Postpartum health and diet care for the new mother

woman carrying a baby
Photo by Kristina Paukshtite on Pexels.com

Post partum the mother needs to rebuild her body’s immune system.
For this to be achieved, our elders always suggested the tips given below (collected from various parents of the HLP community, with little variations):

🔆After delivery, take proper rest. For the first 45 days postpartum it is a must. Then slowly start doing some Yoga exercises.

🔆Along with it, oil massage of the body is advised, with traditional dhooni smudging.

❇️ Mustard oil, heated with Ajwain(carom) and garlic pods can be used for massage.
❇️ Apply asafetida(Hing) paste lightly around the navel, to get rid of gases and stomach issues.

Postpartum diet

🔆 Eat traditional rice, traditionally prepared foods in ghee, jaggery.
(Suggestions, as per your need and conditions faced are detailed below).

🔅 Eat light and easily digestible food, with ghee and jaggery. This keeps you free of digestive issues plus the milk for breastfeeding your infant is better.

🔆 Drink water boiled with herbs for various benefits. Details of how to prepare such water are outlined later.

🔅You can eat paan (betel leaf) after lunch and dinner (with fennel, dhania dal, ajwain, sesame, cardamom, cloves – all roasted and powdered).

To cure toxins, and regain strength to your body

🔅A pinch of saffron, with water decreases pain and removes toxins and vaata rakta.

🔅 Pichi kusuma / swarna ksheeri (a thorned weed) root grinded in goat’s milk can be applied on stomach to decrease pain and remove toxins and vaata rakta.

🔅Take seeded black grapes , mahua flowers , dates , tawakshiri all roughly in equal quantities by weight. Make a fine paste and then make balls of this paste of soap-nut size. Take these balls with honey or khandsari powder(desi sugar, palmyra sugar) which reduces raktapaitya.

🔅Take ajwain, ashwagandha, jeera, long pepper(pippali) all in equal quantities. Make a fine powder and mix with milk to make like puri Aata balls. Slowly warm them and then cool them. Add little honey and jaggery to make to a size of small lemon. Take one a day to increase hunger and beat mandaagni.

🔅Grind 1/4 spoon pippali with ginger kashayam water, and consume to cure pitta rogas pre and post partum.

🔅Take seeds of palasha (Butea monosperma). Grind them with fruits of Cluster Fig Tree (ficus racemosa) to get a paste. Apply this paste pack to all regions of stomach abdomen yoni , thighs with cloth to maintain body shape to normal in a month.

🔅Application of nirgundi leaves paste in swelling regions with cloth cures pain and various other infections / diseases generated.

🔅Applying pure juice of castor plant leaves pack in yoni regions will decrease stomach bloating and pains.

🔅Take 5 grams of biriyani leaf, crushed powder. Boil it with 2 glass water like tea. Filter and consume daily morning for 2 months to get rid of stiff stomach and reduce pain after delivery.

🔅 Take equal weights of bilwa leaves and sendha namak. Warm in kadai and turn to powder. Take 2.5 grams of this churna twice a day with a glass warm water cure garba shuula(stomach pains).

🔅Tulasi seeds grinded and consumed with water decreases stomach stiffness and pain.

🔅 Moringa dry leaves, curry leaves powder, pursulane with daniya powder + sendha namak + amla powder daily with ghee in rice or snacks stiffs entire body.

🔅Dry roast jeera and black pepper in 2:1 ratio and grind it. Eat 1/2 tsp with ghee during every meal. Some also add kalonji (onion seeds) to it.

Mother

Are you breastfeeding?

For children who were not breast fed enough, our sashtra gives another solution..the Swarnaprashana..The ancient texts mention Swarnaprashana should be given to all children who didn’t receive breast milk.

If you are breast-feeding, remember

💠Hydration is the key. Ensure you drink a glass of water before and after each feeding session.

To increase mother’s milk:

♦️Desi raw papaya either like gazar halwa or cooked with tur daal and consumed, will increase milk, WBCs, and immunity.
♦️ajwain powder+ honey a spoon twice a day
♦️ajwain, salt, pepper in equal quantities grinded to a fine powder, to be taken 3 times daily 3 pinches with water.
♦️Atimadhuram powder 5 grams with a glass/cup of warm milk with khandsari once/twice a day.
♦️lotus seeds 5 grams powder with 5 grams kandsari with warm milk inceases milk.
♦️Satavari 10 grams(tula) and candy sugar 10 grams fine powdered mixed well in a glassful or cup of milk, and eating high quantities of tur daal in diet.
♦️kutaja ghan vati zandu tablet one tablet after meals will detoxify toxins in breastfeeding milk.
♦️kokilaksha seeds powder – one spoon boil in a glass of milk or water, filter, add candy sugar or jaggery and consume once daily to increase milk, decrease pains and toxins in milk.
♦️Regular amaranthus leafy veg (thorned variety is the best) with tur dal or direct curry increases milk.
♦️desi wheat flour puri fried in ghee soaked in milk with elaichi and khandsari as snack increases milk and quality of milk.
♦️apamarga seeds, khandsari, peeled cowhage seeds, ratnapurusha dry plant, all equal quantities by weight need to be powdered. 2.5 grams of this churna with a glassful of milk for 3 weeks decreases loss of nutrients, i.e. Mehavyadhi.
♦️Take half a spoon of saunf twice a day. They say it is excellent for producing milk.
♦️Take 5-10 garlic pearls and half a spoon of ghee, shallow fry the garlic till it is golden brown n soft. Eat that with roti or rice. This helps in producing more milk as well as quality milk which can help your baby fight against cold cough and congestion.
♦️If u have curry leaves, u can also make thogaiyal in small quantity and have with food. You can boil some curry leaves in water and drink that water.
♦️Take handful of pudina leaves, add 1/2 tsp of turmeric and boil inhale the steam, it cures cold, cough and fever.
♦️to control automatically oozing of milk warmed betel leaves pack need to applied to breast supported by cloths or threads.

