What does Satvic mean? and 4 Satvic Food Principles
What does Satvic mean?
Lord Krishna, in the Bhagavad Gita states that all embodied souls are working under the control of 3 modes, or qualities of material nature –
The thoughts in our head, the activities we perform, the people we meet, the food we eat can all be classified as either Satvic, Rajasik or Tamasik.
Each mode has different characteristics
Mode of Goodness
- Purity, Happiness, Compassion, Bliss, Love, Self Control, Satisfaction, Nonviolence, Fearlessness, Surrender
Mode of Passion
- Arrogance, Ego, Restlessness, Anxiety, Anger, Impatience, Fear, Uncontrollable desires, Distress
Mode of Ignorance
- Laziness, Tiredness, Depression, Lethargy, Ignorance, Apathy, Inertia, Illusion
One person can have multiple modes
- When Satvic dominates, we feel happy, satisfied, & in control of our senses.
- When Rajasik dominates, we feel restless, anxious and angry.
- When Tamasik dominates, we feel lazy, tired, depressed and lethargic.
Our modern lifestyle, with its high levels of stress and toxins, leads to a life that fluctuates between Rajasik and Tamasik modes. To achieve happiness, we have to transcend from Tamasik and Rajasik to Satvic.
Our food can also be either Satvic, Rajasik or Tamasik
In the 17th chapter of Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna explains what Satvic, Rajasik and Tamasik foods are.
Foods in the mode of goodness increase the duration of life, purify one’s existence and give strength, health, happiness and satisfaction. Such foods are juicy, fatty, wholesome, and pleasing to the heart.
Foods that are too bitter, too sour, salty pungent, dry and hot, are liked by people in the modes of passion. Such foods cause pain, distress, and disease.
Food cooked more than three hours before being eaten, which is tasteless, stale, putrid, decomposed and unclean, is food liked by people in the mode of ignorance.
Foods that are fresh, Wholesome (unprocessed, unrefined), juicy (water-rich), freshly cooked & lightly seasoned are Satvic in nature
Satvic Food is living food, with life energy inside it.
It is food straight from Nature, with no or minimal human interference.
Examples of Satvic Food
- All Fresh Fruits: melons, oranges, papaya, apple, pear, berries, grapes,etc.
- All Vegetables: bottle gourd, ridge-gourd, bell peppers, carrots, spinach, coriander, all leafy greens, etc.
- Whole Fats: coconut, soaked nuts & seeds
- Whole Grains: whole wheat (with chokar), brown rice
Foods that are too bitter, too sour, salty, pungent, dry and hot are Rajasik in Nature. Rajasik food includes foods with the excess flavoring of salt and spices
Examples of Rajasik Food
- Sharp Flavors: excess of salt, red chili, garam masala, asafoetida (heeng), vinegars, etc
- Hot Drinks: very hot water, very hot herbal tea
Foods that are stale (eaten after 3 hours of being cooked), rotten (meat and fish) and foul (bad-smelling) are Tamasik in Nature. Tamasik Food is dead. When we eat dead food, the same death is transferred to our body in the form of disease
Examples of Tamasik Food
- Stale Food: everything packaged, bottled, tinned, or canned Meat, Fish & Eggs
- Stimulants: onion, garlic, tea, coffee, alcohol, cigarettes, betel nut (supaari), betel leaf
EFFECTS OF SATVIC FOOD
1. Satvic food is healing food. It is easy to digest, so when we eat it, our body has to spend less time digesting, and can spend more time healing.
2. By switching to a Satvic diet and lifestyle, we can fully cure any chronic disease, without any medicines.
3. But the benefits of Satvic food go far beyond the physical body. Gradually as we keep eating Satvic food, even our thoughts change. It brings mental clarity, calmess and humility We elevate to a higher consclousness of fearlessness. We become closer to Mother Nature and God.
