Ayurveda is a 5,000 year old system of natural healing that originated in India. Although I am not a dedicated practitioner of Ayurveda, there are many principles that I do practice as an adjunct to my yogic lifestyle. Below are a few Ayurvedic guidelines for healthy eating no matter your culinary choices (meat, vegetarian, vegan). I violate more than one of them on a semi-regular basis. But, I aspire. I aspire 🙂
- Eat only when hungry.
- Eat in a calm environment.
- Do not eat while being distracted by t.v., excessive conversation or reading.
- Never eat when you are upset.
- Eat freshly cooked meals.
- Eat foods prepared by loving hands in a loving way.
- Always sit to eat.
- Make eating a sacred ritual. Relax and bless your food.
- Do not drink cold drinks just prior to eating (weakens digestion).
- Do not drink large quantities of liquid during meals.
- Sip warm water with meals.
- Focus on your food — eat consciously!
- Chew food until it is of an even consistency before swallowing.
- Eat at a moderate pace.
- Eat until you are 3/4 full.
- Sit quietly for a few minutes after your meal to let your food digest.
- Allow three hours between meals to allow your food to digest completely.
Choosing foods that are colorful helps support a long and healthy life. Foods that are deep blue, purple, red, green, or orange are rich with antioxidants and contain many nutrients that boost immunity and enhance health.
A simple way to make sure that you are getting a balanced diet is to include the six Ayurvedic tastes (sweet, salty, sour, pungent, bitter, and astringent) in each meal. This will ensure that all major food groups and nutrients are represented. You will also notice that you feel satisfied longer and the urge to snack and overeat will diminish.