Severe gastric issues – Switch to a natural lifestyle brought me back on track

Saurabh lived the typical fast paced corporate life of eating out, increased alcohol intake, combined with a good dose of stress. Frequent episodes of gastric problems, increasing weight and polyp growth in the gall bladder forced him to step back. Having learnt about natural healing after attending a workshop, he made gradual changes to his diet by adding more fruits and vegetables. He has experienced a great deal of healing and continues on this path with determination, at a pace he is comfortable with. Here is his story.

Saurabh Chawla
54 years,
Executive Director: Finance & Strategy - GMR Infra

Living the fast paced corporate life

My health journey actually starts almost 15 years back. I was in the growth period of my career. It was a heady life with a lot of work and travel. I used to eat out a lot during business meetings. Alcohol intake at social functions also started increasing during this time. My lifestyle was slowly getting skewed though I didn’t realize it at that time.

Stress was also an issue from around 10 years back. So my life was a deadly concoction of late night eating, social drinking, less exercise and stress. This kind of lifestyle continued till around two years ago.

My body was talking to me

My work life balance had deteriorated; my health also had taken a turn for the worse.

Image credit:geraltvia

I started facing severe gastric issues and I could feel that my liver functions were sluggish. Many times, I used to get upper abdomen pains. In panic, I had to get it checked out at the emergency room in the hospital and it would turn out to be just gas.

Over a period of time, I developed few polyps in my gallbladder. Doctors told me that my abdomen pain could be attributed to the gallbladder and we should remove it. I was apprehensive to get a part of my body removed but the doctors comforted me that all will be fine. I couldn’t convince myself. I thought our body has gall bladder for a specific reason, how can we remove it and still feel fine? That was how things stood till about 2 years back.

I started to cut back

I realized it was time for change. I had to listen to the signals my body was giving me. I started by reducing my alcohol intake which I restricted to weekend nights. So I brought it down to one or two nights in a week. I stopped eating very late at night, so I finished dinner by 8- 8.30 pm.

However, I was not able to get onto a very active physical life. Though I used to play tennis and football earlier, having an issue with my back, I had to stop it.

My health issues continued.

The turning point

A year back I was introduced to The Health Awareness Centre, Mumbai (THAC). My daughter, wife and I attended their three day workshop at Mumbai. The workshop confirmed my feeling of listening to my body’s signals and strengthened my resolve to make changes. I learnt how to change lifestyle holistically and started making further changes with a focus on keeping the alkaline levels in my body at an enhanced level.

Changes to my dietary habits

  • Breakfast - I used to love my breakfast and had it like a king, as we have all always been taught. But now I replaced my heavy breakfast of eggs, white toast, omelet, bacon and sausages (when on travel) with fruits smoothie and some fruits. I understood that fruits are really the best breakfast the body needs for an energetic kick start to the day.
  • Beverages - I used to drink a lot of coffee, milk and tea. That has almost stopped. I usually have only green tea or some non dairy herbal tea. Milk has almost got eliminated in my diet. I replaced cappuccino with hot water.
  • Addition of veggie juices - I also have veggies juice regularly. It is an easy way to increase my intake of vegetables in a busy schedule. Earlier I used to find it distasteful but now I like it and look forward to having it.
  • Reduction of sweets - I come up from a family who used to love having sweets after every meal, something meetha to end every meal. I eliminated 90 to 95% of that stuff and I now choose very consciously. I prefer to have some jaggery to satisfy myself whenever I have a craving for sweets.
  • Reduction of non–veg: My intake of even non-veg has drastically reduced. I only have it occasionally, for example let’s say I am going to a particular friend’s place and she has specially prepared it for me.

Eating healthy during office and business travel

Image credit:marijana1via

I carry two bottles of veg juice for work. I have one for my lunch and the other I have in evening on the drive back home which takes 30 to 45 mins. I make sure I get my nutrition and fibre through my daily juice intake.

At office meetings, I avoid tea or coffee and instead choose green tea or veg juice.

Incidentally, as I moved up the corporate ladder, my travels reduced. Travelling internationally is not much of a problem as fruits, smoothies or juices are available everywhere. If I have to go on a day trip to Mumbai, I have a smoothie at home for breakfast before leaving. However then you have to deal with airport and airlines food and get into meetings where you have to switch to what everybody is having. As I learnt from THAC, when faced with having an unhealthy choice where nothing else is available, have it and enjoy it mindfully. So I don’t fret about food and enjoy whatever is available. Certain things are easy, like eating rice instead of wheat roti, that choice is available everywhere. For the rest I balance it out by eating healthier when I am back home.

My life now

My weight gain has stabilized. I am still working on being more physically active and go for walks to manage my weight better.

The gastric issues have reduced almost 90-95 % since I changed my eating habits. The stomach cramps, heavy breathing and belching are things of the past. Sometimes after a dinner of indulgence, if I have those symptoms, they are not that bad and I know how to balance it out.

The polyp growth in my gall bladder has not increased; it has remained pretty much static as revealed in the annual health checkups.


It has been almost a year now and I have stuck to this health journey albeit gradually. I have become more mindful of my choices and this has changed my way of thinking. I am empowered with the knowledge on how to make changes for my health.

I made many changes, but all of this has been implemented gradually to fit into my comfort and routine. I know for a fact that if I moved even faster it would further improve my health a lot. But I want to take time to find my balance and don’t want to make drastic changes overnight. I think I am 60 to 70% down the healthy path. The path is quite clear and the path is right. I’m determined to keep moving ahead.

(About Saurabh Chawla: Saurabh is MBA Finance by qualification and has been working in the corporate sector for 28 years. He is very fond of traveling. In his free time, he likes listening to music and watching sports).

Disclaimer: The health journeys, blogs, videos and all other content on Wellcure is for educational purposes only and is not to be considered a ‘medical advice’ ‘prescription’ or a ‘cure’ for diseases. Any specific changes by users, in medication, food and lifestyle, must be done under the guidance of licensed health practitioners. Wellcure believes that each human body is unique and hence no Health Journey should be construed as a "cure". The views expressed by the user in the above Health Journey are his/her personal views and Wellcure claims no responsibility for them.

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