Eating Sattvic: Everyday Ayurveda

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Sattvic is a sanskrit word translated to mean purity. A sattvic diet was also considered a yogic diet. Ayurveda and yoga are 5000 year-old sister sciences and feed one another.

The foods consumed in a sattvic diet are light and easy to digest. They are reported to enhance focus, clarity, energy, harmony, and a balanced mind and attitude.

A sattvic diet is easy on the digestive system and nourishing for the body, mind and spirit.

Following a sattvic diet assists with meditation by calming the mind and easing digestion. It’s difficult to settle into silence when you feel like you have a brick in your gut. Likewise, the practice of yoga becomes easier with ease of digestion.

You can play with this one yourself. See how various foods affect your own practices.

A basic principle of a true sattvic diet is “do no harm”. Any food that caused the harm of anyone during its cultivation or preparation would not be considered sattvic. With this, meat is excluded from the pure sattvic diet.

One doesn’t have to be a purist in order to experience the benefits of sattvic eating. Begin by adding more sattvic food choices into your diet and your day. Make slow and gradual changes for simple and lasting effects.

 

Simple, sattvic suggestions:

vegetables (potato, sweet potato, lettuce, squash, cucumbers, pumpkin, tomatoes, spinach, cabbages, dried peas)

fruits (mangoes, figs, pears, lemons, grapes, apples, bananas, coconut, papaya, pineapple, raisins)

legumes (mung beans, lentils, kidney and lima beans)

cereal grains (rice, blue corn, wheat, barley, oatmeal, cereals)

ghee or butter

yogurt (lassi)

fresh milk

pure honey or raw sugar

pure water (spring water is an excellent source)

nuts (almonds, pistachios)

dried ginger

This rice pudding is a great way to begin incorporating sattvic foods. Try mangoes and honey with dried ginger instead of blueberries and cinnamon. Sattvic prefers fresh to leftovers. If making a fresh pot of rice makes this dish out of the question, leftovers will do.

Incorporate a daily sattvic smoothie, a spin on the traditional lassi. Add mango or papaya, perhaps banana and pineapple to yogurt, coconut milk, almond milk or fresh cow’s milk. Add honey and a pinch of ginger. A simple, nourishing breakfast.

 

Additional sattvic suggestions:

Eat only when you are hungry. Reduce snacking just for the sake of snacking. Enjoy water or herbal teas instead.

Moderation and balance is key. Eat until you are satiated, not stuffed. Taking your meals more slowly will assist with this.

Chew all food thoroughly and slowly. Enjoy both the preparation and the process.

If you can grow your own… even better. Happy garden, happy belly.

3-Day Reset

Reset, naturally.
Reset, naturally.

Reset, naturally.

Creative projects are on the rise – spilling out onto scrap pieces of paper around the house – and I notice the portion of chocolate-covered pretzels has steadily increased while yoga has decreased as my source of fuel.

Rather than plow through and set myself up for a full detox, I choose a 3-day reset to restore balance in my body, my work, my creativity, and my sanity.

Before the chocolate train takes me any further, I make a quick stop at Reset-ville. A 3-day stay always does the trick for me.

There are 5 parts to my 3-day reset:

1. Sweat and stretch. I replace my home practice with a trip to hot yoga and a deeply detoxifying hour of sweating, breathing, and stretching. I take 1 litre of mountain spring water with me, complete with added flower essences to support my practice. I chose Strong and Beautiful from Wild Rose College this time. If hot yoga isn’t your thing, try a studio that offers a warm flow instead of the full hot. If you prefer, grab a cycling class or Zumba, just remember a good, long post-sweat stretch. Show up all 3 days.

2. Liquid nourishment. I hit the grocery store pre-3 day reset and grab beets, carrots, chard or greens of choice, and apples. Ginger, too, if you like. I found fresh pea shoots this time – why not? I juice enough veg for 2 cups of juice and add 2 cups of mountain spring water, put the blend in a pitcher in the fridge and drink it throughout the day. I add another litre of spring water to my day -on its own or as herbal teas.

3. Eat clean. I keep dairy, gluten, and sugar at bay for the 3-day stay at Reset-ville. I enjoy rice, veg and chicken or fish. I snack on nuts and goji berries, and warm my belly with chia-chaga porridge with hemp hearts, apples, coconut oil and cinnamon.Try a rice pudding recipe for inspiration.

4. Get salty. A daily detox bath with himalayan salts, dead sea salts, or herbal salt blend of choice provides nourishing hydrotherapy. Add essential oils of mint and lavender or deeply-relaxing neroli. Grapefruit is energizing and sweet orange provides a lift. Petitgrain is purifying.

5. Play footsies. Self-massage helps with the reset and connects you to your body. After your bath rub each body part with a quality oil. Add essential oils for the benefits of aromatherapy. Pay particular attention to your feet. Give yourself a reflexology treatment as you rub rich cocoa butter or oil into your tender tootsies. Better yet, if you have a willing companion, exchange foot rubs with one another. Don’t forget the kids. Rubbing your little ones’ feet is a nourishing way to send wee ones off to dreamtime.

If your plate is full and there is more to do on the horizon, don’t wait for a break to get a handle on your health. Try a 3-day reset and restore balance naturally.