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Hey guys, hope you’re in the pink of health! I got something very healthy for you today. It’s about food! Enjoy my story 😉

The other day I was at the supermarket. My observant eyes caught a glimpse of the food habits of today’s young generation. The trolley of the girl ahead of me in the queue at the counter contained cartons of low fat milk but half a dozen packs of high calorie chocolate biscuits, chocolates, aerated drinks, etc. A quick look around at other trolleys showed me low fat milk, biscuits, breakfast cereals, aerated drinks, ready to eat meal packs, etc. It made me think about my food habits.

Tomatoes

Well, I’m not a diet conscious person. I eat only what I like. First of all, I love home-made wholesome food. Nothing tastes better than a home-cooked meal. In non-vegetarian, I eat mostly seafood, chicken and lamb meat. Pork maybe okay but beef is a no-no.

I drink two cups of green tea with pure honey and a glass of milk (no, not low fat!) every day. Coffee is mostly for Sundays.

I’m very fussy when it comes to eating street food. After evaluating the health and hygiene factor, I see to it that the food is piping hot when served.

Food & drinks with excessive artificial colourings put me off.

I love ice cream (without colorants) and chocolates. But lately I have become very fussy about having hot chocolate and chocolate pastries thanks to added artificial flavourings. For this reason, I go for imported chocolates: Belgium and Swiss chocolates and bitter chocolate bars from cocoa-growing countries. This is of course after checking the manufacturing date on the packs.

I have junk food and aerated drinks only once or twice a week like McDonald’s meals, pizzas, etc. It’s good to eat unhealthy food once in a while to build up the body’s resistance power else I might end up with a weak immune system.

I love trying out the local cuisine at whichever place I visit. But no greasy food for me! I’m sharing two incidents related to this…

I was visiting the beautiful city of San Miguel de Allende in the state of Guanajuato in Mexico on a day trip from another lovely city, Guanajuato, the state capital. I had taken a bus tour package covering tourist places including Dolores Hidalgo and San Miguel de Allende. The tour bus had left early in the morning with about 40-50 passengers, all of them domestic tourists from across the country.  I had skipped breakfast at the place where the bus had halted because I didn’t fancy the buffet meal there. By the time we reached San Miguel it was past 3:00 pm. My only food intake during the day had been about three scoops of ice cream and more than half a dozen free tastings of different flavours like tequila, beer, etc. at Dolores Hidalgo. So when we reached San Miguel I was totally famished. The tour guide led us to a small crowded place offering buffet lunch. The food wasn’t to my liking and I started whining about it to the tour guy. He led me and a few others to another one nearby. I didn’t like that one too. At both places the food was greasy and mostly beef. I was dying for a nice seafood meal. In my tired and irritable mood, I had forgotten that I was in a foreign land and the locals wouldn’t take kindly to adverse comments about their food. Fortunately nobody in the bus knew I was a foreigner because I spoke Spanish and lived in Guadalajara. While the rest lunched at the two places, I went my way in search of a good place to eat. The tour guide had told me that there were plenty of eating places in the main square which is where he was going to take us for sightseeing after lunch. All the restaurants there were packed, mostly with Americans. I hadn’t seen so many American expats in any other Mexican town. I had seen many at Ajijic, a charming little place near lake Chapala in the state of Jalisco but they were everywhere in San Miguel.  Later I got to know that San Miguel has the highest population of US expats in Mexico and for a reason – it’s one of the most beautiful places in Mexico!  There weren’t any vacant seats and I didn’t feel like waiting. Besides, they were serving mainly pizzas, etc. and I was looking for something wholesome. While I was searching for a place, it started to rain. A nice expensive-looking hotel was just nearby. I took refuge in its entrance. Suddenly the door opened and a kind friendly soul from the hotel invited me inside the lounge. I had thought about having lunch in the hotel restaurant but dropped the idea thinking it would take at least an hour to lunch at such places. Still, I voiced my thought aloud to the kind guy telling him I had to join the rest in a short time of 30 minutes. He immediately led me to the restaurant and spoke with the guys there. The food arrived shortly after my order was placed and… it was so very delicious! The best sopa de mariscos (seafood soup) that I had tasted served in a molcajete (stone mortar) with a flame running below it to keep the soup steaming hot. The food presentation was amazing. The camarones al diablo (spicy prawns) was excellent and the chocolate pastry too. I spent 40 minutes at the place and felt great post-lunch. Someone had told me that there was a popular churreria near the main square. I wanted to try out their churros but the place was to open after dusk. It would have meant keeping the bus waiting for 30 minutes or so. The tour guide was a sweet guy. He told me that after the sight-seeing was over if there were many passengers wanting to go there, he could wait because the bus had to return to Guanajuato without much delay. Happy, I wasted no time in passing the word around to the other passengers. I got a great response because nobody could say “no” to a yummy hot churro! The place was so popular that the queue ran all the way across the street by the time it opened.

