Saturday December 15, 2018

Culinary indulgence Naughtie McCourtie way: Forget Delhi belly, but watch the bulge

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By Rebecca McCourtie

Swedish Pickles, Danish sausages, French pastries… French WINE…

Cheese… LOTS of cheese, cow, goat, sheep… I think I covered the European continent with that one! Polish pierogi, Moroccan tagines, English fry-ups, Maltese pastizzi, Belgium chocolate, and last but not least German mayonnaise… LOTS of German mayonnaise. My favorite? Definitely the mayonnaise twirled with tomato ketchup in a tube. Yes, that’s right: IN A TUBE… no sandwich, no cracker, no anything to take away from the amazing processed flavor of tomato ketchup and mayonnaise in a tube. Straight from the tube into the mouth! DELICIOUS… nothing but the straight hit of mayo goodness on the taste-buds, interrupted only by the intermittent splash of 4.8 percent beer to wet the old whistle and keep the lips moist.

French Market
French Market

I guess you could say I have taken ‘tasting culture’ to a new level on this trip. Not that I have ever been one to say ‘no’ to a snack or ‘yes’ to a diet while travelling. I do, however think I may have taken ‘tasting culture’ to the level of uninhibited culinary indulgence. Like white on rice, I’ve made sure I’ve tasted everything imaginable while gallivanting around the globe, sometimes even going in for seconds. This was OK while I was working 60-hour a week shifts as a waitress in London, but now that I’m not so active, I should probably reign it in… No, I definitely need to rein it in!

I bought a dress the other week, which while on the subject matter of dieting, is ironically the color of Bengali fish curry. I saw it, loved it… had to have it (a bit like my approach to food). I didn’t try it on until I got back to the hotel. While the dress is amazing, the problem is that there is only enough room for two breasts… and I’m currently pimping four (if you know what I mean). You know that nasty over-flow you get under the armpits that hangs out like an overflowed already baked muffin? NASTY! As I stood in front of the mirror I said to myself: ‘ENOUGH, these burgeoning tuck-shop lady arms have to go!’ Don’t get me wrong, I love breasts just as much as anyone else, but two is enough!

France

 

I’m not a big girl, in fact I would say I was a great size (most of the time). I exercise every day and make a conscious effort to stay fit. My problem isn’t exercise, it’s the over-indulgence that has the propensity to lull me toward the perimeters of dangerously curvaceous.

For example, I think I must be the only Australian to have EVER gone to India and put weight ON.

Usually you hear stories of people getting Delhi-belly and shedding in weight the equivalent of a Keralan toddy tapper. Not me, I went to India and gained the equivalent of a small baby elephant! Saying ‘no’ to foreign foods does not bode well for this lass who loves her kati role with the lot (followed by dessert of course)!

In Australia we have what is called ‘Dry July’. It’s basically an entire month dedicated to abstaining from alcohol and raising money for charity. I have unofficially been doing this since the first of this month, along with being more cautious about what I eat (80 grams of chocolate covered blueberries as I write this aside). It’s working! I know I am slimmer because my clothes no longer look like the casing of a sausage when on my body, not to mention the fact that I feel healthier! My face is slimmer and I am starting to feel like me again! In addition, I think dragging over 30 unnecessary kilograms of zealously packed luggage around Europe is helping me attain my goals.

Let me tell you, you can always tell if a city welcomes tourists by whether or not their metro and train stations have escalators / elevators. Nothing burns a pint of beer off faster than having to drag 30 odd kilograms up 50 steep steps!

So yes… long story short, my new dress made me realize that I needed to lose weight. My new dress AND the frequent Facebook updates from the MilindSoman page about his marathon training progress. I figured I had better get in shape for my future husband. He doesn’t know about our impending nuptials yet of course, but I guess this just gives me more time to shed the evidence of my culinary indulgences! I doubt he likes four boobs! Well, four boobs on one woman anyway!

Part I of Naughtie McCourtie series: Handling the Indian heat

Naughtie McCourtie

Rebecca McCourtie is an Australian, 29 and is travelling the globe with the hope of ending up in India. She wants to talk about this, that and the next thing… nothing is off limits!

She can be reached at mail@newsgram.com

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3 Best Travel Experiences in India You Should Not Miss

India is steeped in culture and history.

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Beaches, travel
Beaches in India. Pixabay

About 60% of polled vacationers rate travel experiences as more important than material possessions. Curated experiences rank high on the list of voyagers this year and in 2019, the trend is expected to continue according to an independent survey commissioned by Booking.com. If you are planning a trip to India, there are several experiences that you should not miss from checking in at a luxurious royal hotel and estate tea visits to temple tours and mountain sun rise excursions.

Arrange a Yoga Retreat

The country is a dream destination for yogis with many places to choose from. A yoga retreat might just be what you need to relax and discover your inner self. A relaxing vacation is not only rejuvenating but also offers a glimpse of a different lifestyle.

 

yoga, travel
In order to comprehend better, the Indian seers constructed the special “BOAT” – named Yoga/Meditation. Pixabay

While the practice of yoga in the West focuses on physical postures and sequences, a yoga retreat in India offers benefits by emphasizing breathing, meditation and cleansing. In addition, you’ll be exposed to devotional practices such as chanting and karma yoga. A typical retreat consists of an inclusive stay at specialist accommodation such as a hotel, yoga camp or school but if you want to save on accommodation costs, you can just drop in daily or sign-up for shorter courses.

 

Go on a Tour of the River Ganges

To continue your spiritual journey, organize a tour of the Ganges, the third largest river that flows through the country. Named after the Hindu goddess, Ganga, it is one of the most sacred places in India with religious festivities and burial rites taking place at the river’s banks. Pilgrims come from far to cleanse themselves with the holy water in the Ganges.

 

Ganga, travel
River Ganga is one of the holiest rivers in India. Pixabay

 

The river starts at the Himalayas and drains into the Bay of Bengal. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the Ganges River while on a cruise. If you have the opportunity, sign-up for a walking tour along the Ganges in Varanasi.

Get Up Close with Hindu Gods

With over 2 million Hindu temples in India, deciding where to go might prove difficult. But if you want to cover the most temples during your visit, head to the state of Tamil Nadu. It is not for nothing that it is known as the ‘Land of the Temples’ boasting of almost 33,000 ancient places of worship. In total, there are 38,615 temples according to the Tamil Nadu Hindu Endowments Board.

Temple, Travel
Most of the temples situated in Tamil Nadu were built during the historic and medieval period

Marvel at the Brihadishvara Temple dedicated to the Lord Shiva. It is one of the largest South Indian temples and features exceptional architecture. Don’t forget the Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai decked with thousands of colorful figures of gods, animals and demons.

Also Read: Best Casinos in India

India is steeped in culture and history. With so many things to offer its visitors, you’ll have plenty of choices when it comes to unique travel experiences that cater to your senses and personal preferences.