Saturday, November 26, 2011


Pink has many meanings.

It is a colour, a mixture of white and red.

Pink is used to describe politicians or individuals with mildly communist leanings.

Pink is also the stage name of Alecia Beth Moore.

Pink is the colour of love.

Pink ribbons are the international symbols for support and awareness of breast cancer. By wearing a pink ribbon the wearer expresses moral support for breast cancer.

Pink Floyd is the name of an English rock band that achieved worldwide success with their progressive and psychedelic rock music.

Pink Panther is a series of comedy films featuring the bungling French police detective Jacques Clouseau, a role played  most famously by the late Peter Sellers.

I could go on.

But what in Gods name is this that I saw at Princess Street in Mumbai?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A lesson for Kingfisher Airlines

Of course you know that Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America, among other countries have a very large Indian Diaspora. Our brethren from the Punjab form a large part of this. The Punjabis are wealthy, have deep roots to their homeland and have a huge connect to Amritsar. The Golden Temple, the Holiest of the Holy sites for a Sikh is in Amritsar.

So one Bhunpinder Kandra, clever chap, owner of Comtel Airlines, decided why not provide an air service running from Birmingham in the UK, via Vienna and then nonstop to Amritsar. The stop in Vienna was a technical stop in as much as it was required to refuel the aircraft. Excellent idea I must say. In fact, if my memory serves me right, our own Jet Airways had started an Amritsar London flight which has unfortunately stopped. Mr Kandra was onto a good thing.

Our intrepid Punjabis set about making plans to fly to Amritsar from the British heartland where they lived. For some 500 Pounds Sterling you could have the pleasure of flying to Amritsar and back. In fact the story of Amarjit Duggal, from Great Barr in Birmingham is typical. She flew from Amritsar a week after scattering her mother's ashes. So picture the scene. Lots of British Punjabis flying up and down the Birmingham Amritsar corridor. Lots waiting in Birmingham to fly out and lots in Amritsar happily vacationing, waiting to return home. Things were going swimmingly for everybody.

Last week things came to a grinding halt. The circumstances are hilarious. The consequences frightening and tragic. Here is what happened.

On the return leg, a Comtel flight landed in Vienna to refuel before flying on to Birmingham. Presumably the passengers were tired, though happy, that, in a couple of hours they would be back home. It soon transpired that there was no money to pay for the fuel. So our clever airline rounded up the passengers and told them that unless they contributed a further 20,000 Euros there was no way to get the aircraft refuelled. Some passengers opened their wallets and took out cash. Others were escorted one by one to an ATM in Vienna Airport and made to draw money. Those who refused were simply deplaned and made to fly back to Birmingham on their own steam. Brilliant idea I must say.

This of course led to the necessary outrage, apportioning of blame and all such things. Comtel Airlines is grounded. Our intrepid travellers stuck in Amritsar are on a wing and a prayer [no pun intended] to get back home. The GBP 500 gone waste. The Punjabis still in Birmingham with dud Comtel tickets have to look at other options of getting to and from Amritsar.

Closer home, Kingfisher Airlines are almost belly up. Stories abound of cancelled flights and refusal of our fuel companies to supply more fuel to Kingfisher unless they pay up unpaid dues. Jet Airways has been told to raise more money or else.............. !

In light of all these frightening developments, when flying, carry loads of cash or have absolutely bulletproof Credit/Debit cards. You never know when you will have to refuel a jet.

One thought, I hope the low cost carriers we have, Indigo, Go Air, Spice, Jetlite don’t get an idea from this and suddenly whip around and ask you to pay for fuel.

Whatever next!

Of course every word I have written is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Masala Kraft

From the time I was a child, going for dinner to the Taj Mahal hotel at Apollo Bunder [Gateway of India] was something really special. You dressed for the occasion and excitement steadily built up. After dinner, as a special treat you were allowed into Nalanda, the book shop which was open late into the night, where you were allowed to buy a book. The aura of going to the Taj for dinner has never left me. The Taj was and continues to be quite special to many.

