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@ “I decided to take charge of my health before it took charge of me”

Said one of my on-line clients from New Jersey. He practiced ‘counting breaths’ (1) and got remarkable relief from stress (2). In one of his mails he mentioned that proper diet was very important for good health. I was curious as I have been focusing on nutritional aspects (5) recently. On my request, he shared the following details of the diet changes he made and the benefits gained.

It is interesting that he says ‘counting breaths’ meditation endowed him with the will power needed to sustain the remarkable diet changes. I thank him for sharing his experience and hope it would inspire some visitors.

Q: What was your diet before and now?

Breakfast

Before: Coffee and Cereal
Now: Oatmeal with almonds, walnuts, chia seeds (3) and one fruit – apple or pear

Lunch

Before: Chicken turkey sandwiches, Pizza
Now: Salad with different raw vegetables without any dressing

Evening

Before:Donuts
Now: Salad and sometimes, yogurt with flaxseed (4) and almonds

Dinner

Before:Four chapathis (Asian Indian style flatbreads) and vegetables
Now: Two chapathis with cooked and raw vegetables, soy milk or almond milk

Q. Where did you get the knowledge about the diet changes?

A. From the book “The complete handbook of Nature cure” (6) sent by my brother from India.

Q: When did you make these diet changes?

A: April 2012.

Q: What prompted or inspired you to make these big changes?

A: I saw too many health issue around me. My Dad died due to stroke in Oct 2011. Looking around I decided to take charge of my health before my health took charge of me.

Q: Have you been able to sustain the changes?

A: I am trying to. On weekends when I go to somebody’s house, I might deviate from my diet.

Q: Do you think you will be able to keep up these changes?

A:I am praying and hoping that I keep up my determination. It needs a lot of will power. That is where counting breaths (1) meditation helps me.

Q: What improvements have you noticed due to the diet changes?

A:I found that eating more raw vegetables coupled with ‘counting breaths’ made me

* less tired

* breathing easier while doing counting breaths. Before, I could not breath at times, get restless in mind and drink lots of coffee.

* I am calmer than before, even in desperate situations at work.

* take every day as it comes

* less worry

* calmer than before at home

Q. What was your weight before and now? 

A. Before - 185  Lbs
   Now - 148  Lbs
   Lost - 37 lbs

(1) Counting mode
(2) “Thank you for helping me and my family”
(3) Chia seeds – Wiki page            Health benefits of Chia seeds – Jen reviews
(4) Flax seed – Wiki page
(5) Nutrition – Books I like 
(6) The complete handbook of Nature cure – PDF

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* Burping and itchy skin cleared by quitting dairy milk

I am sharing my dairy milk experience.  I am  a vegetarian as are my family members.  All my life, my diet was  white rice,  vegetables, lentils, home made yogurt and fruits, two half cups of black tea with sugar and milk and occasional sweets, a typical Asian Indian diet.

While in India for 60 years, I consumed about 2 table spoons dairy milk added to black tea brew, twice a day (less than 60 ml). After settling down in the USA, my daily breakfast was a big bowl of milk (250 ml) with cereal, an increase of 300 %.  Moreover, in India I was not eating any cheese. Here I was eating cheese in Pizza and many other foods regularly, though not daily. My physical activity also was drastically reduced.

After being in the USA for some time, I had severe burping. I had several large dark patches on my lower legs, which itched badly and I had to scratch them compulsively. I ruled out stress as a cause for both of these non threatening problems. I was not inclined to take any medications. On a hunch, as an experiment, I stopped all dairy milk consumption since one year. In its place I consumed soy milk.

I experienced remarkable results:
No more burping. The itching is reduced by 99%. The colored scaly patches on my legs gradually cleared up, showing smooth normal skin.

My subsequent reading of some books (1) confirmed the adverse impact of dairy milk on some people.

Did excess milk cause my prostrate cancer (2), which is seen very rarely in India? Probably. Read the web page at (3).

