It was in early 2012 when my son, Manikya, then 3 years old, and I became very sick and when my attention focused on looking at our diet. Since we were already following several other natural lifestyle practices, I was sure about this intuitive insight. Our previous knowledge of conventional nutrition was not working for us at all. Immediately upon shifting him to organic produce, Manikya was relieved of his severe detox processes of cough, cold, infections and fevers. This brought a lot of peace and rest for all of us. Next, with the recommendations of doctors and our holistic nutritionist, we went sugar- and gluten-free vegan. We were still having several supplements, and I felt that we were still doing symptomatic treatment. The cause had still not been addressed.
It was a wonderful morning that year when my overall being could no longer accept cooked foods that I transitioned to a fruit based, salt-free, fully raw vegan natural lifestyle overnight. I became pain-free and was up and running on my feet the very same day. Within two-and-a-half days, all my other symptoms went away. I immediately became free of the severely low blood pressure problem that I had since my teenage years. It had now even started to increase to very high blood pressure levels. My blood pressure has since normalized. As my body became pure from inside out, I also became free of aching varicose veins; sciatica pain; tennis elbow; polycystic ovary syndrome; PMS and unbearable pains; weakness, fatigue and inability to digest cooked food; body and mouth odor; severe gas, bloating and acidity; excessive weight; high cholesterol; bleeding gums and deeply yellowed teeth; regular cough, cold and infections; Un-diagnosed regular low-grade fever for months; thinning and missing eyelashes, continuously recurring alopecia; and more.
It also helped me understand and accept the chemical sensitivity I had been experiencing. I strongly believe and have experienced that sensitivity is one the greatest gifts anyone can have. My mind became clearer as if the darkness had been lifted away. The following days brought deep insight into the impact of this simple and nutritious natural lifestyle on the environment, all other species of our planet and how becoming a part of nature’s cycle could easily restore balance in nature. It made me observe how we could feed, parent, educate and raise our wonderful children who are to lead the Earth in times to come.
I also feel fortunate to have directly started on a fruit-based raw vegan lifestyle with the initial support of books like The 80/10/10 Diet by Dr. Douglas Graham and Green for Life by Victoria Boutenko. Several other books by doctors and authors followed and served as answered prayers, showing me the way into this new lifestyle. After much research, detailed study and observation, I understood that our earlier vegan lifestyle was very high in fat, resulting in complexities at various levels compared with our present high-fruit raw vegan lifestyle. I thus continue to follow a nonrestrictive, low-fat, high-fruit, fresh and fully organic raw vegan diet where the fat gets naturally maintained for me over the period of the whole month or year. I do not consume any dried nuts and seeds after discovering my sensitivity to them.
Manikya’s transition was an obvious choice. At the age of 4 while living in a joint family, Manikya easily transitioned to a high-raw vegan lifestyle as organic fruit just seemed to be a natural choice once it was available in abundance in our home. His one cooked vegan meal was at school, and we sent this from home. We also researched a lot about transitioning children to a raw lifestyle. After receiving advice from Karen Ranzi, Manikya started to have several days of fully raw food. I could see that he had amazing energy, was expressive, more social, smiling often and was deeply peaceful on the days that he was fully raw. Karen’s book Creating Healthy Children became a treasure trove for us. Manikya continued to be a healthy and successful fully raw vegan. I remember her words clearly as she mentioned this: “A 99 percent raw vegan lifestyle is very different from a 100 percent raw vegan lifestyle.” This has been true in our experience also.
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We also started trusting our instincts more deeply and continued with natural attachment parenting, natural lifestyle choices, energy healing practices and forest-based natural education inspired by works of great visionaries of education such as Dr. Rudolf Steiner, Mahatama Gandhi, Shri Rabindra Nath Tagore, Shri Aurobindo and many more. Following all these protocols, Manikya became free of severe immunity issues, which had led to very strong antibiotic medicines and steroid-based nebulizers three times a month. He also became free of several side effects of Hirschsprung’s disease, for which he had also undergone intestinal surgeries at the young age of 1 year. His daily issues—including mood swings, lack of energy and interest in daily activities, addiction to junk food and excessive TV viewing—also got resolved by themselves in time.