Much has changed from the times I went there are a child. The Shamiana has been relocated and its space filled by the Starboard Bar, The Rendezvous, a French restaurant on the top floor, has now become the Souk a restaurant with Mediterranean cuisine [not the Pasta Pizza type but more Levantine]. The old Tanjore has now become Masala Kraft [their spelling]. Neither HRH the Queen nor I had been to eat at Masala Kraft. So we thought why not have a drink at the Royal Bombay Yacht Club and walk across to Masala Kraft for dinner. So we called and made a reservation for 8.45 pm. I looked at the website and found to my considerable surprise, the Taj Mumbai has the menus for all its restaurants online. The menu looked promising though not unusual nor distinctive. The dress code specified `Smart Casual’. I wondered whether I should wear a jacket without a tie as that is what smart casual is in Europe. HRH dismissed my thoughts and said, pityingly, that a simple trouser and shirt would do. “Why do you not wear a jacket when we go to the ITC?” she asked. “How is this different” she continued? As always, her logic was impeccable. I protested weakly, the Taj was special, but to no avail. Shirt and trousers it was.

The Taj website says that the Masala Kraft “started with a dream of Chef Hemant Oberoi to retrace authentic Indian cuisine. It became "Masala" a circle of restaurants where time-tested ingredients are given a new life. Gone are the masks of butter, cream, and gravy. Instead we use extra virgin oil and researched preparation techniques to retain the authentic flavors.” The Menu says “traditional masalas or spices are artfully blended with an eclectic mix of classic and unconventional ingredients, to create new renditions of authentic preparations, each unmistakably light, yet bursting with colour, aroma and flavour”. 

I say bollocks! The food was rubbish, dull in flavour, utterly boring and something that many ordinary restaurants do much better. As far as the claim of the food bursting with colour, it did not! It was the traditional brown red like all Indian food unfortunately is. You can be the judge of the colour when you have a look at the photos.

Since you have my verdict in the fourth paragraph, I will spare you the bother of reading thru this and you have the choice of getting back to work.

The restaurant has a couple of levels to make it less visually dull. The wooden pillars from the Tanjore are still there. The tables are large, quite large and reasonably placed to provide some privacy. Despite it being Friday night, 8.45 pm during Mumbai’s approaching tourist season the restaurant was only about 75% full with a vast majority being foreigners, probably hotel guests. When we left at 10.15 it was still not full. There were lots and lots of waiters, Captains, Restaurant managers, hostesses, barman and a Sommelier mincing his way thru the restaurant. All the staff operated in a rather languorous manner. The word "Susegad" comes to mind. They all needed a jolt of lightening or dare I say it, the brandishing of an AK 47 to get them to work. I could provide neither. All very friendly, or more correctly, affable, I must say but rather ineffectual.

Soon after we were seated, a bowl of very South Indian fried goodies appeared on our table with a very peculiar chutney, neither tamarind nor tomato, and not particularly good. Along with this were crudités which were wilting and dried out. Unacceptable. Then we got an Amuse Bouche - A Dahi Batata Puri which HRH pronounced as soggy. Cute touch, would get most foreigners rather tickled. 

The South Indian Fried chips 

Dahi Batata Puri
We ordered two starters. The first was outstanding, I honestly say so. This was Haleem Ke Kebab. Haleem was spread on some kind of Channa Daal Roti and grilled. Absolutely first class. Dish of the evening, unique, tasty and using the Haleem in a modern twist. The second starter was Prawn Balchau Roll. Prawn Balchau is a pickle and should therefore be oily, spicy and tangy as you need the acid to prevent spoilage. Here the Prawn Balchau was very mild, without any tang and frankly tasted like a prawn fished out from a Prawn Curry. This was wrapped in a Rice Bhakri. The dish had a fundamental problem. It was impossible to serve without disintegrating, as you can see in the photo. Silly dish. Innovation for the sake of it. They would have been better off as a Prawn Balchau served as is with a Rice Bhakri on the side. A Prawn Pickle in its true form real is quite unique without all these unnecessary gimmicks.

