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The Eight Fold Path- the conclusion

Continuing where we left last time. 

5) Practice mindful eating

It is a common sight to see people fiddling with hand phones while eating. I often come across children having meal while watching cartoon shows. Or at times loud conversation, alcoholic or cold beverage with food, gulping food and beverage in a hurry, or eating while experiencing stress and mixing of incompatible food. These all results in less than ideal nourishment and over a period of time create ama (toxins) and poor health.

Mindful eating is eating with awareness of food, our digestive fire and surroundings and people. Ayurveda describes food as a medicine. It helps to nurture, sustain, heal and cure. Less becomes more as we are eating with full attention and appreciation of every morsel.

There are certain tips to practice mindful eating, they are not in any particular order and you can pretty much define or write your own.

a) Praying around food is very common in various civilization or religion. The gratitude and reverence helps us relax, cultivates patience and engage five senses for enjoyment and contentment.

b) Switch off TV, remove mobiles, newspapers, magazines, video games, computers and mails. Gather around for a meal, engage in light conversation if required. The less the distractions are, the more stronger the family bonding and communication are.

c) Eat naturally growing food. Such foods contain prana (life force), superior and dense nutrients and helps promote good health and longevity.

d) Eat slowly and chew your food optimally perhaps between 15-30 times depending upon the texture of food. The chewing breaks down the food for better digestion and absorption.

e) Eat mostly warm and cooked food for better digestion. Avoid cold water or drinks while eating. This is like putting the water on the fire, and the result is the smoke. The same happens in our gut where the digestive acid HCL (Hydrochloric acid) gets diluted and weak due to regular cold water or beverage intake during meals. Ideally water should be take 20 minutes before or after the meal. Even if you wish to take water during meals, prefer warm water as it assists to maintain the gut temperature while mixing with food and acid.

f) Eat in moderation to reduce the stress on your digestive tract and organs. This in turn helps to maintain a healthy agni for optimal digestion and mitigates the chances for overeating and weight gain.

6) Be aware of your feelings

I generally avoid eating when I am not a balance state of emotion. Emotional excitement or stress interferes with the digestion and absorption of food and nutrients, thus impairing our health and vitality. Emotional hunger is stronger than the physical hunger and can lead to various diet and lifestyle related maladies.

Feelings should be towards food, not towards our own stress and any weakness to recognize the same can lead to compulsive eating. The bio energy contained in the food syncs well with our emotionally stable body and mind. This is the key for good energy level, mental alertness and healthy satiation.

7) Meditate

While this may appear an alien concept that I am prescribing meditating in the context of food, this is practiced by monks all over the world notwithstanding their diverse faith or teachings.

The awareness of thought towards food, our cravings and genuine hunger can help develop and balanced approach towards food. This in turn helps to practice “MODERATION” in every sphere in life, food included. It results in better diet and lifestyle choices which affe

8) Gather knowledge to self heal (self care, traditional practices, grandmother home care, wholesome nutrition)

In my chapter on self-healing, I will outline the importance of learning the medicinal and therapeutic properties of the ingredients. Some of the ingredients have been used for centuries for their healing properties. E.g turmeric for antiseptic and anti-fungal properties, consumption of dry fruits for vigour and vitality, basil tea for alleviating chest congestion, cough and could conditions. The list is endless, but the chances for losing the traditional knowledge is high as over the counter western medicine has disturbed the healing relationships we had with phytomedicine.

If for some reasons you have missed the first part of the blog, you can read by clocking the link below.

And the second part

"Namaste" and happy reading