Monday, 28 March 2011

The zen palate

I love yoga and in my dream life, where I have enough free time to work out for two hours a day, sleep nine hours a night and make all my meals from scratch, I would also do an hour of yoga every day.

Yoga isn't just a great way to de stress, stretch muscles, give your organs a massage, improve circulation, lymph flow and energy levels and clear your mind - it is also a whole philosophy on life encompassing how you should think and behave. This includes following a healthy vegetarian diet to improve your health and reduce impact on the environment and strain on the worlds food resources.

Whilst I don't recommend a strict vegetarian diet to my clients, the emphasis of the yogic diet in eating a pure and healthful diet is something I am in total agreement with. This includes avoiding foods that are stressful on the body - know as Rajasic foods, and foods that are energy draining - known as Tamasic foods.

So if you want to reduce your stress levels then as well as minimising the stress from your environment, as per yesterdays blog, you should also avoid eating stressful and energy depleting food:

Rajasic foods:
- refined carbohydrates such as white bread and pasta, sugar, chocolate, cake and biscuits
- processed foods such as crisps, biscuits, cakes, popcorn, soft drinks, chips - anything with artificial additives, cooked at a high temperature, or over salted.
- coffee
- chocolate
- tobacco
- onions, garlic and chillies (I actually don't avoid these but do generally eat them cooked which makes them easier to digest)

Tamasic foods:
- meat, especially processed meats such as hams
- fish (I don't avoid)
- eggs
- alcohol and drugs
- fungus (mushrooms)
- anything that isn't fresh
- vinegar and pickles (I think these are fine in moderation)

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