Rupinder could never really recover from jaundice. Low energy levels, pain in body and severe acidity issues became a permanent part of her life. Medicines kept increasing, but recovery was nowhere in sight. Her experiment with natural foods, in their raw unprocessed form, gave her some hope. She switched to a natural lifestyle and transformed her health for good. Read her journey below.
36 years, Health enthusiast, Founder – rawrasoi.com
It is often said you go on a journey when it’s your priority. Health became my priority when I was first diagnosed with fever, followed by jaundice, in January 2012. I was 30 years old then. I was hospitalised for a week and was on heavy medication post that too. But somehow I never felt ok, I felt extremely low on energy and suffered from body aches. So much so that I had to quit my job. My son was two years old and I felt miserable that I couldn’t attend to him properly.
I began focusing on the food I ate. I always ate simple fresh homemade cooked food. But neither the medicines nor the food gave me any results. I kept feeling ill and out of energy all the time. I often wondered how much time medicines will take to show some effect, months passed by like this. I also started having severe acidity issues.
In the interim, my mom passed away. It was a huge emotional setback for me as her death was sudden and unexpected. The upheaval of emotions escalated my pain, I had so much pain in my feet that I couldn’t walk without support. This rang a bell that I was not recovering; my health was worsening in fact. Every time I visited the doctors, I was given more medicines. The medicines kept increasing and so did my pain. It had been a year now, but there was no sign of recovery.
Exploring ways to heal
I started talking to people around - my friends, neighbours and relatives. I was trying to find someone who had been in a similar situation so that I could figure out a way to cure myself. One of them advised, “You should look beyond medicines because in jaundice, it’s more about food than medication.” Not being a party person, not being a junk food lover, eating freshly cooked meals at home, I couldn’t think of any other way to improve my diet. And then someone told me I should try raw food. I began researching about it on the internet. I wanted to educate myself before taking any action.
One day my son dropped my medicines under the bed. And I didn’t ask him to pick them up, I thought these medicines are not helping me, let them stay where they are!! It was on this day I decided to explore raw foods.
Raw foods, knowledge and yoga
It was the summer vacation time in 2013 in Delhi. There were lot of fresh, seasonal, juicy fruits in the market. I did fruits based fasting for one day. At the end of the day, I thought this was not difficult. I didn’t feel any hunger pangs because of being on fruits the whole day, I felt better in terms of energy levels. So I continued for one more day, and then one more, and then one more. ....By the end of the third or fourth day, the pain in my feet had improved a lot. My energy levels were rising steadily and I got a hope that I can recover. I had learnt that fruits are cleansers, they cleanse toxins from your body. I made up my mind to properly cleanse my body with fruits, so that my pain and acidity go away completely. I went on a raw diet, comprising mainly fruits, green juices and smoothies.
I wanted to enhance my understanding about how body functions, how people get sick, how is it that even the seemingly healthy people get a disease whereas people who seem to have poor habits don’t get a disease. I studied Ayurveda and macrobiotics.
In terms of exercise, I started doing yoga regularly.
Going on a fully raw diet had its own set of challenges. Back then I saw a lot of YouTube videos where people were promoting raw foods, but none of them shared much on how to do it, especially in the Indian context. No one was actually documenting how their health progressed through incorporating raw foods. So I had to really struggle and explore ways to introduce new flavours and variety in my food. I used to spend a lot of time in the kitchen which became a laboratory for my culinary skills.
I also started connecting with my food in a better way. I used to visit farmers’ markets to engage with farmers and make more informed choices about what I buy. I also tried to learn more about organic farming. I was very hands on with the whole approach towards my food and I felt good about it.
The big impact
Not just raw foods, but the whole process of educating myself, doing yoga, connecting to food and making mindful choices transformed my health. By mid 2014, a year after going raw, I was completely healed of my pain and acidity issues. My energy levels were high and skin looked better than ever before. To top it all, I felt very positive.
I had now started spreading the word around. If I would hear anyone around complain of ill health, I would happily hand over a juice tip or drop a juice bottle to them. People had started drawing inspiration from me. My story was covered by many newspapers & magazines. In Dec 2015, I started a website called www.rawrasoi.com to spread awareness about healthful food.
Spiritual & social context
I was on a raw diet for 3 years. Though I had healed within a year, the amount of joy I experienced, made me continue on this path. By eating raw, I felt light and pure and could discover my spiritual self. I experienced a spiritual shift in my life which I can’t explain in words.
I was never a very social person, so even if I would go to any social gatherings, I would eat my food and go or would carry it along or the hosts would arrange it. Initially there were a few questions asked and a few comments made here and there, but gradually everyone understood. Sometimes I did feel like eating cooked food. But I saw this as an opportunity to learn more about foods and how they impact our body.
Balanced diet for sustainable good health
In 2016, we shifted from Delhi to Bangalore. The transition wasn’t very smooth as first my son and then I got chicken pox. I also started experiencing breathing issues due to the pollens in Bangalore. It was during this time that I didn’t feel like eating sweet fruits any more. My body was probably looking for more variety in tastes than it got just from fruits. It had been a long time too, 3 years!! I had never planned it this way; I just went with the flow. Based on past experience, I knew I had to listen to my body. So this time around I made an informed choice to start including cooked foods in my diet.
Raw foods changed my life when everything else was in vain. Having said so, any changes in diet and lifestyle must be under the guidance of a health practitioner. All through my journey, I studied a lot to make my choices and always ensured I listen to my body.
Today I follow a more balanced approach in food which has both raw and cooked food elements. My focus is to use local and seasonal ingredients to make simple easy-to-digest plant based recipes. My recipes are raw, gluten free, sugar free, oil free and dairy free.
The journey continues
I conduct workshops to help people know more about healthy food. I like to share my food journey, and recipes to help people reap the benefit of adding natural foods to their diet. I like to support them in the transition so that they don’t feel alone and lost.
My first book called ‘Raw rasoi everyday juices’ was published in August 2017. People are unaware about the real concept of juicing. When you say juice, people mostly associate with packaged juices. But these contain a lot of sugar and artificial preservatives which are not good for our health. Through my book, I have tried to introduce people to healthy juices. I have written another book which is on plant based milks. It’s scheduled to release soon.
I made informed health choices by educating myself and listening to my body. I am grateful to my family who always supported me in my journey. My husband was always a health-conscious person, he was also my first follower who switched to an even more healthy diet after seeing changes in me. Today, I am at a point in life where I know what suits me best. I have enhanced my outlook towards life.
(About Rupinder Kaur: A post graduate from Punjab University, Chandigarh, Rupinder is a health enthusiast who likes to educate people about living, plant based foods. She has a multi faceted personality and in her free time she likes drawing, cooking, travelling, dance and music).
Disclaimer: The health journeys, blogs, videos and all other content on Wellcure is for educational purposes only and is not to be considered a ‘medical advice’ ‘prescription’ or a ‘cure’ for diseases. Any specific changes by users, in medication, food and lifestyle, must be done under the guidance of licensed health practitioners. Wellcure believes that each human body is unique and hence no Health Journey should be construed as a "cure". The views expressed by the user in the above Health Journey are his/her personal views and Wellcure claims no responsibility for them.