Life revolves around the sun. When sun comes out, flowers bloom. We hear birds sing. We spend more time outdoors. It is also the time we look inwards and decide to make some changes. As a result of one such introspection episode, my close friend asked me, “What is the single thing I can do to eat Sattvic food?”
My friend is already a vegetarian. In the first year of his vegetarian diet, he struggled to feel ‘full.’ We discussed a lot about identifying different kinds of hunger. It took more than a year to ‘think’ and ‘be’ and embrace being a vegetarian. Now, he is preparing to try sattvic diet.
After giving it some thought, I gave him this suggestion-
Eat freshly cooked food daily.
This guideline might seem simple, but the details are important. Discussing this further with my friend, we hashed out a few more details. Since it might be of interest for several readers I am detailing it in the blog post.
Eating freshly cooked food daily means you cannot eat frozen meals. No! Pre-cooked frozen meals are convenient and available at frozen section in every grocery store. They may be vegetarian, but they are not sattvic at all. The food has been previously cooked, may be months before, and frozen. We buy old food and we are only heating it. Sattvic foods cannot be previously cooked or frozen.
However, if we live areas without access to fresh vegetables, we can use frozen vegetables and fruits in our diet. Frozen vegetables retain the nutrients. We can buy frozen vegetables and fruits when freshly harvested produce is not available to us. Fresh in the sense of having harvest produce available with in hours of harvest, not the vegetables stored on ice for weeks and days.
This video explains about the nutrition content in frozen vegetables and fruits:
By choosing fresh cooking daily, we can spend 10 minutes for ourselves. Among the many benefits of cooking fresh and daily is the advantage of having the control all the ingredients that go into our meal. One of the beautiful, deep connection we develop when we cook daily is the relationship you develop with Ourselves. There are days when our body needs spicy food. There were other days when we need sour food. When we are cooking, we are listening and attending to the needs of our body. There might be days when you eat soup. Listen daily and feed what the body wants and needs. When we do this, we find our portions sizes grow small. We become content with the food we eat. Feeling satisfied and content is extremely important because food craving is nothing but an incompletion!
We also discussed about eating out. It is not difficult to eat out if we are clear and convinced about our dietary needs. Eat a salad. Ask for whatever is freshly cooked. Many restaurants are eager to accommodate such requests. Ensure the foods served does not have any onion or garlic or mushroom. Ask questions about everything served. Eat only when you are satisfied the food meets your needs.
By cooking daily, we can avoid toxic ingredients that are added to pre-made foods. Ready to eat meals come with a severe cost to our health and well-being. This video shows the foods we must avoid—
For my friend, snacks are unavoidable. He wants to have something to snack on every now and then. Making our own snacks is the best thing to do. If we cannot find time, we can either give up snacking or buy snacks which have only one or two ingredients.
My friend made some startling discoveries in the process. He noted that the only use of refrigerator in a sattvic kitchen, would be to store fresh vegetables and fruits! There would be no left overs.
He realized that if he cooked just for the day, he would cook in small quantities. There could be days when salad would be sufficient to meet the needs of the body for the day. The awareness for feeding the body for the tasks ahead would become organic to the food consumption needs.
Just one change in daily eating practice catalyzes so many changes in your life. The many benefits of eating and leading a sattvic lifestyle will easily open and available to you. Please try sattvic diet for a few days and share your feedback.
Read earlier blog posts about the kinds of foods to avoid when you are on sattvic diet. Here is some guidance on how to stock a sattvic pantry.
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