I have been addicted to fennel seeds for as long as I can remember. I quit it only a year or two ago. Chewing fennel seeds emits a flavour that somehow instantly lifts up my mood. So whether I was bored, busy, panicky or plain sad, I’d chew fennel seeds. And roasted ones, to be precise. It started because I shared the same love for fennel seeds with a dorm-mate during my sophomore year. Innocent fun went into severe addiction and before I knew, I was blaming it for my gallstones.
Fennel seeds are not criminal in nature. Fennel seeds are actually digestive in nature. A pinch of it after food is known to help alleviate gaseous buildup and promote better digestion. A teaspoon of roasted and powdered fennel seeds can add an amazing taste to your mutton curry. It works much like garam-masala. It’s only when you’re addicted to it, it can work otherwise. I quit it while I could or I’d be worse.
But quitting anything can have withdrawal symptoms, even if it is as naive as fennel seeds. I went through mine. I switched to meditating upon what it can do to my poor gall-bladderless abdomen and my dry cough, and that saved me from consuming it outside its role as a necessary food condiment. For a long period ever since my gall bladder removal, I totally abstained from anything that wasn’t going to suit my delicate stomach. Even regular meals were boiled and baked more than fried or toasted. But as soon as the regular discomfort of abdominal pain subsided, I started craving again. I switched to a dark chocolate piece after each meal, every day for a few days. Amul Dark Chocolate is quite agreeable – not too dark, not too sweet. But, it’s chocolate. How long can chocolate survive? You eat it before you even know it. I realised that switching to chocolate is going to do me no good. It’ll only increase weight and blood sugar. So I quit chocolates too.
These days, cardamoms are my current favourite. They aren’t criminal either. They also help against high blood pressure, constipation, bloating, etc., and can be remarkable if taken in moderate doses. But this time, I am being a little wary. My doctor insisted that one can have gall stones even without a gall bladder. I don’t know how but I assume the route remains the same though without the biological junction. It can still affect my stomach lining and kidney if I don’t take care.
I need something to chew on after food, esp. if it has been a meaty meal. Choosing a vegetarian meal over meat helps overcome this desire but still gnaws at my cravings. So I figured this out. I keep a bottle of cardamoms to pop into my mouth when I feel like one. And I have told myself, it’d only be one. One is indeed enough to explode into a beautiful and fresh sensation inside your mouth. Now, as I look at it sitting on my desk, available for me, I don’t feel the desire that much. It is for display purpose only. I tell myself – if you want one, read or write or work whatever you’re working on an hour more, and then you can have one. That seems to be automatically snoozing the craving clock. The busier I am in doing what I love doing, the less I crave.
I confess I had the last one only after breakfast this morning. If I can skip lunch, I’ll have to pat myself on the back. And I’m planning just that. So, its beetroot and mixed veggie salad for lunch today. The crunch craving has been sorted for now!