Healthy and deliciousThe human body is not meant to be stuffed with non-vegetarian food
Mala Barua and Nandini Gulati are from Assam and Punjab respectively. Two states which, in spite of having delicious vegetables and amazing cereals, are now mainly non-vegetarian (Punjab less so, because village women are still vegetarian.) Nandini was 30 kilos overweight, had hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis and was pre-diabetic. As she learnt how to do “mindful” eating, she developed an understanding of her body and the world around her. She now is disease free and very slim. A profound lesson which she learnt, that all of us should learn, is that what is good for the body is good for the planet. We are a microcosm of the macrocosm. If we eat only organic vegetables and coarse natural cereals, not only will we be healthy but the planet will be green, the water pure, the air fresh and the animals happy. If you eat with nature, you support the entire planet.
Mala grew up watching live fish being killed in front of her and eating their bodies an hour later. She watched chickens being beheaded and she and her friends played with the decapitated heads. She started yoga and meditation but she continued to eat animals. Then her dog collapsed and she had to put her to sleep. Something clicked. Through her tears she realised that thousands of animals were being killed and she became vegetarian. Then she met
Nandini, at a 21-day disease reversal camp, and became friends. The common bond was the realisation that food could create every disease and different food could reverse every disease.
And this is what I have been saying for years. That, just as a machine runs only on good machine oil and appropriate fuel and will break down with inappropriate oil and fuel, the human body is not meant to be stuffed with non-vegetarian food. We are vegetarian animals. Meat, milk and eggs and pesticides cause everything, from bad eyesight to hair fall and acne, tuberculosis and every form of cancer. However, diseases that are thought incurable can be reversed. A friend of mine had developed a tumour in the pancreas ten years ago. This is supposed to be one of the worst forms of cancer. Through her diet of natural juices and food (and some Tibetan natural medicine), she has kept it under control and is healthy so many years later. She travels, works hard and looks 15 years younger than she is. Her hair is still black.
Mala and Nandini started to give people recipes to cure their problems. And this has turned into a book that I inaugurated last week called Guilt Free Vegan Cookbook: Oil, Sugar, Gluten and Dairy Free Vegetarian Dishes. It has been published by Roli Books. Dr Nandita Shah has written the foreword. She runs an organisation called Sharan that has workshops on teaching people how to eat properly and how to reverse disease. She has become very famous for reversing lifestyle ailments such as heart disease, hyperthyroidism, diabetes, colds, acidity, constipation, ulcers, kidney and bladder problems among others.
So many vegetarians think that just because they do not eat meat, they will remain free of non-vegetarian diseases like cancer. Not true. Milk and eggs including curd, paneer, mithai are as non-vegetarian as meat and gives you the same problems. In fact, vegetarians who drink milk are hugely prone to breast cancer, osteoporosis, arthritis and obesity.
Do you have to go into retreat in the Himalayas, or spend loads of money, to be well? No. Just eat properly and do a little bit of yoga. Eating proper is delicious as well. At the inauguration at India International Centre, the cooks made all the food from the recipes in the book. I shamelessly went back for three helpings—and so did all the other hundreds of guests, many of whom were non-vegetarian. In fact, two hotel owners decided on the spot to start vegan restaurants in their hotels, and one person is starting a restaurant in meat-eating Kolkata immediately.
Being a Punjabi, in winter my attention went directly in this book to:
Gajar’s halwa: serves 4
3 large red carrots grated
1 tbsp raisins
¾ cup raisin paste
2 tbsp sweet cashew cream
¼ tbsp. cardamom powder
4 tbsp almonds toasted or raw
Cook the carrots on medium heat, in a covered wok in its own juices, for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the whole raisins, sweet raisin paste, cashew cream and cardamom powder; cook for another 2-3 minutes to mix thoroughly. Serve hot with garnished almonds.
Sweet cashew cream: 1 cup cashews soaked for 3-4 hours, drained. 4-5 pitted dates soaked for 4 hours or 1/2 cup sweet yellow raisins. Grind the cashews first, using as little of the dates or raisins soaking water, as required, to a smooth creamy paste with no grittiness. Add in the soaked dates or raisins and grind again, using the sweet water as required. Smoothen the cream as much as possible. Yields One Cup Cream and can be used to replace sweet cream in any recipe. Can be stored upto 4 days in the fridge.
Date or Raisin Paste: I cup pitted dates or yellow raisin, washed and soaked for 6 hours or more if the dates are hard; one cup water for soaking.
In a wet grinder, grind the dates or raisins with 1-2 tbsp of soaking water. Keep adding water and grinding till you get a smooth paste. Replaces sugar in all recipes. Can keep in the fridge for a week. The book has recipes for all the replacements of milk and butter, sauces and stocks for soups. To get it you can email email@example.com.
To join the animal welfare movement contact firstname.lastname@example.org, www.peopleforanimalsindia.org