1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

Eating spiritually? September 8, 2008

 image by axinia

A friend of mine, an Indian journalist in US Priyanka Joshi, has written an intersting article on her blog about eating spiritually. Here are some abstracts:

In ancient Indian culture, Food has been treated as being sacred, having deeply valuable medicinal qualities, helping the individual to grow optimally physically, mentally and spiritually. For the last 8 yrs, I’ve been teaching free classes in Seattle and Bellevue on meditation and eating spiritually. I’ve also written about it in Indian national press and have prominent doctors attest to the following findings.


On Left sided days, we “go with the flow” a little too much, often repressing our true feelings, we tear up easily, we get over emotional, we get too attached to people and things and we find solace in romantic/tragic films/novels. Our superego comes up and we get smug or cynical, thinking we know everything about this sick, hypocritical, no good world. We feel powerless, hesitant about the future. Worry not! Seafood of all kind is here to rescue you from your lethargic, no go, depressed state of mind. Other foods like spicy flavors that “wake” the body up are also good. Caffeine, meats, esp pork, in general, provide tremendous heat to the body, and bring your tired, frozen left channel into balance.

Bad Foods For Left Side:

A predominantly vegetarian diet causes enormous stress on an overworked left side. You need protein to counter the effects of a tired, “cold” Left side. Don’t consume too much dairy, esp cold yogurt and cow’s milk. Eat Salty foods. Foods that are overly sweet also stress the left side.

Right Side (Sun Channel):

Most people today have a chronically tired, and angry Right side, which needs cooling. It’s so, because we spend our days analyzing complex information, some necessary some not so much, that frequently competes for attention with our precious bandwidth. We handle what we can, and go on storing the rest in our clogged Right side. This clog results in a dominating personality, shows up as anger, as out-of-control ego, too much future related actions, inability to relax and generally be a pleasant person. Ever know someone with who its always his/her way or the highway? That’s a classic Right sided personality.

Superstar Cooling foods: Sugary, carbohydrate rich fruits such as Grapes, berries, sugar cane are very good for the Right side. Yogurt is excellent. Herbs such as mint are also great. A “tea” made by boiling radish leaves and mixed with white grape juice is very good. Eat simple, easy to digest food like white rice, chick peas, juices, salads. Chicken is a neutral meat and doesn’t heat you up much. Traditional Indian jelly made of roses, called “Gulukand” is a super awesome treat to cool the hottest of livers. I know because I happen to get my liver hot frequently, and this jelly is so potent, so mellow, so effective in balancing me that it’s like rain on a hot day for my liver!

Bad Food For Right Side:

Seafood of all kinds will fire you up, so completely avoid it on a hectic day. Stay away from caffeine, instead, just sleep well. Caffeine will zonk you into waking, but will also put your liver on fire, proving counterproductive when you need to focus. Avoid chocolates, sodas, spicy food, too much red meat, totally avoid pork products like salumi, and fried food

For more details continue reading here and here.

1000thanks to Priyanka for letting me to post it here!




17 Responses to “Eating spiritually?”

  1. Well, that’s bad news for me 😦 Apart from eggs and milk/dairy products, my diet is completely vegetarian (under normal circumstances) 😐

  2. odzer Says:

    Nice picture, is the teapot Asian. It seems Japanese to me. Perhaps like a Tetsubin. Anyway about eating spiritually, I think we often ignore the fact that food and mood are so inter-related. Often the strong urge to eat a particular type of food is a good indication that the body is hungry for certain nutrients. Although I would not really take food advice from India, most of the country is dying of diabetes and hypertension. Indian food’s balance has been disturbed a long time ago and not only by western influence.

  3. Bad Karma Says:

    Same here, vegetarian for life! =) Pure vegeterianism is also rooted in Hinduism, known as a karma-free diet (Prasadam).

  4. axinia Says:

    I remember you told before, you are more right-sided? then vegetarian diet is really good for you 🙂

    you say “Often the strong urge to eat a particular type of food is a good indication that the body is hungry for certain nutrients. ” – but this reffers only to wise, balanced body. When a person is out of balance, the body will not send the right message. Like, mostly very sight-sided and hot-tempered men like to eat lots of meat (which is not the right thing to do in that case!) – and they say they need it…I know many left-siders who love vegetarian food and can never get out of their depressive moods..

    @Bad Karma,
    do you mean that eating vegetarian will set you free from karma??? 🙂

  5. Nova Says:

    Hmmmm thats an informative post 🙂

  6. Thanks for adding the foods for a right-sided personality, Axinia. I love spicy food! It would be very difficult for me to give up spicy food 😦

    Yes, I generally tend to be a right-sided personality but there are times when my left-side takes over. I’m more of a mixed personality (even a multiple personality, if you can call it that) rather than a balanced personality 😦

    Actually, I was a vegetarian till I was well into my teens. Then, I ate all kinds of meat for a few years. And then, I gave up meat again. I found almost no difference in the three phases of my dietary life, except that meat dishes require a little more chewing 🙂

    The reason could be to do with the way dishes in India are cooked. I’m not a culinary expert but for almost every meat dish, a similar vegetarian dish is available with only the meat being replaced by vegetables. The main staples (rice, wheat and some other cereals in different forms), the curries, the gravies, the spices and the seasonings used are the same in both the vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes.

