Eat right, feel bright!

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According to Ayurveda, the Vedic science of holistic living, the way you cook your food will decide what it does for you. Depending on how it is cooked, the same food can boost your energy levels, make you drop off to sleep or help you meditate better! In other words, cooking determines whether the food will be transformed into sattva, rajas or tamas.

There are three qualities or energies, known in Sanskrit as gunas, which stem from the essential aspects of nature - matter, energy and consciousness respectively. All of us are essentially a mix of these energies, with one energy dominating at any given time.

Food is also classified in these three ways, depending on the effect it creates in us.

Sattvic cooking

Sattvic food is obviously the healthiest choice for your body and mind. Here are a few tips for sattvic cooking. When the food is cooked on a low flame, covered and a minimum of cooking is given to the food, just enough for you to be able to digest it. So the vegetables are not cooked until completely soft but they are left a bit crunchy. You can feel the juice in the vegetable. When you bite into the food the juice of the food is there in your mouth. So the nutrition and freshness of the food is still maintained.

Energize your food

There is one more way to increase the energy and wholesomeness of the food. In the Vedic tradition, we first offer the food to the Divine before eating it. Consecrating the food not only energizes it, but also helps us become aware that eating is a sacred act. This simple awareness will help us to avoid overeating, avoid wasting food – and above all, eat with a sense of gratitude and fulfillment.

Enjoy your food!

During your meal, drop everything else and just enjoy eating your food with awareness. Take a serving at a time, enjoying the colors and shape food through the eyes, enjoying the color of the food. Take small helpings; enjoy the visual treat. Take in the fragrance of the food. Relish its taste and texture in your mouth. Involve all your senses in your experience. When you eat with total mindfulness, you not only eat less, but you eat wisely, allowing your body to tell you what type of food it needs most that day. Most importantly, you get up from your meal with a deep sense of fulfillment.