What is a Yogic Diet
A Yogic diet is a balanced diet that ancient Yogis believed had a huge influence not only over our physical well being, but also over our thoughts, and ultimately our emotional and spiritual well being. This diet can also be called lacto-vegetarian, which means that it is made up of non-animal foods with the exceptions of dairy items and honey. With continued awareness about the body through yoga you may find that vegetarian foods become a natural choice. It can also help you maintain the same energized, light feeling that is achieved through yoga. Also, if you are going a more spiritual way you may decide that your love for every living being outweighs your need for animal foods. Non-animal foods can help you attain a higher level of spirituality by generating positive energy. You don’t need to be a ‘Yogi’ to establish this diet in your life, just a desire to live healthier and happier.
Many believe it’s difficult to switch to a non-animal diet. The thing you need to remember is that you don’t have to stop eating meat and fish all at once. But you can gradually reduce these foods from your diet. First cut down on red meat, and then gradually eliminate it from your diet.As you find other vegetarian foods you enjoy, you can give up poultry and fish as well.Eating the right kind of food is important in achieving a healthy balance in your body and mind.
In yogic literature, foods that are beneficial to us are said to be Sattvic, or pure. Sattvic foods form an ideal diet, keeping the body nourished while being easy to digest. They create new energy, clarity and a clear, calm mind, enabling us to use all our mental, physical, and spiritual abilities. Sattvic foods include cereal, fresh fruit and vegetables, milk, butter, nuts, seeds, lentils, rice, grains and honey.
Impure foods that can upset our physical or emotional balance are referred to as being Tamasic (stale) and Rajasic (stimulating). Too much of these foods can cause restlessness, agitation and a distracted mind. Foods in this category are sour or pungent foods, like onions, garlic, curry, fish, meat, eggs, salty or spicy foods and beverages, such as alcohol, coffee and black teas.
How to start
Eat as many fresh fruits and vegetables as possible. Cooking vegetables destroys vitamins so you should try to eat some raw vegetables everyday.
Whole grain products are a must. They provide much needed fiber that keeps our metabolism functioning at a high level.
Water, water, water… hydration is key to a healthy body and mind.
Avoid processed foods… always. Heal your body and the environment.
Respect the food and yourself. Sit at the table, even if you’re alone, and put out your best silverware. Treat yourself as you would a guest.
A true yogic diet may seem strict and not everyone wants to or can follow the rules.But even applying a few of these suggestions to your diet will enhance your well being. While you will find great improvement through regular yoga practice, without intentional eating, it can be limited. Make the effort to create a new life balance for yourself through a Yogic diet.
This simple Tomato Soup recipe shows how delicious the Yogic diet can be.
FRESH TOMATO SOUP
- 1 pound tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 carrot, grated
- 2 celery sticks, chopped
- ¼ cup fresh basil, torn
- 3 cups hot water
- salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oven to 400° F and roast the tomatoes until the skins fall away, about 10 minutes. Remove the peels and chop tomatoes. Sauté the pepper, carrot and celery until soft. Add oregano and basil. Simmer on low for 3 minutes. Add water and chopped tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 20 minutes. Use blender to puree. Serve topped with fresh basil.
What's your Ayurvedic dosha? Take this quiz and find out
The balance of your Ayurvedic doshas, also known as prakruti, is a key part of understanding your holistic health.
Doshas are the three energies found in nature, and also in the human body. They are broken down into three types: vata, pitta and kapha. The doshas are responsible over our bodies, minds, emotions, and thoughts. From birth, we are each individually made with a very specific blend of the five basic elements: ether, air, fire, water, and earth. That unique blend is your prakruti, or what uniquely constitutes your individual body, and can be broken down by a combination of the three doshas: vata (ether + air), pitta (fire + water), and kapha (water + earth).
The three doshas are the building blocks to understanding our prakruti, and once you understand which is your dominant dosha, you can know what your balanced state looks like. This is vital, as through this lens you can spot exactly when your body goes out of balance, and how to bring it back into balance. Humans are being of nature, constructed from the same five elements, and thus can use the opposing elements as needed to bring us back into balance.
