There are three qualities or energies, known in Sanskrit as gunas, which stem from the essential aspects of nature – matter, energy and consciousness. 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.
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.
Sattvic food is the healthiest choice for your body and mind. Here are a few tips for sattvic cooking:
- Cover and cook the food minimally on a low flame, just enough for you to be able to digest it
- The vegetables should not be cooked until completely soft. Rather, they are left a slightly crunchy.
- You should be able to feel the juice of the vegetable.
In this manner, the nutrition and freshness of the food are maintained.
Energize your food
There is one more way to increase the energy and the 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 it 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 of the food through your eyes. Take small helpings; enjoy the visual treat. Take in the fragrance of the food. Relish its taste and texture in your mouth. Involve all of your senses in the experience. When you eat with total mindfulness, you will not only eat less, but you will also eat wisely, allowing your body to tell you what type of food it needs most. Most importantly, though, you get up from your meal with a deep sense of fulfillment.