Monday, 5 May 2014


I promised last week that I would write this time about food in special events and occasions.
It is something that is always there, laid out on the table, calling out to be eaten, eaten until it's all gone and something that some of us find a real problem. Why, though, should food be a problem?
I am sitting here today, Bank Holiday Monday, a little worn out after spending a wonderful day yesterday celebrating Vaisakhi in Trafalger Square, London with the family. Thank you Steve, Jalminder, Bob-Dan, my beautiful grandson Henry, Amardeep and Suzi for a lovely day of family, sunshine, music and, of course, food.
Vaisahki, sometimes called the Sikh New Year, is the celebration of the beginnings of the Sikh religion as we know it today and also of a new year, new starts, and optimism for the year ahead.
A time to eat  and celebrate, just as many other occasions are.
Food is so important to us at these times, so why is it that so many of us are frightened of it? Why the big deal if we are going to over-indulge and spoil the diet? Those of us that struggle with our weight always say it. "Oh dear, this will spoil the diet", "We will put weight on now" etc., etc.
Food is something we all need. Part of the world doesn't have enough, while part of the world has too much. We all know the story and the saying "Eat to live, not live to eat", but still we can't seem to get things right. If alcohol or smoking are the problem we can try to give them up, and many do successfully, but we can't give food up. We need it to live.
I know myself how difficult it can be to find the right balance, to be able to enjoy good food, and an occasion such as Christmas, a wedding, holidays, parties, or even just a meal out, without having a major brain meltdown when there is all that "naughty" food there.
It sits there calling out to us to eat it, eat it all now What choice do we have? Eat it and have fun or don't and stand there being a misery, missing out on all the fun. Then, the next day, we feel bad. Either because we ate all that we could and now everything is spoilt, or we didn't eat it and couldn't enjoy ourselves while our friends and families did. So, the question is, why do we feel like this?
I ask myself quite often "Why has food become such a big deal, such a weapon of control?". For some it can become such a dangerous place to be in, and I tried for most of my adult life not to make eating food an issue.
I am now beginning to look at my own situation and think that there may be two ways to deal with it. I either eat all I can when these events occur and deal with it the next day i.e. start afresh, or prepare in advance, knowing these events are looming. Of course, there is always the choice of trying to eat the healthy option if there is one, or eating in moderation by having smaller portions. What I'm trying to say is that when it comes to eating we are the ones who have to deal with the situation, we are the ones that can make the choices. I dislike the word control but it is us that can take control of food, and we have the power to stop food from controlling us. We all have our weaknesses, but there is nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is that we punish ourselves for giving into those weaknesses. We need to accept that at times we will be weak, after all we are only human. But if we can see this, pick ourselves up and carry on, that is what matters. Special occasions are the times we remember as the years go by. We should always do our best to make sure those are the happiest of memories with as few regrets as possible. After all, food may play a large part in these occasions, but it is only a part. A nice part, but only a part, and not something we should always feel we have to worry about.

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