A delicious box of cashew laddus lies innocently on the dining table. My heart wants to eat, but my brain calculates the calories. There is salad with lots of broccoli nearby, and it is definitely delicious, so I settle for that saying the sweet is reserved for after the meal.
To further my chagrin, my parents proclaim how in the old days, ghee was served in “dhonnai” cups, and nobody was any the wiser! Of course, these ghee drinking tummies have provided us with hours of glee! Under my wise tutelage, my cousins and brother all aged between 9 and 2, would eye-ball the said tummies from the side, and swing from the loft above for an aerial survey. The owners of the tummies were too sleepy to take notice – how couldn’t they be after wolfing down a meal consisting of vada^, payasam, 8 different kinds of vegetables, pacchidi, platefuls of rice, kesari, dhals, lentils, rasam, sambhar and curd?
Total calorie intake of 1 meal approximately = (Total calories required per day) * 3!
The tummy game was played as follows. Once the surveys were completed, each member would provide a “guess-timate” of the size.
Unit of Measurement used: palm lengths
So, I could say 6 palm lengths, and quietly measure the tummy with my palm to see how far off the mark I was! Occasionally, the tummies would begin to turn midway through the measurement process (the owner trying to shift positions during the nap!) Then, we had to change strategy slightly and measure from the base of the tummy to the belly button and multiply the result by 2.
Thank god, these meals were not a regular affair! I cannot imagine the effect it would have had on people’s health!
The other day, while shopping at Costco, we lingered longer than necessary at the dessert section. There were 4 different flavors of icecreams packaged together (competitively priced), a large box of Tiramusu (also competitively priced) and a box of sugary mini puffs (also competitively priced) to choose from. My brain unwillingly looked at the nutrional content on those containers and my hand put them back!
My heart stopped at a smaller store on the way back to obtain a smaller pack of icecream.
To use the most hackneyed expression of all time – ignorance really is bliss. Maybe, we too would have been wolfing down cartons of delicacies, had we not read about obesity, calories and cholesterol levels. And maybe, teams of brats led by nephews and neices would have been measuring our tummies!!!
^ Indian delicacies made with no regard to calorific content, but pays the best compliments to the tongue!