Food to be avoided or monitored or taken in moderation:

❗Too much of Sour citrus juices, lemons, tamarind, pickles, sour leaf veg etc. loosens tissues and kid gets irritated,sweating.
❗high soluble fibre food Capsicum, radish, beans, cucumbers, bottle gourd, brown rice: upsets stomach of baby and creates gas.
❗Tanins, caffeine based Tea & coffees make baby to cry, unable to sleep.
❗High garlic, onions in diet(biryani, few curries, sauce) decreases cholestrol in milk, which may delay brain development.
❗Night shade plant vegetables or herbs like brinjal, raw tomatoes, cauliflower, kantakaari, etc. upset the nervous system if its amount exceeds in milk.
❗ Eat less chillies, mirchi powder(very hot variety) at very intitial stage of breast feeding as these have irritants which may upset baby. Or take buttermilk immediately after spicy/pickles .
❗Hexane based refined oils, Iodide salt are not good for anyone. Instead use kachi ghani oil and raw sea salt. Baked potatoes have good iodine.
❗Avoid MSG : pani poori, noodles, restaurant spicy veg – non veg items have MSG, it inhibits brain development.
❗Avoid green Potatoes: green pototoes are toxic for everyone.
❗Beverages , moderate sugar : contains bone, teeth depleting chemicals. It is advisable to intake sugar cane directly than sugar, which makes babies bone superstrong lifelong.
❗No A1 type Milk or Milk products,
❗No Farm Chicken
❗ No farm eggs.
❗Avoid the 5 whites.

close up of water pouring in glass
Photo by Ecuen Images on Pexels.com

Preparation tips for drinking waters

🔅Caromseed (Ajwain) water
This drink helps cleanse the stomach, improve digestion and speed up recovery after childbirth. 
Ingredients: 
½ tsp powdered carom seeds (ajwain) powder
1 cup filtered water ½tsp desi ghee (optional)
2 tsp powdered jaggery (gud)
Method: Heat the ghee in a pan. Add carom seeds powder and water and stir the mixture well. Bring to a boil and add jaggery. Stir the  mixture till the jaggery dissolves. Simmer for another 2‐3 minutes. Remove from the heat and  allow it to cool until a little warm. Strain and sip the warm drink. 

🔅Carom And Fennel  seed water
Carom (ajwain) seeds help in cleansing the stomach and uterus. Fennel(Saunf) helps in milk production and prevent colic in  babies. 
Ingredients:
1 liter filtered  water
1 tbsp fennel (saunf) seeds
½ tbsp carom (ajwain)  seeds
Method: Put water, fennel and carom seeds in a pan and bring to boil.  Lower the flame and stir boil the mixture for another five minutes. Remove from the heat, cover the pan and let it cool a bit. Strain and store  the  water in an  insulated flask, so that the mixture remains warm for several hours.  Keep taking small sips  of the water as often  as you like. 

🔅Barley and fennel water (jau aur saunf ka pani)
Barley and fennel water is believed to increase milk production. It is also believed that it helps ease gastric problems, constipation and cold symptoms. 
Ingredients:
½ cup whole or pearled barley (jau)
1 to 2 tsp of fennel seeds (saunf) or fennel  powder 
4 cups filtered water
jaggery(gur)–  optional
Method:
Wash the barley grains well and soak them overnight in filtered water. Strain and keep the water aside. In a pan, take four cups of water, including the strained  water (which carries the nutrients of barley). Add in the soaked barley grains and fennel seeds and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the flame and let it simmer for another 5 minutes. Please note that the longer barley simmers the thicker the mixture will become. Add more water to dilute this mix to a watery consistency. Remove from the flame and allow it to settle for about 5 minutes or until warm. Strain and pour into a clean insulated flask so that it stays warm for several hours. Drink this water throughout the day. 
You can add honey/ jaggery for  added flavor. 

🔅Holy basil (tulsi) water
Tulsi is believed to set up milk production and flow.  This herb is a good source of carotene, niacin, thiamine and iron. It is believed to calm the nerves and  initiate the let down reflex. This drink may also help  digestion, reduce  indigestion and increase the appetite. 
Ingredients:                6 to 8 fresh holy basil (tulsi) leaves.               1 cup filtered  water ½ tsp honey (shahad)  ‐  optional
Method: In a pan, add water and crushed/finely chopped basil (tulsi) leaves. Bring the mixture to boil. Simmer and let the leaves settle for about 5 minutes. Remove from the flame. Pour the mixture through a sieve into a cup. Add honey to taste. Drink warm.

To stop vomiting (pre-post pregnancy):

🔅puffed rice, bilwa leaves, curry leaves all in equal quantities by weight made to fine balls of size soap nut seeds, consuming 1 ball 3 times Daily, will cure vomiting sensation.
🔅consumption of milk shake made up of popcorns, elaichi, internal black shell removed seeds of silk cotton tree in equal quantities of 2 spoons each, grinded well to form nut milk shake will cure vamana.

🔅 raw bilwa fruit boiled kashayam cooled and added honey drinking will cure hiccups.

