By Kavita Mukhi April 2005 The body has an innate ability to replenish and restore itself. All it needs are a few natural foods and enough activity. More intro here more intro here. The Joy Of JumpingThe counterpart of the simple natural diet, without which its wonders just will not work, is activity. As a student of lymphology I learned that cells need to be in a dry state. One of the ways to achieve this is to be very active. Since I am lazy about activity that doesn’t have an actual productive end (for instance, washing my clothes), my lymphology diploma has come in good use. Lymphasising gives us more benefits in lesser time than other exercises. It involves exercising on a lymphasiser which is nothing but a simple trampoline. Basically, the lymphatic system (spread throughout the body) drains the toxins out of the body. By lymphasising we assist the body in doing so. The double bounce of the movement/jump is without the jarring effect of most other exercises on hard surfaces. We must remember that not only is our genetic make-up ready for much more physical activity, but also that this movement should be on sand, earth or grass, not on concrete. I feel absolutely wonderful once I’ve done my 20 minutes. The only reason I sometimes skip it is because my experience of 23 years in this field often makes me take my health for granted. The cross-crawl exercises I do on the lymphasiser, clear up my head and integrates my left and right hemispheres, thereby enabling me to achieve greater balance. The lymphology information has also been useful in knowing that all ailments get better with physical pressure which helps keep cells in the dry state. For example, headaches get helped with massaging the head and bleeding stops if we keep the area pressed. Of course, massaging the nerve endings on the sole of our feet will also give us relief in case of a headache. But that is matter for another time. As I live with greater awareness in the consciousness of nature’s laws, the ideal of supreme health, infinite freedom and absolute independence, will, no doubt, be the natural outcome. The late John D. Rockefeller, one of America’s pioneering millionaire industrialists, lived in a beautiful beach town in the US called Daytona Beach where I lived for several years when my son was little. Rockefeller was a man obsessed with perfect health, or the attainment and maintenance of it. He chose Daytona Beach, Florida, above all other places to be his home because of its clean air and great climate. When he had doctors do a survey to find the best food on earth, which is, the most perfect, nutritionally speaking, they found mother’s milk was by far the best. For me, nursing my baby was exhilarating because it was my first conscious realization of how nature has everything planned to perfection. Imagine a tiny baby, weighing a mere few pounds, doubling his/her weight in six months on just mother’s milk. A feat not repeated in the life of the child again. When your child suckles, burps, gurgles and then sleeps with a look of innocent bliss, you feel full of power, capable of nourishing the baby singlehandedly by adhering to nature’s laws. Rockefeller, by the way, got a wet nurse and made sure he had the perfect food even when he was a baby no more. But that is true American extravagance for you. Thus my tryst with food began. That glimpse of power was enough to make me realize nature’s potential. Besides, I had lived with the ultimate naturalist grandmother, a practical mother with sound advice, a father who until today has not seen a doctor (not even the natural kind), and had been brought up on a farm very simply without taking tea or coffee. Charged with these many experiences and a formal study of nutrition, I soon regained that power to the degree of fearlessness. Although umpteen teachers, schools of thought, role models and books have tutored me, I will only touch upon a couple of major deviations from the norm that caused the shift in consciousness for me regarding health. I will not name anyone or any institution since I would then want to tell you more about each of them. Some of my initial encounters with nutrition made me unlearn many preconceived notions. A dramatic unlearning was with relation to the germ and virus theory. It really blew my mind to discover that germs and viruses are not the real cause of any illness. It is undoubtedly the way we live that creates the conditions for them to survive. And in any case, we do want the good bacteria around. So how do we discriminate? Don’t even try. Leave it to that wonderful machine, the human body. Listen to your body, and watch the magic. After all, germs and virus are everywhere, why do they get to us at times and not at others? What makes the difference is our level of immunity. Not the germs and viruses. One of the prerequisites of achieving vibrant health is to understand that illness is our body signaling us to take charge. So