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This naturopath from Delhi has been on a raw food diet for 34 years

Brij Bhushan Goel

Brij Bhushan Goel   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

This naturopath has been eating only uncooked fruits, vegetables, and dry fruit for over three decades

Brij Bhushan Goel is an insurance advisor who lives in Shalimargh Bagh, Delhi, in a family of seven. While his day job sees him advising people over the phone on insurance products, his passion is to talk about naturopathy. Having got a diploma in naturopathy and yoga from the International Foundation of Health and Yoga, Delhi, in 1988, he has practised the oldest form of healing for 34 years. Through this time he has been on a raw diet.

What made you begin eating raw foods?

It was while formally studying naturopathy in 1986 that I first came across the concept of raw food. As an experiment, I stayed on raw foods for 10 days. I felt very good and that made me research further. Through my research, I discovered that raw foods can give one a balanced diet with proteins, carbohydrates, fats, fibres, vitamin and minerals. I also realised that raw foods have a lot of variety: fruits, seeds, dry fruits and also cover all tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent and astringent. Within 10 days I was able to see changes in my body.

What kind of changes did you notice?

Well, it wasn’t like I was sick or had a particular disease, but I used to get tired after a day’s work. Within 10 days of switching to raw food, I saw my stamina and energy increase. I felt much lighter and less lethargic.

Wasn’t it difficult initially?

Not really. I never forced myself. If I had a great urge to eat cooked food or a strong craving, I indulged in it. But I felt I was doing an experiment on myself, so I closely watched how my body felt after I ate cooked food. I could see the difference and within two to three months my cravings went away. I started discussing what I was learning in my naturopathy course with my wife. She too tried it. There has been no looking back since.

What about the rest of the household?

Initially the rest of the family members ate mostly cooked food. But slowly they moved to a 50-50 diet. Everyone eats at least one plate of fruits, one of salad, and drinks one glass of vegetable juice daily.

Daily meals
  • Brij Bhushan Goel’s food day looks like this:
  • Morning 4 glasses of water stored overnight in a copper vessel
  • 8:30 am Breakfast: 1 glass vegetable juice: carrots, or bottle gourd, or cucumber as base, with other seasonal vegetables; four or five tulsi and neem leaves
  • 11 am Lunch: 4-5 types of seasonal fruits, a piece of raw coconut, two walnuts and some dates (all carbohydrate rich); sometimes a few spoons of sesame paste (sesame seeds soaked overnight and ground).
  • 7 pm Dinner: Sprouts (any lentil) and vegetable salad (with added ginger, mint or coriander leaves) plus raw peanuts and dry fruits (soaked).

How do you manage in social situations — at a wedding or when you’re invited to dinner, for instance?

Initially when I went to people’s houses, I would tell them I only eat raw foods. Relatives would often get hassled trying to find something to feed me and also feel bad if they couldn’t. So I stared saying I am on a complete fast. That solved a lot of problems. My wife and I always try and eat before going for larger functions. Sometimes these functions have fruits laid out, but at times we don’t find anything to eat. Over time I have seen people change. The same people who use to insist that I eat something cooked earlier, now serve fruits along with other items whenever there is a gathering in their homes.

What about the excessive pesticide use that we are witnessing today?

Pesticides are chemicals that will remain the same whether you cook or don’t cook. The main thing is to wash and clean everything thoroughly. We wipe everything with a dry cloth after washing. Take the example of grapes: DDT is sprayed on them. That is why you will see white spots emerge on washed grapes. We just wipe the grapes with a clean cloth.

Are there any principles you follow?

I soak everything that is hard or very dry before eating -- not roast or heat, but soak. This includes dried fruits, nuts and seeds. To draw the benefit out of food, it must get properly digested. Hard or dry things, if not soaked adequately can cause more harm than good. I don’t drink milk or tea of any kind. If I ever feel the need, I drink coconut water or honey and lemon water. I don’t add salt to anything; most vegetables have their own salt. I only eat condiments that I can eat raw, like ginger, mint, coriander, and turmeric. While all grains can be sprouted, not all get soft enough to eat raw. It’s difficult with beans like rajma, but sprouted wheat is soft. I eat that as well as raw sweet corn.

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Printable version | May 31, 2020 8:11:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/food/this-naturopath-has-been-on-raw-food-diet-for-over-34-years/article31277731.ece

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