To increase breast size and stiffness

♦️Any 2 dry roots of (Sida acuta, bala, ati bala, maha bala, Pavonia odorata, Muttavapulagam), Acorus calamus, (roots best) whole plant of insulin plant(costus igneus), kshirakakoli, kalanamak (black salt) all in equal quantities by weight powdered well and mixed with any of one (butter, sesame, ghee) and applied to breast, (vaksha) and thighs will increase size of breast.
♦️ Equal quantities by weight of ash gourd leaves and sesame oil should be boiled at low heat. After cooling the oil needs to be cloth filtered to extract juicy leaves oil with palms. this oil application stiffens breast.
♦️Acorus calamus , ashwagandha , Catharanthus roseus leaves – grinded paste pack on breasts.
♦️White shoe flower , brown or black cow milk paste pack on breasts.
♦️(Sphaeranthus indicus) gorakhmundi entire fresh plant fine paste filtered juice boiled in sesame oil, this oil application increases breast and stiffens it.
♦️Lemon leaves juice, fruits of Solanum virginianum or any solanum species paste application on breast will improve size and stiffness.

Breast infections

♦️ For infection on breast due baby teeth hurting, use marigold flower paste on injury.
♦️khurasani ajwain grinded paste applied using a cloth over breast decreases vata-swelling, fevers related to breast swellings.
♦️Bitter apple roots paste applied to breast will cure pains of swelling immediately.

Stomach and abdominal pains

♦️Nymphaea caerulea, blue water lilly/lotus petals + honey + black/brown seeded grapes all grinded well to form chutney need to be consumed, of the size of small lemon, with warm water. It removes pain in stomach.
♦️Abhrak bhasma + sesame oil rubbing cloth pack will cure pains and swelling and pains.

Pimples on breast

Breast needs cleaning with neem leaves juice, White Ash from burning neem leaves need to be collected upto 20 grams and applied to breast with mustard oil again sprayed with Ash. In 5 days pimples will disappear.

To cure bleeding, swellings , pains

♦️Majuphal (Mazu, Muphal)
Bengali- Maju-phal; Tamil- Machakai, Mashikai;
Telugu- Machi Kaya;
Kannada- Machikai;
Malayalam- Majakani,)
powder with warmed castor leaves apply using cloth as pack on the area.
♦️Apply (TRIANTHEMA PORTULACASTRUM) swetha punarnava paste pack, using cloth.
♦️apply henna leaves paste, castor leaves paste using cloth packs in Abdominal / thighs swelling, paining regions.
♦️Menthol flakes + edible camphor melts if mixed in hand, its application to paining region gently. (please avoid eye contact as it is very hot).

Note – If you have any health issues, please check with your doctor/Ayurvedic Vaidya before taking home remedies.

Incompatible Foods and Allergies

A proper food combination is vital for our health and overall well-being. According to Ayurveda, incompatible foods or Viruddha Ahara is a strong reason for many systemic disorders. Allergy is one of the toxic or side effects of consuming incompatible foods. However, the allergic reaction may not be evident in everyone on every occasion. There are many factors involved in the development of such reactions. But, it continues for a lifetime once you get affected.

Food as Medicine:

Before we dwell on the wrong food combinations, it is essential to understand how the different food combinations work. Because each food item is unique in terms of taste, potency and energy, when different food materials are used together, their effects can be additive, synergistic, or antagonistic.

Additive: Food combination leads to the sum of the effects of individual food component

Synergistic: Food combination leads to a larger effect than expected

Antagonistic: Food Combination leads to a smaller effect than expected.

Toxic: Food combination leads to toxic effects

Wrong Food Combinations:

Honey and Ghee (in equal quantity)

Cooked food with fruits

Milk with fruits

Curd with fruits (Mango Lassi or Smoothies??)

Milk products with greens (Palak Paneer)

Milk with sour, salt, astringent and bitter taste

Green leaf and ginger / dried ginger

Tender coconut water with cooked food

Water or hot water during the meal

Fermented rice with sesame oil

Black gram with sesame oil

Black gram with radish

Black nightshade with pepper / honey / palm jaggery

Millets with milk

Radish with milk/banana

Beans with fruits

Lemon with curds/milk

Milk is incompatible with bananas, cherries, melons, sour fruits and yogurt  ( Think before taking milkshakes )

Home Remedies

Here is a compilation of affordable and accessible home remedies that will help combat Allergies

Take 2 pinches pepper powder + 4 pinches of turmeric powder mixed with ghee

Dosage: Once a day – early morning on an empty stomach

Take 2 cloves of Roasted garlic + 3 pinches of pepper powder with honey

Dosage: Before breakfast

 Haridrakandam is one of the effective and trusted remedies for allergies

Dosage:  1 tsp daily

Panchakarma, the classic Ayurvedic detoxification treatment, also works wonders to remove allergy.

Let your journey for impeccable health begin today with compatible foods!!!

HOLISTIC APPROACH TO BABY’S TEETHING PHASE

Teething also termed as dentition is a phase for babies that is painful. Indian Ayurved Acharya Scholar Vagbhatta quotes in his ancient script Asthanga Sangraha that during teething, the child may suffer from various disorders like diarrhoea, fever, headache, thirst, vertigo, inflammation of eyes, vomiting, respiratory troubles and skin disorders. 

SIGNS OF TEETHING:

Just like every baby is unique, so are their teething symptoms. But largely babies tend to start biting anything they get their hands upon including mother’s breasts while feeding to show their early signs of teething. Babies get itching sensation in their gums before the tooth erupts, hence they seem cranky. It is said that babies experience almost the same pain in teething phase as women experience during their labor.