EFFECTS OF RAJASIK & TAMASIK FOOD
1. Eating Rajasik and Tamasik food does not only ruin our bodily health, but also our mental health.
2. If we eat predominantly Rajasik and Tamasik foods, in due course of time, we become a victim of many diseases, such as diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, PCOD, high cholesterol, joint pains, etc.
3. On a more subtle level, they have a huge impact on our thoughts. We become arrogant, restless, anxious and impatient. Our concentration levels are decreased and we become dull and lazy. We eat dead foods and hence, our body, emotions and confidence slowly begins to die.
To follow the Satvic diet, we need Satvic recipes and hence we have created this book. Satvic recipes are different from other so-called ‘healthy recipes’. They follow strict Satvic food laws and are made especially for healing and achieving the maximum potential of this human body.
4 Sattvic Food Principles
According to the Bhagavad Gita, our food should have four qualities, which can be represented by the abbreviation LWPW.
Our food should come straight from the farm to our kitchen, not go to a factory in between. Nothing processed, tinned, packaged, bottled or canned.
Our food should be unprocessed & unrefined. It should not have been subtracted of it’s natural elements. Whole grains, dates and brown rice are a few examples.
Our food should be derived from plants \& trees, not from animals. No meat, fish or eggs.
Our food should be juicy, containing high amount of water, for example – fruits, vegetables, leafy greens. Nuts, seeds, grains are
1. Our food should be LIVING
Living foods are foods that come straight from Nature, without cooking or processing. Eating living foods means eating foods in their pristine, raw state. To understand this concept better, let’s take an example of a wheat plant. If we take a wheat seed, bury it in the soil and water it for a few days, it will grow into a sapling. But if we take wheat noodles and plant them in the ground, will they ever grow into a wheat plant? NO! Because unlike the wheat seed, the noodles do not contain any life energy, or prana. Therefore, they cannot produce more life. They’re dead. How can something that is dead bring life to our own body? On the other hand, fruits, vegetables, sprouts, coconut, grains, nuts & seeds (if soaked) are all living foods. When these living foods enter our body, they transfer their life energy inside us, flush out the toxins sitting inside and cure disease.
According to the Bhagavad Gita, chapter 17, verse 10, food should be eaten within 3 hours of being cooked. After 3 hours, it starts to lose the life energy inside it and becomes Tamasik. That explains why in the Yogic Culture, yogis do not eat sabzi, rice or chapati if it has been kept for more than 3 hours. Our forefathers and grandparents also obeyed this law. They used to eat everything fresh – straight from the stove to the plate. However, these days, people store cooked food in the refrigerator for several days, take a little out every day, eat it and store it back. They’re eating stale, rotten food. They’re inviting cancer into their bodies.
If something is cooked on fire, we must eat it within 3 hours, maximum 5 hours.
But, why only apply this 3-hour-rule to sabzi and chapati? What about all the processed biscuits, chips, candies, snacks and namkeens? Forget 3 hours or even 3 days. Most of them were cooked even 3 years in advance and have been stored in bottles, tins, cans and boxes after being lathered with synthetic chemicals and preservatives. These chemicals might increase the shelf life of these products, but they decrease the shelf life of our own bodies. If you think about it, the processed and packaged stuff we get from factories is not even food. They’re products made by a company who wants to make a profit, like any other business. They’re dead! They have no life energy left inside.
IT’S NOT UNCOOKED, IT’S SUNCOOKED
At least 70% of our daily diet should consist of raw foods (such as fruits, vegetables, salads, smoothies, juices, sprouts that have not been heated or cooked on fire).
Actually, “sun-cooked” is a more appropriate term than “raw”. The term “raw” implies that it is not a finished product, that something is yet to be done. However, a fruit ripening on the tree is certainly not raw food. It may not have been cooked over fire, but it has been cooked by Mother Nature under the sun. It is sun- cooked food. By cooking a fruit or vegetable on the stove, we’re actually re-heating it.
