~ Sugar free ~
No Yash Raj, that does not mean you get to substitute with saccharine which is even worse for you.
Anyone living in North America knows how hard (if not downright impossible) it is to keep sugar out of your diet since it's practically in everything. Does bread need sugar? Nope, but it's in there! Do pickles need sugar? Does yogurt? Nope, but it's in there too. It boggles the mind how many ways there are to get you to eat sugar, it's like a conspiracy! So like it or not, just like I can't keep syrups out of Indian films, I can't completely eliminate sugar out of my diet either, but I can do my darnedest to limit it. With films this is usually done by avoiding 90's films, sappy love-stories and family melodramas at all costs. Oh, and Karan Johar!
I've come to the conclusion that this is why I like South Indian films so much: the romance is most of the times an after thought. Now I realize this undermines women's rights and possibly turns them into sex objects and all that (especially when their only role is to look good shaking it in mini-skirts whenever the need for a song arises), but not having to see the weepy love scenes is worth that price for me.
Of course every now and again there comes a dessert that even I can't refuse. Swati's brownies are very similar to Fanaa: I know they're full of sugar and carbs, I know they'll give me no nutrition whatsoever, but I still crave them. And one day, I promise, one day I will make them! But luckily I only get these cravings a few times a year.
~ Fat free ~
I am not a fan of the fat-free fad that takes fat out of everything. And the main reason for that is: there's good fat and bad fat. I like to have proper fat if it's of the good kind. So not surprisingly, I love my Chiru even in his old age. And while I would probably bite anyone's head off if they dared call Mumaith Khan fat, I'd say she's at least a 4% if we think in skim milk terms. The Goddess Madhuri was also a solid 2% and sometimes even a 4% in her days. And you know what, 4% is fine by me if that's what the product calls for.
But what I do hate and try to avoid is the evil trans fats. You know, the stuff in chips, burgers and ramen noodle soups. In movies that would correspond to useless but fattening fillers such as comedy tracks, useless side plots and crappy songs. Things that only exist in this world to waste your energy. And unfortunately exercising in fast-forwarding does not count as a work-out, as much as I would like it to.
|Ugh! No, just no!|
~ Whole grain, multi grain ~
It's not the same thing, I know, but they have the same benefits: more nutrients, easier to digest, plenty of substance. They also give you steady energy for longer because they slow down the absorption of carbs.
Just like I like lots of nutrients and in my bread, I like a lot of substance in my films. A movie that doesn't give me anything lasting is not a movie I will rush to recommend.
But every now and again I cannot deny myself a nice fluffy butter croissant and to hell with the calories! It's not very often I fall in love with a fluffy film, but it happens, as I already ranted before.
~ How about gluten free? ~
Coming from a country where it's not uncommon to ask for a slice of bread with your mashed potatoes, I am definitely not yet convinced of the benefits of gluten free. Still very fond of my staple wheat and my cheap bread and I am not ready to exchange that for all kinds of kooky substitutes, just like I am not in favour of Indian movies giving up their trademarked ingredients: the songs, the randomness, the colours and most importantly the warmth. The day has not yet come for Bollywood to be gluten free and I sincerely hope it never comes. Just switch to a sustainable whole grain and that will be more than enough, thank you!
~ Spicy as hell! ~
I used to never eat spicy food and pepper was my worst enemy (of course, this was before I discovered the hateful coriander). But sushi changed all that, and now I ask for extra spicy when I order my Indian food. Apparently it's good for you too, something about kick starting your metabolism, and your... errr, I'll spare you the details.
But most spices are good for you, not just the chili based ones, so I use them all in abundance. I like the idea of my food tasting different and of mixing up all kinds of things to see if they make for a tastier dish. Which is why putting curry and cumin in my omelets is not a matter of debate anymore.
Similarly, I like the fact that Indian films bring me a whole new world of tastes and visions that I would not experience otherwise. If one can travel through food, one can travel through movies too. Sure the Moroccan food in Toronto will never be the same as in Morocco (sadly, a far cry from it!), just like the world of Tashan will never correspond to anything in real life in India, so it hardly counts as traveling, but even the most nonsensical Indian film has potential to be delightfully spicy and intriguing, just by virtue of being different.
But for the most part, just like using imported spices gives you an idea of the taste of food elsewhere, Indian films also manage to give me a bit of insight into another culture. As skewed as that may be.
~ Good looking, of course! ~
Well that's a given: who doesn't like a good looking dish? Sometimes the dish looks far more appetizing than it tastes and you're disappointed. Not unlike slick, promising films failing to deliver because of bad scripts or terrible acting. But I give points for looks anyway, even if the taste doesn't quite hit the target. After all, even the loosely scripted and outrageously predictable Game gets points from me for "good looks, good looks and... good looks", as Poo would aptly say.
And if the dish/movie tastes even better than it looks, well then all the more reason to rave about it!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I'm sure there are other similarities if I give it some more thought, but before I put everyone to sleep with my healthy lifestyle obsessions, this seems like sufficient proof for why I measure my healthy food and my good Indian films on the same scale. To tell you the truth, when I started thinking about it I didn't think I would find so many similarities, but there must be something there is this was so easy to write. So thank you, Sitaji for inspiring this one, and... Bon Apetit everyone!