Below are some effective and ancient remedies that can be incorporated in the routine of the baby during teething

GARDENIA GUMMIFERA HERB:


This is also called Gummy Gardenia in English. Nadihingu in Sanskrit, Dikamali/ Dikemali in Hindi & Marathi, Bikke/Bukke in Kannada.
It is a magical herb for most disorders caused due to teething in babies and also good medicine for postpartum women.
HOW TO USE:
This herb is available in most ayurvedic shops in powder form usually called as Dikamali powder which is dark green in colour and has distinct aroma.
1. Take some powder (1 small teaspoon of it) and mix mother’s milk if baby is less than 6 months or clean drinking water (for 6+ months) to make thick paste like consistency. Rub this paste onto the gums of baby in similar way how we brush our teeth with fingers. Initially some babies may reject the flavour of the herb, but the good news is they will soon learn to like the taste of it.
2. Massage various joints of the baby using this powder. Age old women claim that teething pain in babies is equal to the labor pain of mother! Most of the joints of babies ache during this phase along. To heal this, take some dry powder of the herb and massage onto the temple side area of the head, joint under the knee, joint of the arm and ankles of the feet. The massage has to be gentle but firm.
The above massage can be done twice daily or just once depending on the severity of teething issues.

TLISMI MOTI

Tlismi Moti

Tlismi moti is made up of 5 metals that helps to harmonize energy around oral cavity and face. Hence this is usually tied around the neck of the baby using traditional black thread to ensure painless or less itchy teething phase. It is absolutely safe and effective remedy than the commercially available teethers made up of silicon/plastic/polished wood. Though there are some unpolished neem wood teethers available in the market, but the cost is definitely huge for each piece.
HOW TO USE:
Tlismi moti is available in local markets, ensure you buy a genuine one. Take two such motis to have full effect and slip it in a thin black thread (this is usually included from the buyer) and tie around the neck of the baby usually a little below the neck near to the chest cavity.

HOME REMEDY FOR DIARRHOEA DUE TO TEETHING:
Often watery poop is caused due to teething in babies . If you have baby who is experiencing watery poops and you can also see teeth coming out of their gum, then below remedy  provides relief. This remedy is for baby older than 8 months only.
If diarrhoea is mild to moderate:
1. Take a ripe Bael fruit (refer pic), remove peel, boil it in water till half quantity.
Dosage: 2 teaspoonfuls 6 hourly.

Ripe Bael fruit

If diarrhoea is severe: Take unripe Bael fruit (refer pic), remove peel, take 10 g+coriander powder 10g+dry ginger powder 10 g boil it in 400 ml water till it reduces to 100 ml

Dosage: 2 teaspoonfuls 6 hourly

Unripe Bael fruit

Bael fruit is also known as Golden apple/stone apple/ wood apple. It is used as go to remedy ranging from digestive issues to respiratory problems. It is consumed in juice form in hottest of summers in India.

While teething is temporary phase for baby ensure to give her/him full attention so they don’t bite inedible things, sooth them emotionally by singing a song, taking for a stroll in the park or just cuddling them. Above all breastfeed as often as baby demands, it compliments the above remedies and keeps their immune system strong.
If the symptoms of diarrhoea, vomiting, appetite loss continues inspite of the home remedies, please consult doctor immediately.

Wishing parents healthy teething phase for babies.

Fireless Cooking Session with Maran G and Laughter Therapy

Fireless Cooking Session with Maran G and Laughter Therapy – Workshop at Bangalore on 22 July 2017

Participants of the workshop

The fifth-year anniversary celebration of the Swarnaprashna Parenting Community, which happened in June with over 40-50 parents and their family and children, was a one of a kind meeting of like-minded parents who share a common vision for health and spirituality alike. One of the super hit sessions at this celebration was the session of Dr. Maran G, who is a raw food activist and a firm proponent of Naturopathy. All of us were so bowled over by his enthusiasm and his super helpful attitude towards knowledge sharing, that it is but inevitable that we will all demand for a repeat (this time, more detailed!) session with Dr. Maran.

So, with the stars aligning, we were fortunate enough to enjoy two wonderful sessions with Dr. Maran in the last month – one in Chennai (organized by parent Priya) and one in Bangalore – which happened this past Saturday. I was part of the session at Bangalore and feel honored to share the knowledge gained at the session which Dr. Maran so gracefully shared with us all. But before we dive in straight to the learning, let me write a bit about Dr. Maran.

Dr. Maran getting ready to wow the audience

Maran G or Maranji as we liked to call him, is what you might call a food and health revolutionary. Hailing from Tamilnadu, Dr. Maran, who must be about 60 or so years old, has been tirelessly working the last 20 years (or perhaps even more) with a single motive to help families avoid expensive medical costs and realize that they can cure themselves of all diseases with a simple belief that Food is Medicine and Medicine is Food. A very humble soul and a great orator, Dr. Maran, who is a Naturopathy doctor, also runs a small all natural food restaurant at Sivakasi. One of the notable achievements of this restaurant is that they don’t use any of the five whites (Sugar, Salt, Maida, Milk and White Rice/Wheat) – and yet, over 250-300 people regularly visit this restaurant every single day in search of healthy and safe food. Dr. Maran regularly travels across South India to talk about healthy food habits and healthy lifestyle practices to lead a healthy and happy life. For all his wonderful knowledge and status, he might be one of the most humble men you might ever meet. The world certainly needs more of his kind.

As you might have guessed, any time we spend with such a person is bound to be filled with so much learning and so much realization of the simple truths about life. So it was the session that happened in Bangalore. Dr. Maran spent about 5-6 hours addressing all of us non-stop with not a single pause or break – that itself can be the proof of how the right food and lifestyle habits can help someone face all the demands of a day without breaking a single sweat! Dr. Maran, nonetheless to say, is a man who practices what he preaches and is an inspiration to all of us – if we can be half of what he is at that age, I am sure that will be a great achievement given the rush and mindlessness that we live in.

