Early this month, I decided to be vegetarian for every Tuesday of July and eat only fruits, vegetables and dairy on Tuesdays. This was to eat more veggies and avoid non-veg items once a week. Although I love the idea of being vegetarian everyday of my life, but eating meat is something that is very hard for me to give up. For us Nepalese, eating meat is some kind of reward and signifies festivities. In Nepal, we have 15 days of the month of October dedicated just for eating all kinds of meat and merry making.
While in Nepal, we eat almost everyday at home. The concept of eating out is very new and mostly it is a luxury. Unlike in Thailand, most people eat outside and seldom cook due to easy availability of everyday food in reasonable prices. So, working in Thailand, my lunch is always at the office canteen. For dinner, some days I cook and other days we eat instant noodles or “Kao Mann Kai” or order pizza. I love food and I am very close to Nepali food. I enjoy trying out different cuisines as well. I have tried and loved Japanese, Korean, Italian, Thai, Indian, Vietnamese food to name a few. But, I cannot eat foreign food for 7 days a week. This is why I make it a point to cook 2-3 times a week. In Nepal, we usually eat vegetable curries with rice and lentil soup for lunch. For dinner, we eat “Roti” (flat rolled whole wheat bread) with curried vegetables. Our everyday food does not have much meat but since my family is a big fan of eating meat, we have 3-4 days of non-veg meals in a week. But, Thailand is different, here almost all the meals contains some kind of meat. So, whether its lunch or dinner or in betweens, there is meat. So, to avoid eating one or other kind of meat for every meal, I decided to have at least one day in a week dedicated to fruits and vegetables only.
This post will be about my Tuesday experience. Yesterday was Tuesday, I started my day with a cup of plain yoghurt and an apple. A had warned me to eat good breakfast in advance so that I wouldn’t be bugging him with “I’m hungry A, I feel like eating fried Chicken” comments the whole day. The day was going fine and normal as usual. Specifically on my veggie day, I feel hungry a little earlier than usual. I don’t know if this is because of the psychological effect or its actually because of the vegetables and fruits only diet. So, I asked A to go for lunch at 11.30 am instead of going at noon. My options for lunch were fruits, fruits and fruits :). So I had already imagined the fruits I was going to eat for lunch, I love Guava and it is more tasty here in Thailand, the pineapples are juicy and sweet, papaya is sweeter than anywhere I’ve been and all the variety of exotic tropical fruits are just yummmm… as I walked towards the fruit stall, I noticed that it was more crowded than other days. As I reached there, I saw there was no Guava today :(, pineapple was not ripe 😦 and there was no papaya :(, but thankfully there was water melon, but water melon was not going to be enough for lunch. I bought a slice of water melon and some rose apples.
Then A went to his new favorite food stall and ordered “Fried rice with crispy Chicken”, at this point I was so tempted by his order that I almost gave up my vegetarianism, but I reminded myself “R, there is something called self control!!”. So, I breathed in and breathed out reminding myself the fruits are way tastier and heather than normal fried rice with chicken, but in my mind I knew what I was going to eat for lunch tomorrow :P. So, as I munched my rose apples and water melons, A ate his fried rice savoring each spoonful of rice and chicken, which didn’t make me jealous at all and for God’s sake I was not drooling (if thats what you are imagining :P) it just made me wish for tomorrow to come sooner :). After A finished his lunch, I asked him to go to the store with me to buy some milk and organic brown rice crackers(its as good as veggies) and we went to the store and bought some flavored milk and crackers and to my delight, the lunch time was over. So, I started doing my daily chores at office but those snacks didn’t stop staring at me. It kept on distracting me. It felt as if it were holding a big imaginary board saying “EAT ME”. I totally ignored their desperate plea(or was it mine?) to eat them until 3pm when I couldn’t say no to them anymore and opened the bag of crackers :), it was yummier than usual. As the clock was nearing 5 pm, I was contemplating my dinner plans but the only option I had in mind was a plate of green salad with a cup of yoghurt as a dressing. I love to munch on green salad and I simply love yoghurt, I couldn’t help thinking why am I acting weird towards food, at that time I felt like a small kid looking forward to treats. Yesterday, I reached home at around 5.30, A had gone to play tennis and since it was my veggie day, he said he’ll eat out with friends. So, I was alone for the evening with my plate of salad and my cup of yoghurt. I had nothing but them for the evening so I wanted to plan my meal wisely. As I reached home, I took a long hot bath, after which I drank a lot of water. Then talked to my mom over Skype. Unlike other days, she was commenting that I don’t look like I have gained weight at all (the other day, I had mentioned that I gained 3 kgs). So she kept repeating, you don’t need to diet hai chori(daughter), you look good already. I was annoyed by her comments but I assured her I wasn’t dieting and I really was not dieting, I just wanted to eat fruits and veggies on Tuesdays!! After an hour long talk with her, I felt hungry and went to the kitchen to get my plate of salad, with yoghurt of course. As I finished my last meal for the day, I felt satisfied. It was only about 8 pm, I could not help thinking how women can fast for once or twice a week throughout their lives. I have seen my mom fasting on Fridays when I was little. I remember she went to temple in the morning, she looked more beautiful on her fasting days than usual, may be this is because of the red attire she puts on that day. But one thing we all knew that was never to nag her or annoy her during her fast! as she used to be a little more sensitive than usual (now she tells me it was because of hunger, she felt angry faster on the days she was fasting). Then I thought about fasting during “Teej”, how women do not drink even a glass of water the whole day. I would go crazy, if I were to do that. Yesterday, I thought of those women with more respect than usual. As I kept thinking about fasting and things related to it, I started feeling hungry :(. My meal quota was finished for the day but I still felt hungry, then my mom’s voice started echoing in my ears, “Chori, dieting nagara hai”(Daughter, do not diet), “Chori, dieting nagara hai….”, “Chori, dieting nagara hai……” :(. As I was surprising myself with unexplained, random and slightly crazy imaginations, A knocked on the door. As, he came in, my first question was “What did you eat for dinner?”. He ignored my query (sensing my restlessness) and replied, nothing special, we just went to the motorway and had something there. So, I didn’t ask him any further and told him I was hungry (my eyes were watering now). At this point he said, “Hare, bichara”(poor girl) and prepared a cup of instant vegetable soup for me. As as I drank it, he reminded me I wanted this vegetarian day for a good reason and I should continue it, however you don’t have to limit your intake to only 3 meals a day. You can eat as much of veggies and fruits as you want. He successfully convinced me and we watched a TV show as I drank my soup :).
I went through a day filled with drama yesterday, hehe. It shows how impatient and restless I am, *sigh*.
Anyway, I dedicate this post to all the women(and men), who fast. Especially to those women who fast during auspicious occasions for the betterment of their family and for the long and healthy life of their husband. They are truly amazing and I respect them more now :).