What to observe while eating?
- When you eat do you eat to satisfy your emotions, or do you eat to satisfy your hunger?
- Observe your eating habits if are dominated by likes and dislikes. Our likes and dislikes are our weaknesses and biggest enemies. Develop an attitude of detachment toward foods you like and dislike. Otherwise, there exists the risk of overeating a certain type of food you like more, and rejecting a certain type of food that you don’t like, but is healthy for you. For example, If you like broccoli you will tend to have broccoli too often, and this will make you avoid to have a variety of legumes in your diet.
- Also observe not to fall into being too restrictive with foods that are promoted as” unhealthy foods” like oils, fat, buttermilk and other foods that might be good for you. In our culture, for many years fats are promoted as being enemy number one for your health, and this is not true. Just think that your brain is made of fat, your bone marrow is made from fat. Also, fat gives support to your inner organs, produces healthy skin, hair, nails, and bones. When we exercise the muscles are healthy build from fat and not sugar or carbohydrates. I will write about fats in a next article, as we have to start to build understanding on why you need to eat healthy fats.
Yoga food tips and suggestions for your health
- Eat four times a day, at a four-hour interval, preferably at the same time.
- Do not overeat or eat less. You might eat the right kind of food but the quantity is exaggerated, or not enough.
- Do not skip breakfast.
- Do not eat late in the evening, night if it is not needed.
- Do not drink water with your meal. You can have with the meal soup, milk, buttermilk, but not plain water.
- Drink water before a meal, (30 min) and then one hour after a meal.
Yoga explains that the quality of water is to wash away the nutrients. If you are eating and drinking water, then the digestive juices which are secreted in the mouth would go into the stomach and in the stomach, they have no value, they have value in the mouth. Water would stop the secretion of salivary enzymes.
- Take time to chew your food.
- Eat accordingly to your age, lifestyle, and body-mind constitution.
- Notice if you have a habit of speaking when you eat.
Are you stimulating your mental and emotional habits while eating? Are you agitated, mad, sad and not concentrating on the food you eat?
Practice eating in silence. I found this one of the hardest things to do. In our culture dinner time is the time when people meet to talk, solve problems and do business. Many times because of all this mental stimulation during meal time you end up with more tension in the body then feeling good and relaxed after a meal. Remember, meal time is for your stomach and not for your brain stimulation. Give your brain a break while eating!
- Develop feelings of gratefulness and contentment when you eat.
Take time to pray before starting to eat and after. It would help you to slow down the mind and emotions, and not gulping your food down as it is the last food you will ever eat.
- Take time to observe the effect of the food on your body, and mind.
- Eat 2 hours, before Asana Class, and 2 hours before Practising Breathing Exercises, or Pranayamas. The stomach has to be relaxed not at work, busy with digesting. Isn’t enough just to practice Yoga Asanas/poses. Movement practice has to be complemented with a diet that has a healthy effect on your body and mind.
Nurture your body with foods that support your vital-energy. ( Apana Vayu)
“When diet is wrong medicine is of no use.
When diet is correct medicine is of no need.”
I will continue in the next post with VIHARA – Recreation
HealthYoga Therapist, Teacher, and Student,