It all hinges on knowing your doshas, however. You can get a general sense of where your dosha balance lies, and go from there to correct the problems. You can even seek out the help of an Ayurvedic practitioner, who can take a look at your insights and prescribe anything from food and herbs to a new lifestyle. Thanks, Ayurveda!
Tally up the number of v’s, p’s, and k’s you receive (standing for vata, pitta, and kapha), whichever you have the most of is your dominant dosha:
- v) I am a slender person and I hardly gain weight
- p) I am medium build
- k) I am well built and I gain weight no matter what I do
- v) My skin is dry, thin, and itches often
- p) My skin looks flushed; I have lots of moles and freckles on my body
- k) My skin is smooth and soft, it looks pale sometimes
- v) My hair is dry, thin and brittle
- p) My hair is neither dry nor oily (for men: I have a receding hairline)
- k) My hair is thick, full, lustrous, and slightly oily
- v) My face is oval
- p) My face is triangular (pointed chin, prominent jaw line)
- k) My face is round
- v) My eyes are small; they feel dry often and have a bit of dullness (usually brown)
- p) My eyes are medium in shape; sharp & penetrating (usually blue)
- k) My eyes are big and round in shape, full eyelashes
- v) My hands are generally dry, rough; slender fingers; dry nails
- p) My hands are generally moist, pink; medium fingers; soft nails
- k) My hands are generally firm, thick; thick fingers; strong & smooth nails
- v) My joints are small, prominent bones, and often crack
- p) My joints are medium and loose
- k) My joints are large, sturdy, with lots of muscle surrounding
- v) I am a very active person (always on the go, mind constantly thinking)
- p) I like to think before I do anything
- k) I am steady and graceful (I don’t like to rush)
- v) I walk fast and talk fast
- p) My actions are very thoughtful and precise
- k) I like a slower pace and I take my time to accomplish things
- v) I do not sleep soundly at night. I tend to toss and turn. I wake up early in the morning
- p) I am a light sleeper but if something wakes me up, I can go back to sleep easily
- k) I am a heavy sleeper
- v) Varies, sometimes I feel hungry, sometimes not, I feel anxious if I don’t eat
- p) I always feel hungry. If I don’t eat I get irritable and angry
- k) I don’t feel very hungry. I can go without food easily for a day
12. Bowel Movement
- v) I tend to have constipation and can go a day or two without a bowel movement
- p) I am regular and sometimes stools are loose (tend to get diarrhea)
- k) I have no problem. I wake up to go to the bathroom.
- v) My voice tends to be weak or hoarse
- p) I have a strong voice, I may get loud sometimes
- k) My voice is deep, has good tone
- v) I am a born worrier, I often feel anxious and nervous
- p) If things don’t happen my way, I feel irritable and angry
- k) I am a happy person, very caring and loving
15. Weather Preference
- v) I love warm and humid weather
- p) I enjoy cool weather, I dislike a warm climate
- k) I like warm but dry weather
- v) I sweat little but not much
- p) I sweat profusely and it might have an unpleasant odor
- k) I never sweat, unless working very hard
- v) I remember quickly and forget quickly
- p) I remember what I want to remember and never forget
- k) It takes me a while to remember, but once I do I never forget
- v) I tend to be spontaneous
- p) I am a list maker. Unless I plan, I don’t do anything
- k) I don’t like to plan, I prefer to follow others
- v) I like to do things in spurts and I get tired very easily
- p) I have medium stamina
- k) I can work long hours and maintain good stamina
- v) My mind gets restless and racing easily
- p) I get impatient easily
- k) It takes a lot to make me mad. I usually feel very calm
21. Decision Making
- v) I change my mind more often and will take time to make a decision
- p) I can make a decision easily and stick with it
- k) I want others to make the decisions
- v) “Is it too late to change my mind”?
- p) “It’s my way or the highway”
- k) “Don’t worry, be happy!”
- v) I like action
- p) I like to win
- k) I like to have fun
24. Health Problems
- v) My symptoms are mainly pain, constipation, anxiety and depression
- p) I often get skin infections, fevers, heart burn, and hypertension
- k) I tend to get allergies, congestion, weight gain and digestive problems
- v) I like art (drawing, painting, dance) and travel
- p) I like sports, politics, and things that get my adrenaline pumping
- k) I like nature, gardening, reading, and knitting