Sun is the greatest source of energy on this planet. Sun-cooked, or raw foods carry with them this vibrant sun energy that nourishes all life on Earth. Every whole plant food is a symphony. It is the result of the absorption and accumulation of sun energy.
When we eat these raw sun foods, their life energy is directly transferred to us, undiminished. This sun energy is used to heal us, rebuild tissues and cells, replace old, damaged or dead cells in our skin and remove cysts, mucus, or stones from our organs. The sun’s energy is used to flush out toxins from the body. By eating a diet primarily of raw food, one can overcome any health challenge.
How cooking kills our food?
When we cook our food on fire, the first thing to go is the vital sun-energy. The second thing to go are valuable enzymes in that food. Enzymes are present in all raw foods. Enzymes are what make digestion possible. At 118 degrees Fahrenheit (47.8 degrees Celsius), the enzymes in our food begin to die and the food starts losing it’s nutritional value. Food enzyme shortages, sooner or later, result in physical degeneration and disease.
In the Essene Gospel of Peace, Lord Jesus clearly and beautifully explains the impact of dead foods on our body, thoughts and soul.
“Kill neither men, nor beasts, nor yet the food which goes into your mouth. For if you eat living food, the same will quicken you, but if you kill your food, the dead food will kill you also. For life comes only from life, and from death comes always death. For everything which kills your foods, kills your bodies also. And everything which kills your bodies kills your souls also. And your bodies become what your foods are, even as your spirits, likewise, become what your thoughts are. Therefore, eat not anything which fire, or frost, or water has destroyed. For burned, frozen and rotted foods will burn, freeze and rot your body also.” – Jesus, Essene Gospel of Peace
When food is cooked it always becomes less than it was before, never more. Fire is destroyer, it never creates anything. If you light this book on fire, would it become more or less than it was before? Cooking only takes away. It destroys many important nutrients & vitamins in our food.
The assumption behind cooking food is that the original form of Nature, as it exists, must be altered in order that it may be reformed to a new artificial form. The truth is that the original state is always superior. Nothing can compare to the aristocratic taste of a ripe mango, nothing can compare to the taste of fresh watermelons in the summer, nothing even resembles the energy derived from a meal of jack-fruit.
Hence, eat things in nature, the way you find them in nature. Man thinks he is better than nature and that he can improve upon nature. But nature has already perfected it. Anything that we do is only going to lessen the perfection that it’s already got.
We understand if you cannot eat a 100% raw diet (although that would be most ideal), but at least strive for 70% of your diet as being fully raw. If you have to cook your food, cook it at the lowest temperatures, for the shortest duration. Steaming is better than boiling. Remove all processed, packaged, tinned, bottled and canned foods from your kitchen. They are the worst, as they have been cooked to death at very high temperatures for long hours. They are dead foods and only transfer death and disease to our own bodies.
2. Our food should be WHOLESOME
Mother nature knows best. There’s a reason why She hung dates on trees, and not sugar. There’s a reason why She gives us coconut, and not coconut oil, potatoes, but not potato chips.
All foods that come directly from plants and trees are wholesome – raw fruits and vegetables for example. They have not been subtracted of anything. Nature has given each food item a specific ratio of protein, fats, nutrients – so that we humans can easily digest and eliminate it.
However, if we fragment it by consuming only a part of it, by stripping away its outer layer, or by squeezing the oil out of it, we are spoiling Nature’s original design.
Mother Nature has made each food item a ‘whole-package deal’. If she gives us rice, she gives us the mechanism of digesting that rice in the bran that covers it. If we fragment food by throwing out the bran or the roughage, we also throw away the digestive mechanism of that food. White rice, sugar, oils, refined flours, refined wheat – are all highly fragmented foods. They have been highly altered from the way Nature gave them to us. When we eat such unnatural foods, they do not get properly digested in our body, leave undigested residue inside our intestines, leading to disease.
