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8 Ayurveda Food Tips For Eating Healthier And Preventing Disease

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In the ayurvedic tradition the taking in of food is considered a sacred act, an act in which the food that is consumed literally becomes the body that you inhabit. Hence the phrase “you are what you eat”.

So according to Ayurveda, to prevent illness, it is essential to practice proper food preparations when cooking and mindful eating habits when consuming your food. In this article I have composed a list of 8 ayurvedic food tips to practice in order to nourish your whole body and mind. Here they are:

1. Shop and eat local as much as possible.

The ayurvedic diet suggests eating foods that are available during their natural season of growth. Visit your local farmers market for your selection of whole foods and choose organic if possible. Local foods are grown and suited to the environment in which we live and thus filled with life force needed to sustain us.

2. Shop at food stores that specialize in organic foods or have a natural and organic section.

Ayurveda suggests eating foods in their purest form. This is because food is considered to be a form of medicine. A popular ayurvedic proverb states “when diet is wrong medicine is of no use. When diet is correct medicine is of no need.” Therefore, choosing foods that haven’t been treated with pesticides, herbicides, synthetic preservatives and hormones are best. The chemicals and food additives used are often unnatural and contain toxins that can lead to various diseases.

3. Reduce the amount of meat you consume.

The ayurveda diet is often best as a vegetarian diet and promotes the absence of meat altogether except for some extreme case where meat, poultry or fish is needed to treat a condition. If you are a meat eater and new to the ayurvedic diet, you can start slowly and reduce the amount of meat you eat so your body can adjust to a vegetarian diet. Science and tests have proven that eating meat can cause many serious health conditions and diseases. Also, in Ayurveda it is believed that animals slaughtered under stressful conditions contain many negative emotions which are then passed on to the one who eats the animal.

4. Don’t keep your cooked foods or left overs for over 24 hours.

Once cooked, leftovers begin to loose their nutritional value as time passes. Ayurveda says that any food that is reheated or eaten after 24 hours is devoid of nutrition and life force known as “Chi” or “Prana”. As a result, they are not able to give your organism vitality and strength. Try not to reheat your food but rather keep left overs out and sealed for a few hours between meals. If you are refrigerating left overs, take them out and leave them on your kitchen counter for an hour or so before eating- if possible. Vegetarian meals won’t generally spoil if they are left out at room temperature for a few hours.

5. Cook in the simplest and purest way possible.

If you can cook using a fire such as a gas heated stove, this is optimal. If not use an electric stove. Never use a microwave as it will destroy the vital energy or life force (prana) of the food. Avoid using any unnatural chemicals in the cooking process.

6. Don’t over eat.

This may seem like a simple and easy one to follow, yet in fact this is one of the most difficult things for people to do. Enjoy the taste of your food and the pleasure it gives you, while your stomach is being filled but do not fill your stomach completely The key is to savor each bite and let the taste buds enjoy all the different flavors, textures and juices from your food. Chew each bite until it is liquefied in your mouth and then swallow. Eating in such a way also adds to the fullness both mentally and physically and thus you become full on less food. Again, it is very important to leave a little space in your stomach as though you were leaving some room for dessert. Have discipline and skip the dessert, but enjoy it occasionally too.

7. Eat with no distractions.

Turn off the T.V., internet, radio and all things that draw you away from yourself and the moment. Let the act of eating be scared, becoming one with your food without the other unnecessary stimulants. The impressions that you put into your mind while you eat can disturb the digestion process which can result in a build of toxins within the body.

8. Say a Prayer.

Last but not least, appreciate your food. The best way to do this is to say a prayer of gratitude before the act of eating. May the life given to me through food nourish all and may my actions, speech and thought be harmonious. May all beings live in peace.

 

 

Ayurvedic Nutrition – The importance of Food in Ayurveda

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When embracing an ayurvedic lifestyle and ayurvedic nutrition program it is important to consider some very important things. Ayurveda uses food as medicine and even goes to prescribe various ways for preparing and consuming food.

A proper functional diet regime is a very critical for keeping the body and mind healthy.  In the Charaka Samhita an ancient ayurvedic text it states that a living being is made up of the food that it consumes and diseases are also caused by food that it consumes.

In ayurvedic nutrition, one needs to consider the effects of both the purifying and rejuvenating qualities of food. It is important to remember that both of these are needed to maintain health and longevity but purification must be done before rejuvenation. In our ayurvedic cooking course and retreat, we unfold the proper means of establishing this. This involves selecting the right foods for your constitution and preparing and cooking them in the right way – using the right herbs and spices.