    This is quite different from the dishes found in other countries. Take German cuisine, for instance. If you leave out every kind of meat, you will be left with very few vegetarian dishes. Clearly, meat is a staple that Germans (and so many others) cannot do without. Also, I guess the climate of a place plays an important role in the cuisine of that place. I believe it would be almost impossible to find a vegetarian Eskimo 🙂

  7. swaps Says:

    I have gone non-veg …so that is right.

    Not eating is just as important. Too much of even medicine can be poisonous. Exercising control over diet is an effective (but very difficult) way towards discipline. Jains give up eating one favourite dish/sweet/fruit for an year. Hindus fast one day every month. Muslims, of course, have the month of Ramzan. I have found them to foster tolerence, patience, endurance and discipline.

    (Btw, someone has been drinking a lot of coffee sitting on right-side sidewalk cafes. I hope she is paying heed to this post 🙂

    : that is a sweet note, Swaps 🙂 no, i am pretty fine! With a big surprise I found out that I am not that right-sided as I though when I compare myself to Germans 🙂 axinia

  8. swaps Says:

    So what are Russians – right or left. I guess extreme left.

    About this post and Odzer’s comment, I feel the best diet is always the local diet. Because it will have evolved over centuries according to local produce and climate. If I like vegetarian food (best for hot tropical climate), I cann’t insist it is best for someone in Siberia.

  9. Bad Karma Says:

    By Karma-free, I mean negative karma free. I recall reading a book by Nithyananda, where he states foods go from negative to positive energy:
    (negative)meat->…-> spicy foods…—>vegetables–> fruits (positive)

    Meat is stated to be negative because the animal suffers while it is dying, and that energy is transmitted to the meat. Conversely, lets say someone cooks you a pie with lots of love – it will be more on the positive end.

    Anyway, this is just a perspective that I agree with, but others are free to pluck the parts that they like. =)

  10. Bad Karma Says:

    BTW, note that in your picture, you have chosen a piece of fruit and tea for this blog post.

  11. axinia Says:

    @Bad Karma,

    you are too intelligent! 🙂 (re. your last comment on the photo).


    Russians are a bit of a mystery to me. If you take the chakra-geography, Russia is on the right side, represnting the Ego of the world ( ha-ha :)) And Russians love power very much – this is again the sign of the right side. On the other hand, they can be extremely melancolical and passive when not motivated (that is why socialism was really good for Russia, they can not be motivated by materialism only, they need some more elevating goals).
    Compared to Indians, Russians are definetly right-sided 🙂

  12. swaps Says:

    But where are the Russians who could not be motivated by materialism alone?
    So what motivates today’s Russians?
    Axinia, if Russians perplex even you, what can I hope for 🙂

    (Socialism is good for ALL but it is not compatible with ‘individual enterprise and quest for happiness’.)

  13. Scietech Says:

    Science has an answer for those who love meat but are concerned about animals having to die in the process of meat preparation:


    This kind of “vegetarian meat” would take some time before it becomes easily available, though.

  14. axinia Says:

    swaps, what do you mean by “‘individual enterprise and quest for happiness’?

    Todays Russian are seem to be motivated by materialism, but this is only because it is all new and glittering. There are so many “western” things that Russian deny…What I observe is that Russians always long for more…. they seek spirituality, knowingly or unknowingly – more than anywhere else. It is the key to the mystery of the Russian soul…you know, this famous “Russian nostalgy/yearning” – it comes from here. It is the seeking.

  15. Mavin Says:

    I have come across the concept of Ayurvedic cooking.

    This is based on the Ayurvedic principles of “Vata”, “Pitta” and “Kapha”. It also covers food items which are complementary those that are opposites known as “Virudha Aahar”.

    A lot of ill health has crept in because we have forgotten basics of our diet and much of our food intake is “Virudha Aahar”. It means that our diet comprises many items which do not agree and are cause of disease.

  16. swaps Says:

    By “individual enterprise and pursuit for happiness” I meant capitalism. (Actually, these were Charles Chaplin’s words).

    I never believed Russian’s were out-and-out materialists, but they seem to have fallen under its spell. Same in India and China. I hope the proper spiritual backlash starts before it is too late.

  17. […] all its purifying tasks. For the yoga practitioner, the focus is on cooling down the right side and looking after the liver by eating well, avoiding stressful situations and focusing on nature as often as possible. Another […]

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