Detox. It’s a loaded topic and there’s only about a bajillion ways to ‘clean up your diet’. I’ll be 100% honest – I am not an expert on which one of the ‘clean up your diet’ diets would work the best for different people. I do know that I have tried a few out myself, and know what has worked and has not worked for me. Today I want to share the what my teachers have taught me about proper diet.
In yoga philosophy, it is said that everything has 3 elements, the 3 gunas. Sattuva, Rajas, and Tamas.
Sattuva – the clean, light, and bright energy
Rajas – the burning energy
Tamas – the heavy energy.
If I were to explain this in feelings, it will look like this:
Sattuva – happiness, calmness, “I’m meditating under a tree and I feel my breathing”-ness
Rajas – anger, rage, “GRRR!!! GET OUT OF MY WAYYY OR I WILL DESTROY YOU!!”-ness
Tamas – dullness, laziness, “I don’t want to get out of bed this morning. or ever.”-ness
If I explain it in foods, it will look like this:
Sattvic Food – fresh fruits and vegetables, cereals, wholemeal bread, pure fruit juices, milk, butter and cheese, legumes, nuts, seeds, sprouted seeds, honey and herb teas.
Rajasic Food – sharp spices or strong herbs (very hot, bitter, sour dry or salty), onions, garlic, radishes, coffee and tea, fish, eggs, salt, chocolate, eating in a hurry.
Tamasic Food – meat, alcohol, tobacco, mushrooms, fermented foods, stale or overripe foods, overeating.
Eating lots of..
Sattvic Food nourishes the body and maintains a peaceful state.
Rajasic Foods will over stimulate the body and make the mind restless and uncontrollable.
Tamasic Foods withdraws prana (energy), decreases the body’s ability to fight disease and fills the mind with emotions like anger and greed.
If you are feeling tired, lazy, and unmotivated, you probably have a lot of Tamastic foods in your diet. If you are angry or upset, probably too much Rajastic foods. Aim to keep your diet Sattuvic.
Long story short, a yogic diet is a “lacto vegetarian diet without onions, garlic or mushrooms”. Onions and garlic are a stimulant and makes the mind run wild. I’m never able to meditate very well after having onions and garlic, and honestly I never really liked onions growing up so this is an easy one for me to avoid. Mushrooms are out of the picture because they grow in the dark, and the yogic aim is to step into the light.
If you need some inspiration, here’s 3 simple ideas that go along with the sattvic food guidelines:
1. Green Smoothie – Baby kale, banana, apple and almond milk is my favorite.
2. Tortilla wrap – Hummus (without garlic), avocado, baby kale, and carrots. Perfect for quick lunches.
3. Lentil dal and rice – I like to add cilantro if I have fresh on hand.
Do you have any favorite sattvic foods? Let me know!