Jul 272008

Many are not aware that the food they eat and the liquids they drink, have strong influence on their body and mind and determine their physical and mental health. The old adage “you are what you eat” is true.  Certain foods harm while certain foods heal.  When we make minor changes in our diet we can look forward to major changes in our health. Yoga science educates the practitioner on healthy and unhealthy foods and develops mental control to avoid the unhealthy foods.

In this modern world many people eat the wrong foods all the time and fall sick. When they are hungry, they eat unhealthy foods like pizzas, chips, burgers and spicy-oily snacks. Everyday they drink several cups of coffee, tea, colas and regularly consume alcohol. These drinks temporarily stimulate the brain but harm the systems, increase body weight, increase acidity, bad cholesterol,  increase negative stress, cause dullness, disturb the mind and lead to many diseases.

An Ayurvedic proverb says

When diet is wrong medicine is of no use.
When diet is correct medicine is of no need.

A yogic diet is a balanced diet that advocates  eating the right food in the right quantity, at the right time with the right attitude. It is called Sattvic diet which is a vegetarian diet that is freshly and cleanly cooked food with love and care. It provides the essential nutrients required for maintaining the mind-body balance. 

Yogic Cooking

Cooking is an important medium that can change the nature and strength of food

  1. Prepare food in a clean kitchen, in clean utensils, with clean hands
  2. Wash the vegetables and fruits well before cutting them
  3. Use good quality cereals and spices
  4. Cook food in the right consistency – do not overcook or burn
  5. Microwave cooking and deep frying are unhealthy
  6. Steaming, baking and grilling are healthy methods of cooking
  7. Destroy overheated oil, do not re-use them for cooking
  8. Have a positive attitude when cooking
  9. Cook food with love and not with anger or hatred
  10. Cook everyday; avoid eating pre-cooked frozen food
  11. Frozen food does not provide the necessary energy for mind and body
  12. Enjoy your cooking time
  13. Remember that food is divine “Annam Parabrahma Svarupam”

Guidelines for Healthy Eating 

     1.    Begin your day with  two glasses of warm water

      2.   Drink two litres of warm water during the day;  avoid iced water

      3.   Breakfast is an important meal and do not skip breakfast

      4.   Drink 2  cups of green tea everyday to stimulate your mind

      5.   Eat vegetarian food and avoid non-vegetarian food

      6.  Take fruits as a meal if your lifestyle is stressful

      7.   Eat at regular times every day

      8.   Eat slowly and chew your food well

      9.   Eat half stomach, do not over-eat

     10.  Relish and enjoy your food; do not waste food

     11.  Eat when your mind is calm and not when angry or stressed

     12.  Eat when you are hungry

     13.  Avoid too hot and too cold foods

     14.  Avoid drinking water or juices during meals

     15.  Drink water one hour after meals

     16.  Focus your attention on eating; do not read or watch TV, or talk while eating

     17.  Snack on fruits and dry fruits

     18.  Avoid junk foods – chips, pizzas, spicy fried snacks, colas and alcohol

     19.  Avoid spicy hot, high calorie food for dinner

     20.  Reduce intake of frozen foods like icecreams; avoid them in the night

     21.  Eat early and have a light dinner; keep your stomach light when going to bed

     22.  Sit in Virasana or recline in Supta Virasana after meals

     23.  Fruit fast once a month will cleanse the digestive system