“Reverse diabetes with food, that’s what she claims to do… it’s mind boggling”
I wondered at the surprise in their voices. I thought everybody knew that food, lifestyle and stress were the cause for diabetes, and the cure as well. Well, Apparently I was wrong.
A farmers’ market was one segment of the exhibition, for which a natural farmer whom my parents’ organisation ArtyPlantz works closely with, Mahesh, had been invited to showcase and sell his produce. He had called us to come along with him and spend the day there.
Janani, ArtyPlantz’s Green Connect Leader, and Ganesh, ArtyPlantz’s botanist and naturalist, were headed there, and I decided to go along with them. I was eager to meet many people that these two had been harping on about for many months.
We arrived at Bhoomi College a few minutes before Mahesh did, and helped him unload fresh fruits and vegetables he had brought from his farm. His lemons always amaze me. They are HUGE. You can actually make 4 to 5 glasses of lemon juice using just one lemon, that’s how big they are. And they taste amazing. When we ask him, he attributes it all to his Natural farming practices.
It was this day that I realised the huge amount of work in store for Naturopaths in the next few years and decades.
Ganesh and Janani had been wanting me to meet Mayank Rungta, their friend and one of the founders of Khula Manch, a Bengaluru-based organisation that conducts public screenings of documentaries that make a difference. I met him that day – a somewhat tall, bespectacled, thin yet rugged-looking young man sporting a hip bag. I had been hearing stories about him, and he told me he had been hearing stories about me too, so we had already been introduced to each other before we met!
As we spoke, the conversation turned towards how he and his friends had been trying to find the right way of living. Mayank is crazy about biking (Shyamala, a mutual friend, tells me, I quote, “Half the people who cycle in Bengaluru today, cycle because of Mayank – and that includes me!”). He is almost always on his cycle wherever he goes in Bengaluru – it is his only mode of transport. For the longest time, he believed that he could get away with eating anything if he exercised enough, and cycling was his mantra to stay fighting fit – which he disseminated in biking workshops.
Then one of Mayank’s friends developed type I diabetes. His theory that one could eat anything went for a toss and he with his friends began searching for deeper answers. Soon, they came across some advocates of natural diet and natural living and adopted some of these principles into their lives. Talking about one of these advocates, I still remember what Mayank said, “Reverse diabetes with food, that’s what she claims she can do. And, it actually works! Many people I know have reduced their weight, their blood sugar levels, their blood pressure, and some have even reversed cancer by eating right.”
I remember thinking, “Well, of course, everybody knows that’s the only thing that works, right?”
After my conversation with Mayank was over, I asked Ganesh and Janani with a very thoughtful face, “Hey, don’t people know that a disease like diabetes can be reversed only by food, lifestyle and the mind?” They started laughing.
Ganesh said, “No, that’s what we’ve been trying to tell you for months now. People are all caught up in a fanciful world of supplements, rice bran and olive oil, millets, unpolished rice, multi-grain atta, methi powder, weight lifting, zumba and whatnot, trying to treat themselves. There is even a doctor in Mangalore who advocates eating meat for diabetes! I’m telling you, Achyuthan, people have no clue how to eat right. They’re searching for it, but everywhere they go, they’re only getting half-baked answers from people who are trying to market their products.” Janani added, “There are very few people I know who have convinced me about this. They way you have understood it and talk about it is unique, Naturopathy and Yoga cover all aspects of living. You need to start talking to people.”
Mayank and his friends had found and adopted one of the most important practices of what a healthy life should comprise. Over the last three days, I have spoken to a number of people who have had heart attacks and recovered from them with surgery, but have not done much to change their diet afterward. The doctors did advise them to stop eating white rice, maida, sugar and reduce consumption of milk, salt, etc., they said. But they did not follow that advise for more than a week.
Diabetics, hypertensives, people with heart disease… I wish I could reach into each of their minds and show them that there is an easier way to health. I wish I could help them prevent the next heart attack. Rather than find ways to elude health and give excuses for sticking on to old, difficult and unhealthy practices, I wish I could show them a way to be happy and healthy, a way by which they can live longer on this planet and enable to accomplish their life goals.
With every Naturopath who is fighting for right living, I am doing this, and will continue doing this until the day I die, one person at a time.
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Dr. Achyuthan Eswar
Naturopathy, Yoga and Acupuncture Physician