Nature Cure

Fruit Meal

Before we begin, please go through the mono fruit breakfast to learn more about the benefits of having fruits as a meal.

In NC terms, ‘milk’ is any non-diary milk and in the below recipe I have shared how to make milk shake with fruits using coconut milk

  • Kheer/Milk Shake
    • Banana
    • Sapota
    • Papaya
    • Mango
    • Mixed Fruit

More on this coming soon..!!

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Nature Cure

Ragi Roti/Ragi Adai

Ragi is another healthy, delicious millet and we have a couple of recipes with ragi like idli, dosa, kanji, dessert – but this particular ragi roti recipe is an all-time favourite for our family.

Please watch the video for the detailed recipe – in this video I have just added onion with the four, but grated veggies, spinach can also be mixed with the flour so make a more healthy dish.

Nature Cure

The Vital Force – The Vital Economy

What is the vital force?

There exists an amazing life-giving and life-sustaining force inside our body and it is called the vital force or vital energy or prana shakthi or the healing power – it is the body’s most indispensable component without which we just cannot function.

All of us are born with a certain amount of this vital energy(it varies from person to person) for a single birth and the more economically we use it, the more efficient and smarter we get..!!

Having said that, there is only one vital force inside our body which has to cater to every single voluntary/involuntary process executed by the body. I mean be it voluntary functions like reading, writing, walking, jogging, etc., or involuntary processes like breathing, digestion, elimination, healing of physical wounds, etc., there is only one vital force that has to do all of these functions. The lesser number of tasks it is assigned (simultaneously) , the more efficient it becomes. Alternatively, the more number of tasks it is assigned (simultaneously), the lesser efficient it becomes. This concept is called vital economy.

Vital Economy – A Closer Look

To understand the concept of vital economy in better detail, let me take you through 2 scenarios below:

  • Scenario 1: We have a proper electricity connection and it so happens we are put up in an area where there is rarely a power cut. Of course we make sure to switch off all electrical appliances when not in use.

Now imagine the second scenario:

  • Scenario 2: There is a major power shutdown due to a natural calamity, say a flood; we have na inverter/power source at home with a limited battery capacity to be used over a period of, say, 5 days. Compared to scenario 1, don’t we become extra careful to save on power because we are very sure we have only a limited capacity at our disposal? Instead of switching on the light in every room, don’t we make sure to switch on the lights only in the room where we are and switch off all other lights?

This is exactly the concept of vital economy and the (above) second scenario typically applies to our body’s vital energy, Our body has a limited amount of vital energy and our body certainly has to do the involuntary functions like respiration, elimination, blood circulation, etc., Our body is also supposed to do the assigned tasks like education, profession, etc (like going o a school,college or workplace. ) So where comes the possibility of economizing on the energy source? That can happen with the digestion..!!!

OOPS, of course am not here to say we have to stop eating…!!! But we can definitely alter our food habits and lifestyle so we can be at our best physical and mental capacity. That said, there are 2 main steps we can take with respect to food choices we make and here they are:

  • Eating more of (raw or fresh) fruits and vegetables because they comparatively take very less time to digest. Also read through mono fruit breakfast
  • Secondly, even when we happen to take cooked food, we can increase the proportion of cooked veggies and reduce the proportion of grains and pulses because cooked veggies digest faster than (cooked) grains and pulses. This way, we will be feeling full, have a lighter tummy and also healthy..!!

Food Gives Energy ???

Now having understood the concept of vital economy, can we still go with the popular belief that ‘Food Gives Energy’??? Of course not…!!! To understand it better, energy can broadly be divided into 2 kinds:

  • Vital energy
  • Food-Derived energy

As a matter of fact, our body actually has to spend the vital energy to digest the food that we eat and then get the food-derived energy from that and it is definitely not the other way round. We are used to hearing, ‘eat more food so you have more energy’, ‘you must eat when you are tired or sick to get back our health’ and we now know its a false theory.

So lighter the food (we also have to make sure it is nutritious and so we insist on taking more raw fruits and veggies), the lesser the vital energy that is spent to digest the food (please note we are economizing on the vital energy reserve..!!!) and hence we feel more active physically and mentally.

