By Ravi R Kumar
Ravi R. Kumar conducts an exhaustive interview with Dr NK Sharma, author of the iconoclastic book, Milk: A Silent Killer, reprinted by Life Positive Publications and recently released at the Life Positive Expo, New Delhi
Dr. NK Sharma first emerged with his book, Milk: A Silent Killer, in the year 1987, when the supremacy of milk reigned unchallenged. It took considerable courage to announce to a world that worshiped milk, that the substance was not, in fact, the epitome of wholesomeness it was considered to be and was actually behind many of the ills mankind labored under. Despite its unpopular premise, the book became an undercover classic.
In the meantime, the world slowly began to veer around to his way of thinking. Veganism, which repudiates consumption or use of all animal product including honey or leather, is a growing movement across the planet. Everyday, thousands are renouncing milk and rediscovering the secrets of healthy living.
A world-renowned Reiki grandmaster and naturopath, Dr Sharma practices what he professes. He and his family belong to the rare revolutionary breed of people which learnt, appreciated, and lead a completely natural lifestyle, adhering to the supreme laws of Nature. Dr. Sharma firmly believes that nothing can make him sad or his body ill. He declares, “I have realized that God or Nature has not even an iota of interest in making me sad, miserable, or my body diseased. Illness goes also against the inherent nature of the human body, which continuously and tirelessly strives towards health, balance, and perfection.” Taking the mantra even further, he concludes, “It is we who make or mar our health. In ignorance, we condemn ourselves to a living hell. But the choice is ours, always.”
Both Dr Sharma and his wife, Savita, lead a very active life, full of energy and joy. Though he is 62 and his wife, 56, their youthful appearance is the biggest proof of the soundness of their food philosophy. Excerpts from the interview:
Dr. Sharma, what is the secret of your radiant health?
To strive to attain perfection is the essential nature of all living beings in the universe. All of us are bound by the rule, and we follow them effortlessly. No bookish knowledge or guidance by scientists or sages is required. In such matters our own body is our real guru, which guides us in right directions through different signals and indications, provided we are prepared to listen to its language, setting aside our prejudices, and attitude-related barriers.
When should we eat?
I wait for true hunger, and do not even think of food until I feel hunger. For us the right time to eat is when we are truly hungry. A specific time or any time-bound routine has nothing to do with eating. Therefore, we are certain that whatever we eat is digested completely by our system. No chance of indigestion, constipation or other digestive disorders. Eating without true hunger leads to constipation, indigestion or other gastric problems. Freedom from suffering is not possible until the phenomenon of hunger is dealt with properly. When we feel famished and then eat something, every part of the meal attains a divine taste, giving such a satisfaction that a sense of gratitude towards God comes to us spontaneously. For us, taking meals is not a routine job to be done under compulsion, according to a strict time schedule. It is like worship, through which we honor the human body.
What kind of food do you have?
We know well that our digestive system is designed to digest only one type of food at a time. Moreover, for different food items, the medium of digestion and the time period required is different. Variety and multiple combinations essentially mean indigestion, rotting inside the stomach, and ultimately malnutrition. We do not eat two solid foods (two solid starch or two solid proteins) at one time. We never experience any stomach problem. God has provided us with an excellent digestive mechanism, which is aptly designed to digest everything completely.
That is why with salad and green vegetables, we eat only one type of solid food, which is digested easily and completely. It paves the way for near solid stool, which passes in few seconds, and is completely devoid of any foul smell. My formula is, “Eat like a poor man, live like a king.” It reduces our expenses on food and fuel by 50 per cent, and time is saved. Moreover, health and energy comes to us as bonus.
It does not mean we totally refrain from enjoying different varieties of food. We do it occasionally at a party. But even there, we eat after feeling hungry.
|It is one thing to remain alive, but staying in perfect health is altogether different|
To the extent possible, we do not mix food grains with milk, fruits, sour items, and sugars. We always eat fruit as a separate meal.
Why do you prefer natural food?
In the age of cooked food, we are largely dependent upon natural food, because we have realized the truth that man’s original foods are fruits and nuts, and not milk, grain or meat. In the age of cooked and processed food, it is difficult to live entirely on natural food. As social animals, we should socialize with others. In such a context, our aim is not to concentrate solely on the right food, but on the right way of living. That is why we have developed our food habits to cope with the world we live in.
What is your diet regimen?
Morning: Unboiled, brewed tea or herbal tea, which hardly contains 1-2 teaspoonfuls of milk.
Breakfast: Any fresh fruit or vegetable juices, and nuts, or nut milk or nut milk shake.
Lunch: 2-3 types of fruits or sprouted pulses.
Evening: Another round of tea.
Dinner: Salad in good quantity + one green vegetable + one solid food (either rice or chapattis)
Following the routine, in 24 hours, we eat cooked food (food grain) only once. Sometimes, if we happen to eat cooked food in the afternoon, then we opt for fruits in the evening.
Is one cooked meal a day enough?
Who says we eat less? In fact, we eat in plenty and never starve ourselves. Eating without the call of hunger is a sin, but the greater sin is starving the human body. By rule, human beings should take less solid food, and more water content. Uncooked natural food too should be given preference.
