Raj Anand is a retired cardiology specialist and healthcare author focused on equipping readers to make the right decisions regarding their health. His latest book ’Healthy Diet and Mindfulness to Prevent Coronary Heart Disease’ educates readers on how to make healthy choices to avoid disease.
Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?
I was born in India in 1935. India was divided in 1947 into India and Pakistan. Our family lived in the part which became Pakistan. Soon after the partition, holocaust started when Hindus were massacred. Our family survived after two attempts failed to kill us. I was only eleven years of age. A booklet written by me for historical purposes “Eyewitness to the Holocaust of 1947 in Pakistan” is catalogued in the library of congress in Washington and the national libraries of Canada, England, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Austria and Australia as well as Boston public library and libraries at Harvard University, Massachusetts. Our family finally reached India and went through the most difficult time of our life. I used to go to school, 7th grade, during the day and work in the evening and weekends. My father was a very honest, religious, and hardworking man and I was deeply influenced by his ethics. My hard and honest working ethics during my residency training in medicine were noticed by one of my teachers who recommended and arranged for a scholarship for me to go for fellowship training in Cardiology at Harvard University affiliated Peter Bent Brigham Hospital and then at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. That changed my life forever.
What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?
What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?
Be patient, tolerant, and persistent.
What is your morning routine?
I wake up at 5:30 a.m. Finish the usual morning routine including a cup of tea and texting greetings to my children and close relatives and a few friends as well as checking my email and listening to early morning news on the TV. I live alone in a Senior Living facility in the independent section, so I go to the dining room at 7:30 a.m. and have a bowl of fresh fruit and proceed to the fully furnished Gym and exercise for 1 ½ hour, 6 days per week including stretching, Yoga for 2 days each week, 35 Western exercises for 2 days each week, Tai Chi and Ten Mindful Movements 2 days each week, and daily aerobics including stationary bicycle and treadmill (or walking outdoors or indoors depending upon the weather). At around 10:00 a.m. I drink 8 ounces of Organic vegetables juice mixed with Chia seeds soaked in water all night. At around 10:30 to 11:00 a.m. I have breakfast in my room which includes one multigrain toast, 8 halves of Walnuts, one cup of non-fat Greek fruit yogurt, and 2 hard-boiled egg whites. This is followed by morning shower after 20 minutes of rest in my recliner.
What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?
Regular practice of mindfulness meditation for a few minutes daily.
What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?
Leading a healthy Life-style by following the guidelines discussed in my book “Healthy Diet and Mindfulness to Prevent Coronary Heart Disease”.
Raising funds for Dana Farber Cancer Institute through sales of this book at Amazon.com and all proceeds will go directly from Amazon.com to Dana Farber Cancer Institute in the Loving Memory of my wife NIRMAL KANTA ANAND who inspired me to write this book and died a few days after I started writing it.
The mission is to do my part in the worldwide attempt to one day eliminate the cancer from the surface of the earth.
To make the general public aware of this book, I have created my website “RAJKANAND.com” where people can listen to my Podcast, receive the contact information, can order the book using link to Amazon.com and see reviews of the book, and can get to know more about me as I am an author of other books as well, an inventor of Thermo-electric Angioplasty Catheter, Retired Associate Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine/Emeritus Educator, Former Director of Coronary Care Unit, Director of Non-invasive Cardiovascular Laboratory, and Director of Cardiovascular Research Laboratory. The book can be ordered directly at Amazon.com website. The book is available in paperback ($13.99) as well as Kindle format ($2.99).
I am 86 years of age and very active and planning to write book on “How to age slowly” and to delay, possibly avoid Alzheimer’s disease.
What books have influenced your life the most? Why?
The Relaxation Response by Herbert Benson.
This was the first book I read about meditation in which Dr. Benson describes his visit to the Himalayan Mountains where monks during the cold wintery weather, each wrapped in a single cold and wet cotton sheet, practiced meditation in the open air and he saw the sheets become dry at the end of the practice due to the heat generated by their body. I wanted to dig deep to understand the physiology behind it and thus got interested in this field of meditation.
The Art of Happiness by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
I found this book to be enlightening and after reading the book I wrote down certain rules to live by, “The Road to Happiness”. Some of them are as follows.
–Remain dignified and calm, spiritually happy, think positive. This is a mantra that I repeat several times daily.
–Stay close to those who make you feel happy, others keep your distance.
–Expectations destroy relations. Do good and forget.
–Make work a friendly place, and home a fun place.
–Practice mindfulness for 10 to 15 minutes daily.
–Offer advice only when asked, especially to your adult children.
–Patience is a virtue.
–When faced with a problem, you have only 3 choices i.e. solve it, walk away from it or accept it and live with it.
The Little Book of Being by Diana Winston.
I learned the various techniques to practice Mindfulness Meditation.
NOTE: I have also read various articles by the two world-known scientists who are researchers in neuro-science and have scientifically proven the rewiring of the brain with positive effects of regular practice of Mindfulness to cultivate a calm mind with increased focus and to strengthen awareness. These scientists are Jon Kabat-Zinn who worked at MIT in Boston and then started the program of Stress Reduction at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and Mark Williams from Oxford University.
WHY?: After my wife died in August 2019, I went through a very difficult period of acute anxiety. It was the knowledge from the books above and the practice of Mindfulness Meditation that helped restore my “self-esteem and interest in life in general” and helped me overcome anxiety and proceed to complete my book “Healthy Diet and Mindfulness to Prevent Coronary Heart Disease”.