Alternatively, heavier the food, more of the vital energy is spent to digest the food and we have literally over drawn the available vital energy(meaning we have spent more vital energy to get food-derived energy).

The nutrition breakup we see against every food type, by far, pertains to food derived energy and has actually nothing to do with the vital energy reserve within each of us. So it now left to us to decide which food types are most suitable for us to run a happy, successful life – to do this, we just need to listen to our body after every meal.

  • After the meal, if we are tired and sleepy, it simply means the food is heavy and wants more of the vital energy for digestion and its not ready right now to do any other voluntary task.
  • Alternatively, after the meal, if we are feeling alert and energetic and we feel our body is able to move and our mind is able to think clearly, it just means the food is light, it needs very less vital energy for digestion and hence its ready to do any voluntary task assigned by us..!!

More Points On Vital Economy

  • When you tired or sick, we have to definitely take rest and not eat – because the vital energy has to heal now to make you fresh; eating or drinking a stimulant, say, a tea or coffee at this juncture overloads the vital energy and we might momentarily feel fresh because the body is now diverted from healing to digestion and the fatigue is sure to return..!! Also read through, what is disease?
  • When you are not eating (i mean when you are fasting), vital energy gets the time to clear clogs and dirts in the body and after the fast we will be feeling more energetic and functional. Also read through, benefits of fasting
  • Vital economy also explains exactly why we cannot climb a staircase without panting after a heavy meal.

Interesting Links

Nature Cure

The tummy-mind Connection

When I first happened to know about nature cure, I understood it was purely to cleanse/detox the body and hence to rid us of physical ailments. But when I attended the nature cure camp at Pollachi,

  • Balakrishna Ayya, the NC guru explained how when the stomach is clean enough and gets the capacity to eliminate properly, your thoughts become positive and your brain gets to think clearly. He also pointed out if NC lifestyle spreads across the world, positive vibrations will magnify and there will be peace across the world.
  • An organizer/ volunteer at the camp(and friend) Nisha was telling us how nature cure is really special for its spiritual impact on a person more than its physical impact.

I had no clue what they were trying to say, but the idea was just hanging around in my mind.

A couple of months later, after I had a deep toss of my health(Of course I attained better health post that – read about My Healing Experience), I slowly began to understand what the NC seniors were trying to convey.

Before we move on, lets understand a little about the vital force.

The Tummy-Mind Connection with a Breakfast Story

Now, lets get to understand this tummy-mind connection through an everyday example which all of us can relate to –

Supposing we are very hungry in the morning and we happen to have a breakfast – we can just vary what we have for breakfast and find out how our body responds after that:

Scenario 1: Breakfast meal is any traditional dish, say, idli with sambar and chutney.

  • Day 1: Incidentally it happens to be your favourte dish; at one point we feel we are almost full, but we go on to have a couple of more idlis because the sambar is particularly very tasty today..!!!
  • Day 2: But today the sambar is not as tasty as it was yesterday; we definitely cannot eat beyond our hunger level and we eat just enough to fill our tummy

Scenario 2: Breakfast of the day is perhaps, say, upma and that’s definitely not your favourite dish, say; we will reluctantly eat to probably fill just half a tummy.

Scenario 3: Breakfast of the day is say, a bowl of soup or fruits or vegetable salad (meaning to say its a grain free meal, am sure you would have tried this kind of a meal for breakfast, if not, please try it..!!); we have eaten enough to fill our tummy, say.

Under all these scenarios, once the breakfast is done, we start to office/college/school and manage to reach our destination amidst the heavy traffic (say). By this time the food begins to get processed and this is the time we have to start concentrating on our work as well. As discussed in the vital force post, there is only one vital force in our body but now it has do 2 processes simultaneously, digestion and concentration (apart from a couple of mandatory functions like breathing, elimination, etc).

In which of these above scenarios can we assure we are at our best mental( or physical) capacity?? Just think about it.

Now we have to experientially answer this question and see how our body and mind feels in each of these scenarios and once we understand this response, we can utilise the vital force to its full efficiency.

Logically speaking, we can get the most out of our (physical and) mental capacity at work if only the vital force is almost free and waiting to do new task assigned by us (please note it cannot divert its attention from mandatory involuntary functions like breathing, elimination, but we can certainly make sure that we reduce the load on the vital force used for the digestion process).

