'Freedays' are the 'gather our thoughts' days; Q&As; a general review of the week so far…
Following on from the theme of the past couple of weeks; consider what is sattvik before consuming your meal. It is a fact that many who are of Hindu birth do actually eat meat. There is a perception that all are vegetarian; but this depends upon caste and life purpose. The key thing is to ensure that the food is fresh, that it has been cooked not more than three hours prior and that it is not 'leftovers'.
Sattvika eating is the vegetarian option. It is not vegan - the Jaini religion follows that. In sattvika, dairy is permitted. The Jainis also do not take root foods, such as potatoes and carrots, as the removal of them from the earth may cause harm to insects and other small creatures. Sattvika permits root foods. However, items such as onion, garlic and mushroom are not taken, for these are 'medicines'… (and, in truth, they are herbs, so ought only to be used in the same manner as other herbs or seasonings.) Excess of chili and sugar is also discouraged. Proteins and other important health elements are obtained through the large variety of legumes (beans and lentils) in the diet. Sattvika is for those who lead academic, spiritual or otherwise 'quiet' but internally active lives.
Rajaasika eating may include meat options (but never beef). There will still be a large vegetable intake and eggs are permitted. This diet is consumed by those who cannot see spiritual purpose, or who require the body to be all the time on alert; workers, sportsfolk… externally active types. The onion and chili, etc, is likely to be more present, as these give the body boost. Also rajas are chocolate, coffee and black tea.
Tamaasika eating is that which is less desirable, just as a general health trend. Fried foods, roast foods, 'fast' foods, preserved foods, yesterday's food… soda drinks and alcohol fall in this category also.
In this modern age, we have developed refrigeration technology which encourages the keeping of food. In the purest sattvika terms, this is not truly appropriate, but provided temperatures are kept low enough to limit degradation of the foodstuffs and that full and proper reheating takes place, it is acknowledged that lifestyle now demands this. Practicing the purchase of only what is required for up to three days, and cooking only what is required for that meal, is a good saadhana.
Here's an exercise for the curious and investigative who live in more temperate climates; switch off the refigerator/freezer compartment for three days. Use it as a chance to clean the machine really well. During that time, use up what goods were in there - assuming they are not preservatives, onions etc. Obviously, time this when stocks are low and before going shopping again. If there are not sufficient vegetables for the three days, by all means shop for more. Commit to eating only sattvika for that three days.
- Fresh fruit and veg - preferably organic and emphasis on green leafy
- Nuts and seeds
- Lentils and beans (lots of recipes out there in etherland)
- Cereals (quinoa, rice, barley etc.)
- Organic dairy product
- Herbal teas