Haleem Ke Kebab

Prawn Balchau Roll
For our main course we ordered one of our favourite dishes – Nehari or Lamb Shanks in a red sauce/gravy that is often thickened with collagen or sometimes flour. At Masala Kraft they call it Dum Ki Nalli. At the Dum Pukht in the ITC they call it Hyderabadi Nehari and at Delhi Durbar they call it Mutton Nehari. The dish is basically the same. Lamb shanks slow cooked in a gravy which is then strained resulting the finished product being a piece of meat falling of the bone with a smooth sauce. Here at Masala Kraft it ticked all the boxes except in the flavour department. Everything was muted, very muted and they could not achieve the clarity that the gravy at ITC manages. The other dish we ordered was the old Parsi warhorse, Sali Murgi Ma Zardaloo – Chicken cooked with Apricots and topped with straw potato. Looked Ok, but once again such terribly muted flavours. My friend the Big Fromage Tax Lawyer's mother without any formal training makes a much better Sali Murgi Ma Zardaloo as do the very ordinary Ideal Corner at Gunbow Street or Britannia at Sprott Road. Dare I say it again; the Chefs needed the brandishing of an AK 47 to get them to work. As a moment of whimsy HRH ordered a Chilli Olive Naan. Very attractive looking, rather normal tasting. What more would you want from a Naan?

The Dum Ki Nalli

Dum Ki Nalli Gravy

Sali Murgi Ma Zardaloo

Chili Olive Naan 
Have you had a look at the photos? Does the food look “unmistakably light, yet bursting with colour”? Not to me it does not.

I know what you are all thinking as you read this. Stonethrower, you are a fool, what did you expect? This is all for foreigners, for tourists. You deserve what you got. I do not want to even get into a Maharashtra Navnirman Sena [MNS] type argument that the Taj should be shut down for catering to foreigners and all food should be   Batata Chi Sukhi Bhaji, Poli, Bhat, Paplet, Koshimbir ani Amti. I ask you my friends; does the ITC have a sign outside reminiscent of the British Raj saying “Foreigners and Dogs Not Allowed”? I mean come on guys get real. Is this the food we want to portray to some of the richest and most powerful who visit Mumbai? I understand that spice can be an issue but this kind of tomfoolery of Olive Oil and vibrant colour? I mean we Indian are not dropping like flies eating oil and ghee we have a billion and more souls in this country all hale and hearty. How can you be so presumptuous to suggest that Indian food is unhealthy and can be eaten only if made with olive oil? Am I stepping into MNS territory here? In my view this is a restaurant surviving on a captive audience, unmotivated staff, lazy and slothful. The lack of competition has killed them. Harsh words but in my view very true.

To have a great Indian meal, lavish, expensive, no holds barred, eat at the Peshawari, Dum Pukth or Dakshin in the ITC. Or else eat at Trishna, or, if your guests are adventurous enough Mahesh, Gajalee, Apoorva or Great Punjab. Are they not catering to tourists as well? Is their food this watered down rubbish touted with marketing verbiage of "bright vibrant colour and flavour"? Give the Taj Mahal Mumbai a miss. They have misssed the plot. 

You know something, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama both ate at Bukhara - the original Peshawari. I doubt they ate at Masala Kraft.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Masala on masala

What is a masala? One answer, I repeat, one answer, could be a combination of spices, condiments and herbs that are pureed, blended or mixed together to form a basis for any preparation. So, if you were to say, mix ginger paste, garlic paste, green chilli paste and cumin powder that would be a masala. A masala could be a powder, i.e. dry or a paste formed by adding some wet or moisture containing ingredients. Why is chutney not a masala? Well, technically I guess it is, but the difference is that chutney is ready to eat unlike a masala paste which is a base for a preparation. So then what is Chicken Tikka Masala? That is an incorrect name given to dish that was created outside India.

Masalas are omnipresent in Indian food. Families have masalas that are handed down from generation to generation. The mixing of masalas, the amalgamation and morphing of recipes from family to family must have been fascinating. A young bride, fully trained by her mother carried a recipe book to her marital home. Did the book get junked and was all the training in vain? Did she start helping her new mother in law by making food the ma in laws way or did she also sneak in her favourites. Absolutely fascinating to think about those dynamics.

My great grandmother from my father’s side had a proprietary masala which she used when cooking almost anything. This magical masala made her food slightly different from the food cooked by others in the community. Her daughter i.e. my grandmother was rather different from clichéd grandmothers. She could barely make herself a cup of tea. So the daughters in law i.e. my mother and her three sisters in law were given the recipe for this masala which they use to this day.