Participants listening attentively

As I sit now and try to pen down what I learnt this weekend, my mind simply boggles at the task before me! Every single second of the session was so useful and so full of information, that it would be impossible for me to capture every single one of it here without being confusing or overwhelming. So I will try to share the essence of what I learnt (given that I have about 15 pages of hurriedly scribbled notes to decipher). I am going to write it down as we covered it during the session without putting my own wrapper or inference around it though I will try to bracket it into categories wherever possible so that it is easy for you to read and remember. If you are unclear about what a certain point might mean, do comment and I will see if I can recall and try to elaborate it out for you.

Before the day’s session began, as has become our usual practice, Velu did a guided meditation for all parents gathered around. Few peaceful moments where we were called into recognize our own consciousness and its power to go far and beyond our immediate comprehension. By the end of this meditation, all of were feeling so centered and calm – just the right mindset to receive the downpour of wisdom all of us got from Dr. Maran! One of Dr. Maran associates, Mr. Mukesh Jain, who is a laughter and yoga therapist, joined us soon after to kick start the day with a quick laughter session that will set the trend for the day – a fun and jovial mood to break the seriousness and magnitude of the topic at hand. And then, it was time for Dr. Maran (many thanks to Parent and healer Anand who helped translate).

Meditation session in progress

Bhastrika Pranayama – one of the most easy ways to cleanse your lungs and detox

So, without further ado, here are some of the pearls of wisdom shared by Dr. Maran:

The Basics:

  1. The basic premise is that we are what we eat. One must understand that Food is Medicine and Medicine is Food. So, if we want a healthy body, all we need to do is look at our food habits.
  2. All causes of diseases and the many symptoms of the many diseases are just one – which is Morbid Toxin Accumulation in the body. So what are these toxins? It can be the polluted Air we breathe, the contaminated water we take OR it can be the bad food we consume – that is all.
  3. With that understanding, it will be easy to know that if all diseases are a result of one root cause, however different the disease or its symptoms are, all of them can be dealt with the same treatment – i.e. Complete Detoxification and a return to healthy food habits and lifestyle giving the body time and energy to heal itself.
  4. While Modern Medicine has been a great life saver (in the case of emergency surgeries, accidents and such), it has not been very kind to humans in its very quick recommendations for synthetic-chemical based medicines (more toxins to the already toxic loaded body!), operations and unnecessary amputations and eviscerations. So before one turns to this option, one must firmly look at one’s own lifestyle and food habits and identify the root cause of the disease instead of asking for quick-fixes from the Doctors of modern medicine.
  5. So how can we avoid toxin accumulation due to food? How can Food be medicine? How can our food habits help us live a healthy life and help our body heal itself? The answer is very simple – It is just about consuming food straight from the greatest kitchen in the world, without any secondary processing. That’s right, the greatest kitchen in the world is that of Mother Nature’s and the best kind of food is the one that comes straight from her – raw and clean of any contamination (including pesticides, fertilizers, etc.)
  6. One must understand and go back to our elementary school lessons that all of us have forgotten – Cooking takes away the essential nutrients in our food. Cooking is an unnecessary wastage of energy. Cooking is not required for a man to consume food. The early man might very well have been a fruitarian and if he could have in that harsh environment, we very well can be now.
  7. But given that we have got used to eating cooked food in the past few generations, how can we go back to this basic healthy way of living? Where do we start? Simple – Just switch 30% of your food intake to raw and clean – that should be more than enough to see you through. This roughly translates to a minimum of ONE COMPLETE raw meal (consisting of fruits, vegetables and plain juices/milk extracted from millets/grams/grains) per day.
  8. It doesn’t, however, stop at only food. We must also look at our overall lifestyle and make sure it is healthy. For instance, our good food habits must be complemented by good eating habits – i.e. for instance, giving complete attention to what we eat, biting each morsel minimum twenty or times till all the saliva is mixed with it (which is what helps digestion – as digestion starts right from mouth and not just in stomach as we believe).
  9. Physical Exercise is also mandatory as is cultivating a good mind.
  10. Finally, you can reverse most if not all diseases if you are totally willing to commit to a raw and clean food habit. Dr. Maran has cured many a people with his simple diet plans and lifestyle modification recommendations.

Our wholesome food getting ready – helped by kids!

What we must remember and most importantly practice:

  1. Replace the five whites mandatorily. Sugar can be replaced by Jaggery or Plam Sugar. Salt can be replaced by Sea/Rock Salt or Himalayan Pink Salt. Maida and White Rice can be replaced with traditional millet or unpolished rice varieties. Milk can be replaced with Milk alternatives such as Coconut Milk or Sprout’s Milk.
  2. In addition to nutrients, Cooking takes away the natural taste of the food as well which is why we need to add extra spices to dishes. If we get used to eating raw for a minimum one week, our taste buds will stop asking for “spicy stuff”. So start by consuming at least one raw meal a day. Every meal must begin with fruits or raw vegetables (30-60 minutes before the meal itself).
  3. Consume plenty of water. Look at detox waters to help detoxify and restore body balance.
  4. Water must also be consumed like solid food. Sip by sip mixed well with saliva.
  5. Practice Bhastrika Pranayama to detox your lungs and handle pollution in the air we breathe in.
  6. Assimilation and Elimination must happen smoothly for the body to function well. Pay attention to both these processes.
  7. Chew completely to ensure food is mixed well with Saliva. Saliva is the one that helps in digestion and it is also an insulin balancer if you will.
  8. Never control body urges including the urge to urinate and defecate. One must defecate at least twice a day. This will automatically get streamlined if one switches to natural/raw food at least once a day.
  9. Eat only when hungry and never go by the clock. Eat slowly and without distractions such as TV or mobile. Try not to talk as well while eating. Pay complete attention to what you are eating.
  10. Physical exercise and body activity is a must for healthy living. One must walk barefoot at least for half an hour a day outdoors. If not possible, at least walk in the shape of eight inside the house.
  11. Get up before sunrise. Do “Angapradikshina” and super brain yoga to keep your digestive system and nervous system active and healthy.
  12. Be childlike and cultivate a happy mindset.
  13. Dressing is also important for a healthy body – avoid tight and clingy dresses made out of unnatural fibers such as polyester and such.
  14. Help others and derive mental satisfaction. This, in turn, will help you reach a feeling of satiation and happiness.
  15. Never have a physical relationship with your partner within 3 hours of eating. All the blood will be re-directed to the physical act and food will turn to toxins. The best time, thus recommended by our elders probably keeping this in mind, is in the early morning well away from the last meal of the deal.
  16. Never eat after 7 pm.
  17. Practice Oil Bathing regularly without fail. If your lifestyle doesn’t allow it, at least do oil pulling.
  18. Have seasonal fruits. Consume desi (non-hybrid only) and organic fruits only as much as possible. For all other food, wash with salt and lemon to get rid of chemicals as much as possible before consuming.
  19. Don’t consume too much water just after a meal. Give at least 30-60 minutes gap. You may consume Detox water if you feel thirsty during this time.
  20. Finally, practice fasting as well to complement your healthy food habits.

