First World Problems: The Amazing New All‑Carb Diet


Dec 31, 2015


Article Icon - First World ProblemsFirst World Problems is a weekly advice column for India’s first world population. Write to Judy (confidentially!) at contact@theswaddle.com if you’ve broken a nail, felt a little blue, yellow or green lately,
or had a strange encounter of the any-numbered kind.


PROBLEM: Hi Judy, I am a nutrition consultant. My friends are always asking me for nutrition advice. Sometimes, it reaches the point where I feel every time we meet, I am essentially giving free consulting sessions. Am I being unkind by not wanting to continue this? How do I say no? Please suggest.

Put them on an all-carb diet. This will be followed by eyerolls, which will soon turn into nervous laughter when you maintain that deadpan expression. Hold it for as long as you can. “You’re not serious!” they’ll say, followed by an incredulous gasp. Now is when you smile and say, “I know how it sounds, but…” and proceed to tell them about this fascinating new diet that’s working wonders for anyone into weight loss and healthy hearts. Throw in “recent research suggests” whenever you can. The halfway smart ones will get the point and never ask you for nutrition advice again. If someone actually follows through, great! She would serve very well as a cautionary tale: How Free Nutrition Advice Turned One Woman Into A Whale.

Also, no, you’re not being unkind. Indians love free stuff (and I can say this because I’m Indian and I’ve only ever lived in India), so you need to draw the line.

PROBLEM: My husband’s parents love to travel, and they are always inviting us on big family holidays. The problem is that we end up using all of our holidays to travel with my in-laws, and it leaves no time to visit my parents (in another city) or go on trips with just the five of us. How to manage this without seeming ungrateful?

Dear Drama Queen, there is nothing to manage. It’s an invitation, not a hostage situation. Which means you get to accept or decline — politely and gratefully, of course. So… do that. Have you tried talking to them about this? About how you’d like to visit your folks, too? I’m pretty sure they’d get it. Unless this is some family soap, and I’m missing crucial details. I mean, they just seem like generous, jolly people who forget that you have parents and a family of your own. Easily handled. In the unlikely event that they sulk, let them.

PS: Sorry if I was rude, all this talk of hostage situations made me think of the Homeland finale and Quinn and… I don’t know, I’m just struggling to understand how people can complain about family holidays when we don’t yet know if Quinn will be back for Season 6.


Written By Judy Balan

Judy Balan is a bestselling author and blogger popular for her quirky, often self-deprecatory humour. She is a self-proclaimed expert at American pop-culture with a sitcom/romcom quote for all of life’s situations. Judy believes that if she’s made you laugh, smile or even snort in the middle of a stressful day, her job here is done. Follow her at her website judybalan.com, on Twitter @judybalan, or on Facebook.


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