Do you live to eat or eat to live?

Those who know me well, surely know the answer to this – and knowing most of the “those who know me” and others, I know that I don’t stand-alone in my conviction.

Now, most of us who live to eat, do not live “only” to eat – we do other things too. Just that we love good food, and gluttony is a virtue in our holy book.

Like everything else in life, we can categorize the “live to eat” people into a few types.

1. Those who live to eat a specific item

For me – it is rice. I need rice like I need oxygen. If I don’t get some rice every day, I cease to be me. I have paid 50 Euros in Germany to get a cab to go eat some rice at a restaurant, where the meal costed me 10 Euros.  Although I have a marked preference for Indian food, I love rice in all forms. I love Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, pretty much any form of rice.

Same goes for drinks – If it is warm – 90% of the time, I will order a Mojito. If it is cold – 90% of the time, i stick to a Bloody Mary. If I have to drive, I have just a bloody mary mix – which can also be called a bloody shame.

2. Those who live to enjoy a specific taste/flavor

For my wife – it is “anything” sweet. She can eat honey flavored cereal for 3 meals a day for several days a week. Her mom puts several spoons of sugar into her tea. If I bring home half a bag of European Chocolate, it will be gone in 2 days flat.

3. Those who live to enjoy a specific cuisine

I am a road warrior due to my job as a consultant. restaurant food is what I have to it – whether I like it or not. While I have favorites in every place I have had to work, I try to mix it up. Specifically, despite my love for Indian food – there is hardly a week where I have eaten twice at an Indian eatery. But earlier this year – I was assigned to a gig in East Germany, in Dresden.  Dresden is a very touristy place – and has every cuisine you can think of. There are 5 Indian restaurants there. Over a period of 9 months, I would have spent about 3 months time there – and I ate Indian food almost every single day – most days for lunch and dinner, and usually at the same restaurant called Agra. 

When I think about it – why did I do that? The answer is “comfort”. We had a large team from India, most of whom were out of the country for the first time.  For them, Indian food was the closest to being back home. And although I live in USA, I am as much an Indian in my food habits as the next guy. So as a group – we flocked to this Indian restaurant.

There are two more reasons – one, apart from Indian restaurants, it is hard for Indians to find vegetarian food that they like.  And two, it was a stress buster to have a routine where every one went to this place every night and had a beer, or salt lassy and talked about everything that affected them that day.

4. Those who live to enjoy a variety of cuisines

This is the exact opposite of the above. I have a few friends who are open to try anything and everything – including  uncooked fish,  and monkey’s brains. They have favorite cuisines too, but generally they are driven by the need for variety.  And now that I think about it – all these friends are Europeans. Is it a European thing?

So, what about our brethren (should I add “and sistren”?)  who eat to live? For the rest of us – we don’t comprehend these people at all.  They also can be divided into some classifications…well heck, every thing can be classified into atleast two.

1. Health junkies

You know them – soymilk, half a splenda , “can I get more raw spinach for lunch?” types.  These guys make me want to ask them ” if you are doing this to lengthen your life, can you explain one more time why you want to live an extra year munching on spinach and lettuce?”.

2. Too busy to eat

Well – I do feel sorry for them. These people survive on granola bar and diet soda. Talking of diet soda – does any one know the difference between Coke Zero and Diet Coke?

3. Speedy Converts

Nothing to do with religion at all- these are folks who went too far down the “eat to live” path and want to swing the pendulum the opposite way in one sweep. From one pint of ice cream a day, they go to one granola bar a day. I feel bad for them – most of them get threatened by doctors and spouses – usually rightfully so – to change their diets to save their lives. It is a huge sacrifice. And there usually isn’t sufficient time to ease into it. If this happens to me – I will probably be convinced that I was a big sinner in my past life.

Striking is a happy medium is admittedly difficult – but I do believe that such a thing exists. How else would Atkins and Bowflex and all these other things survive for so long despite individuals giving up on it all the time? Or are we all suckers of the highest order?And why do I not see some one my size doing them in the TV ad, instead of a Rambo figure guy ? “Before and After” pictures don’t cut it for me – I refuse to believe them.


Published by Vijay Vijayasankar

Son/Husband/Dad/Dog Lover/Engineer. Follow me on twitter @vijayasankarv. These blogs are all my personal views - and not in way related to my employer or past employers

2 thoughts on “Do you live to eat or eat to live?

  1. Oh, I love a topic more exciting than SAP.

    I’m surprised you aren’t more into the weight loss thing, when on a weight loss thing you can maintain a spreadsheet. And consultants love a good spreadsheet. When my brother (Ford SCM nerd) lost 80 pounds I’m convinced it was only because he kept a spreadsheet.


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