Here are some notes, mostly from my One Day Session in 2015 hosted at Villa Greens, Hyderabad.
This could serve as a Primer of sorts for anyone just getting introduced to Nature Cure and wanting to integrate certain aspects of it in their life.
What is a basic definition of Nature Cure?
Every organism is endowed with the basic intelligence to maintain and improve itself. Trust in this basic intelligence and aiding that intelligence with optimal supply of 5 elements of space, air, light, water and earth based foods is one way to look at Nature Cure.
Why is this school of thought called Practical Nature Cure?
This school of Nature Cure places enormous emphasis on experiential aspects of Nature Cure along with knowledge aspect.
If we can apply Nature Cure in our life situations and improve upon it continuously, it becomes our way of life where the Laws of Nature and Nature of these Laws are always in our consciousness.
It is no longer a separate aspect of our life or a domain of understanding. It is not another layer of a burger. It becomes ingrained in us as an inseparable part of us.
Who are the pioneers of Practical Nature Cure?
We follow the school of thought of Acharya Lakshmana Sarma, widely considered the Father of Nature Cure in India. His book Practical Nature Cure is considered one of the best reference books on Nature Cure.
You can learn more about our guiding lights here. (www.akarma.life/inspiration)
What are the guiding Principles of Practical Nature Cure for Healthy Living?
The 5 principle are
1. Ample exercise
2. Adequate rest
3. Positive foods
4. Positive thoughts
5. Channeling creative intelligence towards greater good
What is health?
Health is an optimal state of functioning of the body and the mind.
How does food work?
We tend to assume that food provides energy. But the body is a living system that also spends its energy to convert food into nourishment (building blocks) for its survival, growth and renewal. So we can only look at net energy.
Food does not digest itself. We spend our energy to digest food and build our system. We eat food and it eats us. Food is a tax on vitality, so it is imperative that we pay attention to eating in alignment with the body, eating in a way that levies the least tax on the body.
Is there a quality or hierarchy of foods?
Yes, in this order:
3. Raw Vegetables
4. Sprouted Millets, Legumes, Grains, Seeds
5. Cooked foods: (1) Baked, (2) Steamed, (3) Boiled (4) Fried
6. Dairy and Meat (minimally processed and spiced)
7. Intoxicants: tea, coffee, alcohol, etc (no nutritional value)
What is disease?
Diseases are the end products or the result of a degeneration of metabolism caused by:
• Consuming acidic foods, thoughts and emotions
• wrong combination of foods
• eating for reasons other than hunger
• sensory overload in work and entertainment
• greed and fear driven work culture
What is Cure?
People think that the ever increasing number of diseases require multiple types of interventions.
But, actually, all diseases have the same cause. And all cures occur due to the same process of removal of these toxins.
I want to be more healthy. What can I do?
Start simple. See if you can do these few things listed below.
Tune into Circadian rhythms
1. Finish dinner by sunset
2. Sleep by 9 pm
3. Wake up early with the birds
4. Spend some self-time in quiet time of early morning doing wholesome things like Yoga, Pranayama and Meditation.
5. Connect with elements as much as you can..go for a walk or jog.
6. Bow down to the sun every day for giving us life and nourishing it.
7. Connect with seasons and dress appropriately
Listen to your body. Check these health indicators every day.
• How hungry am I? If I am not hungry, do I need to eat now?
• How fresh did I feel upon wake-up this morning?
• Was I able to eliminate as soon as I woke up?
• How is my urine and excretion looking today?
Exercise at least twice a day in a way you can enjoy it.
Do Yoga with family and friends. Or go for a solo run.
Start eating Whole Plant Based Food
• Substitute polished grains with whole grains
• Eat greens at least thrice a week each
• Substitute Yogurt with Nut Milks
Use rock salt
• Make a meal plan and follow guidelines below
Avoid these whites.
• Table Salt
• Polished Rice
• Polished wheat (Maida)
• Polished Millet
• All processed food
What is Positive Food?
It is the intake of all elements optimally every day.
Creating enough space by waiting for hunger, doing breathing exercises to take in fresh air, exposing oneself to gentle sunlight, drinking water as per thirst and eating enough raw food are examples of how we practice intake of positive foods.
Diving deeper into food aspect, what should my three meals of the day be like?
Try and sort your three meals of the day so that
• one meal is fruit,
• one meal is cooked and
• one meal is raw vegetable salad.
And follow the guidelines below.
How should I cook foods?
• Steam veggies instead of cooking them in water or oil.
• Add salt and coconut after switching off the stove
• Take a look at recipes here (http://www.akarma.life/health/recipe)
How should I eat these foods?
• Presence and hunger and chewing well are the most important aspects of eating.
• Fruits are to be eaten alone or with few pieces of coconut.
Single type of fruit at a time (mono fruit) is recommended.
• Single type of nut is recommended at a time after soaking for few hours.
Nuts (except coconut) are to be eaten alone or with few pieces of dry fruits like dates to aid digestion.
• Mixed raw Veggies can be eaten with greens and coconuts and tomatoes.
• Single type of grain is to be eaten with plenty of veggies and greens
How much can I eat?
Primary indicator for quantity is your own level of hunger and satiation. In our experience. An adult is able to eat and relish
• 700 grams of fruits for breakfast
• 400 grams of salad for lunch
• Handful of soaked nuts for a snack
• 60 to 100 grams of grains and 400 grams of veggies (quantities before cooking) for dinner
What are some time gaps I should be aware of with respect to food?
Keep a gap of at least
• one hour after fruits
• two hours after raw veggies.
• three hours after a cooked meal.
• three hours after eating soaked nuts
What does “Chew your water, drink your food,” mean?
There is a misconception that we have to drink a lot of water. We get most of the water we need from food as absorbed inherent water.
Chewing water: When you drink water, don’t gulp it down. Sit down and drink it. Pay attention. Slosh it around your mouth, let it touch all sides. If one is eating healthy, then one needs very little water intake as the food itself would supply ample amounts of inherent water.
Drink your food: When you eat your food, chew it thoroughly until it becomes liquid in the mouth. Only then, should you take the next mouthful.
What about eating out?
Invite people home and cook together! It is easier to be healthy.
If you go out, try and eat healthy food. Of course, there are times when you cannot avoid eating out or are tempted to do so. In that case, the simple thing is just to skip the next meal. And have fruits as the next-next meal.
Is it easy to do all this?
Yes, if you Plan, it is very simple.
It reduces the workload on the body and frees up time spent in cooking so many meals.
Nature Cure lifestyle is actually simple. But our mind wants to think it is not-easy. So it is as much a mind game.
What if I have doubts ?
Clarify your doubts by experimenting on a small scale on yourself.
Talk to a person you can trust wit health matters.