To understand the difference between wholesome and fragmented food clearly, let’s take the example of corn. Corn on the cob is obviously whole. Cornmeal is just ground up whole corn – still whole. Dextrose – a sugar that can be made from corn – not whole. And high fructose corn syrup – the king of not being whole.
Eat brown rice instead of white rice. Brown rice is wholesome. When we remove the bran, it becomes white rice. The digestive mechanism of that rice lies in the outer bran that we conveniently decide to throw out, so the rice can have a longer shelf life.
Eat dates or jaggery instead of sugar. Dates are wholesome. Sugar is fragmented.
Eat whole coconut instead of coconut oil. Eat the whole almond instead of almond oil.
When eating wheat, eat only whole wheat, along with the outer layer, or chokar. Do not sieve it before making your chapatis.
3. Our food should be PLANT-BASED
NATURE HAS NOT DESIGNED THE HUMAN BODY TO EAT MEAT
Nature has constructed every organism either a carnivore (an organism that feeds on other organisms) or a herbivore (an organism that feeds on plants). By looking at our own physical features, we can judge whether we are designed carnivores or herbivores.
- Teeth: Have sharp, pointed teeth to prey and tear apart meat
- Nails: Have sharp, pointed claws to snatch and rip apart flesh
- Intestine Length: Have a very short intestinal tract – only 3-6 times it’s body’s length. Meat, as a Intestine substance is very quick to rot Length and decompose. A carnivore’s digestive tract is short, so the meat exits the body before it becomes toxic
- Stomach Acidity: Have very strong hydrochloric acid in the stomach, to be able to break down meat
- Vision: Have eyes that enable them to see even in the dark so they can hunt their prey. Owls, eagles, cats and dogs – they have eyes that shine at night
- Teeth: Have flat teeth, incapable of tearing apart flesh
- Nails: Have flat, dull nails, incapable of tearing flesh
- Intestine Length: Have a very long intestinal tract – about 12 times it’s body’s length.
- Stomach Acidity: Have hydrochloric acid that is almost 20 times weaker than carnivores
- Vision: Do not have night vision, because they are not designed to hunt and prey at night
- Teeth: Have flat teeth, incapable of tearing apart flesh
- Nails: Have flat, dull nails. Have fingers perfectly designed to forge, grab and peel
- Intestine Length: Have a very long intestinal tract. If we eat meat, it does not digest, sits, rots and creates toxicity in the intestines. It grows fungus, mucus and constipation in the intestines.
- Stomach Acidity: Have hydrochloric acid that is almost 20 times weaker than carnivores
- Vision: Do not have night vision, because we are not designed to hunt and prey at night
If Nature had designed meat as our natural food, wouldn’t she have given us sharp nails and teeth to tear it apart, shorter intestines, strong hydrochloric acid and night vision eyes? Nature does not make mistakes. Meat is not our natural food.
TOXICITY IN ANIMAL SWEAT
Have you ever had to speak in front of a large audience? Or been in a situation which made you extremely scared or nervous? What was your first reaction to fear? It is to sweat.
Imagine that chicken or pig placed in a row to be slaughtered a moment later. Their fear of death causes a rush of adrenaline through their body, which makes them sweat profusely. Large amounts of toxins are released from the animals cells when it sweats. Regrettably, these toxins remain in the layers between the animal’s skin and are served to people in the name of food. If we’re eating meat, we’re not only eating the flesh of dead animals, but all the toxins that exist in its body. Over the years, these toxins are retained in the blood stream and tissues vitiating the blood, giving rise to inflammation, pain, functional disturbances and degenerative ailments.
OUR STOMACH IS NOT A GRAVEYARD
When a someone dies, we take their body to a cemetery or graveyard to be burnt or buried. But when we consume the dead body of an animal or bird, aren’t we making your own stomach a graveyard? Think about it. Our body should be a garden, not a graveyard.
