than not you are clueless about any of these tendencies that are always in operation!

By the way, thank you if you’re one of those that wrote in, about your beliefs. I’d like for you to first reflect and then share with me – what steps would you take to avoid default thinking?

Creating Recipes For Play

The amount of self-judgment I’ve seen with myself in just writing these play-themed posts of this month has been a humbling experience. Initially I observed thoughts like “what nonsense are you wasting your time talking about” and just looked on with amusement about my own resistance to having fun. Since I bring this up with clients, and they’ve often felt bashful about not knowing what to do with themselves by way of play, I wanted to put myself to test. Damn, it _is_ hard!

So, in this post I’m going to break it down for you as to what counts as play. Let’s get started –

Playing is a self-directed activity. It must be a voluntary – not repetitive – thing you do. It must be a fun pleasurable activity for it’s own sake, not because you want to out-do someone or want some result for yourself at the end. Which means, two people can be involved in the same activity – say going to the gym or going for a run. The one doing for the sheer fun of it is playing while the other who’s doing it as a weight management step is not. So, your attitude matters more than the activity itself.

But then, what exact activity do you indulge in? This is something you must customize to your own personality and tastes. You’d not enjoy the same kinda activity as everyone and you may even have a preference about playing with self or play activity with others involved. Look back to your childhood for clues and just pick up whatever you’re most drawn to.

The biggest challenge is around making it happen – so, schedule it in your calendar. And when the time comes, just get started. It may seem very forced and artificial initially – it sure felt that way for me. And truth be told, it still feels like that way and it’s okay. I find myself chilling down as I keep at it.

What I’ve seen me help is this – the activity must be planned out. As in, if I have to come up with some fun idea at the spur of the moment, it doesn’t go all that well. Contrary to what you may think, planning ahead doesn’t spoil the surprise element – it only feeds the excitement and anticipation of what is to come.

To give you a glimpse into what my play sessions looked like this month – I’ve had two so far that went very well and am eagerly looking forward to the next one. The first one was a laugh out loud session with myself, seeing some hilarious snippets of sitcoms of yesteryear. Second one was particularly amazing when I went out for a drive and walk around town with my husband to see the cherry blossoms. For this upcoming one, I’ve picked up some lovely colorful origami paper for just a couple of dollars and borrowed an origami book from the library to enjoy some quiet paper folding time with myself, music playing in the background.

What’s going on in your head? I’d love for you to share some possible ideas that you’re likely to explore in the coming days.

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 speak to us and to themselves. It is invariably very self-critical, harsh and judgmental in nature. 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 .. 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 what nakras she does. If I had just shut up and eaten my own lunch everything would have been fine!” 

(To give you some context, she had gone for lunch with her friends and ordered for 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. Came home and felt miserable about herself. )

If you had to translate these sentences to this language I’m proposing – 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 just state them plainly, whether it is to yourself or to 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 exactly the other way round!  Anything that feels like a verbal version of the 🙄 , know that there’s a kinder version. Seek that softer, gentler set of words that express the same thing.

“I’d like to remember that eating my own 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 own skills with  speaking it confidently.

If Love Is A Verb … How Do You Express It To Yourself?

Many many great people have echoed the sentiment of how every relationship is a mirror of one relationship, the one we have with ourselves. In extension of this standpoint, our responsibility is towards learning to clearly express love in this all important relationship. This is of great importance, not just because of upcoming Valentine’s Day, it is owing to the fact that matters relating to wellness and self-care are a function of this.

In my one on one coaching sessions with women, I ask them how they’d express love or appreciation for themselves. They’ll say how they’ll buy themselves a gift – anything ranging from a book to saree to experience of some kind – like a spa treatment, eating out, travel etc. This is all okay, I’m not going to find fault with any of these choices. That said, it doesn’t convey love deeply enough to the person inside you.  These are more like toppings on an ice cream! What good are the toppings _without_ the ice cream?

What does self-love look and feel like?

It involves being in your own company showing a deep interest for all things about your inner person – her feelings, her needs, her fears, her shortcomings. Hand-holding her through her challenges patiently and lovingly. Not criticizing her or feeling exasperated for her errors and fall-downs. Learning about what she likes and dislikes and allowing for them by way of learning to speak up for her. Seeing her as deserving of good things in life. Joining hands with her to bring her dreams to fruition. This will very likely mean that you’ll have to let go of your leanings for comfort. You’ll have to develop an ease for doing newer and more complex tasks. And herein lies self-love – seeing your inner person and her desires as worthy of being pursued.

If you did not carve out time and space for this type of engagement with yourself, no amount of shopping for handbags, eating chocolates, drinking beer or buying sarees will satisfy your inner muse. This fact feels very awkward to deal with, for a lot of women – they say, they’re better giving/expressing love to others but with themselves, this is the only way they know to do it they say. Or they kinda feel lost.

So, here is a very personal post in that sense – am sharing notes from how I express love to my own inner muse. The promises I’ve made to myself, likes and dislikes that I’ve come to accept as important to me, rules that she’d like me to live by are all part of this. The only reason I share is, to motivate you to compile and curate your own list. And keep in mind, love is a verb. It is a promise of what you’ll do as an expression of self-love. So, write it like you mean it  – using action words, as if it is a to-do list.

with self:

  1. say it exactly like it is – ‘say the truth to yourself’ can sometimes feel heavy and hard. It can even make you defensive. where as ‘say it like it is’ is simple and easy to follow.
  2. comfort myself when I feel down – I’ve collected some of my fav songs, speeches, discourses and activity prompts so that I don’t have to think at that time.
  3. find myself opportunities to do what I do well.
  4. feel your feelings – pretending like they aren’t there, or like they don’t matter, or suppressing them is going to make them show up at odd times – better to just feel them as they come.
  5. own your power – it comes with immense responsibility and you can learn to be responsible. But girl, own your power! There’s no greatness in being a doormat.
  6. evaluate criticism wisely, Girija – don’t do things so as to stay in somebody’s good books – somebody else’s good books is not a good reference point.
  7. do the right thing – don’t overthink this – all day long, you live with you, so do what’s right by your standards.
  8. see clearly – see things for what they are, not what you’d like them to be.

with others:

  1. meet friends in person whenever you can – but don’t let this bother you when it’s not possible. Virtual meeting and connecting over phone is not all that bad either.
  2. share a hearty laugh whenever you can – I’ve learnt to honor my goofy side.
  3. learn to ask for and receive help gracefully.
  4. state your position on things – this will effectively sieve out those that may not vibe well with you.
  5. release the need to like and go along with everyone and for everyone to like you and go along with you.
  6. get-together with people can be over a walk or painting or a shared activity of some other kind.
  7. gift books – you don’t have to loan your books. As a younger person I’d love for a friend to read the books I read and it would pain me when they would lick their finger o turn pages, ugh!
  8. stop – do not compare your inner story with somebody else’s outer story

food related:

  1.  remember – if hunger is not my problem, then food is not my solution.
  2.  eat just enough.
  3. cook with love.
  4. stop – never ever force me to finish the food on the plate.
  5. don’t accept food if am not up for it.
  6. don’t accept enjlu or joota – I had an aversion for this even as a child and I’d sneak out at the time of cake cutting and birthday parties given how adults indiscriminately offered ten people a bite out from a same damn piece of cake.
  7. eat with joy, always.
  8. eat only plants! Period.