Runday Monday? Let’s kick gluten-free’s arse…..


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Peek into my pantry/ fridge… all wrong ? Or so they say…


Once upon a time, not so long ago there was a bad villain called FAT. He made you big and ugly. He hid in all things tasty and clogged your arteries. Aspiring fitness enthusiasts were told to avoid him like the plague.

Soon, Mr Fat had a new friend. Mrs Sugar. She was a sweet, sweet lady but also extremely dangerous. Just like Mr Fat, she had the evil power to add inches to your waist. No amount of exercise will help you if you befriended Mrs Sugar we were told.

We soon found out though, that it was not the sweet Mrs Sugar, but her brother Mr Carbohydrate that was evil (the bread/rice/pasta man). Most of us hung out a lot with this simple guy. Really liked him and met him several times a day. Being close to him wrecks all our fitness goals!

Now, Mr Carbohydrate is old news. Apparently Uncle Gluten is the root cause of all evil. The weapons in his arsenal include but are not limited to bloating, stomach aches, anaemia, diarrhoea, dermatitis (skin rashes)…..

For now Ms Protein is our lone buddy, keep her close and you will be fine we are told……..


Hence, if I go by all the dietary advice I get from the media, YouTube videos and fitness blogs that I tend to read, I should be eating fat free, carbohydrate free, trans- fat free, gluten free, uncooked organic vegetables and boiled chicken three times a day. Water being the only beverage I can “safely” drink.

Lord save me….

I love my carbohydrates (appam in the morning, rice for lunch and chappati for dinner?).I adore baked goodies and pastries. Consume tons of diary (approximately half a litre of milk a day plus butter/cheese etc).

I am truly doomed….

I will die an obese, ugly fat cow.


Let me make a frank and honest admission. Every single day, (though I claim otherwise) I am consumed by guilt. Guilt for eating the food I love and enjoy. And I sure ain’t alone.

Should I be eating this much?

Is my food compromising my health?

Is this bad for my waist line?

Will I have to “pay” for this indulgence?

I love food and consider it to be one of life’s finer things. A spongy, perfectly made idly or a plate of steaming “puttu” can make my morning. I love biryani and pasta. Pastries and cupcakes are a routine indulgence. What’s life if I cannot put extra butter on my toast?

But all the constant badgering by the media, all the fat shaming, all the self-proclaimed nutritionists and fitness experts, all the reed thin models with their perfectly photoshopped bodies… all of them stand between me and my “extra-buttered toast”.

To hell with all of them….

I eat home cooked food ninety percent of the time. Food that has been eaten for generations by my people. If you go by all the “new research”, our diets are all wrong.

Logic tells me that milk and dairy are good for me. Oil and fats in the right proportion are essential to my body. Breads and cereal are my main source of energy. Protein is not. Protein serves a different purpose.

If I were obese and unhealthy, my rant would be considered a willful act of jealously. Hitting out because I am addicted to food and can’t stop myself from stuffing my face. My arse rarely separates from the couch and the only exercise I do is walking from the stove to the fridge. Or so, my “fit friends” say…..

I am none of the above.

Do I really need severe diet restriction to get washboard abs? To run a marathon? To fit into decent sized clothing? To look good? To stay active and healthy and take care of my family? To stand 10 hours at a stretch in an OR?

I have done all of the above.

When I say this, a group of people will say- “Oh, maybe you don’t need to.” “You have high metabolism”. “You are genetically blessed.” Ha… Please do not insult me and underplay the hours of work I put in. The running……. being on my feet the whole day at work…Coming home and doing all the household chores….. Nope… There is no easy way…. But not eating is not the way either…..

Severe diet restriction may be feasible for a while. For me, it can only be done for a short duration of time. If you make it a so called “lifestyle” choice, then I feel sorry for you my friend. Either you have no idea what you are missing out on or you know exactly what you are missing and hence lead a miserable life!

I wish “moderation” were the key word (rather than restriction or exclusion). Eat normal, home- made moderately portioned food. Eat the food that our cultures have refined over the years. How many of us had an obese great grandmother?

I say all this, because I have tried all this trumpery. Still do sometimes. All in the name of “fitness”. I try really hard to drink low fat/fat- free/ skimmed milk. It makes my porridge a tasteless goo! Low fat butter tastes like unscented foot cream. They have even sucked the fun out of yogurt and ice-creams.Take my advice. If you have to eat the low-fat version of anything, rather don’t eat it at all.

The current fad is the “gluten- free” ballyhoo. Most of the gluten free hype stems from the United States. Wonder who benefits from all the propaganda? A gluten-free diet is usually prescribed for those who suffer from celiac disease. Experts estimate that roughly 1% of Americans have celiac disease. Need I say more?

I had biryani last night. Topped it off with a cupcake and hot chocolate late at night.(Was up doing “mommy duty”). What can I say? MY bad. I enjoyed it. The succulent chicken. The fragrant, spiced, perfectly cooked long grained rice. Yogurt salad to tone it down and enhance the flavors. The cupcake probably had lots of butter in it. The hot chocolate had sugar and full fat milk! Whaaattt?

I’l live. Thank you very much. I went to bed content…..

I can always run if off….or dance it  off….or shop it off…..

I will not be spending a lot of time talking about fat- free or low calorie foods. Eating healthy should be simple. My mantra- eat everything, in moderate amounts. Period.  Then what will I talk about on Mondays? Not sure really! Maybe talk about my struggle to wake up every morning… Or how finding time for myself is almost a battle…. Or tell you how even though I absolutely love it,I get utterly bored while running.  Or maybe tell you about how dancing in your bathroom burns calories. About worn out running shoes and upbeat running music. About squats while putting your baby down for a nap or back stretches while mopping. OR maybe something else entirely… randomness zindabad! (Hail Randomness?)

So, what do we call these random Mondays?? Fitness Monday sounds thoroughly lame. Runday seems juvenile….. Aah! Am tired folks. Its 2 am. Let me know if you have any bright ideas…..

Till then….


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Biryani and cupcakes are not all I eat!

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