Do vegetarians have a healthier diet than non vegetarians?
Consuming food grains in larger proportion, that too in cooked form, affects our overall health, and leads to various diseases. Vegetarians who are heavily dependent upon food grains and milk (and milk products) are not healthier than non-vegetarians. They too suffer from deadly diseases like cancer, AIDS, blood pressure, diabetes, heart diseases, arthritis.
Why should we not have grains?
Grains are not the original food for human beings; they are adopted. A minimum use of food grain is recommended. Consume food grains only when you perform hard physical work like horses and oxen, otherwise the grain will start eating you. It is one thing to remain just alive, but staying in perfect health is altogether a different thing.
Does it satisfy your hunger completely?
By consuming large amounts of solid food regularly, people enlarge the size of their stomach and gastric glands, due to which a fruit meal seems light and insufficient. However, when you start minimizing your solid food intake and switch over to natural raw food, your stomach, and other gastric glands return to their normal shape and sizes. Then it is easier to satisfy them with raw foods only. For example, in my case four-five oranges or bananas or about 100 grams of nuts are enough to satisfy my hunger. For me, it is not important to stuff my stomach as much as I can, but only to satisfy the feeling of hunger.
How do you get your protein?
Never discuss nutrition in piecemeal terms. It is the foolish language of wise people. We get protein from whatever we eat, as there is no food without protein. Of course, the amount varies. When food grains, pulses, and nuts are green, they contain a small amount of protein, but when dried, the content increases. Only 2 per cent protein is present in fresh fruits, but it is high quality protein. Eating one kg or 1.5 kg of fresh fruits during 24 hours, easily gives us 20-25 gms of required protein.
We get our protein from fruits, nuts, sprouts, and a little from cereals and pulses. Our body does not need so much protein, just four servings a week is sufficient to fulfill protein requirements. Please do not ask how we get our calcium, B complex or a particular mineral. Throw away all your chemical and calorie charts, as they are always misleading.
But we have to be calorie-conscious.
Never. You can never eat natural food in excess. Their water content and freshness, automatically prevent you from overeating. It is only the cooked, processed, dried, and spiced food that demands restrictions.
Natural food never promotes weight. If you eat one kg of almond, which contains lot of fat and protein, you will get diarrhea. But not an ounce of weight will be added. Eating cooked, fried, and processed food will add weight. So do not go by calorie charts, weight programs, and gimmicks. Weight is a byproduct of right health.
Concentrate on your health and care for it and all will be well. Refrain from going in for dieting, instead go for right eating, and watch your weight problems vanish.
So what is your health formula?
I eat when I feel hungry. I drink when I feel thirsty. I work only till my body allows. When I sleep, my body is refreshed. I attend to Nature’s call when the body desires it. I just follow my body language. I do not think of health, have no special foods or methods to take care of my health. Without adhering to the laws of health, good health is impossible.
Any other secret of your perfect health?
The right food is just one factor, the others are regular exercise, positive outlook, creativity, the right approach to life and a pleasant family environment. Most significantly, among all the factors mentioned above, is the role of the mind, which ensures total health.
Do you exercise?
Of course. Everyday, without fail. No exercise, no food.
Any special exercise?
I don’t do specific exercises. I believe in natural exercise, and body movement. I walk, run, climb, play, dance, swim, and enjoy doing all of them. I don’t do any special exercise or yoga, which has to be learnt from a professional. My simple set of exercises mentioned above works best for me. I advise all my patients and students to dance everyday for at least 20 minutes, and forget all exercise. The reason being that every act of your life must be playful, prayerful, and without compulsion or fear.
Anything else, besides natural foods, which contributes to your radiant health?
My enlightened mind. I have reached the following conclusions:
• No person, object, incident, or situation can make me happy or miserable. It is absolutely our choice. We can turn hell to heaven if we shoulder the responsibility.
• God, after formulating the laws of Nature, has gone on a long and never-ending sleep. Now your life is completely under your command. Either you keep on crying on one pretext or other or opt to smile, laugh, dance, and enjoy life – the choice is yours. Living in the lap of Nature for 500 years, or consuming tobacco and other poisonous substances and dying of cancer in less than 25 years, again choice is yours. God has nothing to do with it. God exists nowhere as far as natural laws are concerned.
• I simply do not have time to feel miserable, as I cannot spare a moment for it. I am too busy enjoying different shades of life.
• Prayer is not of one-minute or ten-minute duration, it is for all the 24 hours. Prayer means an overwhelming sense of gratitude. Enjoy every moment of your life to its fullest. Make every act of yours a prayer – an act for God. Do everything as if you are performing puja (worship). Personally speaking, every act of mine from sleeping, waking up, eating, drinking, walking, bathing, studying, working, and sex – is an act of worship, a prayer. In fact, my whole life is a prayer. I never prayed to any God separately, because God and I are not two separate entities. We are only a manifestation of each other.
• The formula is to accept everything as it is, never ask why or how. My formula is –this is it – accept it, enjoy it, or solve it. I have thrown out words like what, why, and how from my life.
• I am here only to give. I am not concerned about taking something from others. Whether somebody gives me something or not, respects me or not, does not concern me.
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