And the Nobel prize goes to ….. (insert your name here).
Surprised? Why? You work seven of seven days a week. You wear your toes off managing between husband, wailing baby and boss. Oh yes, let’s not forget the bai.
You deserve that prize. But well, since it ain’t coming for a while you should dig into the gooey layers of the black forest cake, cherries, cream and all. Lick your fingers, take another piece.
Yes, we’re suggesting, be a glutton. Oh, we know, gluttony is a sin. And that, at the mention of the word you see the image of a belly walking ahead of a man.
So how can we even think of preaching it? When all the world’s media is telling you to eat less, think thin, go on karela diets, be Kate Moss. But wait, we’re not saying turn into 200 pound blimps. No. We’re saying eat well. Eat goooooood.
Women are working longer hours and squeezing in more meals away from home. Translate that as more convenience food: A dry sandwich, a tiny idli fry, 2-minute noodles. Funnily, as you’re earning better, you’re eating worse. Sigh.
Which is why the crusade for gluttony.
It’s about craving the good things in life. An affirmation of pleasure and of passion. And you, woman, deserve exactly that.
Now, forgetting whatever anybody told you, indulging doesn’t mean you have to transform yourself into a sumo wrestler. You just have to eat nice. The European countries that eat the nicest food — Italy, Switzerland, and France — also have the lowest adult obesity rates, below 10 percent (International Obesity Task Force.)
Nobody calls them gluttons. No ma’am, they prefer the nicer term ‘gourmand’, which has come to mean someone who loves food and eats for pleasure.
So play up the epicurean side of gluttony, eating well, as opposed to eating excessively and greedily.
To begin with, taste what you eat. Really taste it. Not gobble. To be a glutton, is to enjoy your food fully. With all your senses. To let every flavor make love to every taste-bud, to feel the crunch of every salad and the juicy tenderness of every chicken leg.
Next bring home the ‘other’ woman. With your schedule, you barely have the energy or time to stir up anything. Yet, you have the right to eat tandoori pomfret when you feel like it. Solution: Have a woman come in and cook for you at least once a week. Alternatively, order a good wholesome dabba. And put your feet up.
Eliminate TV dinners. Ever had good sex while you had half your mind on the TV? ‘nuff said.
Put the phone numbers of your fav restaurants and dessert cafes on speed dial. Just before your husband’s. Order something exotic, something you’ve never tried before.
Stock the fridge with cheese and olives and crackers and sauce from the gourmet store.
Nibble at the candyfloss at the fairground. Join the kids in getting their faces into a large ice-cream sundae. Don’t stay away from your friend’s BBQ just because you’re on a diet. You’re a responsible woman. You will go back to beans the next day, won’t you?
Let go of the leftovers. We already deny ourselves too much. Held back by guilt and the need to be perfect mothers, wives, sisters, daughters. Besides, leftovers, eaten again and again, usually, have lost much of their nutrition anyway. Give them to the help the same day (or the next morning) and you’ll have cleaner floors.
Deprive yourself, and you’ll go into tailspin, eating everything you see; the chips, the fries… Yes, we know comfort foods help, but it’s one thing to let them put their arm around you, hold you awhile, another thing to let them put the squeeze on your chest. Instead, consider the alternatives. The deliciousness of a spaghetti bolognaise, or a roast chicken and a glass of red wine (that my dear, contains anti-oxidants and is good for your heart).
Now since the characteristic of gluttons is being insatiable, you should immerse yourself in the good things, but… watch the clock. Even Cinderella’s chariot would’ve turned into a pumpkin.
Thank fully, because gluttony is generally a sin of the flesh, the flesh limits it. Consume too much and your body will let you know. So listen. Because as Orson Welles said: Gluttony is not a secret vice. And the evidence of this transgression – a round belly – is there for all to see.
The idea then, is to keep the balance. Don’t eliminate the food you love. Eat what you want, just quit before feeling like the turkey you stuffed. Or, here’s an example of what can happen: Shovel in too much strawberry ‘n’ cream at one go, and you’ll hate strawberry ‘n’ cream for a long time. (a similar treatment’s used to reform smokers.) You don’t want to renounce that pleasure, or shop for a swimsuit in size XXL, do you?
Now think back to the last good meal you really enjoyed. Slurped, licked the plate, sat back with a satisfied sigh and a smile. Doing it again would be good, wouldn’t it? So ignore Pope Gregory the Great’s – he created the list of deadly sins – warnings of fire and brimstone, and indulge. We promise you’ll take off first-class to your own heaven.
(Published in Femina, need I say.. a woman’s magazine 🙂
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