A complete meal of the day – totally fireless cooking (all raw and natural)

Recipes:

So, all of us might have the same questions in our mind the minute we hear we must switch to at least 30% raw food in a day- how can we survive without any spices and simply eat just fruits and raw vegetables every single day? Well, it need not be that way. We can definitely create some wonderful recipes with spices such as dhania, jeera, and pepper and create some lip-smacking raw recipes. Do lookout for the English translated publications of Dr. Maran’s recipe books. For now, here are a few recipes Dr. Maran shared during the meet (he shared some more as well – but I haven’t been able to blog them all). We also had the great fun of eating all of these items (and more) prepared by Maranji’s assistant/cook Mr. Ramesh (who was helped by many parents as well including Divya, Nandhini and others).

Here are some of these items/recipes:

A healthy alternative to Cow’s Milk and Morning drinks:

  1. Curry Leaves Kheer
  2. Carrot/Beetroot Kheer
  3. Greens Kheer
  4. Sprout’s Milk

A healthy Starter/Snack:

  1. Sweet and Raw Ladies Finger Starter (or alternate with Snake Gourd)
  2. Raw Ground nut / Till Laddu Snack
  3. Sprout Salad

Sweet and Raw Ladies Finger Starter

Sprout Salad

Main Course:

  1. Mix Vegetable Kootu (or stew)
  2. Gourd Salad
  3. Lemon Aval (Flattened Poha) Rice
  4. Sweet Aval (Flattened Poha) Rice (Flattened Poha)
  5. Coconut Chutney
  6. Ridge Gourd Chutney
  7. Curd Aval

Mixed Veg Salad

Sweet Avalakki

Ridge Gourd Chutney

Lemon Avalakki

Kootu

Curd rice (avalakki)

Desserts:

  1. Aval Payasam
  2. Stuffed Snake Gourd Sweet Treats/Cutlets

Aval Payasam

Stuffed Snake Gourd Sweet/Cutlet

Never knew Snake Gourd can be so yummy eaten raw (Of course the Jaggery filling helped 😛 )

Other Accompaniments:

  1. Beetroot Pickles
  2. Ginger Pickles
  3. Detox Waters

Beetroot Pickles

What I have shared is probably just 50% of what Maranji shared or even lesser. I hope you get a chance to attend his session yourself and get to learn as we all did this time.

Before I wrap up, I must also thank Mr. Mukesh Jain – who spent well over an hour making us all laugh – the only thing we didn’t do was ROFL (rolling on the floor laughing). We did everything else laughing – yoga, exercise, talking, moving, dancing, the formation of an energy circle….and what not. My god, Mr. Mukesh never let his smile or laugh dim even for a single second – such was his commitment to giving us all a memorable day of laughter. As they say, a day without laughter is a day wasted. Though it will by no means be a day wasted, Mr. Mukesh’s child-like enthusiasm in engaging all of us left us all grinning ear-to-ear well after the day was over.

As an ending note, let me express my gratitude to Dr. Maran, Mr. Ramesh, Mr. Mukesh Jain, Velu, Mani, many parents and volunteers who made this event happen (Devika, Divya, Nandhini, many more I am sure ). God bless them with a happy, healthy life!

Author: Vaijayanthi

Vaijayanthi is a freelance business writer and full-time gardener. She coaches people on adopting a chemical-free lifestyle through her initiative called the Kaustubam for Sustainable Living Practices. She also conducts various physical workshops and training sessions on sustainable living and Gardening for children in Bengaluru through the initiative The Happy Child.

Detox Waters

One of the traditional views of Naturopathy considers all diseases as nothing but a result of morbid toxin accumulation in the body. So by removing these toxins (detoxification), you can regain good health is the belief (provided one also follows the other things required for good health including cultivating a sound mind and physical exercise).

To help in this detoxification, you can prepare a few Detox Waters that can help you maintain good health every day. There are specific Detox Waters depending upon the disease you suffer from. Or, you can just alternate between each of these Detox Waters one day a week and cover all the days and stay detoxed! Don’t over do it though. Listen to your body and follow its wisdom.

