11 Guidelines for Eating Healthy
Guide on How to Eat Right
You are what you eat. That statement certainly holds a lot of truth, but equally important to what you eat, is how you eat it and that is the topic of this guide. The basis for this guide lie in Ayurveda, the ancient Indian science of life and longevity, Yoga Philosophy as well as modern medicine. The objective is to ensure that the food you are eating is providing you maximum benefit, not just at a physical level, but also at a psychological and energetic level.
Healthy Eating Guide:
1. Eat with Awareness:
This is the number one universal recommendation when it comes to eating. Eating with awareness means to really taste your food and not eat while being elsewhere mentally. So don’t eat while reading a newspaper, chattering endlessly, or while watching TV. The result of mindful eating are the following…
- You will refine your power of awareness and ability to stay in the now. (read J. Krishnamurti on Sensitivity for more on this topic).
- Will find that you enjoy simple, natural foods much better. So won’t need to cake your food with all sorts of unhealthy garnishes.
- With your mind on the process of eating, instead of over stimulated by external stimuli, you will find eating a much more enjoyable and peaceful activity. This will result in much better digestion and positive conversion of the energy you are extracting from the food.
2. Don’t Eat when Upset:
If you are upset, stressed out, angry, depressed,etc, try to calm down before eating. This is important for two reasons. First, eating while upset prevents proper digestion and results in the consumed food doing more harm than good. Second, you don’t want food to become your escape from these emotional states. Often such emotional eating becomes a root cause for obesity, which can then be a difficult pattern to break (read How to Stop Emotional Eating for more information on this topic).
3. How Much to Eat:
Ayurveda has a nice method of helping you determine just how much you should be eating in any one sitting. The amount of food you should eat, should be no more than what is required to fill your 2 cupped hands. This is a handy gauge to keep in mind, when wondering if you ought to go for seconds, or thirds .
4. Right Portions of Food, Water & Air:
Another handy gauge from Ayurveda for determining the right combination of food, water and air for your tumtum to work at its best, is to fill it one third with food, one third with water and leave one third empty. This ratio allows for the right amount of liquid, oxygen and heat needed to properly convert your food into energy.
5. The Importance of Water:
Sip room temperature, or warm water with your food. Don’t underestimate the enormous benefits of this simple rule. Whenever I diligently employ this policy, I feel much better, have more energy and enjoy healthy digestion.
There are three important aspects of this one rule. First, no cold water. Second, don’t chug water with your meals, just sip it between bites. Both these caveats are important, so that you don’t end up diminishing your digestive fire, keep which strong is key to proper digestion. Third, nothing else but water with meals. Try this for a week and you will be surprised by the results.
6. Right Posture for Eating:
The answer to the right posture for eating is a one liner – sit up straight. This will help you with maintaining your awareness (guideline number 1), ensure the proper flow of food, nutrients and waste, and help you eat in a relaxed manner (guideline number 2). Eating while standing, walking, lounging, sprinting , etc are all detrimental to the proper digestion of food.
7. Eat Slowly and Chew Well:
As you might have heard, digestion begins in the mouth. There are enzymes there which are important to digestion and chewing well, helps these enzymes do the work. In addition, eating slowly is a great way to prevent overeating, as it gives the body a chance to signal the brain that it is getting full. Furthermore, eating slowly and enjoying the process will again help you with staying in the moment and developing the key art of mindfulness.
8. Eat when Hungry:
This simple guideline will help you bring your life in tune with your bodily rhythms. Many people eat simple due to the time on the clock, which often leads to eating too much. Also, apply this policy to how much you eat as well. If you feel full, stop eating. Just don’t keep gobbling down the food simply because it tastes good or because you are too distracted to notice the signals from within.
This same rule applies to drinking liquids. Most people now drink for reasons other than being thirsty. It could even be that you have not really felt thirsty for quite some time now, due to your regular trips to the coffee machine. Even if you don’t do this perfectly (I know how enjoyable that morning cup of tea can be ), try to see if you can follow this policy a little more than you might be doing today.
9. Give Thanks Before Eating:
On our planet, life feeds on life. That is just how it is. Whether you are vegetarian or not, you are still feeding on life. So take a moment and give thanks for the food you have been provided, and resolve to use this energy for service and spiritual growth.
10. Don’t Eat Very Late:
Unless you have a ferocious metabolism don’t eat late at night. As a general rule try not to eat at least 2-3 hours before sleeping. This gives the digestive system a break and is important if you are trying to avoid gaining excess weight.
11. Eat the Right Foods:
This topic is actually too big to cover in this guide, but here what I am saying is that eat according to your constitution and physical condition. Ayurveda provides a comprehensive model to help you determine what you should be eating and you can read more about this in the following 2 articles: Introduction to Ayurveda & Healthy Ayurvedic Diet to Burn Fat and Lose Weight.
Briefly I will give some thoughts on this key topic.
- Eat according to your body type. Heavier foods for those who are light and thin, while light foods for those who are overweight, etc.
- Eat to help balance the energies in your body. Eating foods that are cool, pungent, dry, oily, etc, as per the need of your system at a particular time.
- Eat foods that are fresh and full of prana (life force).
- Don’t eat incompatible foods.
- In general eat more whole grains, vegetables and fruits.
Healthy Eating Guide Summary:
Food is a huge part of our lives. It is also one of the aspects that we have the ability to manage well, if we make the effort. The greatest gift you have been given is your unimaginably amazing human body. To allow it to deteriorate and decay due to a lack of proper attention and care is terrible. This guide to healthy eating will go a long way in helping you keep your body healthy and full of energy, so that you can use it properly in helping you achieve your highest potential.