TitleEAT YOUR WAY TO HEALTH

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Integral Yoga of Princeton

Eating Smart
by Prahaladan Mandelkorn

Good health and happiness are our birthright. Don’t trade it away.
According to yoga sages, the three main causes of disease are stress, toxins, and bad eating habits.

Here are some good eating habits advised by the sages:

1. TOTALLY DIGEST THE LAST MEAL before eating again. If people only waited long enough for everyone to digest there wouldn’t be any hospitals. How do you know when everything’s digested: When there’s a raging appetite—then its time for dinner.

2. EAT ONLY WHEN YOU’RE REALLY HUNGRY. That means eat for your stomach, not for your tongue, not for the clock, not out of habit, nor for social reasons only. No matter how recently or how much was eaten before, people often feel “false hunger” at habitual mealtimes. Sometimes too, you see or smell something nice and immediately you feel hungry, or look at the clock and think, “time to eat.” Instead have a glass of water, wait ten minutes. False hunger will disappear. If it returns in force, it’s authentic. Eat and enjoy.

3. STOP PUTTING TOXINS IN YOUR BODY. Some very useful things in this world are strictly poison for the human body. Despite conventions of the day, caffeine, nicotine, purine, alcohol, dope, drugs, uppers, downers and most chemical preservatives in packaged foods are toxic. All flesh foods have purine, red meats most of all. Lungs were not designed for nicotine — otherwise you’d find it in the air free of charge. Psychedelics and marijuana weaken the nervous system; caffeine burns out the adrenal glands. Some people can cut out toxins all at once. Most people find it easier to ease into a healthier diet over a period of weeks.

4. CHOOSE VITALITY FOODS. Rather than always worrying about what to avoid, focus on putting healthy food: fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, seeds, nuts, tofu, beans, dairy products, honey and fruit and vegetable juices. Little by little move toward clean, plain food. Choose easily digestible foods, not too spicy, nor full of stimulants. Eat for energy, not for your tongue. Your taste will change quickly.

5. TAKE SIMPLE MEALS not mixing too many foods in one meal. It’s easier for the body to digest and assimilate one food instead of two, two rather than three, and so on. When you use less energy for digestion, there’s more for you during the rest of the day. You’ll need less sleep too. It’s not always necessary to balance this and that in one meal. More important is taking healthy easy-to-assimilate food. For most efficient digestion, it’s advised to eat either all cooked or all raw in one meal, all fruits or all vegetables. For example, raw food requires more time to digest. When you mix raw and cooked in the stomach, only a small portion of the raw food digests.

6. DRINK WATER WITH YOUR MEALS, not milk, not soda, not juices — just water. And that water should only be sipped occasionally. It’s best not to drink much until 20 minutes after you’ve finished eating. When you wash down your food with liquids, the digestive juices are diluted. Only part of the meal is digested. The rest remains in the stomach fermenting, turning to gas and mucous. That clogs you up and lowers your resistance to colds, flues, etc.

7. WHEN YOU EAT, JUST EAT — don’t read, or watch TV, or even talk much. Chew the food well, enjoy the taste. In fact, meditate on what you’re doing. If you think about anything else, be sure to think positive thoughts. Food you eat affects your mind as well as your body. Thoughts during eating go into the food and affect you later.

8. DON’T EAT WHEN YOU’RE ANGRY, DEPRESSED OR IN A HURRY. Food taken at such times is poisonous. It doesn’t digest, and leaves you feeling worse. Better to wait awhile to eat, even if that means missing the meal. It’s good to skip a meal now and then anyway — build a great appetite, digest everything.

9. DON’T EAT BEFORE YOU GO TO BED — even for several hours. If you’re really hungry at night, have a warm beverage, or perhaps a piece of fruit. If you can train your mind to let you sleep like a baby, awaken hours earlier, refreshed and raring to go. If you eat at night, your dreams are fitful, you need additional hours sleep and you wake tired.

10. CONSECRATE THE FOOD before offering it in your living temple. Consider where it all comes from originally, and how its energy might be used most nobly. “Lord, thanks for giving me of yourself as this food. Kindly grant me discriminating wisdom, non-attachment and peace of mind to be of service to your creation.” Or say your own prayer. Be sincere. Then eat with this thought in mind.

11. NO FANATICISM, no extremes. Even with all these guidelines, keep your life flexible, and be willing sometimes to bend the rules a little. Don’t batter your friends with your opinions. Instead, inspire them with your radiant health and good cheer.

ENJOY!
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