Unhealthy diet and lifestyle

Friday 24th November 2006

Unhealthy diet and lifestyle

When I returned to Pakistan almost four years ago, I was used to a healthy lifestyle of working out regularly, eating healthy food and avoiding most unhealthy stuff. Sushi and salad were my favorites and anything spicy, salty or oily was out. Though I used to love colas, chocolates and all other types of junk at one point, I lost interest once getting into the groove.

Now that my sister's on a healthy diet, I've realized how my habits and preferences have changed. You can judge how very healthy I am by the fact that I can hardly find time to go to the gym, rest very little and end up eating a lot of junk food. That includes lots of spices (as compared to before) and unhealthy snacks with sugars, salt and preservatives. There's also much more meat in the diet than before.

I think it has a lot to do with how fast things are changing in Pakistan. Our lives are getting more and more hectic and we have more money to indulge the taste buds, yet few people know much (or care) about nutrition and would rather enjoy their meal and live with the few extra inches around their waist than go for something beneficial. Often, I'm so caught up in work that I don't even leave the office and either skip meals or order in. Funnily, I'm still roughly 8kgs lighter than when I got here with hardly any difference in shape, a fact that really irks my rounder friends.

Hot pot raw ingredients

Since there's little demand for healthy food, there's next to no supply. Take salad for example. My favorite used to be Caprice, made from sliced tomatoes and cheese. Good cheese is still very hard to find here and tomatoes are preferred half-burnt in curry with all the goodness lost to spices. When it comes to salads, the best you'll get is something like Rahat's, full of all kinds of meat and fatty dressing. Subway formed a major part of my diet in Japan, yet the outlet here is truly pathetic and to be avoided whenever possible.

Chinese fire pot

I think the healthiest thing I have had in the last couple of months is "Fire Pot" at a Chinese restaurant in F-7. I guess it's not much different from the Japanese Shabu Shabu, something I never got to try in Japan because of the non-halal meat. Interesting fact (via Wikipedia): the Hot Pot originated at the time the Mongols dominated most of Asia as an efficient way to feed the troops. Anyway, the Fire Pot was good and quite healthy, but something only a select few friends are willing to brave with even fewer liking it. Today's lunch wasn't bad either. Pasta with lots of olives and tomatoes.

So, the solution, at least for me, lies in finding new friends who can appreciate a healthy lifestyle. Kidding. I think I need to move to another city (or country) with less stress and better options for food. Or, hope that more people around me start worrying about their health.

18:04pm


On 24th November 2006, at 18:54pm PKT, tayyab said:

well i am a FAN of this blog now and why i shouldn't be.. i gained 3 inches around my waist in coupla months,and finaly someone writes about my agony and its reasons in DETAIL. Side effects of unhealthy food also include spending money on new trousers & pretty bad falling in stomach etc..
for the healthy food club I AM IN & I am worried!!

On 24th November 2006, at 18:57pm PKT, tayya said:

its FEELING***

On 25th November 2006, at 10:49am PKT, Sajjad said:

Excellent Tayyab. Now we should hunt down some good and healthy food places around here. Places with tasty vege stuff etc. Going to the gym however, will cause me to consume even more meat. Will have to learn to balance things.

On 13th December 2006, at 23:51pm PKT, Sajjad Hussain said:

SALAM how are you ? Sajjad Zaidi Sahab mujhe aapki thori help chahiye . yeh site aapne blogger par banayi hai kia ? mujhe bhi is tarha ki site banani hai aur GOOGLE ADSENSE use karna chahta hoon kia aap meri help kareinge badle main aapko main aik book send karoonga . jis main GOOGLE ADSENSE EARNING ko bahter banane ke tareeke mojood hain agar aap jante bhi ho is ke bare main phir bhi please help me .... sajjadhusain@hotmail.com yeh meri id hai aur main raat ko 11 baje online hota hoon please mail me mujhe aapki mail ka intzaar rahe ga . ALLAH HAFIZ

On 21st December 2006, at 17:47pm PKT, bob said:

load of rubbish

On 2nd February 2007, at 14:23pm PKT, cc said:

keep it good

On 3rd August 2007, at 13:28pm PKT, Abdul Wahi said:

Do we, Pakistanis, know what's the healthy food in the first place? lol We forget the balance diet the moment you happen to walk accross the food street in Lahore.

On 3rd August 2007, at 13:29pm PKT, Abdul Wahi said:

Do we, Pakistanis, know what's the healthy food in the first place? lol We forget the balance diet the moment you happen to walk accross the food street in Lahore.

On 8th August 2007, at 08:00am PKT, Anonymous said:

some food is healthy, like:
-keema w/green peppers (low carb and really yummy)
-chickpea tomato onion salad (cholay chaat? don't know the name)
-DAL (dal is an awesome food!! even on south beach, which is mostly low carb, dal is permitted because it has such a good effect on health and blood sugar)! My fave is DAL MAKHANI

One good thing I saw in Pak (at least in the gaon) is that ppl will cut up stuff like cucumbers with black pepper, or oranges with salt, as a snack. If anyone does that in the States, it's usually b/c of a diet!

The thing I don't like is that Paki ppl like to convert all their foods into salan. On the other extreme, Americans tend to refine and add cheese to everything. Plus they mostly remove all the veggies, besides a limp lettuce leaf and tomato.

The balance between these is just enjoying PURE food, unrefined...don't convert your food into a juice or salan or burger. Savor the flavor of fresh fruit, or vegetables WITHOUT DRESSING. Simple food is always more satiating and generally healthier also!


On 8th August 2007, at 11:51am PKT, Sajjad said:

Yup. Most of the foods you mention are actually quite healthy.

I think the main difference between the States and Pakistan is that Americans tend to use too much fats with their food (either fried or in the form of dressing or sauces) while Pakistanis choose to ruin their bodies with excessive salts and spices.

On 4th September 2007, at 10:46am PKT, Ejaz said:

I have a big problem! I eat and without any delay I sleep. I understand I should go for a walk and any activity that helps digest the food I've taken in. ugh! do you still expect me to go for a walk after working for straight 10 hours? :S

But I can't let my front getting the shape of the belly.