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Transformation of a hardcore meat-eater Part-1

In this multi-part series, I will be focusing my journey on the path of natural living in the realm of diet – the radical transformation that I have undergone, how I got there, the key triggers and turning points, the scientific and philosophical basis of the experiments, the learnings derived therefrom, and the path ahead. I will also try to share some tips and suggestions for friends who would like to try this out.

Part 1: The health perspective

How it all began

The trigger was a very painful skin rash/boils (recurrence of Chicken pox) I had, around Oct-Nov 2017. After trying various home remedies for some time, I decided to try Ayurvedic treatment for the condition which was refusing to go away. It’s important to clarify here that by then, I was mostly staying away from Allopathy for some time, as part of my move towards natural living.

The Ayurvedic doctor advised me to avoid all non-veg food and alcohol, while I was on the medication prescribed. I stuck to this advice religiously and within a few weeks the rash was fully gone. But by then I realised two things – firstly I was developing a taste for veg food and not really missing non-veg food; and secondly, I was overall feeling much better/healthier.

A hardcore non-vegetarian

Here for those of you who don’t know me, it’s important to clarify that while I used to consume a lot fruits and vegetables and was generally health conscious and thus avoided excessive oils, deep fried stuff, processed food, sugar, salt etc. from a long time – I really used to enjoy my non-veg food and drinks and just couldn’t imagine living without non-veg (especially fish) for even a few days. This was to such an extent that even when we went on Himalayan treks, I would be looking for non-veg options as much as possible.

Digging deeper

Since the last few years, I have been on a journey to go deeper into natural living in all its dimensions. With this background when the results of my, externally induced, experiment with veg food and staying away from alcohol were proving to be encouraging, I decided to dig deeper.

The turning point

That’s when I came across YouTube videos of Dr. Biswaroop Chowdhury, which proved to be the turning point. What Dr. Biswaroop was advocating was a diet consisting primarily of raw fruits and vegetables and was convincingly explaining how diabetes, heart disease, cancer, etc. can be prevented and cured purely by following such a diet. That is where I got my intro to ‘The China Study’ and immediately bought Dr. Campbell’s book ‘The China Study’ and started reading it.

China Study & its implications

‘The China Study’ cleared whatever lingering doubts and questions I had on this front. And then there was no looking back. The path ahead was crystal clear, and I embraced the whole food plant-based diet wholeheartedly.

Here I need to dwell a little bit on ‘The China Study’ by Dr. Campbell as it was a real game changer for me. I found it a very informative and insightful book with profound insights and implications for our diet and lifestyle.

It really helped me understand in very simple and unambiguous terms, the connection between our diet and almost all the modern lifestyle diseases – be it heart disease or cancer or diabetes or alzimers or osteoporosis or obesity and so on – in short how our diet is the root cause of all modern lifestyle diseases and hence can also be their cure.

Dr. Campbell’s case is entirely based on findings of 100s of worldwide research initiatives (both lab-animal based studies as well as human studies), including The China Study (the most comprehensive study on the link between diet and disease ever undertaken globally), And not one of the many diet fads doing the rounds, promoted by self-seeking half-baked diet gurus.

Here it’s important to clarify that Dr. Campbell, started his career as a hard-core animal protein advocate, researching how to produce animal protein more efficiently. He was himself shocked to find his research showing exactly the opposite and had to set aside his prejudices and deeply entrenched social dogmas to investigate deeper. And when over a decade of research confirmed his findings, and the same conclusion was reached by several other scientists and doctors, working independently across the world, he and his whole family became total converts to WFPB diet.

The China Study conclusions

The shocking findings of the China Study coupled with numerous other independent studies and peer reviewed papers by leading global scientists and doctors and published in reputed scientific journals worldwide, are very clear on the following conclusions

  • That animal-based foods are the most important factor providing fuel to all modern lifestyle diseases. Take away the fuel and the diseases mostly disappear, even if other factors like environmental toxins and genetic factors are present.

  • That even when these diseases are present and advanced, stopping them in their tracks and even reversing them, in many cases, is possible purely based on a change in diet and lifestyle.

It now became clear how all this critical scientific information has been withheld from us and how we have been subjected to systematic misinformation on diet by the powerful lobbies with vested interests and their cronies in Govt, media and academia globally. But given the money involved and deep-rooted prejudices it’s only natural and to be expected.

The WFPB diet

The diet that Dr. Campbell recommends and which I am now following, is called a Whole Foods and Plant Based diet or WFPB diet in short. It is based on two core principles

  • Consume only plant-based food i.e. all food originating from plants be it fruits, vegetables, cereals, pulses, sprouts and nuts. Avoid all animal-based food i.e. meat, fish, eggs, milk or any product derived from these

  • Consume only whole (or atleast minimally processed) plant foods and not highly processed plant foods. So, while consuming unpolished cereal-pulses, whole fruits-nuts-vegetables; avoid foods were these whole plant foods are processed to extract one or more ingredients from them e.g. sugar, maida, polished white rice, oils, etc. and/or dietary supplements (vitamin pills, etc).

This diet is the most healthy, wholesome food that has all the nutrition – be it proteins, vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, fats or fibre that is needed for our growth and wellbeing. I believe that this diet is perfectly in sync with my journey towards natural living and coupled with physical exercise and mental/spiritual means like meditation, it ensures good health, vitality and overall well-being.

The results

The results have been immediate and amazing. While I have never had any serious health problems, several irritations I had like chronic constipation, occasional cramps in my feet and legs, and vertigo have all disappeared. The lower back pain that I have been suffering from for past several years, at times acute, has gone. I sleep better. The general feeling of vitality and wellbeing is so evident. While I have lost weight, the energy level is tremendously up.

Recent blood and urine tests I did shows that all the vital indicators of health are all in the very healthy positive territory and have shown significant improvement over the past levels.

I have also started discovering new tastes in the vegetables that I have always been consuming. I am really enjoying the diet and not missing what I have given up, even a little bit.

Just try it

I have no hesitation in recommending this diet to everyone. Just try it and you will discover a whole new world of health, vitality and wellbeing.

I would also urge everyone to check out Dr. Biswaroop Chowdhury’s videos on YouTube and read China Study by Dr. Campbell. You can also check out the documentary ‘Forks over knives’ based on the China Study on Netflix.

Given below are some of the links for the above

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