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My tyrst with natural living – Some insights

My tryst with natural living has been a progressive journey spanning the last 10 years or so. But the efforts have intensified over the last 5 years. Over this period, I have made several changes in my diet and lifestyle in tune with my philosophy of living in harmony with nature and my natural surroundings. In this journey life has taught me several valuable lessons and I have benefitted immensely in the process. Here I intend to share with you some of the experiences gained, insights gathered, and benefits reaped in my experiments with various facets of natural living.

How I got over my skin dryness problem

I was born and brought up and lived till around 20 years in Mangalore, a coastal place hot and very humid. During this period I never had any dry skin issues. The problem started once I moved to Bangalore a relatively dry place compared to Mangalore and I started using body lotions as a solution. But the dryness severely aggravated once I moved to the gulf in 1991, a totally dry place with zero humidity at times. It became severe and I resorted to regular use of moisturising skin lotions.

While these lotions did give me some temporary relief, the problem persisted and then became a permanent feature of my skin, even when I moved back to Bangalore in 1996 and even during my brief stint in London. I had to use moisturising body lotions all the time. I had become dependent on them and while even with them dryness persisted, without them, I just couldn’t manage.

It was around 10 years back that I decided to stop using these lotions completely and instead started using coconut oil. While occasionally I would apply coconut oil on my whole body, every day I started mixing little coconut oil in the last part my bath water in the bucket, so that some oil residue would remain on my body and get absorbed. Within a short time, I found my skin dryness improving. Then after some time I stopped using coconut oil altogether. I had also stopped using all body creams completely. Within a short time my skin dryness had completely disappeared.

Now I am totally free from any kind of skin dryness problem. Even in extremely dry places like during treks in Ladakh, a high-altitude desert, I have never found a problem. My skin is able to adapt to the external conditions without any issue.

Using photochromatic lenses

I have been using spectacles since my childhood but always used plain glasses until this notion of using sunglasses supposedly to protect our eyes from sun light became dominant. I switched to photochromatic lenses (lenses that become dark when out in the sun) sometime in late nineties. Of course, within a short time my eyes got used to them and just couldn’t do without them.

In our stupidity we had initiated our children too into photochromatic lenses from the time they started wearing them. But when they were in their teens and they insisted on switching to plain lenses as this was the trend among youngsters. It was around that time, around 5 years back, I too decided to ditch photochromatic lenses and switch to plain ones. I found that in no time my eyes had adapted to this new reality and were coping very well with the sun. Since then there has been no turning back. I have not used sunglasses or photochromatic glasses even during my Himalayan treks and found absolutely no problem. Our God given eyes are, like everything else in nature, the most wonderful creation that is perfectly capable of dealing with all-natural conditions that we encounter.

Sunscreen lotions

Again, like everyone else I got influenced by all this propaganda being pushed by interested industry lobbies that sun exposure is bad for skin and may cause cancer. I started using sunscreen lotions based on this wrong understanding sometime around 25 years back. During our treks I used to apply sunscreen even 2 or 3 times during the day. The focus later shifted to SPF factor, higher the SPF the better it was considered.

It was only later that I understood how harmful these sunscreen lotions were. Apart from interfering in our skins ability to adapt to the conditions, they blocked skins ability to breathe (by blocking the pores) and a regular use had chances of causing cancer.

I stopped using sunscreen lotions on a regular basis around 10 years back. But I was still using during my Himalayan treks, until around 5-6 years back I stopped completely during my treks too. Since then I have trekked in Ladakh, Himachal & Arunachal without ever using sun screen lotions. I have had absolutely no problem. The skin will naturally tan to adapt to the harsh sun light and then lighten once those conditions pass. Of course, I do take natural care like wearing hats, long sleeves shirts, etc.

Back pain

I have suffered from lower back pain since the last 25 years or so, which kept on aggravating. During the last 10-15 years it became so bad that on a few occasions I had to be on the bed for a few days, I started using back support at times, and I couldn’t stand for even a short while without needing to sit. It continued even through the transition from corporate life to the life of a farmer. Lifting anything was a real challenge and the back pain was a constant companion.

But since I started the WFPB diet and gradually shifted to primarily raw fruits and veggies diet (for details pl refer to my previous blogs on the subject matter) around 18 months back, the back pain almost completely disappeared within a few months.

While initially I did not know the interconnection, it was later that I understood that due to our diet rich in animal food (meat-fish-eggs-milk) our blood vessels to the lower back area (as others) get blocked over time. This causes the pressure to build up in that area and is one of the common reasons for lower back pain. A diet entirely based on plant based whole foods, especially raw whole plant foods, has the magical effect of clearing our arteries and blood vessels of plaque accumulated over decades. This is now proven beyond doubt, with scans establishing such opening up of even 80% blocked arteries in heart patients who are considered beyond even any surgical intervention.

Chronic constipation

I have been suffering from chronic constipation since childhood. I have tried all the remedies – allopathic as well as various alternative options. Atleast for the last 25 years or so my fibre intake was also good consuming mostly unpolished rice/wheat/millets and decent amount of vegetables and fruits. Ofcourse meat and fish consumption was the main stay. But nothing really helped. And this was leading to a lot of health issues because waste and toxins accumulating in the body.

But switch to a plant based whole food diet over the last 18 months has worked wonders for me. Within a span of a few months my digestive and elimination systems started functioning like never before. And switching to a primarily plant based raw food diet over the last 6 months, the transformation has been magical. Constipation is now a distant memory of the past. All my systems are working so beautifully. Now I realise that all that suffering in the past was completely avoidable and the solution – so easy and so simple – was available to me all along.

Its now obvious to me that nature has designed us for plant based whole foods as the natural diet for humans, and raw plant food is its most natural form. When you live in harmony with nature it rewards you immensely. It is we who invite all the suffering on ourselves by living in conflict with nature and its systems.

In conclusion: Trust Nature and abandon any effort to engineer improvement

My experience teaches me that nature and natural systems in our body (as elsewhere) are as perfect as they can get – honed and perfected through millions of years of evolution. They are also complex nonlinear systems intricately interconnected beyond our furthest imagination. The problems arise when we try to intervene, and engineer improvement based on our linear thinking and techniques.

Whether it’s our skin or the eyes or any other parts or systems in our body or in our surroundings, it’s our intervention that causes the problem, interfering with our natural ability to adapt. We need to trust nature and let it play its own course. The power of adaption is magical, and we will be pleasantly surprised by the rapidity and ease with which nature adapts when left to heal by itself That’s the crux of my learning from natural living.

My journey of course continues, and I continue to expand my experiments on going back to nature and rediscovering aspects which were part of our wisdom but long forgotten in today’s mad rush to adopt modern technology and modern consumerist living so completely out of sync with nature.

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