Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 8th 2016 Contents A28
body & soul
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, January 8, 2016
Reopening of Customer Call Centre
Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) advises customers
that the Authority established a temporary Customer Call
Centre on Thursday 7th January, 2016. This follows the fire
that occurred at WASA's Head Office Administration Complex
on Tuesday 5th January, 2016.
Customers will be able to make reports or receive information
via the following phone numbers until further notice:
463-5504, 463-5558, 463-5564, 463-5635, 463-5768,
463-5769, 463-5854, 463-5932
Customers are further advised that the Call Centre will be in
operation from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily. The Authority's
toll-free numbers --- 800-4420/4426 --- will be restored as soon
as the Head Office building has been cleared for reoccupation.
So many of our anxieties around
diet take the form of a search for the
perfect food, the one that will cure all
our ills. Eat this! Don t eat that! We
obsess about properties---the protein,
the omega oils, the vitamins. But
nutrients only count when a person
picks up food and eats it. How we
eat---how we approach food---is what
really matters. If we are going to
change our diets, we first have to
relearn the art of eating, which is a
question of psychology as much as
nutrition. We have to find a way to
want to eat what s good for us.
Our tastes follow us around like a
comforting shadow. They seem to tell
us who we are. Maybe this is why we
act as if our core attitudes to eating
are set in stone. We make frequent
attempts---more or less half-hearted---
to change what we eat, but almost no
effort to change how we feel about
food: how well we deal with hunger,
how strongly attached we are to sugar,
our emotions on being served a small
portion. We try to eat more vegetables,
but we do not try to make ourselves
enjoy vegetables more, maybe because
there s a near-universal conviction that
it is not possible to learn new tastes
and shed old ones. Yet nothing could
be further from the truth.
What is food, and what is poison?
All the foods that you regularly eat
are ones that you learned to eat. A par-
ent feeding a baby is training them how
food should taste. At the most basic
level, we have to learn what is food and
what is poison. We have to learn how
to satisfy our hunger and also when to
stop eating. Out of all the choices avail-
able to us as omnivores, we have to
figure out which foods are likable, which
are lovable and which are disgusting.
From these preferences, we create our
own pattern of eating, as distinctive as
In today s food culture, many people
seem to have acquired uncannily
homogenous tastes. Food companies
push foods high in sugar, fat and salt,
which means that children learn to like
them. The danger of growing up sur-
rounded by endless sweet and salty
industrial concoctions is not that we
are innately incapable of resisting them,
but that the more frequently we eat
them, especially in childhood, the more
they train us to expect all food to taste
Relearning how to eat
Too many of us haven t learned to
eat in ways that support health and
happiness. Traditional cuisines across
the world were founded on a strong
sense of balance, with norms about-
which foods go together, and how much
one should eat at different times of
day. Much cooking now, however, is
nothing like this. Never before have
whole populations mislearned to eat
in societies where calorie-dense food
was so abundant.
The greatest public health problem
of modern times is how to persuade
people to make better food choices.
The way we eat is a matter of routine
and preference, built over a lifespan.
The challenge: Making new habits
The challenge is not to grasp infor-
mation but to learn new habits. We
learn how to eat largely without noticing
that this is what we are doing. Equally,
we don t always notice when we have
learned ways of eating that are dys-
functional, because they become such
a familiar part of ourselves.
The danger is when you grow up
disliking entire food groups, leaving
you unable to get the nutrition you
need from your diet. Doctors working
at the front line of child obesity say it
has become common in the past couple
of decades for many toddlers to eat no
fruit and vegetables at all. This is one
of the reasons constipation is now such
a huge---though little mentioned---prob-
lem in western countries, giving rise
to 2.5m doctor visits a year in the US.
Yet anyone can create decent, whole-
some meals, even on a shoestring budg-
et (eg, bean goulash, spaghetti put-
Although changing food habits can
be hard, adjusting what you eat is
entirely possible. We do it all the time.
There are three big things that are help-
ful, to follow structured mealtimes, to
respond to our own internal cues for
hunger and fullness, rather than "por-
tion sizes," and to make ourselves open
to trying a variety of foods.
Having a healthy relationship with
food is not about being thin. It s about
reaching a state where food is some-
thing that nourishes and makes us
happy rather than sickening or tor-
menting us. It s about feeding ourselves
as a good parent would: with love, with
variety, but also with limits.
YOUR DAILY HEALTH
News and Advice
Black bean salad.
Spaghetti with sweet peppers and sausage meat.
Red lentil soup is cheap, easy
to make, and healthy too.
Healthy, economical meals are easy
to make like rice, peas and salad.
Learning healthier eating
habits may seem hard at
first---but it's really just a
matter of balance,
relearning what's good for
us and keeping things fun.
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