Arijit Bose, a 32-year-old copy editor with an advertising agency in Gurgaon, doesn’t remember the last time he had breakfast. His job requires him to run for meetings with clients and film production units through the day. He sometimes even skips lunch or picks up a burger or a sandwich to munch at work. Bose easily gets through six to seven cups of black coffee. The routine of eight years is now telling on his health. He has gained weight, has cholesterol problems, premature greying, stress, headaches and heart issues.
Nowadays, one sees a lot of people going to office on an empty stomach. They then end up consuming a lot of tea and coffee to cut out the hunger and to stay alert. This leads to gas, which then pushes the acid from the stomach to the food pipe and that’s how acidity starts. This then starts affecting the liver. People start gaining weight due to the erratic meal schedule. The hormone that balances fat distribution goes haywire. One starts developing high cholesterol. These problems usually afflict young executives – 26- to 27-year-olds – but the symptoms start showing only at the age of 34.
In men, besides high cholesterol, one can see deposits in the blood vessels. Arteries get blocked, the level of liver enzymes increases. This is especially true in people who have a genetic tendency to develop heart problems. However, this is usually not diagnosed before 45 years of age, by which time the problem has aggravated. In women, obesity is a common result of this erratic lifestyle. But, one is also seeing a rise in polycystic ovarian syndrome ( imbalance of female sex hormones). In both men and women, the system starts compromising and breaking down – from aches and pains to headaches and more serious problems.
Get your essential oils and vitamins early in the day: Start your day with coconut water on an empty stomach as it maintains a balance within your body. You could also have vegetable juice made with an assortment of veggies like bottle gourd, cucumber and celery. These act as natural antioxidants. Have this along with almonds.
Energy-packed breakfast on the go: Carry a mix of nuts, dry grain and flax seeds. This is both filling and nutritious.
Make time for lunch: Don’t binge or skip lunch. According to ayurveda, the body secretes many acids at a particular time in the afternoon. So, have an early lunch. Schedule your lunch meetings accordingly and eat foods made from whole grain and add veggies to it. Wraps and salads are ideal.
In-between meals: For busy executives, it is difficult to sit down to an elaborate snack. So, have fruit such as banana as it is also that time of the day when the body needs sugar. You can have flavoured tea infusions like mango and hibiscus. Boiled corn is also healthy.
What to avoid: Too much tea or coffee harms the body’s balance (three cups are recommended). Substitute one cup of tea with aloe vera juice. Cut out the bad oils from the diet which come from deep fried and processed foods. Get essential oils from dry fruits such as fig and nuts.
Shikha Sharma, Wellness expert, New Delhi