This recipe was given to us by my mother a few years ago and it remained in the file. Every year we were given a small bottle of the masala which my mother had made. So a few days ago, we thought what is the point of all this training from Le Cordon Bleu, all the money spent if we could not even make this masala? Being mid November the weather is dry and this is the time to buy spices to make the masala. Let me tell you, it was easier said than done. First, HRH the Queen of the Kutchies pulled out the recipe and found that it made a good 6 kgs of masala. So we scaled it down to 1/6 and set about making a kilo of masala.

Now armed with the list of ingredients we went to Dr B A Road Lalbaug where there is a string of shops with Khamkar written in large letters and a prefix to Khamkar in small letters. Obviously, the Khamkars are specialists in spices and try and capitalise on the surname. The less significant name of the particular Khamkar is written in correspondingly smaller typeface. We gave our order to the salesman who took it down and passed it on to a packer. Then we had a sneezing fit. One wiseacre in the shop had emptied a gunny sack of chilly resulting in a shop full of sneezing customers. Between sneezes we paid for our spices and left.

Next stage was to toast the spices to discharge all traces of moisture. Moisture is anathema to masala. This we did by placing all the spices in trays in an oven at 75C for an hour. We were now ready to have the spices ground. This is where the fun starts.

Red spicy chili

This chili is added for colour

Some of the spices that go into the Masala

We asked all around but could find no one in Bandra West who could grind the spices. References were made to someone in Khar Danda who used to do it. But basically no one had a clue. Our friend Laju Bhatia said that his building watchman’s wife ground masala and he would get her to call. That call never materialised. Then HRH the Queen of the Kutchies called Jaffsons a spice shop off Hill Road who said he had a machine to grind but that took 30 Kgs at a time. HRH then asked at Jude Cold Store since they make and sell the East Indian Bottle Masala if she knew of a grinder. A call as made but that too reached a dead end. Looks like 1 kg was just too small a quantity. Finally, I called my aunt [one of the daughters in law] who said there was a masala maker in Bandra East who would do this. So we buzzed off to Bandra East Khernagar to Thorat. Here we hit pay dirt. For a princely sum of Rs 30/- they ground our spices.

We had a long conversation with the father son duo of Bajirao Thorat and Ajinkya Thorat on masala grinding. So here it is, all neatly dissected for you to understand.

There are two methods by which one can grind spices to make a masala one is by using a piston method, much like a mortar and pestle and the other is to use a set of grinding wheels.

The piston method was something that was done by women who turned up in your building or colony armed with a few stout lathis and a wooden bucket. The spices were put into the bucket and literally pounded to dust by these women. Entire communities used to get their yearly supply of masala made at one time. People made chilli powder, turmeric [haldi] powder, cumin [jeera] powder, coriander [dhania] powder by this method. You ensured purity of the spice and you could buy as good or as bad quality of the whole spices as you desired. Some of the older readers may recognise the photo. This is virtually nonexistent now. People today either buy packaged spices or grind small manageable quantities every so often in their Mixies at home. Why is this so? Is the increase of nuclear families and corresponding fall in joint families a reason? Is changing food habits a reason? Worth thinking about, but in another Blog.

Anyone remember this?
This piston method was used on a slightly more efficient scale by shopkeepers who installed machines that did the job. The catch here was that the machines were operated by humans who stamped on pedals that then operated the pistons. Now the entire process is automated and a motor drives the pistons.

Thorat's masala pounding machine

The other method to make spices powders is the grinding wheels. Masala grinders install Flour Mill machines and use them to grind spices. This is a much quicker method but required a much larger quantity of raw material to be cost effective.

I was told by the Thorats that the piston method resulted in a far better end product. The pistons generated no heat which the grinding wheels did and therefore the spices did not burn with the heat. Secondly, the grinding wheels always contain a residue of the previous spices ground, therefore your masala was always diluted, mixed or adulterated, albeit unwittingly. It was just the nature of the beast. The Thorats said that their main customers were still housewife’s who loved and respected their homemade masalas [Gharguti Masale to use a Marathi word] and would not dream of buying commercial premixed pre ground masala.

So it was a productive 3 day effort and the weekend was well spent. The masala is now in bottles and smelling great. Can’t wait to make some of the food that my father’s side of the family makes, like Vaalachi Usal or Ras Batate. This weekend probably.