Another important thing is that one must cultivate a positive mental attitude in selecting whole foods to ingest. This requires one to leave consumption of harmful foods that causes ill effect on one’s total well-being.

Generally, people have much resistance to this based on their attachment to certain foods and often at times, the attachment is related to a feeling of pleasure that the consumption brings. The habits of poor diet intake can be a difficult to surrender, but once a conscious choice is made for change an opportunity presents itself as a manifestation for physical and mental harmony.  The means for this harmony can be brought up through adopting a sattvic diet –  one that does not over-stimulate, aggravate, and make the body dull and heavy.

A sattvic diet should be one that is also suitable for your dosha and current state of well-being.  The food should taste good and would be more beneficial to body and mind if were organic and free of toxins.

The beauty about an ayurvedic diet program is that it is allows you to make small adjustments and keep track of the foods that best suit you at particular phase of your life.  Taking this into consideration is important when undertaking a change in diet and lifestyle.

From my own experience I have come to know that when my mental resistance and physical addictions to certain foods were broken, I came to relax my notions about a healthy diet and truly felt happy and good about myself.  Everyone is unique, with their physiology, so after a period of initial detoxification, it is important to regularly assess how your food is affecting your health and well being.  You may end up changing your program and eating different foods with different tastes as a result.

Our rejuvenation Ayurveda cooking and Yoga Retreat in Hawaii incorporates a sattvic and organic vegetarian diet where you will learn all about the nutritional properties of food and herbs in relation to Ayurveda. You will also experience hands on cooking and learn recipes for healing and health.

Stay tuned to my next article when I will give you 10 Ayurvedic Food and Diet Tips for optimum health.

Yoga and Ayurveda are Sister Sciences

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Yoga and Ayurveda are sister sciences that have been married together like husband and wife for thousands of years in order to heal the body/mind complex. They are two sides of the same coin that are bound together and used to attain the ultimate wealth of knowledge.

Generally, ayurveda deals more with the health and healing of the body preparing us for yoga which then purifies the mind and intellect. Their complementary attributes are to be embraced for the highest attainment of “Self Mastery”.

The ancient yogis or seers known as rishis were the original masters of all vedic sciences including yoga and ayurveda. They understood that good health is an essential asset on the path toward Moksha or Self-realization. If the body was neglected it could easily become an obstacle to spiritual practice and happiness.

Anyone who practices yoga would agree to how challenging it can be to do yoga postures if the body is not well or in good physical health. Similarly, one who practices pranayama or meditation would find it extremely difficult to practice if they were ill and fatigued.

Thus Ayurveda, the ancient art and science originating from India, keeps us healthy on our spiritual quest and the journey home. Yoga and ayurveda have a mutually supportive relationship because they offer many methods to prevent and heal diseases and disorders. In addition, ayurveda and yoga as sister sciences educate us about restoring balance to the body and mind by processes of purification and rejuvenation for optimum health.

Both systems share a philosophical foundation and thus have similarities in relation to mental attitude, dharma (righteous living), diet, nutrition, exercise and lifestyle. Traditionally, a student of yoga and ayurveda would first live close to a master in an ashram to do service and learn the scared teaching which were often taught orally – passed down for generations from the teacher to the student. The basic ayurvedic principles for health and longevity were considered an extremely important part and integrated as a foundation for a life of sadhana (spiritual practice).

Today, the teachings of yoga and ayurveda are easily available to all. Whether prepared or not one can embrace these practices if they are dedicated to their health, spiritual path and well-being. It is important however to learn these sacred, ancient healing practices from those who have been taught from traditional masters and schools that use traditional texts. Otherwise, the student does not receive the correct or full knowledge of what needs to be learned and practiced.

Nowadays we see that yoga is prevalent and being learned by many people from all over the world. What is often lacking is a deep foundational knowledge of ayurveda. Keeping this in mind, modern yoga practitioners would most certainly benefit from having a well educated ayurvedic practitioner, doctor or therapist teach traditional ayurveda to help them establish a healthy dinacharya (daily routine) and adjust their practice according to their constitution, dosha imbalance, stages of life, season, and so on. This is ultimately needed to prevent disease and promote longevity.

In all of our yoga and ayurveda trainings and courses which we offer, we infuse them with a traditional and practical means for reaching your goal. One of holistic health, happiness and well-being. Check out our ayurveda and yoga retreats as well as our Edmonton Yoga Training and Golden BC Yoga Training.