Monday, August 20, 2012

Why we postpone breakfast?

"Kaam khatam kar ke, phir kaayenge."

The dietitians and nutritionists all over the world are going ga-ga over having breakfast. Any doctor or health-conscious person will say skipping breakfast is a sin. Articles in magazine and newspapers (health section) repeated ask us to have a hearty breakfast.

Truth : Breakfast should happen within 60-90 min of waking up. It kicks the  metabolism, provides fresh energy to the system, stabilizes blood sugar levels, and 'wakes' the body up. It is like fueling your car before a day-long drive. 

Why do we usually delay our breakfast? (It is a cultural concept).
Breakfast means eating your food. It means consuming food. It means consuming something which has been earned after sweat and toil and hard work. So, in the mind, it is like this : "How can I consume something before I have done my duties?" (Our work starts after breakfast right?). Food is the daily reward in the 20th century Indian concept. "How can I take the reward before toiling?", says the permanently guilty Indian psyche.
Thus, the culture has come to this : breakfast after 10 am, lunch at 2:30-3 pm, snacks at 7 pm, dinner after 10 pm.Why do we eat at Iraq Standard Time???
Muft ki roti todne mein sharm aati hain : to pehle kaam kar lete hain. Indians are taught to be ashamed of eating. Especially girls : we are taught not to ask for second helpings. Women eat last in the household, when the menfolk have already hogged, burped, and dozed off. Even when invited somewhere, she first helps the hostess in the kitchen, in serving, and then they eat in the last round. (How can she eat food without doing hard-work?). If she compliments the food, it is assumed she wants to eat more, and hence she gets surrounded by smirks and sniggers.
Let me ask those whose mothers were/are housewives : when does she eat her breakfast? Not before 9am. True? (I can bet on that). However, she is awake by 6 am, right? And all she has had is a cup of tea, maybe two. And probably a biscuit or two. Gosh! It is like an engine running without the fuel! No wonder malnutrition runs among women in this country. Check this!
My Granny used to have her breakfast (alone) after 11 am, after having finished cooking lunch for the household. My mother has it at 9 am (with my dad).
The second reason of delaying breakfast is tea-induced. The morning cuppa spoils the appetite and disguises the hunger. You feel "fresh" but actually, you remain under-nourished in the most metabolically active part of the day. The morning cup of tea/coffee is a culture itself, ingrained in our sub-conscious; almost as if the day cannot begin without it.

The final mistake : Not earning your own money (kissi aur ki roti todna). Women are malnourished in India because they don't earn their bread. Not only breakfast, they eat less in all meals. Men are taller, heavier, and stronger for the simple reason that they eat better. Developed countries have the population taller, stronger, heavier, and healthier; than their counterparts in developing/under-developed countries.

Solution : You will eat only of you earn it. So earn you own money and buy your own food, cook it, and eat it. Get financially independent, girl! You deserve to be well-nourished, healthy, strong, and happy in your life. 

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