Madhavi Barot “Being Vegan cured my illnesses”
A chance meeting at the farmers market is what sparked a lifelong decision that ultimately cured Madhavi Barot of all her illnesses. It was a Sunday like any other until curiously Ms Madhavi saw a customer at Mumbai’s farmers market, who was buying a whole lot of vegetables and she wondered what one man was doing with all those greens. Upon asking the gentleman, he explained to her that his daughter was following a vegan diet and that it was the reason he, not only, had so many veggies, but also why she no longer suffered from diabetes. Intrigued, she asked him where he had learned about this miracle diet – that is where Ms Madhavi first heard of SHARAN.
We wanted to catch up with Ms Madhavi to find out just how her life changed after her decision to go vegan and to get a first-hand account of the true value in enrolling for a SHARAN course. Here is what she had to say:
Vegan First: Did you know about veganism or a plant-based diet before your course with SHARAN?
Madhavi Barot: I was completely fresh, I didn’t know anything about veganism or plant-based diets. In fact, I always thought all these diets were like a fad and that the old tried and tested food we normally eat was best for us. I thought I was doing the best, I don’t take to new diets and I was very firm and rigid with my ideas. I was a pure vegetarian and thought it was the best diet.
VF: What made you join SHARAN?
MB: It was mostly for my health issues, I was suffering from a lot of aches and pains, even irritable bowel syndrome and also had a terrible cold shoulder. In fact, my shoulder was so bad that I couldn’t even move it to brush my hair. Apart from that I was going through menopause and was suffering from terrible mood swings. I went to see many doctors for these different issues, but no one could really give me an effective treatment. That’s why when I heard from the gentleman that his daughter’s diabetes was reversed after doing a SHARAN course and switching to the diet, I wanted to give it a go.
VF: What resonated with you about SHARAN and their plant-based lifestyle?
MB: I started the 6 weeks course for health reasons and from the first day when they showed us videos about the dairy and meat industry, it really moved me. In fact, I came home that day deciding that I was not going to touch dairy products ever again. I didn’t even have any of the substitutes at home, but I knew I was going to follow this, not only for health but also for my compassion for animals.
VF: When did you first start to see positive changes/results?
MB: Actually from the first class itself I stopped dairy and started with the diet. Before the next class, which was held every Thursday, I started feeling the results. Within a week I saw all my aches and pains had disappeared - mornings used to be really hard, to get up with all those issues, but after switching immediately I could tell the difference.
VF: How difficult was it for you to make the switch and start cooking vegan dishes?
MB: Actually I have two cooks at home, earlier I used to be very particular that both can’t take a holiday as I didn’t like cooking veg food. Now, however, after learning the recipes and I don’t at all feel uncomfortable. I don’t mind if the cooks are even there nowadays because I actually love making this food. If you are motivated enough, it is very doable, very basic and tasty – anyone can make vegan food it is not difficult to make the switch from that perspective.
Ms Madhavi now makes her own tofu that she sells at the farmers market in mumbai
VF: When you started making this food, did your immediate family get influenced and want to try the food too?
MB: After the first class at SHARAN I came back home and immediately told both my cooks about everything I had learned and the videos I had seen. I was so keen to pass on this knowledge and literally one of my cooks had tears in his eyes – like me he turned vegan overnight saying he will never again put doodh in his chai and gave it all up for the animals. He is still a vegan and continues to cook the recipes that I learned in the 6-week course.
A funny thing actually, my son and husband both live overseas and it was my son who always used to bring these new-age snacks and ingredients and tell me “ma, please make some food with these things”. He used to bring Quinoa and stuff like that. However I used to be really rigid saying it’s all a fad and our old traditional food is really the best. Now after switching and making vegan food, he says “ma, this is the food I was always wanting you to make”. Both my husband and son eat a plant-based diet too now although sometimes due to travel they might not have pure vegan options, by and large, they are also following the same diet.
As a mother, you always feel like you know what is best for your children. However, when you know better you can do better and after this course, I really feel like I am being able to give my family more than I could have even wished for which is the opportunity for a truly healthy and compassionate life.
VF: After the 6 weeks course, how helpful were SHARAN community?
MB: When you’re new to this program you think maybe this is not right for me if you suddenly start to see the health symptoms come back. I went through a small patch where I saw my confidence in this diet wavering, but Rose and Captain Pinto (both SHARAN coaches) came over and gave me great advice and helped me persevere. They told me that the body goes through a long period of detoxification especially after years of consuming dairy products. I’m glad I listened to them and stuck on because now I can really say I am cured. I no longer have any of those symptoms.
Additionally, the SHARAN whatsapp groups are really great, everyone shares recipes and the community is really well knit, it feels nice to be part of something like this. I truely feel that switching to this diet has saved me from diseases. I don't know what it would have been, but before I became vegan, I felt like I was heading in that direction. I'm now so much healthier and feel lighter.
Since we conducted this interview, Ms. Madhavi has informed us that both her cooks are now fully vegan and even teach some cooking classes at the courses SHARAN holds.
Testimonials like these are very inspiring, seeing relatable people who had so many health issues, make the switch to a plant-based diet and see the way it affects their life in a positive way is nothing short of amazing.
If you've got a story that is just as transformational as Madhavi Barot, please do get in touch with us in the comments, we'd love to spread the word!
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