Welcome to an exclusive interview with Shakur Tisekar, the author of the remarkable health book, “The Diet Mysteries.” In a world filled with confusing diet advice and costly medical treatments, Shakur brings a refreshing perspective to the table. Through inspiring stories of individuals who defied the odds and achieved healing through simple lifestyle changes, “The Diet Mysteries” offers a holistic approach to nutrition and well-being. Join us as we delve into Shakur’s journey as an author, the impact of his book on readers, the reliability of the information presented, and his plans for future projects.

Q1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey as an author? How did you develop an interest in writing and what led you to focus on the topic of nutrition and well-being?

I am an Electrical engineer who graduated from Bombay University, originally from the Ratnagiri district in the Kokan area of Maharashtra. I was selected for a prestigious research project sponsored by the Government of India, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) focused on energy conservation. This project was featured on Sun TV in Chennai, showcasing our significant work. The research background proved invaluable while researching and writing my book, “The Diet Mysteries.”
Following my tenure as a senior IT Engineer at one of the world’s largest multinational companies, I retired from my professional career in July 2022. Currently, I am settled in the vibrant city of Melbourne, Australia.

When it comes to writing, my interest developed through active participation in various Facebook group discussions. I shared my opinions supported by extensive research, facts, and figures, which caught the attention of a reputable weekly newspaper in Kokan. I was approached to contribute an article for a brainstorming symposium on education reforms. The article received appreciation during the seminar, and it was subsequently published. Encouraged by the positive response, the editor requested more articles on various topics, which I gladly provided. Readers began to appreciate and cut out my articles for future reference. As time went on, I received a request from another online weekly newspaper, and I also started contributing articles to them. Eventually, my readers began requesting a compilation of my published articles into a book, and thus, my first book was published to a warm reception.

The decision to focus on nutrition and well-being stemmed from my experience in successfully reversing my heart disease and achieving remission from diabetes through lifestyle changes. This transformative journey inspired me to share my story and provide readers with research-backed information, enabling them to make informed decisions about their health.”

Q2. Are there any particular stories or examples in the book that have resonated with readers and generated positive feedback? How does it feel to know your work has touched and inspired others?

One story in my book that has deeply resonated with readers and generated overwhelmingly positive feedback is the account of how I reversed my heart disease without surgery, despite being advised by a cardiac surgeon that open heart surgery was my only option due to blocked arteries at junctions, making stenting unfeasible. In this article, I shared my journey of reversing heart disease and how my success story inspired my uncle to achieve the same result. While this article received an overwhelmingly positive response, there were also a few skeptics.

Around a year after writing the article, I received an unexpected email from an unknown reader expressing heartfelt gratitude. The reader shared how my article had been a life-saver for their mother, who had been diagnosed with heart disease. Despite their best efforts, the reader and their highly qualified brothers couldn’t convince their mother to undergo surgery. The reader stumbled upon my article during that challenging time and followed my advice, which included purchasing the book “Dr. Dean Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease” and implementing its recommendations diligently.
The result was remarkable. The doctors, who were convinced that their mother didn’t require heart surgery, acknowledged the positive impact of the lifestyle changes she had made. The reader thanked me, saying, ‘Your article saved my mother. I cannot fully express my feelings in words, but my tears serve as a testament.’

This profoundly moving story touched my heart and reinforced my conviction to share my experiences of putting my diabetes in remission. Knowing that my work has touched and inspired others in such a profound way is an incredibly humbling and fulfilling experience. It motivates me to continue writing and sharing valuable information, empowering readers to make positive changes in their own lives.”

Q3. With the abundance of conflicting diet advice available, how did you ensure that the information presented in the book was reliable and backed by scientific evidence?

In the realm of dietary advice, it is common for individuals to claim that their recommendations are supported by scientific evidence and provide research references. However, the challenge lies in discerning which scientific evidence is credible and trustworthy., Several criteria were employed to address the reliability of the information included in the book.

One key factor in evaluating research credibility is to examine the funding sources. Identifying any potential conflicts of interest is crucial. For instance, if tobacco industries fund research on tobacco, it is unlikely that the study would highlight any possible adverse effects of smoking, such as cancer. Therefore, funding sources were considered when assessing the reliability of the research.

The quality of the research itself was also evaluated. This involved examining whether the research had undergone a rigorous peer-review process and whether it had been published in reputable journals with impact factors. These factors provide indicators of research quality and credibility. The Australian research grading system was followed to establish credibility, with research that achieved Grade A and Grade B included in the book. Occasionally, research references of Grade C were cautiously included, accompanied by a statement highlighting the need for further research to draw conclusive findings. However, the book did not endorse research findings that qualified as Grade D due to a lack of credibility.

To further enhance the book’s credibility, manuscript drafts were sent to subject matter experts with PhDs in their respective fields. Their valuable input and expertise helped ensure the accuracy and validity of the content. Additionally, the book includes a Foreword written by Dr Sunali Khanna, an eminent international scholar, and environmental health scientist who received her PhD from the Maharashtra University of Health Science. Dr. Khanna’s involvement lends further assurance to readers regarding the authenticity and credibility of the research in the book.

By employing these rigorous evaluation processes, the book aims to provide readers with reliable and scientifically-backed information, helping them navigate the overwhelming sea of conflicting diet advice.

Q4. Did you encounter any unexpected incidents while conducting research or interviewing individuals for the book? Any memorable anecdotes you can share with us?