All religions of this world have favored vegetarianism. An innumerable number of people of world wide fame have been vegetarians, such as Plato, Plutarch, Pythogoras, Socrates, Seneca, Zoroaster, Buddha, Jesus, Hippocrates, Voltaire, Leonardo Da Vinci, Alexander Pope, Tolstoy, Sir Isaac Newton, Thomas Edison, Gandhi, Bernard Shaw and many others. The world’s greatest masterpieces, such as the Bhagavad Gita, Zend Avesta of Zoroaster and the Essene Gospel of Peace have advocated a vegetarian diet for man.
‘Thou shalt not kill,’ for life is given to all by God, and that which God has given, let not man take away. For I tell you truly, from one Mother proceeds all that lives upon the earth. Therefore, he who kills, kills his brother. And from him will the Earthly Mother turn away, and will pluck from him her quickening breasts. And he will be shunned by her angels, and Satan will have his dwelling in his body. And the flesh of slain beasts in his body will become his own tomb. For I tell you truly, he who kills, kills himself, and whoso eats the flesh of slain beasts, eats of the body of death. For in his blood every drop of their blood turns to poison; in his breath their breath to stink; in his flesh their flesh to boils; in his bones their bones to chalk; in his bowels their bowels t o decay; in his eyes their eyes to scales; in his ears their ears to waxy issue. And their death will become his death. – Jesus, Essene Gospel of Peace
ANIMALS HAVE A REVENGE ON US
What we do always comes back to us. It’s called the law of Karma. Even when we kill or eat an animal, the animal has a revenge on us. The revenge is that they slowly begin to kill us, by giving us heart disease, cancer, strokes, etc. It’s instant karma.
Dr. William C. Roberts, MD, remarked “When we kill animals to eat them, they end up killing us because their flesh, which contains cholesterol and fat was never intended for human beings, who are natural herbivores.” Nowadays, several documentaries are coming up presenting scientific research showing how meat is the leading cause of heart disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer.
Watch the documentaries Forks Over Knives, Food Choices and What The Health.
EFFECTS OF MEAT ON THE MIND
What we eat dramatically affects the way we think. Food has consciousness. We cannot remain positive by ingesting a consciousness of poison, pain and death.
Factory-farmed animals are kept in darkness and squeezed together in inhospitable cages. If we eat the flesh of tortured animals, their energy and consciousness at that time is transferred to us. Not only do we ingest the animal, but also the pain, exhaustion and sorrow of those beings. Our body begins to accumulate that death energy, which manifests within us in the form of anger, violence, depression and illness.
On the other hand, if we take living food and positive, living thoughts, we also become positive and living!
If I don’t eat meat, where will I get my protein from?
It is surprising for people to learn that the overconsumption of protein presents a far greater threat to our health than not getting enough. In fact, a major culprit in many diseases is a protein overdose. In order to really be convinced, it is important to know the role of protein in the body.
Protein is a ‘building block’ for our body. It is needed for the ‘growth’ of our body. When growth rate is rapid and vast amounts of new cells are being formed, the demand for protein is high. This is during childhood, adolescence, athletes and pregnant women.
When our body reaches adulthood and our height is no longer growing, or if we’re living a sedentary lifestyle, our need for protein is minimal, which is easily fulfilled by eating leafy greens, vegetables, fruits, coconut, sprouts, nuts and grains. It’s almost impossible to design a protein deficient diet surrounding a variety of whole plant foods.
Any excess than that makes us prone to cancer, formation of cysts, stones and fibroids, unwanted growth hormones and disturbed blood chemistry, amongst many other diseases.
Athletes and children can add soaked nuts and seeds, lentil sprouts, leafy sprouts, coconut, grains, lentils to their diet. Every plant food contains protein. They do not need meat, whatsoever.
