I remember the day. It was in 2016. It was the proverbial last straw when I decided that I am going to change course. All the different approaches have not made a dent. I was looking for that one thing that would help me. But what could that be? Is there a single solution to all the problems?
This was in relation to my health. Plagued by several issues, I started looking for a one-stop solution to all of them. I was leading a very callous life toward my health. Years of misuse and abuse resulted in many red flags showing up. Some were quite debilitating. The days without pain were few and far between. The quality of life was compromised. I started restricting myself within my home, was unable to plan for any events, was hesitant to participate in any activity. I had the immense support of my family to overcome these, but alas, I was so deep into the whirlpool of ailments that I didn’t know how to extricate myself. Frustration was building as no approach seemed right. Any step I took gave me slight relief from that one particular problem I was addressing.
The search for better health resulted in my journey towards healing.
It is a natural way. It is the way by which one provides the right environment for the physical body to heal itself. Yes, it is the ‘holistic’ way. This whole plant-based diet heals along with other dimensions such as changes in lifestyle, yoga, and meditation. In Tamil, there is a saying ‘unave marundhu,’ meaning food is medicine. As a first step towards healing food has become my medicine
‘Naturopathy’ – the name immediately conjures up images of someone eating ‘ghas-phos.’ That is standard response I get whenever someone asks me about it. But folks, it is a whole different world out there. A world of healing. A world which helped me overcome the whirlpool of ill health, a world which boosted my confidence, a world which made me happy. Some say that I have sacrificed much, but folks I have actually benefited more from it. To all those who say so I have only one answer, ‘been there done that’ and am more impressed now with the changes and improvement in my health all round. The nutritious, balanced, and healing diet is incomparable to anything. To say that my life changed would be an understatement. It was a transformation that has given me a new lease of life.
Prior to this journey of healing, I had several health issues, such as PCOS, obesity (both are complementary and a vicious cycle), obstructive sleep apnea, headache, backache, and a few others. The issues by themselves might not have been of prominence, but put together and over a period of time resulted in the loss of sleep, debilitating pain, increase in stress and anxiety levels to name a few.
I approached my naturopathy doc. He was very patient, calm, and smiling and said that everything could be overcome. He charted a plan for me and voila I started seeing and feeling the improvements in a month. It was just the beginning. Within a month, my snoring, because of OSA, was cured completely. I started sleeping better. In about six months, I lost weight, my monthly cycle regularised, headaches were few and far between, and the body was on the mend.
This journey was a bit challenging initially. But I had the guidance of my doctor and other co-travelers who made it very interesting. There was a day when I couldn’t fathom eating so many fruits, but now when I think of food, the first thing I plan is the fruit(s). Three meals to two a day was a big challenge, but just a month or so later, I could not eat a third meal and almost gave up on snacking. Not having dairy in some form or the other was unthinkable, but within 5-days I gave up coffee, and buttermilk that I could not live without just got dropped from my menu and haven’t thought about it ever since.
I discovered something fascinating during this journey. I learned about ‘fasting’ and how it helps in the healing process. This is validated by a Japanese who won the Nobel prize for autophagy. The concept of fasting was followed by our ancestors religiously. Guided by my doc, I started with fruits only for a day in a week. I now have progressed to the extent that I abstain from food of any kind, except water, every Ekadashi for the last few months. Fasting also taught me to look at food more objectively. I no longer panic if food is not available or to my expectations of a meal. I appreciate hunger much more now because it has given me different perspectives with regard to food.
I also learned how to treat myself for small issues, such as fever or cold (although it has been months since I have had them).
Overall, this journey has been eventful. People scoffed at us, discouraged us, demotivated us (the us includes my husband who has been my pillar of strength from day one). But we didn’t deter. For me, it started as a desperation to regain my health, but eventually, I started loving it, enjoying it to bits and pieces so much so that I started talking to everybody about it.
To this day, I appreciate that life has given me an excellent opportunity to rethink several things, to unlearn and learn. The confidence that was lacking earlier bounced back. This helped me reclaim my life. For those who ask for how long this is, folks, this is a ‘way of life.’ This has not just given me my health back but a lot more. I now appreciate nature in ways that earlier I had taken for granted.
PS: For those of you who would like to know more about this, please visit www.NutritionScience.in