(1) Nutrition – Books and Journals
Cancer – managing with, control and prevention – Books
What’s Eating Your Child?: The Hidden Connection Between Food and Childhood Ailments
(2) At age 66, I was diagnosed with prostrate cancer. I was in good health overall, not having any of the common problems at this age – Heart disease, Hypertension and Diabetes. I was also not on any medications.  I had cryosurgery to destroy the prostrate gland using ultra low temperature. Due to rising PSA (Indicator of likely prostrate cancer  growth) within two years, I had Radiation therapy to totally destroy the cancer cells. None of the three  doctors who treated me over many years told me that my diet had any impact on my cancer recurrence, even when I asked them. That was when I started taking interest in the field of nutrition.
(3)  ‘Milk consumption and prostrate cancer’ by Neal Barnard M.D

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* Seminar at Russell Sage College Troy

The introductory seminar of an hour was held on 9/26/12 for graduates and seniors of Nutrition at Russell Sage College Troy NY . There were 16 students and 2 faculty members. The seminar was suggested and coordinated by Teri Hutson Mulligan, Certified Diabetes Educator at Albany Medical Center.  Patty Delmonico was the coteacher for the class. I am thankful to both of them for letting me share this technique with their college students. The class is “Nutritional counseling through the life cycle”.  The  feedback from the participants is summarized below. The PDF document showing the scanned images of their feedback forms is presented after the summary. With this seminar, my dream of sharing this technique with college students was fulfilled.

Summary of  their feedback

The seminar was …

  • Very useful – 15
  • Useful – 3

I will use this technique for my (concern)………

  • To relax before sleep and while studying
  • Sleeping, Waking up, When stressed about an exam
  • Sleep, Stress and Anxiety
  • Sleeping and Stress
  • Insomnia and Anxiety
  • Helping to calm my mind before sleep, + When I am feeling overwhelmed about school
  • Anxiety  and Insomnia
  • Sleep and Stress
  • Stress and to help me sleep
  • Insomnia, specially trouble falling asleep
  • Anxiety and Insomnia
  • Sleep better (more soundly, wake up refreshed)
  • Stress reduction, Sleep aid and to recommend to others when I am a dietitian
  • To help me sleep and relax
  • Anxiety, Stress + Related issues
  • Panic attacks
  • Panic attacks

This technique can help improve sleep and reduce stress for ….

  • Everyone/ Anyone  – 10
  • Out-patients – 6
  • Inpatients – 5
  • Students
  • My work with kids
  • Friends
  • Family
  • Significant other

Comments/ Suggestions about the seminar

  • Wonderful
  • I liked practicing the technique in class, would be better if it was quieter
  • This was very simple and straight forward, I would not change anything
  • I love the fact that it is such a simple technique
  • I enjoyed listening to you. It was the most relaxed I have been during a seminar
  • Great! Relaxing and Informational
  • Thank you. It was very helpful and I will try to use the techniques
  • Include demonstration of deep breathing with stretching the body
  • Great job, Very useful information and interactive
  • The information and techniques shared were really helpful and I greatly enjoyed being able to hear where the techniques are applicable
  • Very  helpful and practical
  • Very interesting. Eager to try this out!
  • Interesting
  • Very interesting. I will try to put it into practice in my life

Scanned images of the feedback forms  PDF

Related pages
How can I focus on breathing?
Seminars and Follow up classes
Past seminars

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Please send your comments through the ‘ABOUT – Contact’ page.

* I lost 30 pounds in last 9 months and gained many other benefits

Feedback from one of my clients who attended 16 of my classes over last one year.

” I have been seeing C.S.(Suryanarayana Chennapragada) for all my health problems, since last one year. So far, I have seen the benefits such as:

  • I lost 30lbs. since last September (in nine months).
  • I have been eating a lot more healthy food than ever before, with a no red meat, a lot of fruits and vegetables.
  • My self-esteem has gotten much better and my marriage benefited from the counseling C.S. has given me.
  • I suffer from mixed connective tissue disease (Lupus) due to which I have a lot of problems when the weather changes. Due the diet changes I have made, I seem to have less pain in my muscles than I did before, on rainy days.
  • Practicing the breathing technique has enabled me to calm myself down whenever I get stressed out. I deal with problems better now than before.

I started seeing C.S. originally to quit smoking but had to tackle all these problems first before I could take on that problem. I plan to also try and quit smoking in the next year as one of my goals with C.S.

I would recommend counseling with C.S., to anyone, with weight, stress or health problems.”

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Please send your comments through the ‘ABOUT – Contact’ page.

Related pages
How can I focus on breathing?
Books on nutrition