Dec 15, 2014

Book review - Aaraam Thinai by Dr.G.Sivaraman

Thanks to a FB post shared by a friend, I came across this inspiring talk on the importance of eating local foods. The speaker Dr. G. Sivaraman who is a Siddha doctor spoke with passion and conviction. Many of his talking points resonated with me and thanks to Google, I researched more about him and his work. I stumbled upon his book "aaraam thinai" during this research. Apparently, he had written a series of articles in Ananda Vikatan tamil magazine, which has been compiled into 2 books.

During my recent trip to Chennai, one of the top items on my agenda was to purchase these books. The book shop near my home had only the first volume which I bought instantly, came home and started reading one evening. Little did I know I would get so hooked onto this book, that I ended up finishing it in a day. Each article is filled with profound insights on traditional food practices which we have forgotten or lost track completely in the era of modernization and globalization. 

After finishing the book, the first thought that came to my mind was "Wish this book had a English translation. The material is so relevant to anyone in India that it has to be shared irrespective of language".

The author has shared numerous insights on the nutritious benefits of small grains (millets) and unpolished rice varieties. He has shared a few recipes too. I have started to include millets regularly in my meals since the beginning of this year. I'll write a separate post on that soon.

Excess use of plastic, processed and packaged foods and shifting away from local foods are the main causes of increasing lifestyle diseases like diabetes, hypertension and cancer. We have to consciously incorporate local seasonal vegetables, Indian spices, green leafy vegetables, unpolished grains and pulses etc.

Apart from food practices, the author also talks a lot about how different forms of pollution is affecting our health and has also resulted in severe environmental issues. A definite eye-opener!

I plan to read it again and implement the principles/ideas suggested in my life. Hope to share my experiences regularly through this blog. I also managed to search around and get the second volume. They are available in amazon too.

If you can read Tamil, do yourself a favor and buy these books. You will not regret it. It's high time we understand our roots and don't let multinational corporations dictate our daily meal plans.

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