at least when we fall sick, we should revert to simple food and rest in order to recover naturally. However, our instinctual abilities are so depleted that even when we have an upset tummy we want to eat and take medication. It is actually common sense: give your stomach a break, rest it a bit, give it some fresh lime water (with natural sugar and rock salt) or coconut water depending on the cause of the ache. Usually, just skipping one meal does the trick. Similarly, when we have a fever we should understand that a fever is the body’s way of fighting the germ/ the virus/ the infection. Instead of fearing it, we need to assist it in doing its job. If we drink a lot of water and fresh lime with water, light liquid natural food if needed, the fever will do its job and leave us feeling well again. Today, with all the complications that arise with fevers, we tend to panic. I believe it is the rampant use of antibiotics that has created this lowered state of immunity. Susceptibility to all kinds of virus strains has become an issue wherein diagnosis and treatment, even the allopathic way, becomes a health risk. Thus, treating all acute problems with home remedies and following nature’s laws has been an all-important part of my understanding. In this way we do not get to the chronic stage of any illness because we have dealt with it sensibly at the acute stage. It is pointless to eat the best of natural foods and then pop pills when any symptom surfaces. However, I do believe that the mind and our emotions can make or break us. So be it meditation, introspection, reading, quiet moments, healing hobbies, music, dance, creative activity, sports, useful work – anything that works for you to unwind and be at peace with yourself and the environment is important in keeping well. In my study we see all disease as a body signal, and besides the emotional quotient, usually a cleansing act. However, I have come to experience that one can reach a point of balance whereby the body can cleanse via its true check points – the liver, lymphatic system and kidneys, and not have to continually be afflicted by colds, coughs, headaches, skin problems and the like. This has been so freeing for me. I used to sneeze a lot as a child and had colds often. I remember a kerchief over my nose constantly. Having studied nutrition and also experienced it moment to moment when I first got into it for the sake of giving my son the best start in life, I’ve been through all ways of eating – from raw foods, to veganism, to vegetarianism and have been brought up on a mixed Indian diet. Today, food is not a matter of a simple choice. It is a platform for bringing awareness of various related issues such as the environment, animal rights, spirituality, religion, emotion and of course, nutrition. Then there is research telling us that certain blood groups do better with certain foods. Nor can we forget the presence of adulteration and pesticides. So food choice, unfortunately, is not just about fuel for the body. One night my father made my brother and I (at ages seven and eight) sleep on an empty stomach because we fussed over the vegetables at dinner. Never again did we fuss. To date we treat food as a blessing and will never embarrass our host with our food preferences. We can therefore never group people as per their food choices. The other lesson we learnt that night is that a family that eats together stays united. I think that incident also helped keep me from being addicted to any foods, including health foods! So even if I’m drinking beer, it is in that moment (often to lighten my serious take on life) and not because the body cannot do without it. Also, all of my eating is done with full awareness. Having no addictions, I feel, contributes to my having no ailments, fatigue only catching up with me when I am obviously pushing myself. Therefore food for me has been just that: fuel for the body. Nothing more, nothing less. And simplicity the operative word. Yet, my food is never boring nor am I on a diet ! In fact, I find what passes as food today not just boring, tasteless with an overdose of spices used as a camouflage. I do believe that if our kitchen has an array of organically grown whole foods, whatever would be prepared in that kitchen would turn out to be good for us. Here are some of the essential changes that we would be wise to incorporate in our diets. Whole grains instead of refined ones with an emphasis on brown rice, should be 50% of our diet. The balance of brown rice can keep us from nervous breakdowns, depression, stress and fatigue. Replace bread with roti or khakda made with jowar, bajra, ragi or other millet. Substitute refined sugar with jaggery, golden sugar, or raw sugar. Cold-pressed or ghani oil instead of refined oil. Rock salt instead of refined salt. Organic fresh and dried fruits, vegetables, pulses, nuts, seeds, and spices. Nat
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