Raising healthy kids

Im going to make a few things very clear here:

1) I have no kids, and its very unlikely I will anytime in the future. So I haven’t a clue how hard it is, nor do I really want to find out first-hand.

2) I do know good nutrition and can give you an unbiased, fact based opinion on what you ‘should’ do regardless of hard it is to actually execute this.

3) I will try and keep this as simple as possible. But I promise not to judge you for being too tired to actually pull this off.

On that note, lets begin.

Most of us average humans are born with the innate ability to feel hunger, and satiety. As kids, we know exactly how hungry we are, and will push food away as soon as we are full.

This instinct is, however, driven right out of us by doting parents, well-intentioned neighbours, grandparents and most fellow Indians who live by the belief that force feeding children is actually the way to go.

We assume without question, that kids haven’t a clue about anything including their own bodies, and that it is up to us to force them into all things deemed right by society from day 0.

Where nutrition is concerned, I’d like to tell you, you’re wrong.

A healthy relationship with food should start early. Food should be eaten to satisfy hunger and hunger alone.

Clearing the plate to help a starving Somalian will NOT save the Somalian and will set one little human up for a lifetime of disordered eating.

Here’s an alternate way to help your child eat:

1) Have a healthy relationship with food yourself. No food is ‘bad’ or ‘good’. There’s nutritious food, food that should be eaten in moderation and food that should be eaten on occasion. All foods are ok. Just not all the time.

2) Don’t fill the poor kid up with sugar filled drinks and send them off to school hyper-active(Cerelac, Horlicks, Boost, Snickers, Dairy Milk.. they’re all just as bad). Plain full fat milk is best.

3) Encourage eating when hungry. Make (nutritious) food available through the day. Don’t keep junk in the house. Save junk for when you’re craving it, and make a family trip out of it IF you really want it.

4) Never force feed a child when they don’t want to eat. We all have different needs and different eating patterns. Allow the one thats most natural to become a habit. Some of us like 3 big meals, some of us like many small meals. It’s all good.

5) You can decide what is available to eat. But never control how much a person(however little he/she is) should eat.

6) Focus on getting out to play. Be it a sport, games with the neighbours or some version of  running and catching, get out, play. Don’t preach about exercising for the sake of exercising, or worse, exercising as a means to lose weight.  Kids don’t need to hear about that yet.

Its as simple and as difficult as that. Have a relaxed but mindful attitude towards food and exercise and you’ll do just fine.


The Learning Curve

I enjoy moving my body, most of the time. It comes from years and years of practice. I no longer worry about form or weight. My mind is free to enjoy the workout and think about how efficiently I can complete a workout. My body needs no instruction, and I love the freedom and mental clarity a tough workout brings me.

That is of course, how I feel in a gym/ at the Unit. Last week, however, I decided to start working on a new martial art. I’ve started Kalari Payattu. For those of you who haven’t heard of it.. this is what a seasoned practitioner makes it look like:








I, however, have only just started, and I’m fairly crap at it. And no, I’m not being modest. For the first time in a long time, I truly understand (in the present tense) why people dread workouts in the beginning. Its hard to feel good about a workout when EVERYTHING you do needs correction or modification and you cannot seem to do anything right. Its hard  to go back to class, when you know that what awaits you, is a whole lot of disapproval and patient-but-constant correction.

And yet, through it all, I feel slightly happy.

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt through years and years and years of trying every new workout/exercise that’s been around, it is this:

You are not going to be crap at anything you consistently practice, forever. 

Thats not the way your body is designed. Your body simply doesn’t get the limitations your mind puts on it. It will adapt to survive. If you consistently tell it that it needs to jump, kick and fly around to survive, then one day, it will help you do just that.

And yes, exercise feels awesome once you get technique and you can take your mind off it. But it takes time and patience to get there.

So I’m going back, and I will keep going till I finally get it. It might take months or maybe even years. But I am getting older anyway. I might as well learn something new while I’m at it.

And when I finally get it (because I will), how cool is it going to be, to own a body that can do this:









Now that is worth working for.

