I believe in the power of routines.
Take a moment to recall how often you see scenes of old and young gratifying their thirst with soft drinks -dispensing a can of soft drinks from the vending machine in the midst of a game and gulping down glasses of soda after a meal... all these are part of routines and lifestyle, the way we choose to live. And consider the paradox of fast food chains mushrooming everywhere as fast as slimming centres, and the aggressive onslaught of more and more innovatively created processed foods like crackers and candies, and the intensifying craze about natural health food products all happening at the same time overwhelm us to no end. A friend recently sent a mass emailing that the top five cancer-causing foods are hot dogs, bacon (both high in the same sodium nitrates and saturated fats), doughnuts, french-fries (all made with hydrogenated oils and fried at high temperatures), and chips/cookies containing trans fats. These all happen to be our world's favourite foods, right? The entire experience of buying fast food, from stepping into the outlet, ordering food, placing payment and receiving your tray of food has become so routine and taken for granted by our generation, like brushing teeth in the morning.
Play a role in our children's dieting routines. Impart your children wisdom, model them food habits, and help them inculcate correct eating habits that will bring them life-long health benefits. Scientists have confirmed that even genetic pre-disposition to obesity is totally preventable through good nutrition in early childhood. Persistence is key in forming eating habits. Our memory of what we hear and read on healthful foods is short, even strong feelings and conviction about nutritious eating can dissipate and go away easily, but habits stay. Some of you might know my story. In Dec 2006, I discovered honey and followed simple basic principles of wholesome eating; and two years later, I stopped having to go to the doctor and since then have disposed loads and loads of drugs that I have accumulated over the years in the fridge. You wouldn't want to know how much of those synthetic pills and syrups I had so frequently taken in the past for just cough, throat infection, and flu. I reckon that it is still possible for most of us, especially our children to redeem our health and reverse over time the consequences of years of self-destructive dietary habits (which they may not see it now). So, if it's within your sphere of influence to change this, I earnestly urge you to start now!
Some people might think it's very "uncool" to carry a bottle of water wherever you go or weird to ask for plain water in restaurants and when visiting friend's place. "Oh, come on, how often do you dine in restaurant or visit your friends; be more pragmatic, surely you don't have to be so extreme in following routines, do you!" I know what you mean. But actually it has nothing to do with frequency, but everything to do with habits. There are also healthy choices of beverages e.g tea, fresh juices; etc available when one is out of the house, but stuck habits just lead you to the same good old choices. My sister commented that I eat "boring clear fish soup" too frequently and she cannot imagine herself doing that. I told her that I have gotten into a rut by doing certain things the same way over and over again. That's why your colleague could enjoy a plain bowl of dry oat cereal with fruit and nuts breakfast or munch a bland carrot or celery stick for lunch or why your friend could just have rice piled up with vegetables for a meal. A repetitive, consistent diet and routines will lead to an accustomed taste which you cannot imagine doing without. You won't even question if the taste is good because it's literally part of you. Some foods just become part of our routines and a source of pleasure and reassurance; they are like "comfort foods".
Uncle Ben's whole grain cereal with plain yougurt, honey and cinnomon.
I eat it every morning and sometimes in the evening if I can't get to sleep.
Laura, United States
8 Sep 2010
(Real, (Indian...)) Tandoori, prepared by the master-chef at our favorite restaurant in Niigata; "Pooja", by name. Finest food on God's green earth.
8 Sep 2010
Sour dough bread! It's my comfort food. I don't have to have anything else with it, just the bread.
Susa, United States
7 Sep 2010