Holiday Eating – The Ayurvedic Way
It is impossible to not write about diet or food in November. With Thanksgiving officially kicking off the holiday season in North America, it is hard to not think about eating during holidays which is notorious for our routines and diets to get off track; we often indulge in foods that trigger inflammation and cause imbalance in our bodies.
While one cannot refrain from enjoying holiday festivities, we can incorporate Ayurvedic eating principles, to minimize the imbalance in our bodies. Many Ayurvedic texts and practitioners can provide you with optimal food lists, but that is not the only way to adopt Ayurvedic eating. My suggestion is to focus on understanding why certain foods are recommended and adopt that rationale in your day to day eating habits, this allows you to be agile in your lifestyle and not limited by lists.
So what does Ayurvedic based eating look like; it introduces us to a sattvic eating which includes foods that are local to you, fresh, easily digestive (this will be different for each individual) and light. Sattvic eating emphasizes foods that are filled with prana (Life giving force, breath), they are nutritious, wholesome and are thought to increase energy, happiness, calmness, and mental clarity. Here is how you can incorporate Sattvic eating during your holiday meals:
1. Focus on home cooked meals that are made with local, fresh and in season ingredients. While sitting at the Thanksgiving table, reach for dishes that were made fresh that day, sourced with ingredients from local farms and markets. These foods are from the environment you live in or are visiting and most likely to be digested easily by your body.
2. Focus on food made with love. Food cooked by loved ones (this could also be a restaurant you frequent and know the owner/chef) for loved ones, brings with it pranic energy. This holiday season when eating with friends and family, opt for foods made by family members with love and positivity.
3. Home cooked leftovers made with love beat restaurant leftovers. Sattvic eating emphasizes eating food as fresh as possible with as much pranic energy as possible. While in today’s world it may not be possible to eat all three meals this way, home cooked leftovers made by your family bring with them more wholesome nutrition than restaurant leftovers where you are disengaged not only from the person that made your meals but also don’t understand how they source their ingredients.
So this holiday season, opt for leftovers packed by your mom over takeout. Sattvic foods are soothing, nourishing and promote and maintain a quiet, steady mind as well as help to sharpen your intellect and give you a greater sense of empathy. Happy Eating!