#AntzDoodlesforPyjamaPeople #7: I should be so Lauki!

RA 17_PP.JPG.sb-477ec52b-R4SES9

 I should be so Lauki!

The Wonder Veggie

By Antima Nahar

The biggest factor in the story of my war against RA while using only alternative therapies was a 360-degree lifestyle change. And the hardest part of that was changing my diet.

RA 17_PP.JPG.sb-477ec52b-R4SES9

In one phase, my treatment involved a full body detox, which I used to think of as a day or week of no alcohol. But this detox meant NO FOOD, period. Or at least, nothing I would have thought of as real food.

Consider Lauki (Bottle gourd) as food? I didn’t. For two months all I was allowed to eat were Lauki and pumpkin. So my big decision each day would be whether to eat these vegetables I detested so much raw, or by boiling or steaming them.

But, if you didn’t find Lauki in the market in those days, my sincere apologies! I felt like I was eating the country’s quota of it.

It aids digestion, weight loss, prevents heart diseases, treats urinary disorders, reduces stress to name a few. Lauki is a wonder veggie.

RA 17_PP.JPG.sb-477ec52b-R4SES9

How did I go from hater to hoarder?

Well, when my doctor said no food, he meant no fun food – No dairy, no gluten, no lime, no coffee, nothing sweet, no ice cream — not even my morning chai. I mean how can one yummy innocent little cup of chai be harmful, right? Exactly what I thought.

So, I cheated a little. Food became divided into two categories for me — one made body feel better and the other made my heart sing. So, the masala chai, chocolate, an odd glass of wine or a little piece of pickle became my happy secrets that my doctors didn’t have to know.


RA 17_PP.JPG.sb-477ec52b-R4SES9

Except that I could hide from my doctor but not from my body. One pani puri could result in 4 days of pain. My body was not shy to let me know it didn’t appreciate the abuse. Every tiny “secret” was a trade off. Eventually, I realised I had to develop a delicate balance between the body and the heart.

RA 17_PP.JPG.sb-477ec52b-R4SES9

The temptations still dance in my head every day, but realisations of the resultant pain helps keep my resolve. My diet still does not allow a lot but thankfully has progressed to more than just lauki. So for now, you can also go out and be ‘SO LAUKI’. But quick, before I stake my claim again.


Special Thanks to


You can follow Antima on Instagram or email her on antima@antsatwork.in to find out more about her work. Catch her column on our site every weekend. More of Antima’s work is available on her website.

Antima Nahar
Written by

Antima Nahar is a graphic designer and illustrator who works under the name AntzDoodles. She ran a boutique design studio Antsatwork till she had to go on sabbatical after being diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. While focusing on her health is paramount to Antz, creating art is who she is. Follow her illustrated adventures on her weekly #AntzDoodlesForPyjamaPeople posts and on her instagram @antzdoodles