When I published Eat Drink and be Merry 🥗😂🍷😂 Swapnal commented that she would love to know my views on being a vegetarian/vegan and my journey. This post is in response to that ..
Born : December 1948
Turned Vegetarian : January 1994
Turned Vegan (almost😊) : November 2006
Off medication ever since
I wasn’t happy with eating non vegetarian food for a long time but couldn’t leave it due to family and social circle. Thank God it happened finally in 1994 and am so glad it did. And decision was more from a moral point view. And I was the only vegetarian in the family for a long long time!
My foray into diet and self care began with my wife’s sickness. She started to have some health concerns in early this millennium and through a friend came to know of Dr. Venkat in Mumbai. In 2004 she started to follow more raw and vegan diet. Family supported her.
In 2006 she was diagnosed with IPF, a degenerative disease, for which there was no cure in allopathy.
At that time the only hope was the diet she was following. Knowing that there was no cure in conventional medicine, I decided to check out Dr. Venkat for myself.
So one fine day I and Anita, my wife, landed up in her consultation chambers. While waiting for our turn I spotted some good books in her collection; Osho (who I was very fond of) and the biggest surprise- Autobiography of a Yogi!! I said to myself – we are in good hands 👏Later Doctor Venkat told me that she had helped set up the kitchen and diet in YSS Dakshineshwar Ashram.
I understood her holistic approach to life and healing but to understand it more, both of us enrolled for the 9 weeks course THAC used to conduct.
At that time in 2006 I had already had lot of knee pain for 2-3 years and wasn’t able to walk up a flight of stairs. This was hereditary; my mother and sisters all had it. My sisters had gone through knee replacements. And I had thought in due course I too shall have to go for knee replacement. I also had an enlarged prostrate. Not too enlarged for an operation, though.
We used to have one class a week and we were taught many things and given one big life style change action in each class. One week it was start fruits early morning and no sugar. One week it was no salt and another no dairy and so on. By the end of the 8th week I was amazed that my knee pain had completely gone😇 I was so thrilled that if a hereditary disease could be cured in a few weeks Anita too will get well (But life and death are not in our hands. God alone🙏) Later my prostrate too came in control.
Since then I have recommended this life style change to many with very good results.
Can’t thank Dr. Venkat enough for this gift to me.
I am not 100% vegan. I do take a spoon or two of milk in my tea and occasional desserts 🍨 😂
MY LEARNING FROM DR. VENKAT and my OWN EXPERIENCE :
For optimum health, other than regular exercise, good sleep and positive thoughts, food is of vital importance. We need to make life style changes and not just a short term diet plan. Diet plans never work in the long run.
Body is composed of about 70 trillion cells. And each cell has supreme intelligence, God’s intelligence. We need to give the body right environment and it self heals. Body needs to be alkaline, ph 7+ and not acidic. Acids corrode bones and joints breed germs and bacteria. Some acid is required but body needs to be more alkaline.
Sugar, salt, dairy products, fried things, white flour… Leave acidic residue. And around the age of three body stops producing the enzyme that digests milk.
Fresh fruits, Veges and dry fruits, sprouts and nuts are healthy, filled with nutrients and leave alkaline residue.
Therefore we need to create balance : Raw – live food and cooked food. Cooked should also be mostly steamed and slow fire for best results. Pressure cooked, micro waved food is dead food. It will fill the stomach but there are no nutrients.
Basic diet, life style change is :
Fruits in the morning, lots of fruits – seasonal and regional. Fruits are to be taken on empty stomach – in the morning or three hours after a meal.
No tea, no coffee first thing in the morning. Start the morning with a glass of water – to be sipped and never gulped. You could take one fresh lemon juice with this glass of water, preferable warm water; or a lime shot after lunch and dinner. Lime shot is equal amount of water and lime juice.
An hour after water one can start with fruits. If tea or coffee is a must then take it after having some fruits.
Whole of life is cyclic. So are body cycles. The three processes : digestion, absorption and elimination are happening all the time but one cycle is predominant at one time. Morning 4-12 is the elimination cycle. Noon till 8pm is digestion and 8-Mid night it absorption.
And the first and most important function of every cell in the body is digestion.
That is why we eat fruits in the morning on empty stomach. They are predigested and don’t impede the elimination process.
And that is why we shouldn’t eat heavy meals at night and should eat early.
Eat small portions regularly; every 2-3 hours. And if you are the two meals a day type – so be it. Learn to listen to your body.
Big salad with lunch and dinner. Fruits or nuts in the evening. Nothing like a veg juice at noon.