Intuitive eating: Dump the diet and follow your hunger

In my last post i talked about all the diets i tried. I even mentioned how i gave it all up and am healthier for it. I did however, miss detailing one step. That step is what this post is about.
You see, i didn’t just wake up one morning, have an epiphany and magically start eating healthy. The process was long and slow for me. I know several people who get it right on the first try, but I am not that person.
I went from training 8 hours a day to 0. From needing more food than 4 healthy adults to needing only enough for one. From having a disciplined training plan to suddenly having no higher purpose for exercise(no tournament, no team, no trophy)
I had always eaten for one of the following reasons:
i) Training session No. <1-4> starts in 15 minutes, i HAVE to get something in.
ii) It’s healthy/good for me/ good for performance
iii) I hadn’t yet met my required calorie intake for the day and had to make up for    it or suffer through sluggish session the next day.
Never in my childhood, had i needed to eat for something as simple as hunger. And yet, ironically, thats what food is for. We might abuse it in times of stress, try and use it to fill a void in our life or even celebrate around it. But, at its most basic, food is just energy. We need it to live, we get hungry for it and hunger is part of a basic but essential set of survival instincts. Foods’ uses may be manifold, but it can only, fully satisfy one goal and is wasted on everything else.
And so I decided to try out Intuitive Eating (by Geneen Roth). Her rules were pretty simple:
  1. Eat in a quiet surrounding and concentrate on the food.
  2. Be aware of what you eat and the reasons behind why you eat.
  3. Write down everything you observe in point #2
  4. Give yourself permission to eat EVERYTHING but learn to distinguish between what your mind wants and what your body really wants
  5. Your body… your choice. If you choose every time to eat something for reasons other than true hunger, that is your right, as long as you learn to truly embrace the consequences of those actions.
  6. Keep trigger foods out of the house, make the effort to drive out and get them only when you truly have a craving.
Initially i had lots of problems with #4 and #6. You see, my trigger food, is potato chips. Specifically ‘Grand Sweets’ potato chips.
So when i initially followed #4 and gave myself permission to eat potato chips, i stocked up on 90 bags of it (the theory behind it being that if you’re surrounded by it and its no longer considered a cheat food, you’re less likely to binge on it).. without realising THAT was my trigger food. The 90 bags(you read right) disappeared in 1 month.
I learnt my lesson.
I did gain weight initially, but over time i learnt to tell the difference between what my body wanted (hard to do when i had ignored it all those years) vs what i was tempted by simply because my mind wanted it.
Today i no longer constantly want junk… not because I’m on a diet but because it makes me feel like crap.
I understand that my stomach doesn’t really EVER want to deal with cake or potato chips. I do still have both if the occasion calls for it AND i decided i want it anyway.
But I’m more connected to my own hunger signals now.. and its a liberating, fulfilling place to be.
Interested in giving it a shot? I strongly encourage it. I know what it feels like. I’ve been on that side of the fence.. and while it is entirely your journey. I’ll be cheering you on every step of the way.


Diet and be depressed

Diets don’t really work. A committed change to the way you choose to live is what will. So that new Blood group/south beach/atkins diet you started? Its only as good as its ability to fit into your lifestyle. Or you can change your lifestyle completely.. everyday.. for the rest of your life.

That being said…. you’ll get no judgement from me. I’ve been there myself.

Many years ago, when I quit competitive basketball and got into IT, i started to gain weight. As a person who started sport at the age of 9 and had no idea how to handle a non-skinny body.. i panicked.

I had NEVER dieted before that. All I ever cared about was playing well. I was willing to be whatever it took for me to be the best player out there. The focus was never on how my body looked. But i had also, never lived in a body that was heavy and hadn’t moved in a while. I had no idea how to carry it around, dress it or like it.

So i started my first diet. Several diets and many rounds of depression later. I gave up, found my first love(exercise) again, found joy in moving like i always had, ate food not junk… and all else just fell into place.

Listed here are all crazy diets i tried. Beware, this is a personal account, and while i hope it will provide an insight into what each one is about. At the end of the day, what works is personal and unique to each of us.

1) The Low-Fat Diet

Bit of a no brainer. Everyone did it at one point. We were told that fat makes us fat.. so i avoided it all costs. My already dry skin got drier. My cravings got stronger and i found myself binge eating french fries by the time the week was over.

2) The Atkins/The Low Carb Diet

Forget low fat. Try low carb. At only 20 gms of carbs a day in the initial phase( which I realise, now, is ridiculous), I was moody and irritable. If someone had warned me ahead I would have called my friends first and told them not to come over.

Working out on that allotment of carbs was a nightmare. And as a bonus, i smelt terrible. Ketosis they call it. They even convinced me its a good thing(your body dissolving its fat to save itself).

If they’d told me ahead, i would have called all my friends first and told them not to come anywhere near me.