Types of Detox Waters:

  1. Jeera Water
  2. Amla Water
  3. Nannari Water
  4. Rose Water
  5. Methi Water
  6. Lotus Water
  7. Dhania Water

How to prepare and use the Detox Water:

  1. If it’s Jeera/Methi/Dhania – take 1 spoon. If it is Amla, take one fruit (grate it). If it is Nannari or Rose petals, take a handful. If it is Lotus, take one full medium sized flower (along with stem, petals, etc.)
  2. Soak the base component overnight in 250 ml of water, preferably in a copper vessel.
  3. Boil the above mixture the next day morning till the water reduces to half.
  4. Take off the flame and filter out the solids.
  5. Dilute the leftover concentrated liquid to 1 or 1.5 liters.
  6. Sip throughout the day (or as long as it lasts) ensuring it mixes well with your saliva before you swallow.

Benefits of Detox Water:

  1. Jeera Water helps aid weight loss and also increases the body metabolism. Also, helps in addressing digestive issues
  2. Amla Water helps address blood-related problems.
  3. Nannari Water is good at healing urinary issues and balancing pitta in the body
  4. Rose Water (typically red desi varieties are preferred) helps in reducing acidity and is great for skin problems, balancing pitta, body/mouth adour, and Blood Pressure
  5. Methi Water is good for helping with diabetes, hair fall, and women’s problems such as white discharge
  6. Lotus/Dhania Water is very very good for balancing blood pressure (both high and low blood pressure).

If you’d like, you can also add the juice of one lemon to the diluted detox water for more flavor.

Author: Vaijayanthi

Vaijayanthi is a freelance business writer and full-time gardener. She coaches people on adopting a chemical-free lifestyle through her initiative called the Kaustubam for Sustainable Living Practices. She also conducts various physical workshops and training sessions on sustainable living and Gardening for children in Bengaluru through the initiative The Happy Child.

Sweet and Raw Ladies Finger Starters

Have you ever thought of using Ladies Finger as a starter except in the form of Bhendi Fry? How about if we give you a recipe for a sweet and RAW Ladies Finger starter that you will not only eat happily but will even look for a second serving? Here, take a look at this super simple and super delicious recipe for Ladies Finder Starter.

Sweet and Raw Ladies Finger Starter

 

Ingredients:

  1. Quarter Kilo Ladies Finger
  2. 2-3 Lemons (adjust according to taste)
  3. 5-6 spoons of Jaggery powder (adjust according to taste)
  4. Juice of 1 or 2 medium size Ginger pieces

Method:

  1. Wash the Ladies Finger well and pat dry.
  2. Slit them sideways partially (not fully; the Ladies Finger should not come apart and should stay intact). Ensure there are no worms.
  3. Combine the juice of lemons, Ginger and Jaggery Powder and mix until the Jaggery is dissolved completely. You may add a bit of water to get a smooth syrupy consistency.
  4. Now, soak the slit Ladies Finger in this syrup for up to 3 hours.
  5. Your Sweet and Raw Ladies Finger Starter is now ready to be served.

Few Health Benefits:

  1. Ladies Fingers are a great source of natural Iodine and can be a wonderful natural remedy to deal with Thyroid problems.
  2. The combination of Lemon and Ginger juice helps make the raw Ladies Finger easier to consume as-is without cooking/frying. This helps ensure all the nutritional properties of Ladies Finger are kept intact.

It’s enough if one person has 2-3 of these starters every day to get all the health benefits.

You can also replace the Ladies Finger with Snake Gourd and make Sweet and Raw Snake Gourd starter. Come on now, give it a try!

Author: Vaijayanthi

Vaijayanthi is a freelance business writer and full-time gardener. She coaches people on adopting a chemical-free lifestyle through her initiative called the Kaustubam for Sustainable Living Practices. She also conducts various physical workshops and training sessions on sustainable living and Gardening for children in Bengaluru through the initiative The Happy Child.

Sprouts Milk (Vegan Milk)- Great alternative to Cow’s Milk

If you have been looking for a good alternative to Cow’s milk (either due to health reasons, cruelty reasons or any other reasons), you have many choices today – including Almond Milk, Soy Milk, Rice Milk, Hemp Milk, Coconut Milk and Sprouts Milk. While the first five may be commercially available off the shelf in super markets, they can also prove to be a bit economically unviable for everyday use. In such a case, do not worry!

Here’s a wonderful alternative to these Vegan Milk options which is also very very healthy – and what’s more – you can make five different variations of this milk as well! Yes, I am talking about Sprout’s Milk. Let’s quickly look at how to make this milk before we look at the benefits of this milk.

How to make Sprout’s Milk:

  1. Take any one millet/gram of your choice from the ones listed above – Finger Millet or Pearl Millet or Foxtail Millet Or Horsegram or Whole Greengram.
  2. Wash it once, remove any impurities/stones and then soak it for 5 – 6 hours (or overnight). You need not wait till the sprouts fully appear but if you want to do so, there’s no harm either. This recipe looks at how we can prepare Sprout’s milk fresh every day with just five minutes of work the previous night.
  3. Once the millet/gram is soaked sufficiently (and just about starting to sprout if you let it longer than 6 hours), put it in a blender with some water and grind it nicely.
  4. Filter out the liquid with a fine mesh. This is your thick Sprout’s Milk.
  5. Add equal quantity of hot water to this extracted thick Sprout’s Milk.
  6. Add Jaggery and Elaichi to give it sweetness and flavor and consume as an alternative to regular milk.

Why Sprouts Milk:

  1. As you know, millets and grams pack quite a punch of nutrients and are considered super foods.
  2. They are also cheaper compared to any other type of vegan milk including Almond Milk.
  3. They also help you replace the so called commercial health drinks which in reality may not have much nutrition at all.

Do give this recipe a try and let us know how it worked for you. Perhaps, you can even combine one or two millets and extract mixed Sprout’s Milk.