Think about it – all the animals that we chose to eat for protein, are vegetarian animals. Where’s the logic in that? Do you know that a gorilla can lift something 2,000kg (as heavy as 30 humans), over 10 times it’s body weight. Their diet consists of stems, fruits and bamboo shoots. They do not eat meat. Where do they get their protein from? If there was no protein in grass and leaves, how would these animals have been so strong? It makes no sense to go through an animal to get the nutrient that the animal gets, because the animal ate plants.
MILK – to drink or not to drink?
Milk is a complicated subject, so we must deal with it in an orderly way.
According to our scriptures, pure cow milk is not wrong. In fact, producing milk and drinking milk has been sanctioned by God in our scriptures. The problem in not in milk itself, but in what we’re getting today in the name of milk today and in our inability to digest it.
There are three problems with animal milk. Let’s discuss each one in a logical manner.
1) Commercial milk is highly adulterated
The commercial milk that we’re getting today is hardly even milk. It is a white-liquid heavily treated with contaminants such as urea, starch, caustic soda, detergents, white paint and refined oil. These contaminants are deliberately added to milk as they provide thickness, preserve milk and increase the volume of milk to make more milk, fast.
While the immediate effect of drinking such milk range from thyroid disfunctioning, diabetes, gastritis, PCOD, weight gain and high blood pressure, the long-term effects are far more serious.
Can milk adulteration result in cancer?
The World Health Organization (WHO) had recently issued an advisory to the Government of India stating that if adulteration of milk and milk products is not checked immediately, 87 per cent of citizens would be suffering from serious diseases like cancer by the year 2025.
2) Cows are often mistreated & tortured
The importance of milk, as described in our scriptures, is fully dependent on cow service. However, today the production of milk has emerged as an industry – one of the most brutal, heartless industries.
For cows to be healthy, they need to be out in fresh air and graze on open fields. However, nowadays, cows are tied to one corner all the time or sometimes even packed in wooden crates. As a result, they fall ill – both physically and emotionally. In hopes of curing them, they are injected with chemical medicines, leading to a downward spiral of disease and depression. If the cows themselves aren’t healthy, how can we stay healthy by drinking their milk?
Like any other mother, a cow produces milk for the purpose of feeding its baby calf. However, as soon as the mother gives birth to the calf, they are separated from each other and tied apart. Everyday, the farmer deceives the cow so that she produces milk. He opens the calf and the cow produces milk in its udder for feeding its baby. While the calf is still drinking his mother’s milk, the farmer brutally snatches it and ties it away from his mother. Then, the cruel hands of the farmer tie the cows legs and forcefully extract all the remaining milk that was meant for its baby.
For several days, the same process is repeated. When the cow starts understanding that she is being tricked, she becomes restless and starts fighting the farmer so as to say- “Dear farmer, Please let me go. Please don’t take away my right to feed my child.” The shameless human does not understand. He ties the cow’s legs with a rope and continues milking it. After few months, the cow stops producing any milk at all and then, she is injected with a poisonous vaccine that forces her to keep producing milk. This way, the cow is subjected to relentless cycles of exploitation and depression.
Till when will we humans continue to be so brutal towards these innocent, helpless animals? As we discussed earlier, food carries consciousness. Milk that has been obtained by such a devious consciousness, cannot possibly do good to our body.
3) Milk is difficult to digest for those trying to cure a disease or living a sedentary lifestyle
A cow’s milk is a very heavy food by nature, designed to create a huge, big boned animal. It contains fast growing steroids and hormones. It is designed to feed an infant calf weighing 90 pounds at the time of birth and 2000 pounds at the age of two. In contrast, a human infant weighs about 6-8 pounds at the time of birth and attains a weight of only 100-200 pounds by the age of 18. Cows milk contains excessive growth promoting hormones.
If we have reached adulthood (we are no longer growing) and if we’re not athletes, our body cannot utilize these excessive growth hormones, so it just sits logging our intestines, blood vessels and interrupting blood circulation and absorption, causing many chronic diseases.
