Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn - they top the list among the best companies to work with.
Besides the enviable perks, fat paycheck and huge career jumps, these IT firms take excellent care of their employees. They understand how important it is to keep the employee happy to boost their morale and productivity.
As a nutritionist who has been planning their menus for more than two years, I have observed how much these organizations invest - both in terms of money and effort - in the meals they serve to their staff.
After all, you are what you eat. And when you eat right, you work to your optimum capacity.
These firms display the calorie counts alongside the dishes. This helps the employees understand the low-calorie food choices and master the art of portion control. Eating the right quantity of food, even the unhealthy ones, goes a long way in staying fit.
An interesting fact:
Google uses colours to code their meals. The green color is for healthy, low-calorie dishes: a go-ahead for good health. The yellow code stands for the moderate calorie food and red implies the fatty, high-calorie dishes which you need to be very careful about.
By following the same principles as that of a traffic light, Google trains its staff to make healthier choices.
Today I am spilling the secrets of what keeps the brightest minds of the country deliver their best at all times. Let’s understand the math and science that goes into planning these meals and how you can implement them in your lifestyle:
This all-important morning meal needs to be a king-sized.
With hot Indian breakfast options, continental ones, fruits, juices and bakery items, the employees - and even the fussiest eater - start their day on a power-packed note.
The food combinations are planned in such a way that the employees grab a perfect protein-carb quota. Some of the regular items on the menu include:
- Idli/Dosa with sambhar
- Paneer Paratha
- Aloo Paratha with Curd
- Usal Pav
- Sprouts Poha
- Cheese Uttapam
What’s interesting is that these companies understand that only offering healthy foods increases cravings for unhealthy ones.
Desserts are a part of the lavish spread but are moved to the far corner of the cafeteria. Employees can savour bite-sized slice cakes, muffins and croissants – the quantity is enough to satisfy a craving without making them go overboard.
Also, once or twice in a week, there’s puri, medu vada or kachori on the menu.
Clearly, moderation is the key to a fitter you!
What Can You Do?
Mornings tend to be the most rushed time of the day. So always plan your breakfast in advance.
Lunch is a wholesome meal with all five pillars of nutrition taken care of – carbs, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals.
Along with roti, sabzi, dal, and rice, the menu comprises of soup, salad, international dishes such as pasta, pizza, tacos, and falafel, besides an array of non-vegetarian options.
These companies follow a simple rule: Since people fill their plates with what they see first, an array of colorful salads is always the first thing you see when you enter the cafeteria. The vibrant colors attract the employees to stock up on salads.
Next up is soup; broth-based soups are preferred over cream soups.
For the Indian main course, the low-oil dry vegetables are placed in front and the oily/cream/nut-based gravy vegetables at the back. Such an arrangement ensures that the employee reaches out for the low-calorie veggie first.
The same pattern is used for continental dishes and rice counters - brown rice is placed ahead of white rice.
Later, you move to the roti, dal and curd counters.
After eating such a scrumptious lunch, the employees can nibble on dessert (if they still feel hungry).
What Can You Do At Home?
Now not all of us work in fancy places like these, and no one is really going to wake up and prepare salad, roti, vegetable, dal, and curd for office lunch.
So here are some of the easiest and nutritious lunch choices:
- Rajma Rice
- Daliya Khichdi with Curd
- A Paneer & Veggie Wrap
- Dal Paratha
- Sprouts Idli
Working for IT firms means you’re glued to your laptop screens and lead a sedentary lifestyle. These IT giants have in-house gyms or table tennis courts where you can get your quota of physical activity.
How Can You Stay Active At Work?
Some Other Takeaways
Always Serve Food in Smaller Plates
A research by Cornell University shows that people eating in large plates are likely to eat more. Switch those king-sized dinner plates for 7" salad plates.
Up Your Water Intake and Restrict Your Liquid Calories
The refrigerators in Google’s cafeteria have a supply of soda and juices. However, bottled water is kept at eye level so that you drink water over a can of soda or packaged juice. At home, you can keep a bottle of water where you can easily grab it and bump juices and aerated beverages to the lower shelves.
Always Stock Cut Fruits and Vegetables in Transparent Boxes
When you feel hungry, open the fridge and chomp on these low-calorie, antioxidant-rich foods. On the other hand, store biscuits and bakery items in opaque boxes so that you won’t get tempted to snack on them.
(As a nutritionist for Dish Hospitality, Vishruta has chalked out menus for Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and Morgan Stanley. As a blogger, she focuses on teaching the art of eating smart. Love food, love life - that's her mantra.)
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