Author: Vaijayanthi

Vaijayanthi is a freelance business writer and full-time gardener. She coaches people on adopting a chemical-free lifestyle through her initiative called the Kaustubam for Sustainable Living Practices. She also conducts various physical workshops and training sessions on sustainable living and Gardening for children in Bengaluru through the initiative The Happy Child.

Greens Kheer – A healthy morning drink

In the previous two posts, we saw three wonderful recipes for a healthy morning drink (Curry Leaves Kheer, Carrot OR Beetroot Kheer). We can also replace the curry leaves/carrot/beetroot with Greens such as Ponnagannai (Alternanthera/ Matsyakshi/ Honganne/ Ponnaganti koora) or Karisalankanni (Bhringaraj). Both these greens (healing herbs actually) are fantastic for eyesight and skin health.

By alternating between these five different recipes, one can ensure a healthy, balanced nutrition is provided to the family throughout the week. What’s more, these recipes also be a great alternative to cow’s milk being Vegan recipes.

Here are also a few tips that can help you adapt these recipes quickly into your lifestyle:

  1. If you or your child prefers a hot drink in the morning, you can simply use medium hot/warm water to prepare the juice. Do not boil it, however.
  2. You may also grind the Coconut separately and extract the Coconut milk and then add it to the other ingredients while grinding. That way, you can get the Coconut fiber separately – which you can use in your regular cooking for chutneys, sabjis, sambar, etc.
  3. You can also try doing it with few other vegetables (or maybe even fruits). The fun lies in experimenting with a taste and consistency you will fall in love with (or rather your children will come to love!).
  4. You may also try adding a bit of water to get a more liquid consistency. You may need to increase the Jaggery though.
  5. You can also replace Jaggery/Country Sugar with Palm Sugar and get the additional benefits of Palm Sugar
  6. The consistent use of Coriander and Ginger in all the recipes ensures good digestion power.

Additionally, these recipes should take you just about 3-5 minutes to prepare provided you have all ingredients handy. This is much lesser than the time taken to boil milk and prepare your health drink/coffee/tea. So that’s time saved in the kitchen which you can use elsewhere!

If you have a variation of this kheer which you think will work great, please do try and share your feedback with us. We would love to try it as well!

Author: Vaijayanthi

Vaijayanthi is a freelance business writer and full-time gardener. She coaches people on adopting a chemical-free lifestyle through her initiative called the Kaustubam for Sustainable Living Practices. She also conducts various physical workshops and training sessions on sustainable living and Gardening for children in Bengaluru through the initiative The Happy Child.

Carrot/Beetroot Kheer – A healthy morning drink

Carrot/Beetroot Kheer

Ingredients:

  1. One Carrot OR Beetroot
  2. 2 -3 medium size pieces of Coconut (Or a bit less than half a crown)
  3. 5 – 6 spoons of powdered Jaggery/Country Sugar (Depending on how sweet you want it)
  4. A bunch of Coriander Leaves
  5. A piece or two of Ginger
  6. 4-5 Elachi

Carrot Kheer (Skip the curry leaves shown in the picture)

Method:

  1. In a blender or mixie, grind all the ingredients listed together
  2. For children, filter the liquid and separate the fiber out
  3. For adults, you may consume the juice as-is with the fiber if possible else you may filter the fiber out as well. Feed the pulp to your plants/compost.
  4. Your super healthy Curry leaves kheer is ready. Pour into a re-usable glass and enjoy the innumerable health benefits.

Few Health Benefits:

  1. Carrot is extremely good for eyesight and skin.
  2. Beetroot is good for Iron and Magnesium and helps increase Haemoglobin in Blood.
  3. Both Carrot and Beetroot helps increase immune power and are a good source of vitamins and minerals.

Author: Vaijayanthi

Vaijayanthi is a freelance business writer and full-time gardener. She coaches people on adopting a chemical-free lifestyle through her initiative called the Kaustubam for Sustainable Living Practices. She also conducts various physical workshops and training sessions on sustainable living and Gardening for children in Bengaluru through the initiative The Happy Child.

Curry Leaves Kheer – A healthy morning drink

Curry Leaves Kheer

Ingredients:

  1. Two handsful of Curry Leaves
  2. 2 -3 medium size pieces of Coconut (Or a bit less than half a crown)
  3. 5 – 6 spoons of powdered Jaggery/Country Sugar (Depending on how sweet you want it)
  4. A bunch of Coriander Leaves
  5. A piece or two of Ginger
  6. 4-5 Elachi

Curry Leaves Kheer (you may additionally add a carrot or beetroot piece as well)

Method:

  1. In a blender or mixie, grind all the ingredients listed together
  2. For children, filter the liquid and separate the fiber out
  3. For adults, you may consume the juice as-is with the fiber if possible else you may filter the fiber out as well. Feed the pulp to your plants/compost.
  4. Your super healthy Curry leaves kheer is ready. Pour into a re-usable glass and enjoy the innumerable health benefits.

Few Health Benefits:

  1. Extremely good for your hair and scalp; Promotes hair growth and controls hair fall
  2. Helps increase digestive power and heals stomach ulcers
  3. Good for dealing with women health related problems
  4. The Kheer is also a complete nutritionally balanced drink – Curry leaves provide Iron, Magnesium, and Calcium, Jaggery provides Carbohydrates and Iron, Coriander helps balance the heat generated by Iron (compensating excess pitta), and Coconut acts a natural source of rich Protein, and Ginger helps increase digestive power.

 

Author: Vaijayanthi

Vaijayanthi is a freelance business writer and full-time gardener. She coaches people on adopting a chemical-free lifestyle through her initiative called the Kaustubam for Sustainable Living Practices. She also conducts various physical workshops and training sessions on sustainable living and Gardening for children in Bengaluru through the initiative The Happy Child.