Everyday Ayurveda: 11 Things You Need To Eat, And 1 Essential Recipe…

Everyday Ayurveda: 11 Things You Need To Eat, And 1 Essential Recipe

The Power of Ayurveda

Struggling to settle your mind in your yoga practice? Falling asleep on your meditation cushion? There’s a solution, and it’s contained in your food.

Sattva is a Sanskrit word meaning “purity.” It is one of the 3 gunas (primary qualities of nature) in Ayurveda, the science of life. Ayurveda and yoga are 5000-year-old sister sciences that feed one another. A sattvic diet was once considered a yogic diet.

The 3 gunas are sattva, rajas, and tamas. Rajas conveys passion and activity, whereas tamas reflects darkness and lethargy. Rajasic foods are spicy, sour or pungent and not easily digested. In excess, they increase excitability and contribute to restlessness. Tamasic foods tend to contain little nutrition and include foods that are processed, stale, and leftover. Excess tamasic foods promote dullness and heaviness.

SEE ALSO: Practice Yoga? Into Ayurveda? Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Do One Without The Other.


The Benefits of a Sattvic Diet

The foods consumed in a sattvic diet are fresh, nutritious, light, and easy to digest. They are reported to enhance focus, clarity, energy, harmony, and promote a balanced mind and attitude.

A sattvic diet is easy on the digestive system and nourishing to the body, mind, and spirit.

Following a sattvic diet assists with meditation by promoting a calm yet alert body and mind. Likewise, the practice of yoga becomes easier with ease of digestion and balanced body/mind connection.

Why struggle through your practice due to diet? Choose foods that yogis and yoginis understood to enhance their practice.

A basic principle of a true sattvic diet is do no harm. Any food that caused the harm of anyone during its cultivation or preparation would not be considered sattvic. With this, meat is excluded from the pure sattvic diet.

One doesn’t have to be a purist in order to experience the benefits of sattvic eating. Begin by adding more sattvic food choices to your diet. Make slow, gradual changes for simple and lasting effects.

Simple Sattvic Suggestions

  • Organic vegetables: Think smooth and mild veggies like squash, sweet potatoes, and carrots. Reduce hot peppers, onion, and garlic.
  • Organic fruits
  • Legumes: Use processes such as soaking, splitting, sprouting, and cooking to assist with digestibility of beans, peas, and lentils.
  • Organic whole grains: Roasting or sprouting before cooking assists digestion.
  • Organic ghee or butter
  • Organic yogurt (lassi)
  • Fresh milk
  • Pure honey or raw sugar
  • Pure water: Spring water is an excellent source.
  • Organic nuts: Soaking almonds before use is beneficial.
  • Dried spices: Cardamom, cinnamon, fennel, basil, coriander, ginger, and cumin

Sattvic Recipes

Rice pudding is a delicious way to incorporate sattvic foods. Try adding mangoes and honey with dried ginger and cow’s or coconut milk to your rice.

Mango Lassi

  • 1 mango, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tsp honey
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • A pinch of ginger
  • A pinch of cardamom, if you like
  • 1 cup coconut yogurt or cow’s yogurt
  • A splash of water or milk if too thick.

Blend together and enjoy. Or try a spin on the traditional lassi: add papaya, banana, or pineapple. Add honey and a pinch of ginger, cinnamon, or cardamom.

Additional Sattvic Suggestions

Eat only when you are hungry. Reduce snacking just for the sake of snacking. Enjoy water or herbal teas instead.

Moderation and balance is key. Eat until you are satiated, not stuffed. Taking your meals more slowly will assist with this.

Chew all food thoroughly and slowly. By the time you are finished chewing, what’s left in the mouth should taste sweet.

Enjoy both the preparation and the process. Put love in your food. If you can grow your own, even better. Happy garden, happy belly.


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