Finished product

If anyone wants the recipe for the masala let me know. I will be happy to share it. This is the time of the year to make it.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Our proactive Government

As you no doubt would have read, or seen on TV, unless you were hiding under a stone for the last two weeks, the world’s population has reached 7 billion. Some poor baby girl in Uttar Pradesh is Miss 7 Billion. I think that the Indian Government is well on top of this problem of population. I am often criticised as being anti Indian, as not looking at how well we, or rather India, is doing. So, with my cheeks stinging with this harsh criticism I thought why not tell you how the Government is tackling unemployment. I am not an economist; hence, my scale of thought, hypothesis and reasoning is correspondingly small. I use a microcosm to explain my point. I use an example with which I am personally quite familiar, the airport.

The Home Ministry, as far back as in 1969, established the Central Industrial Security Force happily abbreviated to CISF. The CISF website provides a background, replete with incorrect English, which I am reproducing. “The CISF came into existence in 1969 with a modest beginning, having three battalions, to provide integrated security cover to the Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) which, in those years, occupied the commanding heights of the economy. In a span of four decades, the Force has grown several folds to reach one lakh twelve thousand personnel today. With globalization and liberalization of the economy, CISF is no longer a PSU-centric organization. Instead, it has become a premier multi-skilled security agency of the country, mandated to provide security to major critical infrastructure installations of the country in diverse areas. CISF is currently providing security cover to nuclear installations, space establishments, airports, seaports, power plants, sensitive Government buildings and ever heritage monuments..  

The CISF is in charge of security at our airports and, let me assure you they are doing a damn good job. A CISF recruit is an employee of the Central Government. As such, he, or she, is trained, paid a salary, housed, clothed, given canteen facilities at concessional rates and otherwise looked after by the Central Government. If they are injured or killed while on duty their family is compensated. And when they retire they get a pension for life. This is approximately 50% of the last drawn salary. It’s a stressful job. All manner of foul tempered travellers, egotistical Bollywood stars, cranky businessmen travel and it’s the CISF duty to keep our airports safe.

As you approach the entrance of the airport terminal where your flight is due to take off from, you will be met by at least 3 CISF guards. One holding a gun, and the other two who painstakingly look at your ID and travel documents. Now IDs are of several types and of several countries. The same is the position with travel documents. Many foreigners, foolishly do not carry prints of their tickets, the CISF personnel are not only competent enough but forceful enough to demand that white skinned Laat Saabs pull out laptops, Blackberry’s, Smartphone’s, Tablets and show the ticket to the CISF guys. Otherwise they will not be let in. That is the level of training imparted.

Once you are in, you approach the baggage screening. Here there are several CISF personnel, both male and female. One team is in charge of frisking and patting down passengers and stamping the boarding card. These guys are really well trained. A single man does all three things i.e. looks at the metal detector, patting you down and stamping your boarding card. The other team consists of one man in charge of placing your bag on the conveyer belt, one man looking at the X Ray monitor, one man stamping the baggage tag. These guys are linguists. My research shows that India has 18 languages in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution. These CISF guys have to make their instructions known in all 18 of these as well as all manner of foreign language. The instructions extend to things like putting your mobile phone into your bag, or taking your laptop out and so on and so forth. In case it did not strike you, foreigners travel within India and they too are subject to security checks. To remain alert, and not be lulled into carelessness by the monotony of the job, all the CISF personnel speak to each other, loudly, in a language that may or may not be among the 18 languages, but it’s a language I can never quite understand. Such is the diversity of our country.

Once you are done with this, just as you exit the security area, once more highly trained CISF javan will check if your hand baggage tag bears the rubber stamp of the security officer. Now you are fit to go.

What I have narrated is only one Terminal departure gate at one airport. Mumbai, sorry Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport has two wings Domestic with 3 terminals 1A, 1B and 1C and International with also 3 terminals. The authorities are constructing a new state of the art Terminal 2 [called T2] which when open will have 104 security check positions. Now imagine the number of CISF required for that. You require trained personnel, 24 x 7 at all these gates, at all airports all over India. It’s a staggering number. All these highly trained men and women performing such vital tasks as stamping baggage tags and examining boarding cards are vital to our country. The money that we pay as taxes gives us this service and it’s because of this that our skies are safe and you can send your 12 year old by plane to visit his Granny in Hubli during the summer vacation without fear.