If I have access to pure cow milk, can I drink it?
To be qualified to drink milk, there are 8 conditions that must be met –
- The milk should be obtained from your own farm, or from the farm of a known friend or relative, where you are sure that the cow is loved and cared for.
- The calf has the first right over that milk. If any milk remains after, only then shall you have it.
- The cow should be fed good quality grass.
- The cow should not be injected with any vaccines or chemicals.
- Even if all 4 laws above prevail, you cannot drink milk if you are trying to heal a disease or living a sedentary lifestyle. You may only drink it if you are an athlete (exercising for more than 3 hours a day) or child whose height is growing.
- The milk should be preferably raw or at most, boiled lightly only once.
- The milk should come from cow alone, and no other animal. No buffalo milk. No goat milk.
- Treat one glassful as milk as a complete meal. Do not combine it with anything.
Milk that complies to all 8 conditions is called Vedic Milk and can be consumed only by those doing heavy physical exercise and children. Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to find such milk in today’s day and age. Hence we suggest to abstain from animal milk altogether and switch to another, more digestible replacement.
Is there a replacement for milk?
Indeed, there is. It’s coconut milk. Traditionally, coconut has been viewed as India’s most sacred fruit. It is the only fruit that has been called ’Shree’ Phal in our Vedic scriptures. It’s the only fruit that has been attributed with ‘Shree’ before it.
In India, every auspicious occasion begins with the breaking of a coconut – marriage, birth, the launch of a house or any other new work. There is a deep significance behind this ritual. Let’s understand. Our ancestors were much smarter than us. They knew how nutritious coconut is. However, it was only grown on the coasts of India, but they wanted it to reach every house in India. So they made a ritual stating that no marriage, no birth and no auspicious occasion can begin without the breaking of a coconut. By making it a prerequisite for almost every occasion, it would automatically become a necessity and people found their own ways to transport & spread it throughout the country.
A coconut contains every nutrient that our body needs. Unlike other proteins, coconut is easy to digest. It is superior to all nuts and seeds. It helps underweight people put on healthy weight. There’s no cholesterol in raw coconut, unless it is cooked on fire (this is why we never cook coconut directly on stove in Satvic cuisine). Hence, incorporate more coconut in your diet. It is one of Nature’s most precious gifts to humanity.
The hard kernel in a mature coconut can be used to make coconut milk. It is very easy and the method of making coconut milk is illustrated on page 49. You can use coconut milk in smoothies, soups, salad dressings.
Make sure to always make coconut milk fresh at home. Do not use the store-bought packaged coconut milk. If you are living in a country where fresh coconuts are not available, you may use homemade almond milk instead (but bear in mind that coconut is more easily digestible than almonds or other nuts).
Almost every animal-based food can be replaced with a more digestible, plant-based food. Let’s look at a few replacements.
4. Our food should be WATER-RICH
According to the Bhagavad Gita, our food should be juicy, meaning water-rich. Let’s understand what water-rich means.
Food can be classified in two categories – water-rich and water-poor.
Water-rich foods have high-water content. Fruits such as melons, berries, apples, grapes, oranges, tomatoes, cucumbers and vegetables such as bottle gourd, ash gourd, celery and all leafy greens fall in this category. Water-rich foods are light and easy to digest, and are also like laxatives.
Water-poor foods consist of low-water content. Examples include all grains (such as rice, wheat), millets, lentils, beans, and starchy vegetables such as potatoes, yam and all nuts and seeds. These foods are relatively more difficult to digest and can be constipating, unless taken in limited quantities, for those living a sedentary lifestyle.
To identify whether a food is water-rich or water-poor, put it in the juicer. If a lot of juice comes out of it, we know it’s water-rich. Can we juice a chapati or rice? No, because there is no juice in it.
