In India, we believe mostly in homoeopathic medicine. After consulting my homeopathic doctor for many years I have picked up on several habits that we in India believe will elongate our life span. One of these includes not drinking water during a meal, only after one hour has passed since you ate your meal that you should drink water. When I asked for the reason for this, my holistic doctor explained by example. Cows, which are believed sacred in India, do not mix water with food. They eat grass as much as they want, and when an hour passes, they find their way to a water source and drink, and so they live a healthy, sacred life, and we should do the same. I follow that tradition to this day.
I had learned this lovely folk tradition from Mr. Grewal when I had first met him. We were sitting at lunch and I was wondering what drink I should order, and consulting my friend, and his daughter, Ash. Mr. Grewal then explained to me that it is best not to drink anything at all when eating. When I asked why, he described the before mentioned tradition that he had learned from his homeopathic doctor. I found it very fascinating, especially since I had never heard of anything like it before. In fact, I decided to do some research on the matter to see if anywhere else there has been mentions of it and indeed I stumbled upon an article that described the impact of drinking during eating. The article was posted on a site named The Reluctant Eater and was written after an interview with Christa Orecchio who had a holistic medicine practice in San Diego. Christa explained, drinking liquid during our meals dilutes our precious digestive enzymes that help us digest and absorb the nutrients in our food. Most Americans (especially if you are eating processed foods) are severely deficient in digestive enzymes which contributes to weight gain, constipation, bloating and overall low energy. This brings a more scientific, though still holistic, aspect to the tradition, but it still supports the fact that it exists.
Although I have never considered myself a great believer in holistic medicine, I find facts and traditions like this captivating, and I do believe that some aspects of holistic medicine definitely do work. Yet, I am still confused by the cow example, as I am aware of the fact that there is a significant difference from the human digestive system to that of the cow, which makes the comparison less convincing. I tend to believe that as Indian people worship this animal, the holistic doctor saw it as a good way of conveying his message, as I believe cows tend to act this way. And if he gets healthier patients, then this way of convincing them is a blessed one.
Annotation: Wanger, Ryan. “Dont Drink Water (or Anything Else) During Meals.” The Reluctant Eater Remember Food? 19 May 2009. Web. 24 Apr. 2011. <http://www.thereluctanteater.com/2009/05/dont-drink-water-or-anything-else-during-meals/>.