3) The 7 day GM diet.

Day 1: Feel light headed on a diet of fruits.

Day 2: The only veggies i liked raw(back then) are cucumber and carrot. Having eaten my weights worth of them, i feel gaseous and nauseous.

Day 3: Gnaw my own knuckles in desperation

Day 7: Rejoice

Day 8 and beyond: Put on all the weight I lost right back… and then some.

4) The Beyonce Master Cleanse

I do not know how she did it. But 2 days of severe diarrhoea was all it took to convince me out of it. Lemon water? Seriously?

5) The Starve-All-Day-Party-At-Night Diet

Starved all day… MORE than made up for it at night

6) The Eat-Chapathi-Instead-Of-Rice Diet

Bloated-ness was my friend in misery. Enough said.

7) The Skinny Bitch diet.

Basically went vegan. I was skinny-fat and a mega bitch. I refuse to put my friends and family through it again.

 The Every Other Day Diet.

Requires you to fast one day and eat the other day. This is what it usually went like for me

Day 1: Fast virtuously for the first 3 hours of the day. By noon any food my colleagues eat is being looked at with jealousy.

By 2-ish pm i feel like a martyr that has sacrificed all. Any food talk is quietened by murderous glances.

Given i was in the US and staying with colleagues, if it was my turn to cook, lord help them co-workers. Food would be prepared dramatically(think hindi movie ‘maa’ sentiment) and thrown not served at the table.

Day 2: Euphoria. Its an eat-all-you-want fest. Except, your stomach hurts after a while. And you kinda feel sick.

Day 3: Clinical depression

Day 4: No Euphoria this time. Just a sense of foreboding because you know its all going to end very soon.

Needless to say.. i didn’t last the week.


So what do i do now? I eat. Everytime I’m hungry. I eat foods as close to their natural state as possible, but if i absolutely want that bag of potato chips.. i will have it. And my weight? Its been stable for 6 years 🙂

Dealing with well-meaning lifestyle wreckers

We’ve all been there. We’ve decided to commit to a healthy lifestyle, we’ve replaced the junk with greens and we’re feeling good, when suddenly, some kind of social gathering comes up. You already know what to do. You don’t really have any intention of breaking away from this healthy lifestyle you have going for you… until.. you meet <insert well meaning relative here(WMR for short)>.

WMR tells you that you soo should eat this amazing <insert food here> and that you’re missing out. Still you hold your own, figure you’re not really hungry anyway. But WMR presses on. Here’s a list of reasons/arguments you’re most likely to face.

1) You’re already so skinny. Why do you need to avoid <junk>?

Le sigh. How do you even begin to explain that thin-ness and healthy-ness are not nearly the same thing? That eating healthy is not rooted in aesthetics? That self respect and a love for your body are what drive you into putting good food into your stomach?

My answer: You don’t. Just don’t explain yourself. You don’t need to apologise for your lifestyle or make excuses for it. If the world worked on the basis of common sense, it shouldn’t be healthy eating that requires an apology.

Just politely decline, thank your stars for having the kind of lifestyle that allows you to say no to food and walk away. Its a privilege a lot of people in this country starve without.

2) One day won’t make you put on weight.

I fully agree. I’m a big BIG fan of moderation. If being a good friend at a wedding means more to you than sugar.. then be a good friend. Life is too short to spend worrying about every calorie eaten.

BUT, the decision to indulge/ show restraint should be yours and yours alone. No one else has the right to tell you when or how you should indulge. Its not their lifestyle to nonchalantly wave away.

3) What is all this dieting? I eat all the food i want and I’m as healthy as a horse. 

Sadly this one is all genetics and probably true. But you can’t bargain with nature. The deal you got at birth is your only option. So if YOU can’t eat all you want and stay healthy.. then its your responsibility to do right by your body.

4) <Insert individual non-science based diet gyaan> (e.g. just eat all you want and drink hot water lemon and honey in the morning… and it’ll all go away)

*SIGH* Just nod your head politely and move on will ya? This is the age of google. You have no excuse for accepting pseudo-science at face value anymore.

5) There are people in Somalia who are dying of hunger

And they will continue to die of hunger, no matter how aggresively you stuff your face with food. If you want to make a difference. Donate. Be an active part of the changes other communities need. Stuffing your face in a far away country helps no one. Especially not you.

At the end of the day, remember, your body is your responsibility. You only have one of it and you can choose to do whatever it is you want with it. As long as you understand the consequences of your decision, no one has the right to tell you otherwise.

