To eat less is not necessarily the right way to all the benefits that can be linked to a balanced and healthy diet. I mean, there are the diet experts who talk about controlling your weight, improving the psychological state of your mind, having adequate energy to see you through the day, having the power to fight illnesses and diseases, and then justifiably saying, ‘I will now probably live longer!’ But then all this diet-tech talk takes all the glam out of food, doesn’t it? One starts hallucinating about having a starved carrot and some sniggering lettuce leaves on the plate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. An intense session on diet makes me feel as if I have snipers spread all around me waiting to shoot me down the moment I even glance towards the goodies I’d love to gorge!

Listen, a healthy life isn’t about any form of paranoia… and eating right need not always be connected to dull terminology like ‘weight control’, ‘heart health’, and  ‘longevity’ etc. Let us be practical and down to earth. I think the benefits of a balanced diet will be different for different people. For me, the benefits can be listed as:

  1. Travel more. This one is simple because when I eat right I do not tell myself anything about controlling weight or boosting the immune system health because that makes me think of food as dreadful chunks on my plate. I like to think of healthy and balanced food that stays away from deep fried stuff and food that misbalances with only carbs and fats… and thus adverse health conditions like heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. Balanced food boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol and blocks unhealthy triglycerides keeping your blood flowing smoothly and away from cardiovascular diseases. I obviously call the balanced and healthy food on my plate as the fuel that will take me bounding up and down the rocks in Petra in Jordan or will give me the mental and physical strength to trek in the Himalayas.
  2. Compose better. I love photography and, therefore, I need to be alert to every good shot moment that comes my way. Obviously, the boring way is to say that a balanced diet will improve my mood. My way is to link the beneficial characteristic with what I love to do. My camera needs me to have a great control on my mind and bad moods can obviously ruin a good shot. Every great shot that I manage has the power to boost my confidence and self-esteem. In purely technical terms, I need a balanced diet to keeping the mind active and serotonin levels balanced… but I prefer to link it all with a better composition of my shot.
  3. Write what will live forever. Aha! I know that you have by now linked this characteristic with that utterly boring word called longevity. Well, I need a balanced and healthy diet to keep me energetic enough to go out for my daily walks and some form of exercise that keeps my body agile enough and my mind alert enough to get the right ideas and construct the right sentences allowing me write articles that do not die or fade away soon. Obviously, if what I write lives, I live.

Something linked to all this is a crash diet. Obviously if you have a deficit of proactive energy but surplus weight you are hardly the sort who will go bounding over trekking and hiking routes. You will not have concentration that lasts long and you will not have a mind that thinks clearly and creatively. Will a crash diet help in such a case?

Well, I think reducing the quantity of food in your plate is not such a brilliant idea as this means you are literally keeping your body away from good and beneficial food, besides keeping the bad food away. You need to be selective in the case of diets… and crash diets can only lead to a general situation where you starve your body cells and even those that would have helped you travel more or compose better or write some wonderful posts. Got it?

So what do I do to make sure that my diet remains balanced and healthy? I try to stay away from fried food, use less refined salt and sugar. Let me give a couple of examples here. I use honey and fresh lime instead of sugar and fresh lime for my morning wake up booster. I eat salads that do not have an over-dose of sprinkled salt and have trained my taste buds to like natural and organic flavours. A honey diet, let me add here, is what helps me cut out the evil and the satanic ingredients in my food and keeps me in sync with my life’s aims.

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Do I always need less on my plate?

Do I always need less on my plate?

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Arvind Passey
10 July 2015