10 Lifestyle Changes I Made That You Should Make Too
You read that right. I am sharing with you 10 Lifestyle Changes I made in my life and I want you to make them too. Simply because of the following two reasons:
- They are easy to make
- They are important to make
If you love yourself and your family enough, this is a small investment. I know going organic is neither easy nor cheap. However, if you had one look at the list of food that is the most contaminated in India, you too would be depressed. You can read about it here.
Of course, it is a dismal picture. The more you read about it, the gorier it becomes. Have a look at the list of top 10 Cancer Causing Foods. Shocking! It took me a long time to accept and denounce the microwave butter popcorn. I was at a time addicted to them. A night snack, an evening binge, a movie in bed partner, it was that important in my life. In fact, so many others on the list.
Health Is Wealth
Like most, I too learned it the hard way. After I had completely, jacked my body system with late nights, insufficient sleep, stress, unhappiness, poor nutrition and crappy roadside and restaurant foods, I realized there was so much to be undone. I mean struck with a rare auto-immune disorder like Myasthenia Gravis and on top of that being the privileged one to manifest a Thymoma, that calls for a pat on the back!
With a recurrence twice to be followed by a Myasthenia Crisis and a Type 2-Lung failure…well, you pretty much get the picture. Despite making changes here and there, every now and then I was unable to continue for long. The lust for ‘tasty’, read unhealthy food would always take over.
Luke Coutinho Enters My Life
Until one day when we were introduced to Luke by a dear friend whom my husband and I can never thank enough. Luke Coutinho. This was 2.5 years ago. I was down in the dumps. Physically. Emotionally. Mentally.
I remember we were at the cinema hall when Vishal insisted I speak with Luke. Frankly, by then I had thought I had done it all. Good food. Mediation. Yoga. Ayurveda. Homeopathy. Past Life Regression too if you please. And now this? A nutritionist? I neither had the mind nor the bandwidth. I had too much on my plate. Unable to handle the depression, the weakness, the lethargy, the immobility, this was not what I wanted.
When you hear the word nutritionist, the first thing that comes to mind is? Yes. Weight loss. It is only now that I realize how badly this term has been used. Luke is much more than that. A savior for me.
I barely recollect my first chat with Luke. I, however, remember all chats afterward. He is responsible for changing my life. Our lives.
Small changes in the diet were suggested initially that seemed both extremely simple to incorporate and truth be told insignificant at first. Silly me. When he explained the reason behind what was advised, it made such clear sense, I wanted it more. Not only did he suggest changes in food, but his helping me heal was holistic in the true sense.
Dr. Luke Coutinho For All- Saviour For Me
With Luke Coutinho, I learned the right way and the right time to eat fruits. Imagine learning the art of drinking water 4 decades into your life! But I did. He introduced me to yet another beautiful soul called Amulya in Hyderabad, who did Yoga practice with me over Skype. As I say often, I am the chosen one. I continue to wonder why and how such lovely giving people walk into my life just like that.
Technically, we have met only twice in our in our lives. I am sure even he would be surprised hearing this! Haha, but the impact he has had on our household and our lives is phenomenal.
10 Lifestyle Changes I Made That You Should Make Too
I just had to share this with the world. If you haven’t yet done these, please do so, starting today. I understand completely how inconvenient initially it might be to incorporate these lifestyle changes but trust me if you will, it shall make a huge difference in your health and that of your near and dear ones.
So here is a list of 10 lifestyle changes that I made in our lives. In our home.
- Salt: Shifted from the iodized salt to ‘Sendha’ or ‘Rock’ Salt. Rock salt is a naturally occurring isometric crystal of salt with tremendous benefits. These include being rich in magnesium and calcium, a mood enhancer, stress buster, betters the appetite as also the bowel movement and is a storehouse of minerals.
If I hear you mumble that you do use it during the ‘Navratri’ fast, my question to you would be-then why not for the entire year? Did you know, Rock salt ionizes the air making it cleaner and safer to breathe and hold your breath, improves management of pulmonary conditions? Hence, it is used to make natural breathing pipes.
2. Sugar: Uff, just as you I could not fathom life without the pure white refined sugar till I understood and accepted that it indeed is the worst for health. It increases obesity, sugar levels, creates heart problems. Added to that the fact that sugar is empty calories. It has nothing. No vitamins or minerals in it.
I, therefore, shifted to our good old jaggery and honey.
We do keep a bottle of brown organic sugar for our uninitiated guests, but for the family, it is only jaggery and honey, organic or local produce. Be it in tea, coffee, lime juice or kheer. Trust me the taste surpasses that of sugar, which now if I go back to clearly tastes artificial.
And no, no powdered jaggery for me. It has to be the desi gud.
3. Refined Flour or Maida: Not that we were big fans of it at home for neither do we make luchis or bhaturas on a regular basis. The fight with saying no to refined flour is when we step out. Since we all most of the time eat without thinking, the deadly refined flour makes an entry by way of those banoffee pies, slices of cakes and pastries and the harmless looking, delicious tasting baklava.
