Thursday, November 11, 2010

Where are we heading to ????????

My parents hail from Palghat, Kerala  and hence obviously the oil used at home for cooking was the pure coconut oil. My mom used coconut oil for everything,  right from making puris, pappadams , vadams, curry etc etc. The re-usable coconut oil is called ' chuttennai' and is very aromatic when used for paruppu podi rice or for molagapodi.  But, the recent studies show that oil should not be re-used.   Inspite of  daily intake of coconut oil, my parents did not have  trace of either cholestrol or any heart related problems till their death.   Walking was the only regular exercise for them and a daily visit to the Kapali temple was a must.  My mother  used to sweep and mop the house on her own. We never had washing machine. Of course, we had a maid but my mother used to help her while manual wash.  My dad would never take his scooter or car for nearby visits. He would prefer to walk. Maybe those were the physical movements which kept them healthy. And indigestion means intake of either Dasamoolarishtam or Jeerakarishtam (Ayurvedic prep.). Headache calls for oil bath and other minor ailments is corrected with simple home remedies. I do not recall heaps and heaps of medicines at home except for a pad or two of Saridons and Anacins.

It would be injustice if I do not mention that my lunch and dinner should have at least two teaspoons of ghee liberally poured by my mother into my piping hot steaming rice.  No chapathis,only rice be it lunch or dinner.  Sweets were luxuriously prepared with generous portions of ghee and what not. I have not seen any of the elders in my household coming up with demands of sugarless coffee or 'no sweets' etc etc .

Present Scenario:
Gone are the days of Idli or Dosa for breakfast.  Now the main trend is either Oats or Raagi kanji or some Health mix for breakfast. I can see more of salads on the dining table. Toned or low fat milk is in great demand. I can also see young teens who say 'No to sweets' totally.  But, still the hospitals are flooded with patients affected by unheard diseases.

I find Gyms in nook and corner of Chennai now. But, with the same note, I can see many fast food joints too.  When I visit a Department store, I see lot of health products and health drinks and if I buy something I am advised. to look at the packet for %age of fat and transfat. :):).

On one hand, it is good to note that people are choosing healthy diets and feel nice about having a slim healthy figure.  But, there is also the concern of the fast spreading unhealthy quick bites at joints by youngsters and the old. I find more obese people among the age group of 17 to 30 which is very disturbing.    I wonder what could be the reason of this sudden  outburst of many unknown and new diseases even among the youngsters.   Is it the stressed life style? Is everybody trying to achieve something beyond their reach?I ponder and ponder but I am echoed by a stiff silence.

"So many people spend their health gaining wealth, and then have to spend their wealth to regain their health." ~A.J. Reb Materi, Our Family


  1. very well written...beautiful write-up

  2. Your post brought humour and memories back....most of our family back in Palakkad, still live the same way. I heard about the Oats Kanji trend too...
    However, Kerala has the distinction of being a growing consumer market, alongwith high social and physical indicators. The influence of the consumer markets, particularly targetted towards the young population is only going to increase.

  3. I come from Udupi and my grandmother and mother, used to cook everything with coconut oil, like your people did. Bother of them did not have any health problem.

    As you say, the fast food culture is spoiling our health system. In those days, 'eats' means, chips of banana or Jackfruit. Now, god knows from what flour they make these 'Lays' etc.

    Most of the parents have one or two children and they love to pamper them and get them whatever they ask for. The habit of buying snacks from shops were not so popular.

    My son also is dieting now! 'No,no' to Deepawali sweets too!

  4. this is 1 mindprovoking read. But we need to understand that early man didnt live more than 30 years. Now life span is increasing and currently it is around 70s in US and around 60s in India. Healthy diet and exercise is important.
    However, if you see indian parents and in-laws want their daughters and daughter-in-law do manual work rather than working-out. Youngsters should do want doctor's say ignoring these kind of diversions and roadblocks. And girls shouldnt hesistate to join gym or run daily.

  5. hey, nice blog. if yu have time read my blog also
    and do leave a comment. it is for a public cause and follow it in facebook too.


