Super Sattvic

we are what we eat: Time and history have stressed that Sattvic food is a healthy option for the mind & the body

Highlights: 
“The best examples of Sattvic food items are fruits, vegetables, leaves, grains, cereals, milk, honey, etc."

Have you ever looked at an apple and tried measuring its prana (universal life-force)? Did you ever calibrate a pumpkin’s prana and figured out whether it is dull/dark, has a can-do attitude, or is absolutely pure in its essence? Perhaps not. But sages and gurus, for eons, have believed that we are what we eat. What we eat not only affects us physically but also impacts our overall being. 

According to the scriptures, energy has three gunas (qualities) that exist together in equilibrium: Sattva (purity); Rajas (activity, passion, the process of change); and Tamas (darkness, inertia). Borrowing from this idea, food has been categorised as Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic. 

Sattvic food is the best for the mind and body. Natural, organically grown, and as unrefined as possible, Sattvic diet includes foods such as fruits and vegetables, especially sun foods and ground foods. Rajasic food includes hot substances such as sharp spices or strong herbs, or stimulants like coffee and tea, the meat of animals and fish, eggs, salt, and chocolate. Eating in a hurry is also considered Rajasic. Tamasic items include meat, alcohol, tobacco, onions, garlic and fermented food, such as vinegar, and stale leftover food and contaminated or overripe substances. Overeating is also Tamasic. 

“The best examples of Sattvic food items are fruits, vegetables, leaves, grains, cereals, milk, honey, etc. These can be consumed as they are. Never use any processed food or ingredients. Non-vegetarian ingredients are a strict no.  Use wholesome food — whole grains, millets, fruits, nuts and seeds. Avoid using powdered spices as they are processed. Do not use processed cooking oil of any kind — replace them with homemade ghee or homemade mustard oil,” says Executive Chef Vikash Prasad, The Westin Kolkata Rajarhat.

 


Try these Sattvic dishes

 

For winter, Executive Chef Japvir Vohra, Hilton Jaipur, recommends loads of ghee, the use of leafy winter vegetables and seasonal fruits. “Fresh basil, coriander, saffron, ashwagandha and rose are some of the common Sattvic herbs that should be used generously in one’s diet,” adds Chef Vohra, who also stresses on eating in moderation and eating only when one feels hungry. His big no-no include iodised salt, processed food, overcooking vegetables, fermented food and food with excessive amounts of sourness, saltiness, bitterness and oiliness.

Cook with love. This is the most important thing to remember as food is the life-giving energy we pass on. The state of mind of the person cooking 
and the person consuming the food should be positive. - Japvir Vohra

Executive Chef Sandeep Chowdhary, Ibis Hotel Aerocity, New Delhi, has a long list of Sattvic food on the menu. “With Navratri round the corner, it is the best time to include Sattvic food in the diet. It does not have to be bland. 

Here are a few interesting options: Shakarkandi Chat (tangy sweet potato with white rock salt & lemon), Singare ki Poori (fried water chestnut flour poori), Samak Ke Chawal (boiled barnyard millet with white rock salt), Caulai Ladoo & Banana Chips (shallow-fried sweet amaranth grain balls & banana chips), Sitafal ki Subzi (tangy pumpkin preparation with white rock salt),” adds Chef Chowdhary.  In Bhagavad Gita, Sri Krishna states, “If one offers me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit, or water, I will accept it.” (Bg.9.26). Perhaps he was referring to a Sattvic diet — a diet based on leaves,  fruits and water as the best option for spiritual growth.
 

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