SavSani Yoga | Become a More Mindful Eater
A column on connecting with your food in order to become a more mindful eater — and why many are moving towards an increasingly vegetarian diet.
Growing up in the United States, it’s second nature for most kids to eat hamburgers, hot dogs and meatballs without blinking an eye. My sister and I grew up the same way, but at home we primarily ate a vegetarian diet. Living in an Indian household helped us get a healthy dose of vegetarian food throughout the week — where the Indian dishes our mom cooked were based off of using lentils, grains, vegetables, and fruits to gain all the right nutrition. Before I knew it, my sister became a full-fledged vegetarian. She said she couldn’t handle the thought of how animals were killed in slaughter houses. In the meantime, I stuck my ground and continued to eat meat.
As a passionate foodie, I couldn’t bare the thought of going out and having limited options; as a cook, I couldn’t bare the thought of cooking with limited ingredients. Surprisingly, soon enough I too became a vegetarian. In my case, however, this was purely the consequence of the dose of yoga that was infused in my life. Eventually through the practice of yoga, I became a mindful eater and couldn’t bare the thought of killing something just to eat it. I soon switched my cooking techniques in the kitchen and started to cook only vegetarian meals — infusing techniques I was taught by my grandmother and mother and incorporating them with many of my favorite global cuisines, be it French, Chinese, Italian or Mediterranean.
Taking up healthy cooking has made me realize by trial, error and experimentation, that the food you eat can have an impact not only on your health, but also on the way you feel. Indians have nailed it on the head with the creation of yoga, but the key lies in taking it to the next level by thinking of food as more of a science and recognizing its impact on the body, mind and spirit.
One recommended diet is called sattvic, a strictly vegetarian diet consisting of local organic produce that’s cooked fresh everyday. The ingredients one can work with are vegetables, whole grains, raw honey or turbine, nuts, oils, seeds, mild or cooking spices and organic dairy. The way that one combines foods and puts ingredients together while cooking can have a huge impact on how it assimilates in one’s body. It’s a connection that makes one feel whole, and a difference your body will notice within a matter of days.