IF OUR STOMACHS ARE FINE, WE ARE FINE
“I saw few die of hunger;
of eating, a hundred thousand.”
- Benjamin Franklin
I saw Kannan in our Tai Chi class after many Sundays. “All is all?” I enquired.”Seeing you after a long time.”
“Oh yes, all is well,” Kannan replied in his gung-ho style, “September-November are my months of hibernation… I go into my cave… They are less productive. In November, I come out.”
Today, Kannan and I were discussing about the food habits… “If our stomachs are fine, we are fine,” Kannan said, “as they say, we are what we eat.”
The habit of eating light, putting less strain on our stomachs is a habit, like all healthy habits, we need to cultivate with discipline. What works for us at our young age doesn’t work for us when we grow old… Heavy food at night, particularly late in the night, is a major cause for most of our health issues. Kannan shared with me the way he had brought about changes in his eating habits. He emphasized on the time-tested principle of ‘one-third/one-third/one-third’. “Our stomachs should be filled one-third with food, one-third with water (liquid) and the remaining one-third with air,” he explained, “‘Air’ means leave it empty.”
Normally, our habit is to fill our full stomachs with food… Liquid is an overload… Air is out of question. “On Saturdays, I just live on lemon juice… Some nights, I take simple kanji,” Kannan said. “You won’t believe, I look forward to a Saturday… The experience, the next morning, is just refreshing!”
I was telling Kannan about my own eating habits. Food is my weakness… I still eat at nights as though I am still in my twenties. “No Gerry, it takes some determination in the beginning… but, once you form this habit of healthy eating, you will not even know you are abstaining from what you are craving for… You will simply not get tempted.”
“I used to smoke about twenty cigarettes a day when I was young… I couldn’t live without smoking. But, one day, on 19th November, 1985, I got up and said, “I will not smoke any more’… and, I didn’t,” Kannan said with a great deal of pride, “Now you know why November is one of my most productive months!”
I think, filling our stomachs with toxic food can be as harmful as filling our lungs with toxic smoke. “All labour troubles in the factories have their origin in their canteens,” Kannan described, “Likewise, all our health troubles have their origin in our canteens, here…”
Kannan gently rolled his hand over his stomach, just the way they do it in ‘Madras’ after a sumptious saapadu (meal)!
I couldn’t agree with my friend more.