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Transformation of a hardcore meat-eater – In conclusion



My journey so far

It’s now almost 18 months since I have become a vegetarian, around 12 months since I embraced the WFPB diet and around 3 months since I have shifted to a primarily raw plant food diet. It’s been a progressive journey.

  • Initially I started by completely stopping meat, fish and eggs; And alcohol

  • The next came milk and milk products (curds, butter, ghee, cheese) except for a little milk in my tea twice a day.

  • Later I switched to black tea, except for a few occasions when milk tea was the only option.

  • And now from some time I have greatly reduced having tea itself.

  • We have also experimented with soya milk, almond milk and coconut milk as milk substitute for certain other preparations like payasa and some other traditional sweets.

  • I have also progressively reduced and now almost stopped all added oils, except rarely when I am outside and simply can’t avoid.

  • I have been anyway avoiding all processed food, white sugar, table salt, packaged food, etc. for many years and now I am following this very strictly, with no exceptions.

  • I have always had a sweet tooth, but now consume only home-made sweets without any oils-ghee-butter and using dates/jaggery/honey as the sweetener.

  • As far as possible I also try to use only organic food.

  • Since the last 3 months I have progressed to an almost 90% raw plant foods (fruits and vegetables, greens, sprouts, nuts) and less than 10% cooked food. On some days its 100% raw.

Was the transition difficult

Not really. The first 3-4 months were a transition phase. While I was enjoying the new diet and my body was responding very well, the mind was playing games. I kept thinking that I will have non-veg food and booze occasionally. As my switch was entirely voluntary and not driven by any ideology/blind faith, I always had an option to try out this hypothesis. And I did consume a little meat-fish (my favourite traditional preparations) on a few occasions during this phase. I also tried a peg or two of my favourite single malts and red wines on a few occasions. I’m really glad I did so, because it dispelled whatever little doubt, I had on whether I should give up these completely. I realised that I was not at all enjoying either non-veg food or booze. This realisation based on my actual experiences helped cement my intellectual conviction and removed any trace of desire I had for such foods and drinks. Since then there has been no looking back. I am really enjoying and relishing my new diet both mentally and physically.

Our current diet – A snapshot

I broadly follow Dr. Biswaroop Chowdhury’s recommendations in the ‘Talking food calendar’. Our current typical daily diet is

Breakfast

  • We start our day with a big glass of lime juice with honey in warm water around 6.30-7am (honey is one animal origin food that I am making an exception, as it doesn’t contain any animal protein and hence is acceptable in WFPB diet)

  • This is followed by roughly 500 to 600gms of fresh fruits (papayas, bananas, guavas, sapota, watermelon, grapes, etc.) depending on seasonality and availability spread over till noon

  • Mostly this constitutes 100% of the morning diet. But on some days, we have some Ragi or unpolished Red Rice preparations (idli, dosa, etc. without any oil) with fresh coconut chutney around 10AM with some black/green/herbal tea

Lunch

  • Typically, a large portion of freshly cut raw vegetables like cucumber, carrots, radish, broccoli, lettuce, celery, avocado, cabbage, etc., depending on seasonality and availability, along with a chutney made entirely from raw vegetables.

  • I want to elaborate a little bit on the chutney concept here, which I picked up from Ojas (a body of individuals based in Maharashtra, practicing and propagating raw food diet). The idea is to eat raw all those vegetables which are otherwise difficult to eat raw because of taste, etc. So, we literally put any raw vegetables in the chutney but make it tasty by adding ginger, chillies, dates, garlic, etc. All green (leafy vegetables like palak), beetroot, sprouts and various nuts-seeds also go into this chutney. So, this chutney is consumed in large quantity.

  • On many days we also have steamed channa salad, raw bendi salad, raw pumpkin salad, raw cabbage salad, raw string beans salad, etc. in addition to the raw vegetables with chutney described above. Typically, we have around 300-400 gms raw vegetables cumulatively for lunch.

  • Most days this constitutes 100% of the lunch, but occasionally we also consume some lightly cooked vegetables with minimum or no masalas and sometimes a little red rice with some veg curry.

  • Traditional sweets like payasa, ragi ladoos, etc made with jaggery, unpolished cereal, coconut milk, etc. and without using milk/ milk products or oil

Tea

  • A few roasted unsalted nuts (peanuts, cashew nuts, pista) occasionally with Black/green/herbal tea. Of late I rarely have tea as I am not really enjoying it.

Dinner

  • Mostly a smoothie of raw greens (spinach and several other green leaves), vegetables like cucumber, radish, cabbage, etc., and dates, around 7pm

  • Otherwise a small portion of raw vegetable salads with chutney like in lunch approx. 100 – 200gms

  • Mostly either of the above two constitutes 100% of the dinner. Occasionally we have a little red rice with veg curry and lightly cooked vegetables like in the afternoon.

Typically, when cooked food is consumed on some days it’s done only once a day either in the morning or lunch or dinner and never on all three occasions or on a daily basis.

Your body is your best teacher

What I have found is that if we really care to listen our body tells the right food to eat every single time. We just need to be sensitive to it, keep our mind calm and quiet, and listen to our body. Good food is that which makes you feel good not only while eating but also after eating as well as after its digested. You never feel bloated, heavy, lethargic when you eat good food, but instead feel full of energy and life.

The role of fasting

This is an area that’s new to me at present but something that I am very keen to pursue wholeheartedly. I am increasingly coming across the importance of fasting as a regenerative, restorative and curative process, literally a magic bullet solution for great health and vitality, building a strong immune system and curing/reversing most diseases that one may be suffering from. I want to adopt a two-pronged strategy here

  • Strictly adhere to a 12 hour fast daily, which means no eating from 7 – 7.30pm to 7 – 7.30am next morning.

  • Start with a regular 24-hour juice fast on a weekly or fortnightly basis and then try to progressively move to water fasting.

I will certainly share my experiences with all of you in the future as I progress on this path.

Regina – my inseparable partner in the journey

Here, I am delighted to share with you that my spouse, Regina, has wholeheartedly supported me and mostly joined me on this journey. With her natural aptitude for cooking, she has been able to quickly adapt to the new context and make this journey interesting and most enjoyable with preparations that are both healthy, wholesome and tasty. Her raw vegetable chutneys and smoothies are exceptional, and she has a knack of turning anything into the most delicious and tasty food. Without such unconditional support and participation from her, such a rapid transformation would have been practically impossible.

To conclude

I have no doubt that a diet based on plant based whole foods is the way forward. I am convinced of that intellectually, emotionally and logically. My experience and the benefits I have reaped reiterates this truth. I want to share my experience and the truth I have discovered with as many people as possible so that more and more people benefit from it. I sincerely urge you the reader to give it a try atleast for a short period of 15 days to a month. I am certain that you will experience benefits yourself and get hooked on to a path of great health and vitality.

I look forward to your feedback.

Some recipes and reading material for those of you interested in trying it out


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