It now becomes highly necessary to know which kind of a food is very easy to digest so that the body’s vital energy is quickly done with the digestion process and is ready to engage in any other physical/mental task allocated to it.

At this point, please read through

Before we move on, lets a understand a bit more about the definition of a human being.

A HUMAN BEING = Human Body + Human Mind

A human being is composed of two main parts – the human mind and the human body, they are definitely dependent components and both of them need to be maintained well to create a good human being . And they say, you are what you have made yourself to be, both mentally and physically – you are what you think you are, you are what you eat (‘Jaise anna, Vaise mann’).

The body and the mind are actually two inseparable components that work in unison..!! Meaning to say, a healthy body is essential to nurture a healthy mind and a healthy mind helps build a healthy body..!!!!

It is generally said that the mind is the chief controller of a human being and so I have heard people ask why should we attach so much of importance to food – if you maintain your mind well, everything is going to be fine. Yes that’s absolutely true, but the body is the foundation which houses the human mind and so its composition is really really important to construct a strong human being, who is strong physically as well as emotionally. And to have a healthy body, it becomes very important to eat proper food (and follow a NC lifestyle that is in perfect alignment with nature) because food is the basic building material for your body and a strong body means its the ideal place for a strong mind.

Having said that, am not here to say it’s impossible to control the mind when you don’t watch your food, am just saying it becomes comparatively natural and effortless to control the mind when you are conscious that only the right kind of food goes into your body.

‘Car Journey Vs Our Journey’ Story

I would like to bring in here a small analogy to stress the importance of a healthy body and a healthy mind to make a healthy human being –Consider a car journey to reach a destination – the most important prerequisites are – a car in a good working condition, good quality fuel and a skilled driver.

Now am rephrasing the above sentence to match our life –
Consider our life’s journey to reach a destination – the most important prerequisites are – a healthy body (car) in a good working condition, good quality food for the proper functioning of the body(fuel) and a skilled human mind to drive the healthy body on the right track (driver).

Moral of the Journey Story –Proper diet complemented with proper mind conditioning like meditation helps us lead a happy, contented life.

INTERNAL HYGIENE – An important prerequisite for a happy person

From my understanding, when the internal organs of the human body are getting cleansed, the blood circulation throughout the body becomes better, all the organs begin to function properly and there is a good rush of blood to your brain as well and you begin to think clearer than before; it feels as though some physical or intangible block was removed from your mind and things begin to fall in place.

As a matter of fact, a clean body(with a negligible amount of toxins) can pretty much nurture a clean mind with positive thoughts. And you feel as though you are seeing a new intelligent/calm person inside you and you wonder about so many things in life as to ‘Why didn’t this simple thing occur to me for so long??!!!’, why was I holding onto this simple thing for so long???!!. (Talking about the benefits of a nature cure detox, there are of course obvious physical health benefits like improved vision, improved hearing capacity, age reversal and improved strength of your body, and lot more to go..!!!).

Alternatively, a body whose internal hygiene is not properly maintained is very prone to attracting negative vibrations and hence the person might end up suffering physically or emotionally and/or cause suffering to others knowingly or unknowingly.

Talking about illness, I would like to add 2 points here:

  • When we physically very ill, obviously our minds will be totally occupied with thoughts about our body, health and pain and it becomes really difficult to concentrate on anything beyond that like family, friends, education or profession. Hence the need to maintain to healthy body so that we can lead a productive and happy life.
  • Illness is generally divided into 2 categories, physical and mental. But in accordance with the body-mind connection, physical and mental illness both have a single root cause, and getting onto a saatvic diet will invariably produce a positive impact on physical as well as mental health.

As a society we are so used to accepting so many negative qualities like short-temper, irritability, fear, anger, etc., as the nature of a person and that it can’t be changed. But from my opinion, I feel a proper physical body detox coupled with a NC lifestyle change could actually change the character of a person and we might see an all together new person post that.

I happened to read through a small section of the book ‘The Bliss Of Cancer: How I Cured Cancer, Lost Weight, and Turned My Life Around ‘ by Evita Ramparte; here she talks about how every emotion is paired to a corresponding internal organ in the body and how cleaning every organ produces a positive impact on that particular emotion of that person. Doesn’t that sound really cool??!!