My kitchen still has a small almost untouched container of refined flour. I have to admit, making your baker enthusiast son replace refined flour for whole wheat is taking time. However, as I always maintain, something is better than nothing.
Making slight changes will eventually go a long mile!
The white sauce for pasta too is made in whole wheat atta. Believe me, it hardly makes a difference. The best substitute though I have found is in a pumpkin sauce! Yum, it is.
4. Seeds And Nuts: Friends who frequent home as also my colleagues are intrigued by the number of seeds I consume daily. 5 almonds, 2 walnuts, pumpkin, sunflower, watermelon seeds, flax, chia and sesame seeds, the list goes on. I am a big fan of these seeds that make for a fantastic snack to curb that hunger pang. Please do make it a part of your plate too. You could buy them here, to begin with!
5. Juices: I can never thank Luke Coutinho enough for introducing juices in my life. We all know how good they are for health but the way it now has a permanent place in my morning routine is worth a mention. This juice is a powerhouse. It has beetroot, carrots, tomatoes, on days a potato, fresh homegrown coriander, mint, celery, parsley, garlic, ginger, gooseberry (amla) or lemon in various permutations and combinations. Added to that is my dose of cold pressed coconut oil. And I am sorted for the day.
You can do it too. Just bring that juicer attachment of the mixer out of the cupboard and instead of only juicing fruits, do the vegetables!
6. Cooking Oil: Aah this is essential. And easy to make the change from refined to unrefined oil. No refined oil is not permitted on my grocery list. As they now say,
Simply go back to eating what your grandmother used to eat and you shall be fine!
So it is back to kachhi ghani mustard oil, the unrefined til or sesame oil, my favorite coconut oil. I buy it online and I am done for the month. No one in the house is missing the safolas and fortunes of the world.
7. Salads: Incorporating a lot of raw salads in our food. Ok, so here is a confession. I am a typical South-Indian when it comes to home-cooked meals. I never can be satiated with salads served in restaurants. The ones with those amazing dressings and exotic vegetables and berries and cheese are darn tasty but they do not fill my stomach, at least not psychologically.
I, therefore, decided that since food is so essential to my being and taste has to be as per my palate, I once again went down the recipes handed over generations from my mother’s side. I and my family are a happy lot and look forward to new types if Indian salads on the plate I shall be sharing these with your from time to time here if you are keen. You could leave a comment below for me to know.
8. No Microwave: It was a blessing in disguise. My microwave went kaput. Again. I took this as an opportunity and decided not to go for a new one. No microwave in our house. You can imagine the furor made by my two helps. “How can we heat the food? Make instant idlis? Re-heat the lunch leftovers?”We all have read how bad microwaves are for our health. I said not a word. Its been 5 months are we are managing well.
In fact, now the family reaches the dining table on time. We eat together. Fresh food. I sent the old one for recycling with Croma. If you want you could do so too here. Less guilt.
9. Cosmetics: Now this is a tough one, I would say. Doable nevertheless. When Luke in one of his videos spoke about the biggest organ in our body is the skin and all that we feed it relentlessly with, it was a shocker. Who doesn’t like to feel and smell good? To give up a branded moisturizer is a tough call.
Even If You Manage 5 Of 10 Lifestyle Changes, It’s A Starter!
Without taking undue stress on this, I decided to take baby steps. Shifted from body moisturizer to Olive oil (which I prefer more on the skin than in the salad) and oil from flowers. I would like to thank my dear friend Uma Mansharamani, who introduced me to her range of oils. You could sample Nature’s Absolutes- here. I have almost stopped using body creams especially after reading its carcinogenic effects.
I still have a long way to go as far as the limited cosmetics I use. Will keep updating them here nevertheless.
10. Say No To Milk: Those already on this journey might be wondering why I put this point at the end of the list! That is because I love milk. Sigh. I have always loved milk and milk products, so this clearly was and remains the toughest of the 10 lifestyle changes I made. But then when you got to do it you got to do it.
The most difficult was giving up the milk in tea and coffee. I tried almond milk as a substitute but found my taste in …aah….coconut milk. Can’t have it with tea but my Bru coffee with coconut milk is delicious.
My Coffee With Coconut Milk
Since the elders in my family refused to have their beverage any other way, I had to think of a plan B. And I found him right in our colony. The oldest traditional milkman was appointed who gives fresh buffalo milk. He insists they are fed the organic grass. I shall have to take his word on this though he has given an open invitation to visit his ‘Goshala’ anytime even without an appointment.
So, yes, the Mother Dairy milk and milk in cartons have a life ban in our household.
In conclusion, I have to say this to you, my friend, we all know-discuss-crib about adulterous food all around us. They are mostly not under our control. However, things that we have control over, we should simply own it up. Even a 30% change is a change. Even 3 out of these 10 lifestyle changes deserves a pat on the back.
For remember, how we treat our body in these 20 years is how it shall treat us in the next 20. A lesson learned the hard way.
*Meanwhile as always, a small little big prayer to the medical fraternity to find a sure shot cure to Myasthenia Gravis for me and my fellow travelers across the globe.*