Proper Nutrition and Food Intake
We all need a proper intake of food for energy. But it is the knowledge of vitamins, minerals. And the availability and access to the correct foods that sustain us in the long run. Avoiding processed food is the number one priority for a yogic diet. (Even if you are not aiming to be a yogi.) Digesting food takes an enormous amount of energy for the body. Eat healthy and light. Small portions are subjective. If the entire meal can fit into the size of both your cupped hands--it appropriate. Eat small and moderate amounts of food. In this manner, the body needs less energy to breakdown the intake. Resulting in more rest for the body. Thus more energy to use on building and maintaining immunity. Yogic diets are vegetarian. But if your culture or constitution does not support a plant-based or vegetarian diet. Eat natural, whole foods in small portions to achieve a favorable outcome. Again, rest easy, you do not 'have to' become a yogi.
The word “diet” is a trigger for many people. Guruji always says, ‘What you resist, will persist.’ This is a law of nature. Dieting is suppression of desires/cravings. It is best to unearth and understand such cravings instead of suppressing them. Resistance to a thing only makes it stronger. With suppression, it is only a matter of time before you binge and feast on your heart's, desire. By not resisting food desires, we learn to regulate the size, frequency, and duration of meals. Also, preparing our own food makes for a positive connection with what is entering our bodies.
Proper knowledge of our “constitution” according to Ayurveda helps support knowledge. Is our food acid-forming or neutralizing to our PH? Does it warm or cool off our digestive fire? Does our food provide enough of the proper enzymes to stimulate digestion? Or does it tell our system to produce less enzymes? An effective "Western" approach is to do a comprehensive blood panel. Blood panels can identify food allergies and intolerances. I tested a level of intolerance for over 20 items out of 196 foods. The blood tests also included herbs, animals, and outdoor plants. I was unlucky in that most of my allergies are foundational items. They are an active or main ingredient in almost everything. These include but are not limited to all forms of rice, yeast, gluten, and whey, and casein. "Bad food" for me also includes two of my favorite daily foods, almonds, and apples!
With the elimination of the triggering foods, my total well-being improved. I lost 20lbs. I slept better. I snored less. And I have more energy throughout the day. Plus my diet change is not permanent. My body will build stronger immunity. Some day I will be able to enjoy my “off-limit” items in moderation. For now, my body needs the opportunity to reprogram and reduce inflammation and histamine production. During this "rebuild time," I am also taking a daily probiotic to re-establish gut flora.
Finally, with regard to food and nutrition, grow as much of your own food as possible. The quality of our food helps us synthesize and assimilate its beneficial properties. My family and I established a homestead. We have a large garden. Our garden produces herbs, regional fruit, and all the produce found in the grocery aisle of the local food market. This year we added a greenhouse. The greenhouse allows us to continue enjoying our own vegetables throughout winter. And you don’t need a lot of land. Grow food on whatever is available to you -- this includes an apartment patio. You need at least 8 hours of sun, enough water, and nature will take care of the rest! If you have a small yard, it is amazing how many vegetables you can grow in a 4‘ x 6‘ plot of land. Even large potting plants around the house can feed a family of 5!