Newsflash: There is no single, fix-all diet that will suit everyone.
Each person is different; unique.
When you take into account digestion, activity levels, genetics, heritage, constitution, the season and your environment, the fuel you need is constantly changing.
That’s why eating in tune with your body, the season, your location, the time of day and how you’re feeling can lead to harmony and balance in the body and mind. Not to mention being good for the environment and your health.
Say hello to Sattvic food.
The concept is based on eating seasonally and locally and cooking fresh, juicy food, full of prana (life force energy) with love and joy.
It comes from the ancient, lifestyle-based science of Yoga and Ayurveda. Prana (that life force energy) can be gained from your breath, your food and your surroundings. Sattvic food is food high in prana.
Think fresh and seasonal organic vegetables and fruit, whole grains, pulses, dairy, nuts and seeds, oils, natural sugars and spices. These are all easily digestible and nutrient dense.
Interestingly, foods containing little to no prana are fish, turkey, chicken, lamb, beef and pork, processed foods, refined foods, artificial foods.
How can I make this work for me?
Following a Sattvic diet requires energy and intention; you must make your kitchen a calm and pleasant setting for food preparation.
Sattvic diet fans believe that preparing your food with mindfulness, care and love will create energetic vibrations (prana) that are absorbed by the food and will enter your body during digestion.
Ready to try it? Here are five ways to eat more Sattvic food:
1. Shop in your local farmer’s market or green grocers
Buy unpackaged and seasonal produce. Look at the country of origin and buy Irish grown only. If you can’t find Irish grown then try to stay within Europe.
Spain and Holland produce the majority of Europe’s vegetables and fruit. If it comes from outside the EU, consider the air miles, the uncontrolled pesticide practices and the time the food may have spent in storage or unclean conditions.
2. Count colours not calories
One easy way to up your healthy food intake is to ensure you eat all seven colours of the rainbow daily. Here are some examples:
Red: Tomatoes, apples, red peppers
Orange: Butternut squash, oranges, carrots
Yellow: Courgette (yellow), grapefruit, melon
Green: Spinach, leafy greens, broccoli, asparagus,
Blue: Blueberries, grapes, blackberries
Indigo: Red onions, red cabbage,
Violet: Aubergine, purple potatoes, plums
3. Plan your meals
This helps avoid food waste, keep costs down and allows you to eat seasonally. There are plenty of food planner tools available both online and in notebook or chart form. Look at your week ahead, where you’re going to be and when you’re going to need food.
Batch cooking and batch preparing will allow even the busiest person to fit this in. This will stop you reaching for the processed quick and easy option lacking any nutrition or energy.
There is nothing nicer than sharing a meal with loved ones. We all have to eat every day so why not share the workload? Plan some ‘Come Dine with Me’ evenings or arrange with friends, family or neighbours to pick one night of the week for you to cook and they reciprocate the following night.
Food cooked with love and shared tastes so much better.
We are all busy. We all have jam packed schedules. But if you want to make any changes to your lifestyle to feel, move and look better then food is always the place to start. It not only affects your energy, mood, health and comfort but is necessary for life itself.
How often do we spend hours scrolling through news feeds and watching dog videos online (just me?!). Spending an extra 20 minutes cooking could have a massive impact on your life. Make cooking fun, fill your kitchen with love! Use your senses. Play your favourite music, dance and sing while you cook. Touch, taste and smell the food. It really can be a beautiful experience.
The energy you create in the kitchen is the energy that will be in your food. Cook with bliss.
Jean Jyanti Noonan is a firm believer in taking yoga ‘off the mat’ and helping her students to live and breathe the yogic lifestyle by blending her passion for yoga and food. Her company Anam Solas Yoga offers Akhanda, Ashtanga, Kundalini, Restorative, Pre and Post Natal Yoga classes for beginners right up to seasoned practitioners as well as regular retreats in Ireland, Spain and the UK.