Now, that’s an interesting topic, at least for me. Food! One of the life sustaining elements. To subdue the effect, let us call it the ‘diet’. The word diet is usually misconstrued as reduction in the quantity of food one eats. “I don’t want to eat rice/chappati, fruit, etc. as I am on a diet” we often hear people say. “I am skipping my dinner as I am on a diet”, one of the most dangerous lines I have ever heard (apart from – “there is no chocolate in the fridge!”)
Diet is, in general, the kind of food one eats. Humans, being ‘evolved’, have managed to set their own diet. For those who found it difficult chose to reach out to a specialized dietitian who would tell them what not to eat.
In my humble opinion, taking inputs from what I have read and learnt, a diet is a simple construct of food (and beverage) that a person requires to sustain themselves. This totally depends on the kind of work they do.
Are you lifting heavy stuff? Is your job laborious? Does it involve a lot of physical activity? Then you better eat well. Take, for instance, a farmer who is toiling in the field the whole day, tending to the crop. There is a lot of work that is done, and hence a lot of rice forms her/his diet.
If the same amount of rice is eaten by someone whose job is to sit in front of the computer, either typing or watching the screen, it will definitely translate into excess mass of the body!
So pick and choose wisely what is ideal for your type of work and eat well.
“Should I / why should I eat food without onion and garlic? Why does your yoga tell eat satwik food eh?” is something people often ask me.
Well, not necessarily! Eat what you want to! Eat however much you want to! It’s not that ‘Yoga says’ YOU have to eat satvik food.
All that is written in the scriptures is, for a Yoga Sadhaka, non-satwik food disturbs the state of mind, which is not the most conducive for meditation. Hence, a sadhaka needs to watchwhat he/she is eating.
For the rest of the world, eat all that you want! How much should I eat?
Yoga philosophy says fill the stomach ½ with solid food, 1/4 th with liquid/fluid and leave the rest 1/4 th empty giving the stomach the space and the right consistency to churn the food for digestion.
Imagine a mixer with grated coconut completely filled in it. It doesn’t churn well. For the best chutney, there needs to be enough air, water along with the grated coconut to be mixed well.
So try not to over eat. Leave enough space in the stomach. Who knows, soon after you finish lunch, someone might offer you dessert, and you still would have some space to gulp it! Aaha! Yummy! Dessert! Which brings us to the end of this section.
If you observe animals, (lions/tiger/wolf/jackal/dog/cat), there is a lot to be learnt back from them. (learnt back, as we are born with these instincts, but lose it during the course of life, getting influenced by advertising and marketing!).
Animals eat just about what they want, and leave the rest. A lion after hunting a deer, would eat what it requires. Even if you walk past it, it (usually) wouldn’t tell itself- aah! Human! Dessert is here! – and kill you for food. It probably would ignore you and walk back to its den for a nap.
We need to learn to not get tempted into eating that gulab jamun/rosagulla/ice cream/dahi wada/ one more serving of xyz, just to satiate our taste bud.
Serve what is required. Take what is required. Eat what is required.
We shall talk more about food in our later articles, until then, happy eating and happier living!
Experience good health, to happily say We Live Yoga!
(All views expressed in the article by the author are based on personal experiences,teachings of the gurus and being observant of nature. Readers discretion advised for following any ideas mentioned herein!)