When I shared the initial draft of my manuscript with beta readers, I anticipated that Indian readers would appreciate the holistic, integrative approach I presented, combining elements from both Western reductionism and Eastern holism, which considers the involvement of the body, mind, and spirit in healing. However, one beta reader strongly believed that Ayurveda is mere quackery. To support their viewpoint, they shared a persuasive YouTube video that posed a significant challenge to the central theme of my book.

This feedback and the compelling arguments in the YouTube video deeply unsettled me. I recognized that ignoring this feedback and dismissing the YouTuber’s perspective was not a viable option. Therefore, I embarked on an extensive process of reevaluating the concept from scratch. I dedicated an additional month of thorough research to find rational explanations, supported by facts and figures, that would address the arguments against Ayurveda.

During this period of intense exploration, I delved into the Ayurveda versus Allopathy debate, meticulously seeking answers to counter the criticisms made against Ayurveda. As I uncovered solid rebuttals and rational explanations, I incorporated them into the book. This section addresses the concerns raised and provides readers with a well-rounded perspective on the topic.

By embracing this challenge head-on and investing the necessary time and effort to find evidence-based responses, I aimed to uphold the integrity and credibility of my book. This process ultimately strengthened the foundation of my work. It allowed me to address potential doubts and reservations raised by skeptics, providing readers with a comprehensive exploration of the subject.

Q5. How does your book stand out from other books on the same topic of diet and well-being?

Many existing books on a diet primarily focus on weight loss recipes and often lack in-depth explanations of the fundamentals of nutrition. Additionally, books that do discuss nutrition tend to be based solely on either Western or Eastern philosophies without advocating for an integrative approach that combines the best of both worlds. This unique perspective sets my book apart from others on the same topic.

Furthermore, my book serves as a comprehensive one-stop resource for diet, exercise, and overall well-being information. Readers need not purchase multiple books to gather sufficient knowledge in these areas.

A distinguishing factor of this book is that it was developed in collaboration with the readers. The manuscript was shared with over 60 beta readers, and based on their feedback, 28 new topics were added, and certain topics were amended. This reader-centric approach ensures that all readers’ concerns and questions are addressed before publishing, making the book truly tailored to their needs.
In response to suggestions from executives, I have included a summary at the end of each chapter in bullet points. This feature caters to the needs of busy executives who may require quick access to key points. They can easily navigate directly to the specific sections if they desire more detailed information. This approach further enhances the book’s reader-centric nature.

To keep the book engaging, I have incorporated fun facts and exciting stories, elements often missing in other books of the same genre. These unique perspectives and approaches contribute to the book’s distinctiveness.

Additionally, the book has received approval from Apple, which serves as a testament to its quality. Apple maintains stringent quality requirements before making a book available on iBooks, further underscoring the book’s reliability and credibility.
Overall, its integrative approach, reader-centric development, the inclusion of summaries for busy executives, engaging elements, and the endorsement from Apple distinguishes this book from others in the same genre.

Q6. How do you envision readers incorporating the lessons and recommendations from “The Diet Mysteries” into their daily lives? Do you have any advice or tips for individuals who are looking to make sustainable changes based on your book?

First tip: Use common sense when it comes to portion sizes. Using a larger plate can lead to more food eating, so moderation is key. It’s not rocket science, but a simple guideline to remember.

The second tip is to take baby steps when making lifestyle changes. Avoid drastically reducing calories by more than 20% to lose weight quickly. Instead, focus on having a light dinner since we don’t require as many calories when we sleep.
The third tip emphasizes the importance of having the right mindset about nutrients. There is a lot of misinformation surrounding carbs, fats, and proteins. Understand that there are good and bad carbs, good and bad fats, and good proteins & harmful proteins. Follow the recommendations provided in this book for a balanced approach to macro and micronutrient intake.

It’s worth noting that science has discovered the benefits of fasting, such as autophagy. While fasting is traditionally encouraged in Indian culture for religious reasons, it can also be adapted to heal the body, even if not for spiritual practices.
Regarding exercise, engaging in 35 to 40 minutes of moderate exercise daily is sufficient to counteract the adverse effects of a sedentary lifestyle.

Getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep is crucial for maintaining good health. Additionally, regular meditation plays a vital role in reducing stress. Diet, exercise, sleep, and meditation are all essential for a healthy body. Finally, cultivating an attitude of gratitude is vital for feeling content in our lives.

Incorporating these tips into your lifestyle can promote overall well-being and enhance your quality of life.

Q.7 Lastly, now that “The Diet Mysteries” has been published, do you have any plans for future writing projects? Are there any other topics or areas of interest that you would like to explore in your future works?

Yes. My upcoming project entails writing a book on diabetes. With India being labeled as the diabetes capital, it highlights the severity of this issue in India and worldwide. However, my book will primarily focus on diabetes prevention. While preventing diabetes necessitates relatively minor lifestyle adjustments, curing diabetes demands a more proactive and aggressive approach.

We hope you enjoyed this insightful interview with Shakur Tisekar, author of “The Diet Mysteries.” Shakur’s dedication to providing reliable and research-backed information on nutrition and well-being is truly commendable. By sharing his own transformative journey and inspiring stories of others, he empowers readers to make informed decisions about their health. As we eagerly await his upcoming project on diabetes prevention, let us take a moment to reflect on the valuable lessons and recommendations from “The Diet Mysteries” that can help us lead healthier and more fulfilling lives. Remember, it’s never too late to make sustainable changes and embark on a path to well-being.


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