The story behind the Little Jack Horner Meals and my attempts to eat sensibly

Some of you have commented about how my ‘feed’ looks a bit healthier than before these days.

Well, yes. I’ve been advised to trim down a bit and cut down on red meat, carbs, cheese etc for now.

I took this as a challenge to eat well and yet sensibly within what I am allowed. The first thing I did was to cut down eating outside to the minimum required. Hence dear PR folks, the even firmer declines than before to restaurant review invites. Spa sessions I am open to.

I took advantage of being someone who works from home and began cooking my own meals, adding lots of flavour using things like spices, hung curd, cooking on high heat and hence using minimal oil, increasing the proportion of whole grains, nuts and seeds, veggies and fruits in my meals. You’d have seen examples of that in my posts here. I don’t add sugar to my coffee. A teaspoon in my evening nimbu pani. I find it difficult to stop when having a good dessert so try not to start on one when I see it! Alcohol was not a problem as I hardly drink these days. I don’t enjoy it. I love food more. Carbs and red meat and cheese are my weaknesses. And exercise. In a reverse way, that is if you get what I mean. I need to fix that.

I can firmly, proudly and happily say that I’ve not had a single bad tasting meal since I started this. I call these my ‘Little Jack Horner Meals’ after the nursery rhyme character of the same name. I weighed myself today. Looks like I’ve dropped a couple of kilos or so. Not sure of the exact number as I am comparing weights taken at different times of the day and on different scales and wearing different clothes but the absolute difference is significant.  

Coincidentally I had breakfast outside after a while today. I went for the chilli cheese eggs at La Folie. We used to request for it to be served ‘deconstructed’ in the past for  reasons of taste. Today I realised that this allows me to be as miserly as I wanted with the mash and the cheese. I finished the salads. Skipped the yolks. The bread was buttery brioche. White flour. I told myself that I’d earned it. In my last visits here, I’ve had egg white omelettes and sourdough bread. 

I recently learnt from a chef elsewhere that the reason why the egg white omelettes at his place were so well formed, compared to mine which look like the bedraggled Milan Subway during the rains, is because they use lots of butter. Now you know why you should eat at home as much as you can. I know that everyone can’t but ever little step counts.

I am not one to lecture folks about diet and health. I believe that each person’s needs are different depending on age, activity levels, life state, body composition.

Come to think of it, I am not one to lecture anyone on anything but I do try to work on things I feel I should I change or work upon in my own life. ‘Human revolution’ to use the term used by Dr Daisaku Ikeda, hon President of the Soka Gakkai International .

Portion control and knowing what’s going into your body are good places to start. Eating food that doesn’t make you sad. Food that makes you feel good about yourself. Eating food that you can afford to. 

I also know that I am not qualified to give medical advice but then half the doctors I know have diverse views on what’s good for you and what’s not in any case either. I feel concerned when I see people with no qualifications spout ‘expert advice’ on healthy eating. Yes, I am a bit sceptical about what I read.

The best advice one doc gave me recently was to give the base principles and then say ‘use your common sense.’ 

I pos pictures of food that I eat. If I ever do so otherwise, I mention it. The rest is up to you. Remember, your first responsibility lies to yourself.

PS I’ve been sharing stories of what I have been eating these days as part of this new phase on Instagram, and then here on the blog too, to give you inspiration. Here’s the story from last night.

Used the Korean gochujang paste, that my friend Kunal Dhume gave me, to make chicken in the air fryer and the oyster sauce that he gave to finish the half and half stir fried veggies and fried rice. ‘Half and half’ as I took out half the veggies for the missus and then added rice that was equal in amount to the remaining veggies in the wok to make the fried rice. Used a tablespoon of oil to cook the veggies and added no further with the rice. Added half a teaspoon of oil to the chicken.

I am sure that Kunal would be happy to see how much we enjoyed the dinner.’

Not heard the Little Jack Horner rhyme before? Here’s how it goes:

Little Jack Horner
Sat in the corner,
Eating a Christmas pie;
He put in his thumb,
And pulled out a plum,
And said ‘What a good boy am I.’