Tips To Prepare Sattvik Meals Correctly

Tips To Prepare Sattvik Meals Correctly

Sattvik foods are believed to be the best carriers of ‘prana’ or vital life energy

Dr Hansaji YogendraUpdated: Friday, March 01, 2024, 06:03 PM IST
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It is true that food can directly influence our moods and feelings. Foods can induce a variety of emotions ranging from anger and restlessness to contentment. According to Yoga and Ayurveda, food is categorised into three groups: Sattvik, Rajasik, and Tamasik. The best diet is a Sattvik diet.

Sattvik literally means ‘pure essence’. Sattvik foods are believed to be the best carriers of ‘prana’ or vital life energy. Eating Sattvik foods increases your prana, so the old saying “you are what you eat” really comes alive under a Sattvik diet. Such a diet encourages you to include ingredients that enhance a feeling of lightness and nourishment of the body and promotes mental clarity.

Sattvik foods and meal preparation

Sattvik meals embrace the essence of holistic living.

Embrace seasonal and local foods: Begin your Sattvik journey by prioritising seasonal and locally sourced vegetables and grains. Opting for ingredients in their prime ensures freshness and supports local agriculture.

Sattvik ingredients for wholesome nutrition: Prepare your meals with a selection of Sattvik ingredients, including vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and dairy products. Exclude garlic, onions, and strongly flavoured spices, adhering to the principles of a Sattvik diet.

Strive for balance in every bite: Construct balanced meals by incorporating a variety of dishes that cover different macro and micro nutrients. This ensures a wholesome and nourishing experience.

Opt for digestible cooking methods: Enhance digestibility by choosing cooking methods such as steaming, boiling, and sauteing. Avoid deep-frying and heavy frying techniques, particularly for evening meals. Prioritise easy-to-digest vegetables and grains for dinner options.

Spice it right: Infuse mild and aromatic spices like cumin, coriander, fennel, and cardamom to elevate flavours without overpowering the dish. Harness the health benefits of spices and herbs to enhance both taste and well-being.

Dairy’s nourishing touch: Include dairy products such as milk, curd, and ghee for their nourishing qualities. Offer plant-based alternatives for those who seek or require non-dairy options.

Mindful eating environment: Create a serene and peaceful dining atmosphere with soothing decor and comfortable seating. Encourage mindful eating practices, such as savouring each bite and consuming meals slowly for a more profound connection with the food.

Seasonal specials for variety: Keep your Sattvik menu dynamic and fresh by introducing seasonal specials or rotating items.

Sattvik Recipe

Any food is Sattvik if all the above parameters are followed. Here is an example of a wholesome recipe:

Khichdi in coconut milk

Ingredients

1 cup rice

¼ cup masoor dal

½ fresh coconut to make 2 cups coconut milk

1 tsp cumin seeds

200 gms peas

50 gms French beans, chopped finely

1 chopped carrot

½ tsp turmeric powder

Salt to taste

2 cups water

Method

Wash rice and dal thoroughly. In a pot, put chopped vegetables, water, and salt. Place the pot on medium heat. When the water reduces, add the coconut milk. In another pot, heat oil and add cumin seeds. Then add the rice and dal mixture. Cook on a slow fire till the khichdi is soft. Add more water if required.

Choosing right ingredients

Opt for ingredients that are fresh, whole, and minimally processed. Choose ghee or sesame oil and incorporate mild spices such as cumin, coriander, and cardamom to enhance flavour without overwhelming the senses.

Suggestions on changing to a healthier lifestyle

Make changes in your diet gradually. Such changes will be more sustainable.

Don’t skip meals. That will only make you hungrier and tempt you to binge on high-calorie junk food later.

Don’t eat food in a hurry. Relaxing for five to 10 minutes after eating food will help your body digest food more easily.

Preparing Sattvik meals is an art that goes beyond the ingredients; it’s about embracing a lifestyle that promotes balance, mindfulness, and well-being. By including these principles into your culinary practices, you can master the art of preparing Sattvik meals that nourish both the body and the soul. However, food is not the only factor that has a bearing on the state of mind. The literature you read, company, routine, meditative practices, and pranayama are just a few of the techniques that contribute towards establishing sattva.

(Dr Hansaji Yogendra is the director of The Yoga Institute. She is also the president of the Indian Yoga Association and the International Board of Yoga)

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