With a pandemic of lifestyle diseases sweeping India—the country accounts for 60% of global cardiac illnesses and has over 50 million diabetics—hotels are offering special menus and fitness programmes. And far from being bland, low-cal, zero-fun versions of their standard menus, the new oeuvre packs a decadent punch.
The Westin Gurgaon has tied up with US-based SuperFoods Partners Llc, a diet and nutrition company. On the menu are dishes that pair approved “superfoods”—fruits, vegetables, cereals, nuts and seafood that are naturally rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients (which aid in disease prevention) and are known for their health-enhancing qualities.
The Westin Signature Breakfast is based on the principles formulated in a series of SuperFoodsRx books, published by SuperFoods Partners. “The breakfast buffet as well as the a la carte menus are not diets, but for the health-conscious. They feature superfoods like apples, broccoli, soy beans, wild salmons, walnuts, avocado, turkey and, believe it or not, chocolates,” says executive chef David Watson. So on offer are dishes such as banana oatmeal brulé, green tea-infused salmon and molten dark chocolate cake.
Key to the SuperFoodsRx philosophy is “food synergy”—certain foods when paired together are even more nutritious than when they are eaten separately. For example, avocados increase the absorption of antioxidants in other superfoods such as spinach and tomatoes. Sprinkling black pepper on superfoods like spinach, beans, berries, green tea and broccoli can increase the absorption of the nutrients. Cinnamon and whole grains such as oats work together to control blood sugar, honey supplies “fuel” for the healthy bacteria found in low-fat and non-fat yogurt. The Superfood dishes are available as part of the Westin Signature buffet at no extra cost.
Dig in: (above) The Meta Wellness programme at The Leela will include gourmet health cuisine; and the breakfast menu at The Westin is packed with superfoods.
At The Leela group the focus is on a total fitness package, rather than just healthy food. At various Leela properties, Meta Wellness, a New York-based healthcare company, will soon offer intensive lifestyle-changing programmes led by physicians for those affected with lifestyle diseases such as cardiac problems and diabetes.
According to Jyotsna Changrani, director, healthcare services, Meta Wellness, an alarming 70% of those with heart disease in India are below 50, and 10% of heart attacks occur in Indians in their 20s and 30s. “Seven out of 10 attacks happen in people with much less blockage than those who require surgery. For them, the only option is medical management and lifestyle changes,” she says. The Meta Wellness programmes will offer medical management and guide participants through lifestyle changes. The first such 90-day programme, re:verse, designed specifically for cardiovascular patients, will launch in October at The Leela Mumbai. Before the guidance programme actually begins, participants will be examined by eminent specialists to evaluate their specific needs.
Changrani explains that re:verse can effect as much as a 45% drop in the levels of C-reactive protein (a potential risk factor for cardiovascular diseases), a 20-25% drop in low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and help alleviate angina. It will include hand-holding the participants on lifestyle changes such as nutrition and exercise regimens tailored to individual needs. Once the course begins, the patients will have to report back every six days. They will be monitored remotely on the other days. The programme will culminate in a six-night residential course at The Leela properties in Mumbai or Kovalam.
A shorter, preventive programme, called re:tune, will be launched at The Leela Kovalam during the Christmas vacation. The week-long residential programme will focus on those at risk from heart disease. At both the residencies, participants will also be observed for sleep apnea and undergo continuous glucose monitoring—sufferers of both are at increased risk, says Changrani—and treated to gourmet health cuisine.
The Westin Signature breakfast buffet is priced at Rs 1,250 plus taxes. The Meta Wellness re:verse programme will be priced at Rs 1.5 lakh, plus taxes. The re:tune programme will cost Rs 1.5-2 lakh. To register and for details, call 09619177783 or mail firstname.lastname@example.org