I have been brought up to seek medical treatment in a hospital when I am sick - that meant, I had to wait till I am sick before giving a thought about my health and well-being. This thinking got changed when I met a WHO colleague from New Delhi, India, Shiv Varma, especially after receiving a few of his write-ups.
After retirement as an Administrative Officer, Shiv has dedicated himself to inspire people to adopt a healthy life style to keep illnesses at bay. Besides, bringing out a book "Portraits of Healthy Life Styles" in which he narrated experiences of five elderly persons drawn from different strata of society on how they had kept themselves not merely in good health but also in high morale despite their quota of tribulations in the long innings. His DVD "Head-to-Toe Exercises" is uploaded on YouTube and can be accessed by inserting in its search column his full name "Shiv Kumar Varma - HT Exercises" to derive benefit from simple exercises which can be performed in just 15-20 minutes. By observing people's day to day habits, he brings out often short write-ups in a simple layman's language highlighting how people can remain healthy, not by swallowing prescription drugs but by taking charge of their own health through restraints in diet and keeping good life styles. His two write-ups are published below for all to read and ponder how they can benefit from his tips on remaining healthy.
I. Diet & Life Style Plan for reducing weight
- Consume only 50 ml of water at a time, and that too in 3 sips – can repeat more dose of water with a gap of 15-20 minutes but never a full glass in one sitting
- Cut out tea, coffee, milk or milk products like khoya (thickened milk), sweets or aerated drinks (coke, Fanta, Limca etc.) – drink Green tea a little after breakfast or lunch and soup with dinner
- Strictly follow timings for breakfast, lunch and dinner (say 8.30 AM, 2.00 PM and 7.30 PM) – nothing to be eaten in between each meal, except sipping water slowly.
- Cut out all fried items and bakery products - No paranthaas (fried bread loaves), pakora (fried snack), samosas (fried triangular pastry filled with veg. or meat crumbs), bread pakora, biscuits, pastries, namkeen (saltish savoury snacks) etc.
- Consume fruits at least half an hour before or after each meal or better, in between two meals. Dry fruits in small quantities can be consumed with meals.
- Consume wheat Roti (round wheat bread loaf cooked on a griddle) only in one meal along with vegetables or dals (lentils) of choice – no rice or rice item like rice idly, can take rava (semolina) idly.
- Consume only fresh salads along with meals
- No left-over night eatables to be repeated. Avoid repeated heating of food items.
- Take out time regularly for yoga, exercises, meditation / pranayam (Yogic breathing exercises). Get used to listening to music in low tone as high tones can cause problems in the long run.
- Remain composed and follow a balanced approach in your relationship with others to achieve peace of mind.
II. Value of Three Sips of Water
A blockbuster Hindi Film “Devdas” has a famous dialogue: "तुम क्या जानो एक चुटकी सिन्दू
Same way, what could be the value of “three sips of water” in our life is better understood through an example. Spill a small quantity of water on the dry ground in front of you and you will see that as the water moves down slowly, it gets fully absorbed in the soil. The same thing happens in the body as “three sips of water” get absorbed in the body system quickly.
Now, splash a whole glass of water on the ground in front of you with force. The soil will of course get fully drenched but while moving over the ground, such large quantity of water shall sweep away a small quantity of soil too with it, and quite possibly, some water may get stagnated there also. Same action takes place in our body too when we gulp down a full glass of water in one go. The body is not able to absorb such large quantity of water quickly and it gets discharged through the urine in a short while, taking away with it quite a few essential minerals too from the body. Your thirst may not possibly also get quenched this way and you may feel the urge to drink additional water. Intake of extra water can do harm to the body as it may lead to “water retention”.
So whenever you feel thirsty, drink only a small quantity of water, say about 50 milliliter, at a time and that too only in “three sips. If you still feel thirsty, wait for 15-20 and again take only “three sips” but, mind you, not more than 50 milliliters at a time. If you slowly develop a habit of taking only “three sips” at a time, you will feel good and also remain in good health.
Our elders have for long emphasized on drinking water while sitting down as it is beneficial for our health. If taken while standing, the water, instead of moving via the liver, goes down quickly and later gets discharged through urine. This way our organs do not get nourished properly - and such practice may even result in disturbing the balance of other fluids in the body.
So friends, adopt a habit of taking only “three sips” of water, and as explained above, only 50 milliliter at a time - its benefits may become known only after practising it for some time.
Shiv Kumar Varma
July 9, 2018