Before I conclude, since we have been discussing extensively that the body and mind are connected, this post would be incomplete if we don’t talk about the power of the mind since there needs to be a perfect balance between food-body and mind to achieve perfect health. And hence will do my next post on ‘The Power Of A Thought’.

To summarize,

A healthy body nurtures a healthy mind and generates only positive thoughts and positive thoughts attract only positivity towards us and our life is full of contentment and joy.

Nature Cure

My Journey Towards Veganism

About Diary Products In Our Life

Human mothers lactate to feed their babies and they stop producing milk once the baby stops feeding on the mother – this is the obvious truth about all mammals regarding lactation.

Similarly cows lactate to feed their own calves and they stop producing milk once the calf stops feeding on the cow; Cows’ milk is obviously meant for the calf – I have never hought about this simple fact ever before in my life and once I started realizing it, I started moving towards veganism, though I was still worried about the lack of nutrition in a vegan diet.

There is also another law of nature that calves attain puberty much earlier than humans and hence the composition of cow’s milk is such that it supports early maturity and humans in most cases may not need that extra nutrition. As a result, cow’s milk is a little too heavy for the human intestine in terms of digestion and becomes comparatively better-digestible when it is fermented to form curd and better still when it is made into buttermilk by removing the fatty butter from it.

Veganism And Nutrition

There is a common belief in our society that diary products is the major source of nutrition for vegetarians in terms of protiens and calcium and that though a vegan diet is ethically good, it is definitely a deficient diet. Though I wanted to become a vegan for ethical reasons, I too had my own doubts about the nutrition factor in a vegan diet.

But when veganism is so much in line with the law of nature, then I somehow felt the nutrition factor should also be taken care of well in a vegan diet and nature cure happened to us as an answer to this concern.

The healing food for the body as per Nature Cure is a wholesome diet taking care of the entire nutrition requirement for the body, irrespective of age.

Is Veganism A New Concept?

I had a strong feeling that Veganism is a very recent concept – but when nature cure is so much in alignment with nature and our traditional practices are also so much in alignment with nature I was trying to find the link between veganism, nature cure and our tradition; as a consequence to that, I once started a casual conversation with my grandma regarding the role of diary products in their life and the ambiguity about veganism was actually clarified.

In most houses those days, they had their own cows and calves and they were literally treated as family members and sometimes even more special; our ancestors were ethical enough that they first let the calves feed on the cow and extracted only the remaining milk for domestic use. And this little portion of milk used to be shared by the entire family of 5 to 10; and milk was in most cases never consumed as milk and it was fermented to make curd ; curd was churned to get butter and the final product, buttermilk was shared by the entire family (fermentation of milk kind of makes it go easy on the intestine). So though our ancestors were not vegans in the actual sense, their average consumption of diary products would definitely have been very less in those days compared to the huge demand of diary products we are creating today.

FAQs

  • Question: “Diary products is the major source of nutrition for vegetarians in terms of protiens and calcium” – Could you please elaborate more this?
    • Answer: The nutritional break up values of specific foods as understood by medical research could be absolutely true. But what we are concerned about is how much of it can the body actually assimilate successfully and effortlessly in our system.
      • Human intestines are designed to assimilate nutrients better from plant products than animal products.
      • So by nature cure practice, coconut milk is more nutritious and can work as an amazing substitute for cow’s milk, supplying our body with more easily absorbable nutrients without overloading our digestive system.
      • As mentioned above, following a healing food for the body in particular and a nature cure lifestyle in general is a wholesome way to take care of the entire nutrition requirement for the body, irrespective of age.
  • Question:  Completely agree with the inclination towards a diary free diet. But am so much used to having diary products. Are there any substitutes for diary products like milk, curd, buttremilk, cheese and paneer?
    • Answer: Of course yes. Coconut milk, peanut milk and many more tried and tested alternatives are possible. Please check out this link for more info – diary alternatives

Points To Ponder

  • Cows lactate only to feed their own calves just as humans lactate only to feed their own babies – so be it for ethical reasons or nutritional reasons, do we really need diary products in our diet?? Think about it..!!

Also read about how a vegan diet made my menstruation experience so effortless.

