2012-08-24

We are what we eat

Israel is a fascinating place for those of us who are amateur anthropologists interested in man watching, as it is an ingathering of people with such diverse cultural backgrounds. One of my recent favorite pastimes is to watch people while waiting in line at the cashier in a supermarket, especially on Friday mornings, when many people buy for the whole weekend and sometimes even for the next whole week. To be more precise, I watch what foods they buy and how physically fit they look. Then I am reminded that in many respects we are what we eat, though regular physical exercises also affect our fitness.

Unfortunately, many people seem to have unhealthy diet, at least according to what they buy. Not surprisingly, those who buy a lot of foods that contain a large quantity of fat or suger are more likely to be developed horizontally ;-) in certain parts of their bodies. It also makes me so sad to see many children whose parents accustom them to two modern poisons, industrial fat and oil. Taste acquired in our childhood is one of our most stable daily habits. Even otherwise progressive people turn out to be very conservative in what (and how) they eat.

Since I started recently cooking not only supper but also lunch by myself (I have no custom of eating breakfast), I have become more aware of and particular about what I eat. My typical meals now consist of rice, vegetable or soy soup, a lot of steamed vegetables, fish or tofu, and yogurt together with some read wine or beer. Since I can control not only over supper but also for lunch now and can eat what I feel is good for my body twice a day instead of once a day, I have already started feeling a positive internal change in the way I feel in my body, even in spite of the fact that I can run and swim less frequently these days for a hectic schedule.

After I started living alone at the age of 18 away from my parents, my eating habits have changed several times. It is ironic that I have "returned", as it were, to traditional Japanese diet of my childhood in many, if not all, respects. This "return" is not because of culinary conservatism but as a result of constant pursuit of foods that make me feel better physically.