Happy, healthy eating…and after
If you do nothing else in way of healthy eating strategies, you will still be working from a solid meal planning base with these suggestions.
Get your hands dirty. Eating with your hands can be pure joy! Long before cutlery was in the picture, people used their hands to feel the food they were eating. The food was at the optimum temperature, (not too many cases of burned tongues from food that was too hot.) and the energy centers at the tips of your fingers make contact with your food, increasing the energy vibrations of what you place into your mouth, and make the experience more real for you.
Sitting on the floor is active sitting
For centuries, people around the world sat on floors either cross-legged or in a squatting position. If you are a yoga practitioner, this will make complete sense to you. When you sit on the floor (whether it’s kneeling and heel-sitting, known as Vajrasana, or a simple cross-leged pose, known as Sukhasana, or any other yoga pose), you actually engage many of your musclesin contrast to when you sit on a chair. When your feet are below your heart (as in a position when sitting on a chair), the blood circulation is being directed to your feet, as opposed to when you sit cross-legged on the floor where your heart receives the benefit of better circulation.
Because of the fact that our generation is surrounded by chairs and couches, we’ve lost the ability to sit for longer stretches on the floor. Nevertheless, it is enormously rewarding to incorporate ways to sit on the floor whenever you can, and worthwhile to explore cushions and backrests to aid active sitting on the floor. By sitting on the floor, you strengthen the lumbar region of the body, reducing back pain and discomfort. The hips open, making your pelvis and legs more flexible. Core muscles are strengthened, and the ankles also get gently stretched. Floor sitting also helps promote mental calmness, soothes frazzled nerves and can aid your creative imagination.
Eat while sitting with your legs crossed
This simple and beautiful art is still practiced by millions of people in countries in Asia. All you need is a low table on which you can place your food and a little rug or cushion to sit on. When you sit down to eat in this position, your digestive juices are concentrated in your stomach and prepared for digesting the food you eat. You also somehow respect your food even more and will tend to not overeat.
Drinking water before a meal is not ideal. It dilutes the acid that would otherwise be utilised for digesting your food, or weakens the digestive fire (agni), which in turn makes the digestive strength weaker. This causes vata imbalance, and symptoms such as bloationg, gaseous distension, indigestion can arise. You will losr weight if you drink water about 30 minutes before eating, just to fill up your stomach.
When you drink water after a meal, first the solid part of the food you have consumed, which is heavy, goes down, and water fills the stomach, leaving no space for air. This inhibits the churning action that mixes the food, water and digestive juice). It affects both the quality of the food as well as the digestive strength. Drinking a lot of water after a meal, increases Kapha energy with a corresponding feeling of laziness, tiredness and sleepiness after the meals, which leads to a tendency of obesity over a period of time.
Ayurveda recommends that sipping small quantities of water with your meal (Astanga Hrdayam - Sutra Stana 5th Chapter) works like nectar and aids good digestion. It keeps the food moist, which helps to break down the food better. Sippling water with your meal helps to mix the food, water and digestive juices in beneficial proportions, and increases Pitta energy or Agni to facilitate good digestion. It quenches your thirst. It can be room temperature, or hot water, depending upon your body type, but should never be ice-cold, as this would douse your digestive fire.
If you are eating a plain meal, without spices, then spice water will aid digestion. On the other hand, if you are eating an Ayurvedic meal, then sippin plain water with your meals is best, because Ayurvedic food already contains spices and you don't want to overwhelm your body.
A cup of water with your meal is adequate, but it does dep[end on what you are eating. Sop, for instance, if you are eating soup or dhal, you will needs much less water. However, if you are eating a larger quantity of dry food, such as dry biscuits or you will need to sip more water.
Squatting in the toilet can help evacuate your colon
The root cause of Alzheimer's and many so-called degenerative diseases is not caused by genetics, or even old age. It's because of the bacteria-like fungal organism, present in the gut, that eats away people's brains, and destroys their memories.
To aid this process and allow the body to make use of its natural urge, a squatting style toilet has been used for centuries. In fact, constipation in a huge percentage of cases can be avoided by just switching to a squatting style toilet. Now, people all over the world who are constipated are advised to squat for a couple of minutes before going to the bathroom or to use a squatting stool. This simple and efficient method can take a little while to get accustomed t,o but can go a long way in preventing constipation and hundreds of other gastrointestinal problems.
Eat Food Fresh
It's undeniable - fresh food has a "je ne sais quoi" about it - something special even if you can't detect the difference in a lab. There's something bright, juicy and colorful about fresh food. Classical Ayurveda recommends against eating leftovers, for several reasons. But is leftover food really as bad as Ayurveda claims? There were no refrigerators in ancient India when the Ayurvedic rules were written. Does this rule still apply in modern times? Should you take a fresh look at leftovers?
Shanti Gowans is the globally recognised author and founder of Shanti Yoga™, Meditation and Ayurveda for the self, family and community.
Shantiji has brought the concepts and practices of a healthy body and a still mind to thousands of Australians through her Yoga and Meditation programs on national television... Read more about Shantiji's biography
Travel with Shanti & Peter Gowans this November for a trip of a lifetime.