We had not found, however, a solution to the pain in his legs, which was suggested as a Vitamin D3 deficiency. A search for a natural environment to live and receive Vitamin D from the sun led us to many beautiful places across India, but finally his pains went away the next day after removing salt from his diet. Manikya’s transition to this beautiful lifestyle also led us to create gourmet Indian dishes into low-fat, allergen-free, whole, fresh Indian raw vegan delicacies, which we are sharing with everyone through our upcoming recipe books.
Life is wonderful. Support or no support, life has always opened new possibilities for us. The high-fruit raw vegan conscious and natural lifestyle has been one of the greatest blessings for us.
Here is a glimpse at our daily lifestyle: We wake up about 4:30 a.m. with the songs of the birds and proceed to do a whole house cleanup. After lots of water and some fruit for Manikya, we proceed to sing, dance and do yoga. Looking after our plants is next followed by a morning outing for coconut water for our whole family. This is generally followed by buying fresh organic produce and returning to create a morning green smoothie for all of us. Lots of play alternated with meaningful work and activities fill our education time, alternating indoors and outdoors in the naturally forested areas. Our evenings are spent mostly outside playing and interacting with a lot of children and families. Gratitude and reverence for everyone irrespective of what lifestyle they follow is an essential part of our life. Our sleeping time is after the sun goes to rest and we have met the moon and the stars for a while. Meditation, energy healing, acupressure and other processes to support our inner selves and our bodies’ natural healing abilities are also an essential part of our lives. Now, we also enjoy doing all our household work ourselves with our own hands.
Our week also sees us visiting the beach, forests and several craftsmen creating wonders with their hands. My food choices and timing are very different from Manikya’s and his father’s food choices, so we maintain our own preferences and timings by listening to our own bodies. I prefer sweet fruits such as bananas, sapotes, custard apples and also sweet and sour fruits such as mangos, peaches and more. Manikya prefers sweet fruits more and nonsweet fruits such as tomatoes, bell peppers, zucchini, okra, brinjal and the like. Still, we all love to eat mostly monomeals of locally available fruits and vegetables resulting in rainbow feasts for us combined with lots of greens. Our progress is also monitored by our medical doctors, who support us happily. They are also supporting Manikya in naturally increasing and maintaining Vitamin D3 and B12 levels and resolving past dental issues.
We are deeply honored and grateful to nature for having us continually serve her sentient beings through our daily life experiences. I have come to understand and believe that “There is no failure in nature. There is only evolution … .” Thus, a conscious, natural raw vegan lifestyle brings us an opportunity to do inner-work along with bringing about required changes as life progresses. I have also come to experience this: “Our food which comes directly from Mother Nature contains her supernatural powers … . If used wisely, our food can be our medicine … not only for our physical bodies, but for our whole being: body-mind-soul-spirit.”
Along with many raw vegans in India, we now share our experiences through Indian Raw Vegan Foundation, a registered public charitable trust. Many leading newspapers and magazines have shown deep interest in our activities and given us wide coverage, spreading information about this wonderful lifestyle to many across India and the world.
Over the years, not just Manikya, me and our family but several common men, women, elderly, children, farmers, disabled and malnourished living across India in big cities, small towns and villages have greatly benefited by choosing to make changes in their lives along nature’s path with the foundation’s support. Some people choose to write back to us, and their testimonials can be read on the website. The foundation is empowering families to become self-sufficient in taking their responsibility in all spheres of life, step by step as per their own choice and pace, thus serving all other species and the environment as a whole. Indian Raw Vegan Foundation seeks to create better health, happiness and success for all by creating awareness about the benefits of a high- or fully raw vegan fruit-based natural lifestyle, conscious living practices, education and parenting. The welfare of all species, natural food forestry, indigenous food conservation, along with restoring purity and balance on Earth is an essential part of the Indian Raw Vegan Foundation’s vision and work.
Discover Anjali and Manikya Sanghi’s Top 10 Tips for getting family interested in raw vegan foods.