Food, Clothes and Shelter, these three basics in life have the most number of experts, every person needs them three and every person who uses them three, know exactly what they want. And because of its personal nature there is never one formula that fits all. For every one person that adores cotton, there are other jute, silk, linen aficionados, the list is really endless. On that note, here are two nutritionists who have caught my fancy, one a Marathi, to the core and the other a Sindhi to the core, Rujuta Diwekar and Pooja Makhija. A love for sweets can be managed in two different ways by these very learned nutritionists, Rujuta says, eat a banana first thing in the morning and Pooja says reach for a protein snack every time the craving for sugar hits. While Rujuta says eat like your Grandma did, I wonder, cause in my case both my Grandmas succumbed considerably early in life after battling a host of lifestyle illnesses, for when I cannot even dress like my Grandmas did, nor live a life like they lives, how could I manage to eat like my Grandmas did(!) However Pooja on the other hand, asks us to eat often, every 2 hours or so, belt in an hours worth of exercise every single day. Every meal she advises should have the five fingers of nutrition, that includes namely, carbohydrates, protein, vegetables and fruits for vitamins and minerals, and fat. With these five categories included, good health is a given.
After watching umpteen videos on good health and nutrition, visiting several talks, I still reach for my weekly dose of fried rice and manchurian, a childhood indulgence that is both at once comforting and tantalising to me even today. I could not care too much for chocolate, or all the other indulgences, but for this one, for sure. So in that case how much ever you know doesnt matter, it all comes down to what you do. Even setting a certain load of exercise is painfully tedious for a person like me. On a holiday what I look forward to the most is all the walking, the hiking if we are on a mountain, the swimming if we are on a beach, but mostly its the movement we get to do that is largely restricted in our desk tied occupations. Nutrition to the body said in place, the nutrition to the mind can be got by meditating in earnest or so I thought, until a very dear friend, largely into meditation and spirituality said that one does not need to make meditation a ritual, instead living every moment with mindfulness, or simply in surrender to the will of the Lord, as another meditation aficionado put it.
With no excessive love for routine, or exercise, I researched some more till I came across the people of the blue zones and how they lived, without devoting keen time to working out, walked as much as they could. The greatest creatives in the world also walked incessantly sometimes close to four hours in a day and that is the secret to much of their creativity. For those with no particular appetite to exercise, this is a Godsend piece of research. Even Sandra Oh, playing Christina Yang in the fictional serie Gray’s Anatomy steps her legs up in dance to beat the blues, greens, pinks and whatever else emotions captures our brains and sometimes our hearts in a frenzy. Not the trained one, but just about moving the body to the emotion in a mix and then an exit off our frazzled selves. And then the one that the physiotherapist recommended to me, the act of barefoot walking, akin to the acclaimed painter M F Hussain and many other creatives, while walking boosts creativity like meditation does, barefoot walking is said to increase the very result on creativity. If a simple daily walk (even indoors has much of the same result as outdoors) could keep me healthy and hearty, and mostly creative, it is the best news I have heard, (I for one would not exercise even if my life depended on it, but melt exercise into my daily routine and I will gladly do it) and going barefoot, well solves the dilemmas on which shoes to buy at the mall or in the zillion online stores, there is so much joy and beauty in simplicity. Taking a cue from a book I finished lately, called Dhando, by Mohnish Pabrai here are the levels of intelligence:
For even Einstein reiterated that simplicity is simply the highest level of intellect.
After reading up a tome and trying to understand if its wheat that gives one a wheat belly, or if its strength-training that pulls muscles, I am certainly none the wiser when it comes to what one needs to do in the gym, but all that enterprise has made me find sheer solace in simplicity. As long as one’s meals are plant-based and include the five aspects of nutrition, or one’s day involves movement, one’s breaths through the day are long and deep, a simple life of alacrity is largely guaranteed. Or so I surmised. Apart from all the above said the people in the blue zones live upto a hundred years, most importanly they have or develop a bunch of friends they call the moai, whom they meet every single day and look out for each other, the number of people in a moai is five. The moai is like the moat that helps one understand the dealings of life, or well even buffer the harder blows, and having this moai is almost like having a safety net in the thrill called life. And then there are the workings of Nunchi, the ability to have crucial conversations, of reading a room without missing a beat, of being aware, of being present, of having no jagged edges, to allow no one to get under your skin, to get under nobody’s skin, to just let life happen and to be happy to be good enough. Feeding the mind happy, is nutrition’s first premise, for it is not what you consume, in the end it always is about what consumes you. Marie Kondo, Wabi-Sabi, Minimalism have all thrived under this basic tenet of simplicity that we all certainly yearn but in an age of blatant consumerism, aimed at the titillation our brains, like little children we are redirected many folds. And then we realise that perhaps less is really more.
P.s. My reading list for the last week
The School of Life
Dont lose out, work out.
Don’t lose your mind, lose your weight.