Proper diet – Vegetarian
Correct nutrition and diet gives proper fuel for the body and the mind without creating toxins and digestive problems. Optimum utilization of food, air, water and sunlight is essential.
There is medical evidence that a balanced vegetarian diet is extremely healthy and provides everything the body needs. The Yogic vegetarian diet is sattvic (pure), and helps to calm the mind, and to reveal the spirit as well as nourish the body.
The body needs food for two purposes: as fuel to supply energy, and as materials to repair body tissues. For repairing and building tissue, the body needs: 1. protein; 2. carbohydrates; 3. fats; 4. minerals.
These elements are found in larger proportions in vegetable tissue than in animal tissue. Nuts, peas, beans, soy bean products like tofu, and milk contain protein. Wheat, oats, rice and other grains are mainly carbohydrates.
All protein foods and vegetable oils provide the fats, and the main supply of organic minerals and vitamins comes from fruit and vegetables.
A vegetarian diet is a natural diet, fresh and wholesome, full of fiber and alkaline in nature, energy producing, and easy to absorb and to eliminate.
To maintain a sattvic diet, free from rajasic and tamasic influences, avoid stimulants and depressants such as caffeine, alcohol, cigarettes, drugs of all kinds, overly spicy food, onions, garlic, overcooked food, old food, frozen food, canned food, sodas and processed foods, as well as all meat.
Yogis advocate “ahimsa”, the principle of non-violence, non-injury and respect for life. Everything our body and mind needs for growth can be provided from the vegetable kingdom.
By avoiding eating animal flesh we nourish ourselves in a natural and healthy way.
The vegetarian diet helps in the performance of asanas as the body and the joints becomes more flexible. It is a wonderful way to prevent heart disease, arthritis, obesity, and a good remedy for many chronic diseases.
Gradual Change to Vegetarian diet
Changing to a vegetarian diet can be gradual and life transforming. It consists not only in deciding to stop eating meat, but in learning a new way of life, by being conscious of how you nourish yourself.
It includes not only being aware of what you eat, but also how you eat. Yogis promote taking time to cook, and to eat consciously in a regular manner, with appropriate intervals between meals to allow the digestive fire to activate and digest the food.
Blessing meals is also encouraged to sanctify the act of eating and for offering thanks to the Creator.
Proper diet includes periodic fasting as well, to give a break to the digestive system, purify body and mind, and to make the mind more perceptive, more sattvic, and more conducive to concentration, contemplation and meditation.
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