Anuradha Kumar - Mar 02 2021
My Journey of Healing on a Plant-Based Diet
Unave Marundhu - Food is Medicine
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 only gave me slight relief from that one particular problem I was addressing.
The search towards 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 change 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 the 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 loss of sleep, debilitating pain, increase in stress and anxiety levels to name a few.
Dr. Achyuthan Eswar
When I approached Dr. Achyuthan Eswar, he was very patient, calm, and smiling and said that everything can be overcome. He charted a plan for me and voila I started seeing and feeling the improvements in a month’s time. It was just the beginning. Within a month my snoring, because of OSA, was cured completely. I started sleeping better. In about six months’ time 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-travellers 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 learnt 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 Dr. Achyuthan, 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 my expectations of a meal. I appreciate hunger much more now because it gave me different perspectives with regard to food.
Way of Life
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 that I started talking to everybody about it.