You can always choose to eat that cake… wilfully. Just don’t give anyone else the privilege of making that decision for you.


Back Flat and other terms that make no sense

Everyone who has ever trained with me at the Unit knows the flat back drill. I manage to infuse into most people a sense of back and knee paranoia that many may never experience outside of our backyard at Boat Club Road.

And yet, for most of you, when you first walk in, these are just words that make no sense. Is this normal? Does the inability to follow a seemingly simple set of exercise commands make you incapable of exercise? Do you wonder how it is, that you can perform the most complicated tasks required to hold a high position in your company, but a simple squat can fully ruin your confidence?


Fear not. You are a normal, healthy non-exercise-er(oxymoron). You have very little movement history. We were all there once and I’m going to let you in on a secret. You WILL get better if you stay with it.

I started playing a sport at the age of 9. I stopped 14 years later at the age of 23, when my job required me to go abroad and finding a basketball team to play with got impossible. During my years playing basketball I learnt how to defend(squat), collect rebounds(vertical jump) and sprint.

Many years later when i stopped, I took up other forms of exercise and always got the same reaction from those coaching me…. “you’re pretty good for a beginner” followed by some variation of “are you sure you haven’t done this before?”. I never really understood what they meant. Until very recently. Now that i’ve actually been in their shoes.

The NSCA says that 60 percent of all exercise is neural recruitment. In simple terms that means that all the muscle in the world cannot help you lift a spoon if your brain did not know how to lift it. Back flat only makes sense if you actually know that pulling your chest back will get your there. Otherwise, its just words.

Therein lies both the problem and the fascinating awesomeness of the human body. A person who has played a sport or has regularly participated in any kind of organised exercise will find it easier to pick up a new form of exercise.The movement itself might be different from anything they have done before. But it is still JUST movement. Not a shockingly different way of living.

Does this mean the rest of us will never be any good at it? Heck no. If, as babies, we gave up on walking, the first time we fell, the human race would more closely resemble slugs. And yet, here we are. We know, instinctively, as kids, not to give up on a move that we cannot do well yet. Our reduced motor skills don’t matter to us when we our young. And yet, its an important lesson that we choose to ignore all too easily as adults.

So don’t give up. Fall over, make fools of yourselves and try your best. One day, it will all make sense.

Does this mean you’ll have to work harder? Yes. But you are getting older anyway. Why not work towards owning a body that obeys your commands and mind that understands how to move?

Why not get stronger and not just older?  You have the rest of your lives to achieve this and the race is really only with yourself. Why give up?

Sugar: The list of ‘bad’ only gets bigger

Can you even imagine and ad like this coming out in todays’ world?










And yet… this was once an ad that was perfectly acceptable. Our understanding of the human body and its needs has advanced considerably over the last few decades. We’ve gone from Low-fat diets to Low-carb diets to to diets that encourage the intake of fat(not trans fat) and we’ve come full circle to intuitive eating… which involves allowing your body to tell you when its hungry, eating exactly what it needs you to eat and respecting it when its had enough.

The one thing all researchers today agree on(whatever your choice of diet), is that sugar is worst thing you can do to your body. The latest study though says that sugar is bad for more than just your waistline. It does more than just cause diabetes… much.. much more. And you don’t need to eat as much as you think.

While previous studies have found sugar has a toxic effect, they generally used amounts much higher than most people actually eat, said the study’s first author, Dr. James Ruff. ”I think the big takeaway is the level of sugar we readily eat and think is safe causes major health declines in mice,” said Ruff. “We’re not just talking about some minor metabolic thing. We’re taking about increased rates of death and [lower rates] of reproduction.”

The researchers gave the mice the equivalent of 500 calories worth of sugar, based on a 2,000 calorie human diet. To put that in perspective, that’s about 120 g of sugar or the amount you would find in two medium sized brownies / one large serving of Ice cream(on average).

After ingesting their daily sugar capsule for six months, the mice had all kinds of systemic problems ranging from fertility issues to early death to a distinct lack of energy.

But there was a finding the researchers didn’t anticipate: the sugar rats(mice) weren’t any fatter than the control group. Since they were all fed the same amount of calories (and all were the same breed thereby having the same general metabolic profiles), they ended up at the same weight. The researchers noted that if you were just looking at the mice, both groups would have “passed their physicals.” But the real differences appeared when the mice were put into “mouse barns” to live their daily lives. Which is another reason a persons weight shouldn’t be a basis by which we judge their health.