The second incident…While on a month long tour of the south India, I had gone on a day trip to the temple town of Rameswaram from the temple town of Madurai in the state of Tamil Nadu. After the temple visit, the tour guide led us to a small vegetarian restaurant, the only one in that area. Everybody on the bus had lunch there, except me. The fixed meal of greasy puris (fried Indian flatbread) and vegetable dishes didn’t appeal to me. I was very hungry since I had skipped breakfast at the place where the bus had halted. The tour guide offered me a banana. There weren’t any fruit vendors around. I politely refused not wanting to deprive him of his food but he insisted saying that he couldn’t let me stay hungry till we reached a proper town for snacks. He was a religious person and I was very hungry so I took the banana. Later somebody told me that he had been fasting that day so he had carried the fruit with him. For a moment I felt bad thinking I had eaten his food for the day but I immediately brightened up at the thought that he would get the most of God’s blessings than any other person on the bus for sacrificing his food to a hungry soul.

Another thing I‘m very fussy about is cold food. At some renowned Indian temples, free lunch is served to visiting devotees. When I happen to visit such places during lunch hour I prefer not to have the food. It’s because like you may have realized by now, I’m very fussy about food and if it’s not to my liking I leave it on the plate. Not wanting to anger the temple priests watching the proceedings or anyone else, I skip the lunch. I remember once I had visited an old temple in Imphal, the state capital of the north-eastern state of Manipur. I was an Army guest so I was escorted around by an officer. It was lunch hour and l wanted to taste the local food. The temple served free lunch to devotees once a week on a particular day. It happened to be that day so we had lunch there served on a banana leaf.  Oh by the way, let me tell you that I absolutely love eating food served on a banana leaf. It’s a great way to eat food!

Temple lunch

The variety of food looked great but it was cold. Not wanting to hurt the feelings of the temple priests and the locals I tried nibbling a bit here and there. The Army officer was quick in finishing his lunch while I had barely touched it. I could sense his discomfort of not wanting to displease the locals but I just couldn’t make myself to eat. It was only when additional food started getting served that I gained an appetite. The food was hot. I quickly started eating it, helping myself to second servings. One of the locals told us it is customary to leave some food on the plate for the crows who swoop upon it after people rise up from their seat after lunch. I was glad to hear it!  The crows got to eat the maximum out of my lunch leaf. I had left the cold food.

At times when I’m travelling, I tend to lose my appetite so I eat fruits. I experienced the most serious form of appetite loss in my life in my last few days spent in Mexico, in Mexico City. Maybe it was because I was unwell with high fever but everything appeared to be distasteful, the word “food”, its smell, its appearance…. Thankfully, I managed to eat a little at the breakfast buffet in my hotel. On the first morning, the fried eggs weren’t to my taste so the warm and talkative attendant went to the kitchen to prepare what I wanted… an egg sunny-side up. The kitchen staff came out to have a look at me, haha. The sweet guy not only prepared eggs for me but also warmed up the croissant that I selected from the bread basket. See, cold food turned me off, even cold bread. Along with fruits, fresh toast and coffee, this was my only food for the day. How much ever hard I tried, I just couldn’t eat anything else or drink anything other than water. I ended up wasting food and my money!

Coming to world cuisines, I love Indian cuisine. It’s got such an amazing variety of spices and my favourite amongst them is the king…turmeric. And then there’s the mildly spiced and rich-red coloured Kashmiri mirchi (chilli). I like food cooked with home ground spices. Branded powdered spices contain artificial food colours.

Here are a couple of Indian spices with health benefits…

Spices1

Spices2

In international cuisines, my favourites include Mexican, Italian, Japanese and Thai. Having said this, I know I cannot enjoy Mexican cuisine anywhere else but in Mexico because elsewhere what is tagged as Mexican food is usually the Tex-Mex cuisine, an American version of Mexican food which includes burritos, taco shells, etc. something which isn’t found in Mexico.

There, I have shared quite a bit about my food habits and experiences. Now, to end up the post here’s some helpful healthy information for your body 🙂

Health1

Health2

I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I did putting it up together for you 😉

If you’re interested in reading about my adventures across Mexico and all about Mexico, do check my three e-books which are available for sale on this blog:

Discovering Mexico

Mexico: The Country, Its History & The Maya World

A Guide To Mexican Cuisine

If you’re a fan of Mills & Boon novels or love reading romance novels, here’s one for you available for sale on this blog:

The Blue-Eyed Prince of Natlife

Thank you for visiting my blog… do keep visiting!

See you soon…till then, take care 🙂

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