The more water a food contains, the easier it is to break down and the quicker it passes through your digestive system. Once the food gets digested, the healing power (praanshakti) resumes healing the body and curing disease. On the other hand, water- poor foods are dense. The healing power (praanshakti) has to put great effort to break them down. The time that could have been used for healing is diverted to digesting and eliminating these water-poor foods.
In the Bhagavad Gita, chapter 17, verse 8, Lord Krishna describes the qualities of Satvic foods. The first quality of Satvic food, he describes, is to be rasyah – meaning juicy in Sanskrit. Such foods increase the duration of life, purify one’s existence and give strength, health, happiness and satisfaction, says Lord Krishna.
In the next verse, He also says that foods that are ruksha (meaning dry (water-poor) in Sanskrit) are Rajasikand are liked by those in the mode of passion. Such foods cause pain, distress, and disease, says Lord Krishna.
Hence we can conclude that water-poor foods eaten in the slightest excess are health destroying and disease promoting, especially for those living a sedentary lifestyle.
Water-poor foods such as beans, lentils, too much grain, may be harmless to bulls, horses, athletes and laborers who work extremely hard, but not to sedentary people or those trying to cure a disease.
What percentage of my diet should be water-rich?
About 70% of our body is water and so, about 70% of our diet should consist of water-rich foods and the remaining 30% can consist of water-poor foods. This is how our daily diet ratio should look like –
Funnily enough, most of us eat in the exact opposite ratio –
We have a heavy grain-rich meal 3-4 times a day and as a result, we’re drying up!
Let’s take the example of a plant. In order to grow optimally, a plant needs both soil and water. Without enough water, the plant dries up, the stems lose their flexibility and branches harden to a point where they can no longer bend and begin to easily break. The human body is made of the same 5 elements as the plant. Just like the plant, when our body doesn’t get enough water, it starts losing it’s flexibility, our bones degenerate, lose their strength, and here come bone related disorders such as arthritis, rheumatism, cervical, spondylitis, knee pain and back pain.
Just like the plant needs a combination of earth and soil to grow, so does our body.
Mother Nature has generously filled fruits and vegetables with the perfect proportion of soil and water, that can be easily digested by the body.
The meal plans given in this book are designed such that about 70% of your diet is automatically water-rich, starting with juice in the morning, juicy fruits for breakfast, composite chapati (made of 50% vegetable) and satvic sabzi for lunch and a soup / salad for dinner.
In recipes containing rice, wheat or any other grain, the grain has been mixed with double or triple the amount of vegetables (such as in Satvic Daliya, Satvic Khichdi, Coco Quinoa Bowl). Adding a sufficiency of vegetables to grains makes the grain easier to digest.
Lentils and legumes such as kidney beans (rajma), chickpeas (chole) and lentils (daal) have deliberately been avoided in the recipes. It’s not that they are wrong foods. It’s just that in our modern day sedentary lifestyles, we may not be able to digest them. Our grandparents and forefathers, who spent 8 hours a day in a field doing heavy physical work were able to digest them. But many of us today live a sedentary lifestyle, sitting on an office desk for 8 hours a day, not exercising for more than 1 hour a day. In this situation, it’s very difficult to digest kidney beans (rajma), chickpeas (chole) and too much lentil (daal).
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How much water should I drink in a day?
The answer is simple. Drink water only when you feel thirsty. Nowadays, people are advised to drink 8-10 glasses of water everyday, or 2 glasses immediately after waking up. This is not right because excessive drinking of water puts undue pressure on the kidneys. Instead of digesting the previously eaten meal, the body’s energy redirects itself to process all that unnecessary water. When you start following the Satvic food system, you will be eating lots of fruits and salads (with minimal spices and salt) so your need for plain water will reduce substantially, yet there will still be more water going inside you.
I drink coffee, soda and beer. They contain water, don’t they?
No. These kinds of drinks act as diuretics— they cause increased passing of urine and actually cause us to lose water and become dangerously dehydrated.
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