Post her first delivery, Shabana Mashraki contracted tuberculosis. She was on heavy medication and began suffering from severe knee pain too. She knew she wanted to heal at the source. Choosing natural laws over drugs, she made sweeping lifestyle changes. Slowly, health, energy and happiness returned, and are here to stay. Read her inspiring story below.
45 yrs, Entrepreneur & Health Enthusiast
I contracted tuberculosis
In 1997, I had my first baby, and was soon diagnosed with tuberculosis. I was so busy looking after the baby and home, I went for long hours without food and rest. I did not realize that I was robbing my body of nutrition and energy, and giving it no time to repair, rest and heal. What’s more, I was on heavy medication for TB, but getting sicker and weaker. The medicines caused so much nausea, that I could not eat at all. My knees started getting affected too, and I could not stand without pain.
Coming in contact with THAC
I had once accompanied a colleague to The Health Awareness Centre (THAC), for health counselling. When my friend was being counseled by Dr Venkat, I browsed the literature in their book case. There was thought-provoking material about everything that actually affects our health - nature, agriculture, traditions, pregnancy, childbirth, natural laws, food, etc. While I was busy trying to absorb this, what I heard in the background was shocking. Dr Venkat was telling my friend that it was she who was in charge of her health, and THAC would play a supportive role in her journey! This was so enabling and radically different from what I heard so far.
So when my health was failing badly, in spite of taking the medicine for TB with discipline, I decided to get in touch with THAC.
Made lifestyle changes and was off TB medication
I followed their guidance and adopted a new lifestyle, according to laws of nature. Some of the key changes were:
I included more of fruits, raw vegetables in the form of salads and juices in my diet.
I reduced my cooked food and grains intake since I learned they led to more digestive load on the body. I reduced my non-veg intake too.
I also realized the importance of rest and sleep for internal healing and well-being of the body and followed it diligently. This involved giving up certain activities that were not really serving me but taking up my time.
There was a change in my perspective towards my health. Instead of trying to ‘control’ my health issues, I began to ‘support’ by body in its self healing abilities. This made me feel very positive and empowered.
With the changes in lifestyle, I dropped medicines and my health recovered in a month and a half. TB and pains vanished; I felt lot more energetic, confident and positive. That was the most beautiful experience!
I have largely had a drug free childhood; I had no major health issues. So this whole experience of deterioration of health, not finding relief through medicines and getting better when I made lifestyle changes, inspired me to continue on this path. I decided to continue my journey of good health following the principles of nature.
Gradual changes & family joined in
I belong to the Bohra community, we have a Yemenese / Persian influence on our food. Traditional Bohra food is high on oil, ghee, sugar and dairy. Over the years, I have improvised and replaced ingredients, one at a time, to make it gradual for myself and my family.
I’m not claiming it was easy. It did take an open mind and a strong commitment. But, when the results appeared in the form of enhanced health and less medical issues, it was so worthwhile. My father was on medication for 58 years. He had never been able to sleep through the night. Once he stopped his medication, and started eating raw, his body healed and he started sleeping like a baby. I had normal deliveries and didn’t take any iron-calcium supplements. My husband and three kids who are now 20, 17 and 8 years old are also doing well with their health. Children get used to it early. My kids love fruits and veggie juices. They know when their body is unwell, and what they need to do to get back on track. Even my youngest one knows when she needs to take her veggie juice! It’s a myth that raw food is insipid. In fact, one can actually appreciate the original taste of vegetables.
20+ years of natural lifestyle
I plan my days well. I carry fruits, dry fruits, salads and nuts when I step out for work. Vegetable juices are great food, filling and satisfying. I make them fresh and have them at home. Also, I do not drink water, but I do take lime shots during the day. My food is cooked without oil, and I avoid grains, sugar, and dairy products. I make my sprouts over the weekend, and store them in the fridge. When I feel hungry, I make salads, raw or with steamed roots. Fruits are an anytime filler. When I crave for savory food, I eat peanuts or chana, nuts or kurmura. My family is used to eating salads and soup for dinner.
I do eat out occasionally, while out with my kids. But I know how to balance it out there after.
It’s not like I have never fallen sick in all these years. As we go through life, there are routine stresses that we must accept. There are times, when, despite doing your best, you feel unwell. That’s when you must see how best to cope. Do you need more raw food or more physical / mental rest or both?
For my kids too, my focus is to let the body heal on its own. But sometimes help from doctors is also important. My son had a dangling milk tooth that just wouldn’t fall off. So we went to the dentist to have it pulled out. He had an accident and his elbow needed treatment, so we did visit a specialist.
I have learnt to find my balance in this way of life.
Every day, I walk for 45 minutes, to the market and back, and treat myself to a sugarcane or fruit juice there. I am high on energy. I play outdoor games with the kids in my neighborhood. Friends ask me how I manage. I have seen both sides – ill health and wellbeing, so it’s easy to choose. I just think of the energy I get, and the gratitude my body feels from being nourished. I am entrenched in this lifestyle where I do not reach out for medicines or interventions when I am unwell. I give my body support and let it heal itself. I feel grateful for this empowerment and hope to live like this forever.
(About Shabana Mashraki: Shabana is a B.Comgraduate by qualification and worked as an IT auditor for many years. Recently a friend and she have started conducting food workshops and delivering health food comprising of soups and salads. During her free time she loves cooking, reading, writing and playing with children).
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