  6. This post is making me to think. If i walk for 20 minutes tommorrow, then it will be because of this post.

    Very Well written!!

  7. Jaya,

    What you mentioned is absolute right. Olden days stress are there then it is tolerable . However, modern days every body want to be first in something,after achieving each step they are going further without any end.

  8. Very good article dear. My family too uses coconut oil and its not a cholesterol booster as every one says. thanks for writing this. I feel so happy to read this. I don't trust in any lavish food, except my Indian food and simple but natural food. we can look pretty and young with the natural food than the processed health foods. Rasam rice at night with a little papad is better than everything for me:) Just walk for 1 hour , nothing is needed. we can take our regular ghee and coconut oil . Superb eyeopening article dear!

  9. Ms Chit Chat beautifully written again ..I always look forward to visiting ur blog for this.
    As a matter of fact , being in the new generation , I still liberally use 2 tsp of ghee for myself and for my lil one.
    Coconut oil whereever I can... Palaghat in blood is still prevailing... :)
    Make generous use of ghee , sugar in my sweets... and consume them with accountability..
    Too much of anything is baad... So we eat towards healthily.. and enzoy the priveledges.. we can stay fit..
    Walk wherever possible ... avoid Junk...

    H n me both are at our right weights.. and glad we are able to maintain it without overdoing anything.

  10. very useful article and pertinent issues. I often wonder the same myself.

  11. Hi,
    Reading your post brings back lot of memories, My H brought an article on coconut oil the other day from his office collegue, and how good it is, My parents never used coconut oil as we are basically from Karnataka and used Groundnut oil, I have always thought our great grand parents lived a very healthy life, eating the regular Idli Dosa etc., with generous serving of Ghee and loads of sweet. I do not believe in consuming health drinks, pills or diets would keep you in good health. Eating healthy food with limited quantities isn't going to harm your health with your everyday work and excercise now and then. I always avoid junk food, even if I make them I try not to consume anything too much, I have been maintaining my weight from past around 14 years after my twins were born. My Grandmother lived up to 104, she could see, hear and remember everything till her death, My dad's mom she lived up to 94 years with good health and would love her Ghee in her morsel of food!. I used to have Dasamoolarishtam too!, I loved the last part of your article in the purple, how true it is!, thanks for the post, it brought back loads of memories

  12. Nice write up, people are very lazy nowadays.

  13. This post is the need of the hour. well written.

    coconut oil is the cooking medium in our home too. my mil and her siblings have all crossed 70+ and nobody suffers from hypertension/diabetes, but they don't eat outside food and still eat sundakkai, manathakkali, vepampoo etc. perhaps all these acts as an antidote.
    whatever be the reason, today's children are hooked on to tv, computer and hence have no physical activity. Little wonder then a 6 year old child in our housing complex is on insulin injection for diabetes.

  14. very nice writeup dear.... what u said is absolutely true....

  15. Dear Ms Chitchat - A very thought provoking writeup..As always love reading them..I myself wonder about all these pertitent questions as well..I think we have made our lives way too complicated and are way too stressed as a result of it...

  16. Nice post,I love coconut oil in my cooking,as you have said,keeping a good balance of food and workout keeps us fit...

  17. Hi Miss Chitchat .. first f all thanks for dropping by my blog n having a word there ...

    Loved this post of yours as i believe in wholesome food and active lifestyle too , and if our genetic make up is hardwired for a voluptuous body ... what's the problem ???

    Coconut oil is not a cholesterol boosting oil at all , i have written a post about making coconut oil at home and it's properties too , it's amrit literally ...

    I feel all this even though i am not brought up eating coconut oil . Mustard oil is as good and so is sesame n peanut oil , olive oil and canola oil are being marketed and consumed in our country as health trends and the tragedy is , most of the olive oil being imported is very inferior quality .........

  18. I know... don't u see difference between our generation and now the kids.. we atleast use to go out to play and have some physical exercise.. the competition in studies (atleast here in india) is driving both parents and kids crazy.. they are either infront of computers/TVs or with books... that is the main reason for child obesity also.. as per me..


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