Interesting Reads

Nature Cure

My Menstruation Experience

Why I decided to talk about my menstruation experience in public?

In our society, talking about a woman’s menstruation experience in public is really not encouraged for reasons whatsoever. Being a typical product of this society, I too was totally convinced about the privacy of a woman’s period cycle until I started using cloth pads. At about the same time, we also started following nature cure lifestyle in our home and my menstruation experience became so effortless and hence am writing this post hoping the excerpts could be of some use to others.!!!

Transition To Cloth Pads

As part of our natural living journey, I stopped using disposable pads about an year or more ago and transitioned to cloth pads – the effort was made to save our environment from the toxic used disposable pads; interestingly, the cloth pad experience seemed eco-friendly for the environment as well as the woman’s body…!!

Making the transition is not a very remote experience as our own mothers and grandmothers have been using it for most part of their lives. And for those of you who are worried about the leakage issues of using old cloth rags as a pad, today’s cloth pads look and feel very much like a disposable pad in the sense that it can be buttoned tight to our inner-wears and they also come in varying thickness to hold varying intensities of flows.

Life After Cloth Pads

Though the transition to cloth pads was triggered in me for environment-friendly reasons initially, only after I started using it did I realise there is so much more understanding behind how our grandmothers managed to use cloth pads all their lives without much trouble; they had a relatively easy menstrual cycle experience every month, easy conception, easy pregnancy and easy menopause.

When I had a casual conversation with a couple of women from the older generation about their menstrual experience, they all responded saying they used to menstruate only for 2.5-3 days every month (and it used be a casual experience with little or no pain and a manageable flow using just old clothes and not extra heavy pads that we use today.); I was really shocked to hear this since I always had a 5 day menstrual cycle and that’s really normal as per today’s medical standards.

When I was just wondering why menstruation has become such a difficult experience (be it the number of pads we use or the pain we experience) for many women today, nature cure happened to me as an answer to the above concern.

My Menstrual Experience After Nature Cure

Before we actually started following nature cure, I started my journey towards veganism (diary free diet, I am still not a 100% vegan though..!!! ) from being a vegetarian. I personally felt this slow change in diet itself reduced my menstrual flow as such and my menstrual cycle lasted for only about 3-4 days which would otherwise last for about 5-6 days.

Moving on, we started following nature cure lifestyle and ever since my menstrual cycle lasts for 2.5-3 days and post that I don’t feel the need a use a pad. My overall flow has also reduced and hence the number and intensity of pads I use over the 3 day period has also reduced.

As I was mentioning before, I am still not a 100% vegan; on those months when I do tend to consume a lot of diary products, I kind of noticed my menstrual cycle goes beyond 3 days and that’s totally my personal experience.

Menstrual Experience Of Women In The Past

Though I had a comfortable menstrual cycle if I cut down my consumption of diary products, I had a strong feeling that Veganism is a very recent concept and despite consuming diary products, our grandmothers were fairly healthy compared to us; this thought kept lingering in my mind; as a consequence to that, I once started a casual conversation with my grandma regarding the role of diary products in their life and the ambiguity about veganism was actually clarified.

In most houses those days, they had their own cows and calves and they were literally treated as family members and sometimes even more special; our ancestors were ethical enough that they first let the calves feed on the cow and extracted only the remaining milk for domestic use. And this little portion of milk used to be shared by the entire family of 5 to 10; and milk was in most cases never consumed as milk and it was fermented to make curd ; curd was churned to get butter and the final product, buttermilk was shared by the entire family (fermentation of milk kind of makes it go easy on the intestine). So a woman’s average consumption of diary products would definitely have been very less in those days.

In addition, women in the past also followed most of the basic health rules like adequate physical activity, ample rest, positive mind, fasting, healthy food and conscious eating, etc – so women in those days had a relatively good body metabolism and hence a easy period cycle.

Points To Ponder

Menstruation is the time of the month when a woman’s fertility organs are cleansed to get ready to house the next cycle’s egg.

  • isn’t resting ‘the woman’s body as much as possible’ very important during this time so the body can use all the vital energy to do the cleaning well to maintain perfect fertility? 
  • isn’t it why our ancestors asked women to be isolated during those days?