I’ve recently gone vegan, but I’m concerned about my muscle mass. Your thoughts on pea protein?

It seems like everyone is jumping on the pea protein bandwagon these days. Before I answer that, let’s first deal with what pea protein is. As the name indicates, it’s basically made up of fresh peas, which are dried and then ground into a very fine powder. Once this is completed, the starch and fibre are removed, till you’re left only with the pea protein isolate, which it turns out is a concentrated protein substance.

 If you’re vegan, pea protein is suitable, as eggs or dairy are a no-no (I’m on the fence about this; particularly in India, you should explore organic A2 dairy options). It’s also good for those allergic to gluten, nuts and other food allergens. It contains nine essential amino acids, the building blocks of protein, which are important for cell function. It’s also rich in vitamins A, D, E and K. The best part about pea protein, compared to whey or soy, is that it is easier to digest.

Bear in mind that our single-minded obsession over protein – as the key nutrient that trumps all others – can lead us to behave as if we’ve forgotten the know-how of food. Following a balanced diet and concentrating collectively on everything you eat would be ideal, compared to relying solely on pea protein as the solution for potential muscle mass loss.

 

I’m obsessed with sunglasses and don’t know how to stop buying them.

This is a toughie for me. Most would argue I too am obsessed with sunglasses. Of course, it’s mostly due to the fact that I’ve been living in tropical weather and I’ve had to walk a lot during the day, often in places without any shade. Having said that, I’ve always enjoyed the different shapes, styles, colours, tints and brands – almost like a form of expression for that moment. I’ve gotten a lot of flak on my Instagram page for my rotation of shades. In all those beachside selfies, you’d be hard pressed to find two where I’m wearing the same pair. I’ve had to make certain adjustments, though. I don’t need – nor can I afford – to have countless crazy-expensive sunglasses, because ultimately, once I’ve snapped them and they’ve been put out there for the world, they are just sunglasses.

 

As a result, despite having more pairs, I’m actually spending far less money. In a way, it’s actually made me less brand-centric, which for my wallet is a good thing. At the end of the day, you don’t need to stop, you need to control yourself. Set your limit, create a budget if you have to and sometimes just take a photo without glasses on.

 

Recently, someone at my gym got a staph infection. He says he got it there. How do I avoid it?

Staphylococcus bacteria are probably the most common germs that can be found in gyms. They’re also potentially the most serious. For the most part, they don’t cause problems. It should be known that one-third of all people, gym rats or not, actually carry some type of staph on their skin. Staph infections occur when you have a scratch or cut in your skin, and that’s when the bacteria tend to crawl in.

Mostly, staph bacteria are passed on through direct person-to-person contact, not from the surface to person. That means you actually need to worry more if you’re playing contact sports than while doing your individual workout routines. Still, washing your hands and using an alcohol-based sanitizer frequently certainly helps. It’s a must to wipe down gym equipment before and after using it. You must cover any cuts or sores and of course, please do not share towels or other personal items with others. Staph infections can cause boils, and if you feel you might be infected, please go see a doctor. There are natural remedies too. Be sure to get a massage every few days, and use coconut oil with a drop or two of tea tree oil or neem oil, or both. These are effective preventive measures.

 

Pyjamas in public? Is that OK now?

In the US, in states from Alabama to Louisiana, officials have contemplated banning pyjamas in public. Two men were arrested for being out and about in pyjama pants without underwear, with their private parts clearly visible. The officials believed it amounted to indecent exposure and felt that the law should be in place, just like the no-shirt, no-shoes, no-service laws to make sure people still maintain a certain level of class. Unfortunately, residents opposed the ban and felt that it violated their personal rights.

 

 

 In India, given the depth and level of poverty that still exists, we often need to be mindful of passing judgment on others, but the irony is that for the most part, the ones wearing pyjamas in public are actually the more affluent. So, to answer your question, I’ll adapt the Whitney Houston line – “it’s not right, but…it’s apparently okay.”

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