See how proactive and good our Government is. Knowing that the rise in our population is inevitable, and knowing that the number of jobs is finite, the only way forward is to invent jobs and train persons to do them. Hence, we have experts in stamping baggage tags and examining boarding cards. This, as I have repeatedly said is only with one aspect, airports. If the Government is as successful, and I have no reason to doubt their success, our 1.2 billion will soon be gainfully employed.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sugar sugar

I am sure you must have heard the story about how the Parsi’s came to be accepted in India. It’s a good one, worth repeating. The interesting, perhaps apocryphal legend relates the course of the initial meeting in Sanjan, Gujarat between the local King and the newly landed Parsi [more accurately Zoroastrians] emigrants: When the Zoroastrians requested asylum, the King motioned to a vessel of milk filled to the very brim to signify that his kingdom was already full and could not accept refugees. In response, one of the Zoroastrian priests added a pinch of sugar to the milk, thus indicating that they would not bring the vessel to overflowing and indeed make the lives of the locals sweeter. This is the magical quality of sugar. 

Nice story, works as well with salt but sugar is more romantic.

You, I and our children consume standard soft drinks in copious quantities. Have you ever wondered how much sugar they contain? By soft drink I mean the usual carbonated colas, lime drinks, orange drinks, tonic [which is delicious with a Gin] and the newer so called `healthier’ drinks Minute Maid Nimbu Fresh, Maaza etc.

I will give you the answer, but before that you need to concentrate on a little mathematics. In the Metric system the weight of ingredients is interchangeable. Thus 330 ml of water will weigh 330 grams. The crafty cola manufacturing companies sell soft drinks in all manner of sizes, from a stingy 200 ml glass bottle to a huge 2250 ml plastic [PET] bottle. The nutrition information is given in 100 ml units, which, they regard as one serving. They regard 100 ml (half a cup) as one serving! A standard soft drink size is 330 ml, which is the size of a can. We will use this measure i.e. 330 ml as our standard serving size. So a standard 330 ml can is, according to the Coca Cola Company, 3.3 servings. Are you with me?

I am setting out in the table the amount of sugar in the drinks made by Coco Cola India. Two points to note. One, Pepsi does not give such information on its site; if they do it’s so deep I could not find it. Secondly, I am referring only to the sugar in the drink. I am not going deeper into the carbohydrates [other than sugar] which the drink contains. These carbohydrates are sugars in other forms, in all likelihood something called High Fructose Corn Syrup [HFCS]. This is a sugar derived from corn, is sweeter than sucrose [table sugar] and is cheaper. However, food processing companies don’t like disclosing this as HFCS is not a nice substance so they couch it in the omnibus carbohydrates. It exists in most processed food. But that is another story and maybe another blog.

Carbohydrates in grams
Sugar in grams per 100 ml
Sugar in grams per 330 ml

Diet Coke
Coca Cola
Thums Up
Minute Maid Nimbu Fresh
Minute Maid Pulpy Orange

A standard 330 ml can of Coca Cola, has a staggering 36.3 grams of sugar. A teaspoon of sugar is about 4 grams. A can of Coca Cola is therefore a staggering 9 teaspoons of sugar! I have photographed it all for you. The worst offender is Maaza, a so called healthy drink with mango in it [19.5%] with a mind boggling 43 grams of sugar that is 11 teaspoons! To give you an idea of how much 36.3 and 43 grams of sugar is have a look at the photos. Look at it differently; a single cup of tea or coffee is about 200 ml. So in two cups of tea which is 400 ml give or take the size of the tea cup how much sugar would you put? All that, half, quarter?

36 grams of sugar 9 teaspoons

44 grams of sugar 11 teaspoons

I was able to access this information from the Coca Cola India official website. This is official, not my creation. Have a look:

None of what I have written is new. Why am I writing this? Not to convert you into a better person, God forbid. No, I am not suddenly turning into a health food freak, or an anti-cola evangelist. It’s simply to let you know that a single Coke/Pepsi contains a huge amount of sugar and, therefore, calories. A human can only consume a fixed number of calories for a given lifestyle. To not put on weight you have several choices:

1)     You could start to exercise.
2)     You could instead drink water, drink soda, drink diet coke and use your saved calories to eat something really nice or use the saved up calories to have some cold beer or Single Malt.
3)     You could also drink a few Cokes everyday and eat sprouts and cucumber with a squeeze of lime.

It’s all up to you.