A Higher Taste – Yoga and Foods

Choose food for Good Health

The first thing I ever bought from a Buddhist monk on the street was a little recipe book called ‘A Higher Taste’. This turned out to be a great guide for vegetarian recipes, but also an introduction to the typical (yoga) diet. A diet is here not a way to ‘lose weight’, but a guide for a healthier lifestyle. A way of life rather than a short-lived attempt.

Food and drinks should not make the mind slow or static, should not be artificially stimulating. It but should be nutritious for the body and improve or maintain a mental pureness. Foods that are old or fermented, or contain chemicals should, at all times, be avoided.

Tamasik Food (avoid)
In food that is old, rotten or fermented, the static factor (tamasic) is dominating. The same goes for products of ‘rot’ like mushrooms. Because meat, fish and eggs almost immediately start to decompose when exposed, the yogic diet is also lacto-vegetarian. Vegetarianism is basically mandatory because killing any animal is seen as an impure action, due to the unnecessary disturbance of the animal’s karma.

This category also contains several vegetables and tropical fruit types. For instance, all plants from the onion-family are banned. Onions generate extra body-heat in certain glands, which has a negative effect on the manageability of specific emotions.

Rajastic Food (not too much)
Foods with a moving (rajastic) effect should be avoided because they make the mind restless and it loses its pureness. Foods and drinks such as coffee, tea, chocolate and carbonated drinks can be found in this group, but also large amounts of pungent herbs.

Sattvik Food (good)
Most vegetables, most fruits, grains, beans (except red lentils), honey, sugar and derived products are mainly sattvik, unless they are combined wrong, are unfresh or cause some sort of fermentation in the intestinal tract.
Sattvik food brings the body and mind in balance. These food improve a healthy mind in a healthy body.

Do Eat vs Don’t Eat
It’s not only the food that counts. The person who prepares the food leaves a mark on the character of the food as well. Therefore, many yogis don’t like to eat in a restaurant, or eat food from a person with a ‘static’ or rude character.

It might take you a while to get the hang of it, but I can definitely recommend trying it for at least a couple of weeks. I’m very sure you will feel the difference!

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Angie F

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