The research stops short of asking us to avoid sugar all together. But i think we can safely assume that its a good idea to do just that.

Don’t think its possible? I say it is. Go off it for 3 weeks and you will suddenly find you greatly appreciate the sweetness found in whole healthy food like almonds and fruit.

Go on.. give it a shot. What have you got to lose?










Shortcuts to Weightloss: From Surgery to Injections

After my 5 pm class at Gandhinagar on Friday evening, a few of the students got together to ask me an interesting question: What do I think of gastric bypass surgery? The reason for the question…. she went to a well known hospital on OMR and they casually recommended it to her as a means to weight loss and they made it sound like it was no big deal.

Needless to say, I proceeded to have a minor coronary attack. For the record, Gastric Bypass IS A BIG DEAL. A HUGE. BIG. FAT DEAL.

But this is not the only time I’ve been asked this question. So i figured I’ll write down all the major forms of weight loss surgery and the risks associated with it.

1) Gastric Bypass/ Bariatric Surgery


What does it involve?

Your surgeon will cut away a part of your stomach and create a smaller stomach. Your intestines are then also re-attached to the new stomach (Still think its no big deal to have more than half an organ missing and another one in a new position inside your body? Yeah.. i did not think so!)

How does it help? 

Your stomach is now the size of a grapefruit. Eat too much and you will throw up. The severe calorie deficit will result in rapid weight loss

Why its not worth it to most of us?

Gastric bypass comes with the severe risk of malabsorption and nutritional deficiency. Patients who undergo this procedure must take vitamin and dietary minerals above and beyond that of the normal population. Without these supplements, there is risk of serious deficiency diseases such as anemia and osteoporosis.

Because gallstones are a common complication of the rapid weight loss following any type of bariatric surgery, some surgeons remove the gallbladder as a preventive measure during BPD. Others prefer to prescribe medications to reduce the risk of post-operative gallstones

Alcohol also hits your bloodstream faster, so it is not uncommon to hear of people passing out after a glass of wine.

Why it ‘might’ just be recommended?

If you’re severely obese, and the risk of dying of a heart attack is greater than the risk of dying of anemia.. then maybe, just maybe it makes sense. But please, at least try to eat right and exercise before you make this decision.

2) Liposuction


What does it involve?

Under anaesthesia, your surgeon will make a small incision near the area where you’d like fat removed, and use a little tube to reach under your skin and remove fat. Much like a vacuum cleaner.. except, this is your body we’re talking about.

Compared to gastric bypass.. this procedure is relatively tame. But like all surgery.. it comes with risks

How does it help? 

It helps remove stubborn fat and contour the body.

Why its not worth it to most of us?

It leaves scars, takes about 6 months to heal and more importantly.. its not permanent. All your surgeon has done is remove existing fat from your body. Your bodies ability to absorb food and turn it into fat remains unharmed. So if you did not set up a lifestyle that can help maintain the loss of fat, you’ll put it all back on anyway.

Another problem: Unless you’re a young, non-smoking healthy individual, your bodies’ ability to bounce back from surgery might be quite minimal. So you could be left with loose/dimpled skin.

Why it ‘might’ just be recommended?

If you’ve come a long way in your weight loss journey and you have less than 3 kilos of stubborn fat that has a mind of its own and refuses to leave you AND it really really matters to the profession you’re in… then it might just work for you.

Personal opinion though.. give this one a miss and learn to like your curves.

3) Non-Invasive procedures that claim to sculpt the body in a few sittings.

What does it involve?

Depending on who you go to and what the procedure is, you might find yourself subjected to mild amounts of heat or electric current.

These procedures will in general do more harm to your wallet/bank balance than your love handles. And any weight lost will come right back if you don’t go back to a strict diet and exercise regimen

4) Crash Diets/ Pills/ HCG Injections

Will all work by either suppressing your appetite or upping your heart rate and are all equally unsafe.

Your body is not as stupid as you think, if you put it through a period of starvation, it will make up for it by lowering thyroid function, throwing out precious muscle tissue and waiting for its chance to hang on to the first bite of real food you eat.

You’ll come away weaker and eventually you’ll gain all the weight back.. and then some.

Conclusion: Exercise and sensible nutrition are still the only safe ways to lose weight. Everything else has its price. Instead of gaining and losing the same 5 kilos over and over and over again using a different method, go back to the basics and commit to doing it properly one last time.

