By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500
In Yoga, the Sattvic diet is considered to be a very important issue for the holistic health of a practitioner. When most people consider the term, “diet,” mental images of boring food, torture, and weight loss come to mind. Yet, healthy eating can be prepared tastefully.
As a result of good taste, we will look forward to each of our meals and continue to eat healthy on a daily basis. Diet has also been proven to affect behavior. Studies of human and animal behavior indicate that vegetarian diets cause less violent behavior.
Omnivorous animals, such as chimpanzees, rats, and iguanas, behave aggressively after eating meat. More unbiased studies should be conducted on how the consumption of meat creates aggressive behavior in humans. When we consider the dramatic behavioral shift in chimpanzees; this should make us much more aware of what foods we eat and how they affect our own behavior.
The Sattvic Diet does bring about peaceful behavior, while nourishing the body and mind. So, what are the basics of a Sattvic Diet? The Sattvic diet consists of fresh vegetables, fruits, dairy, honey, nuts, seeds, oils, herbs, spices, legumes, and whole grains.
Preferably, all of these foods are organic, fresh, and most should be eaten raw, once or twice per day. Does this sound familiar? This is a traditional Yogic diet, which has existed for thousands of years. Yet, this same diet has recently become popular globally and is “doctor recommended.”
It is wise to eat cooked food, at least once a day, to boost your morale, but food should not be over cooked. Using a microwave oven to heat foods should be kept to a minimum, as this can over cook food and lower the nutritional value.
Consuming fresh vegetables and fruits is a healthy practice. The typical Sattvic spices are turmeric, cumin, basil, cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, fennel, and ginger.
The foods mentioned, so far, are just a small sampling of the many choices available. If you are creative, you can prepare meals, which keep your friends and family anxiously coming back for more.
This brings to mind one last point about diet and peaceful resolutions. If, or when, you make the decision to live by a Sattvic diet; do not turn it into a point of contention in your home or with your friends.
Unfortunately, everyone does not want to eat a healthy diet, and some people have allergies to specific foods, even if they are healthy. Never “play at” being superior, because you are eating healthy or practicing Yoga. This is a big “turn off” to those who would benefit from eating a Sattvic diet and healthy living.
Eating healthy, and practicing Yoga, is a personal choice. It is also true that no one can be forced to eat healthy. You will do more damage than good by making an issue over dieting, even if you are right.
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