Dinner as early and as light as possible
If non veg food has to be taken then take it with greens and salads. Not with carbs. Proteins and Carbs together make digestion more difficult.
There are 21 meals in a week. Make 15-16 meals perfect (in the beginning do attempt more😊)
Others maybe for taste or going out or party etc. If you eat junk, please don’t make it worse with a feeling of guilt.
Balance is the 🔑
With this life style change : Other than optimum health you will come to optimum weight too.
And you shall never have to go to docs and take any medication 😊
The combination of this kind of healthy diet, coupled with enough sleep, exercise, walks and sunshine would strengthen your immunity and no viruses, germs and bacteria would ever bother you😊
Body is a self healing mechanism…..
Rest and diet cures …
And Care is better than Cure 😊
Reference reading: Fit for Life and Fit for Life not Fat for Life by Harvey Diamond
Sri Yukteswar Giri has described this beautifully in his book The Holy Science. This small booklet has wisdom of the ages 🙏🙏
Natural or Unnatural Living depends upon the selection of :
To live naturally, lower animals can select these for themselves by the help of their instincts and their natural sentinels placed at the sensory entrances — the organs of sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste. With Humans in general, however, these organs are so much perverted by unnatural living from very infancy that little reliance can be placed on their judgements. Yukteswarji says that to understand, therefore, what our natural needs are, we ought to depend upon observation, experiment, and reason.
Observation of teeth tells us that humans have teeth similar to those of ‘frugivorous’ and not carnivorous, herbivorous, or omnivorous animals. In the frugivorous all the teeth are of nearly the same height; the canines are a little projected, conical and blunt. The molars are broad topped and furnished at the top with enamel folds to to prevent waste caused by their side motion, but not pointed for chewing flesh.
By Observations of digestive canal we find that the bowls of the frugivorous animals are 10 to 12 times the length of their body; their stomach is somewhat broader than that of the carnivorous and has a continuation in the duodenum serving the purpose of a second stomach.
By Observation of the natural tendency of Organs of Sense – the guidepost for determining what is nutritious- by which all animals are directed to their food, we find that when the carnivorous animal finds prey, he boldly seizes the prey and greedily laps the jetting blood. On the contrary, the herbivorous animal refuses even his natural food, leaving it untouched, if it is sprinkled with a little blood. Similarly with frugivorous animals we find that their senses always direct them to the fruits of the trees and field.
In people of all races we find that their senses of smell, sound and sight never lead them to slaughter animals; on the contrary they cannot bear even the sight of such killings. Can flesh then be considered the natural food of man, when both his eyes and nose are so much against it, unless deceived by flavours of spices? On the other hand, how delightful do we find the fragrance of fruits and other natural foods. I love the sight of fruit and vegetable markets. It uplifts my soul.
The reasonable inference, therefore, is that man is a frugivorous or fruit eating animal. Fruit comprises any part of the plant life useful to man – including vegetables, grains and nuts.
Many years back I had read an article from WHO (World Health Organisation) and I had shared it with my family and friends via email ; it had referred to some research and concluded that cattle farting caused more global warming than all the vehicles on the road.
I had read another article that it takes 90 litres of water to produce 1 litre of milk.
And I also learned from Dr. Venkat that the body stops to produce the enzyme which digests milk, by the time baby turns three. And that the body takes calcium from our bones to digest milk.
By continuing to drink milk and consuming dairy we :
1. Become sick, osteoporosis
2. Add to global warming
3. Waste our most precious resource – water
4. Deprive the calf of its birth right
Lose Lose Lose situation 😯
My recommendation: Be open. Learn. Think. Don’t be led by past habits and environment. Listen to your body. Purify your thoughts.
Nothing is right or wrong … it is just a choice. But you can never ever run away from Cause and Consequence; Karma.
Body: Food, walk, jog, exercise….weightage : less than 10%
Mind : Mind or breath is the link between the body and the soul and hence the most important. Learn to watch your thoughts, what you read, whom you mix with …weightage more than 40%
Soul : Learn to spend time to think of higher realities. Prayers. Mindfulness. Meditation…weightage 50%
A person with pure thoughts won’t desire impure food; and a person who has pure food won’t have impure thoughts — James Allen
Eat right. Eat less. Fast occasionally — Paramahansa Yogananda
And finally to quote Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet:
When you kill a beast say to him in your heart,
“By the same power that slays you, I too am slain; and I too shall be consumed.
For the law that delivered you into my hand shall deliver me into a mightier hand.
Your blood and my blood is naught but the sap that feeds the tree of heaven.”
Farmers market – Chandigarh