Fitness is for life.




To Six Pack or not to Six Pack.. that is the question.

Because of the never ending supply of articles about six packs in fitness, body building and celebrity magazines as well as the washboard stomachs displayed by actors in films and advertising it would seem that everybody and anybody has a six pack these days which can leave you wondering why you don’t and what you have done wrong to suffer such injustice.









You might then read countless magazines on fitness and embark on a frenzied journey to attain this evasive gold standard of fitness.

What you need to be aware of, however, is that even your favourite stars and bodybuilders do not sport the 6 pack 52 weeks of the year.

Body builders spend a large part of the year consuming more calories than their bodies need so that they can build muscle tissue. They then begin dieting as early as 3 months before a competition to ensure that their bodies are ripped to sheds on the big day.

D-day muscle-show itself is usually a combination of near-starvation combined with dehydration.

But (you say), what about athletes? And that skinny friend of your that seems to ALWAYS have a six pack despite what he eats? Is he lying when he/she says he works for it?

No. Some people are genetically blessed with an extremely low propensity to gain fat. They make great athletes for a reason and any muscle they build will show right up because they don’t have a lot of fat covering it anyway. So, Yes, they do work for it. But the odds are, you can work twice as much and not see the same result.

Does all this mean you should just give up on the idea of six-pack abs? Not really, you should still train hard and eat right. You should look at cutting down on visceral fat as much as you safely can and you should still work your core and look to strengthening it.

What you should also do is keep your expectations realistic. If your diet is leaving you cranky and irritable and your training is exhausting you instead of energising you. You might need to dial it back a little, and accept that the best you can do without losing your sanity, is a nice no-fat/very-minimally-clothed-in fat-midsection.


96 and as tough as nails

19956_281375537025_8189890_nMy paternal grandmother has always been a source of tension for me. From when I was very very little, I was required to visit her at least once a year. And every single time i was told i had to… i kicked up a fuss. Why? Because she lives in the back of beyond… in a village tucked away in some remote hole.. amidst paddy fields and rubber trees. There is absolutely nothing to do there.

And most importantly, if you’ve met her.. you’ll know she takes no prisoners. Born in 1917, she was one of the very few women(or men) that had a college degree. She went abroad, refused to get married until she was nearly 35, ran a school full of unruly kids and takes orders from no one.

The woman’s got spirit and loads of it. The downside of all that? NOTHING is ever good enough. If she could do it in 1917.. ‘the heck are you doing with your life anyway?

Over the years though I’ve learnt to appreciate her a lot more(‘appreciate’  and NOT ‘agree’ being the operative word). She’s 96, as tough as nails and has never had a single ailment. NOT ONE. She hasn’t a clue what a headache is, and is absolutely convinced its a story made up by lazy people who want to get out of work.

She hates doctors and only ‘finally’ set foot in a hospital well into her 90’s when she had cataract in one eye.

And at an age where most people have lost their voice and their hearing.. she is still yelling at us LOUDLY.

So how does she do it?

Her spirit can’t be bought or replicated. But her lifestyle is really what keeps her this well preserved.

->The house she lives in is surrounded by acres and acres of wooded area.. not a car/bus or pollution creating vehicle in sight.

-> Her food is all locally sourced. Lots of fish from the rivers nearby, veggies grown in her own backyard and milk churned fresh from cows in nearby farms(she had her own cows for the longest time till she got too old to maintain them).

->The only grain she eats is rice. The only other form of starch is tapioca(locally grown)

->She has NEVER.. EVER eaten out. There are no restaurants in her town.. and she doesn’t get the point of spending more money than you need to, just so you can eat outside the comfort of your own home.

-> As far as she is concerned.. there is only one kind of oil. Coconut. Freshly pressed and bought loose from stores.

->All her food has coconut in it in some form (woot woot.. lauric acid). Either grated, or pressed or whole.

->She reads, she writes, she bothers to remember and call every one of her relatives on their birthday… even today.

->And most importantly.. she never let her spirit die out. She doesn’t care how many people disagree with her.. she will yell them down if she needs to. If she has an opinion.. it will get heard. If she wants to get something done. Consider it done.

I’ll probably never agree with her on several points. I don’t even bother to pretend i do anymore. But frankly, I also no longer wish she was different. She is one heck of a woman, and awesome just as she is. If i had half her grit, or even achieve half as much as she did in my time.. I’d die fulfilled.

Im massively, massively proud of her.