Who Knew?

Jaisa Aahar vaisa vichar - As you eat, so you think!

“Jaisa Aahar vaisa vichar” is a deeply engrained Indian Philosophy. Leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln and Nelson Mandela reemphasized this in the life they lead and the food they chose to eat. They believed your own food patterns engineer your core personalities.

We have all read time and again “You are what you eat”. I have seen live examples of this transformation in my clients and myself day by day as we moved towards brilliant foods that is good for us. Elevated moods more focused calmer personality better immunity weight loss superior health parameters and more vigour.

I finally understood the relevance of the words often used in Indian scriptures ‘Sattvik’, ‘Rajasic’ and ‘Tamasic’ that are floating somewhere in the background of our minds. We have forgotten them, or believe that they have little consequence in our lives today. I made up my mind to study the Ancient Indian wisdom of food that is more than 5000years old insight on understanding of food and its effects on our physical mental and spiritual health.

After observing the positive changes in the lives of my clients and mine when the food was moved to more vegetables fruits variety of Indian whole grains and higher amount of the vast vegetarian protein choices available blended with good quality fat natural sugars and a liberal use of Indian spices and herbs whenever organic if possible. I learnt from the Bhagavad Gita a text on Hindu Scriptures referred by Mahatma Gandhi as a spiritual dictionary tells us different kinds of foods nourish the action of the different guna (qualities) and indirectly are helpful or harmful.

*Tamasic food- it is highly processed,frozen, reheated, liberal use of poor quality salt, fat, sugar, grains and protein. Nowhere close to the original food nutrient dead as well as a nutrient robber.
* Rajasic food is acrid, pungent, spicy over cooked often on high heat containing high amounts of sugar white flour and fats. Deep fried and one can barely figure out the ingredients.
* Sattvik food is fresh were you can taste the vegetables, pulses, grains and fats in it. Tempered subtly with health giving spices herbs and salts. Cooked on a low flame and if possible organic and as close to its origin.
In my centre as we moved people towards brilliant foods which are basically Sattvik food we saw not only weight loss but health parameters and attitude in life getting better.

How foods effect our personality?
*A regular intake of processed food made of white flour, deep fried, sugar can be generalised as- Tamasik foods, induces lethargy, indolence and indifference, having a self centred attitude, working to reach his personal goals by fair or foul means. It was enlightening to read that a study done with common criminals that one thing they all had in common was not that they came from broken homes or were mentally sick or children of criminals or from abject poverty but it was junk food.
*Foods that we classify as rich cooked in a lot of butter ghee or oil vegetables dripping in oil,spices over high flames and sugar laden sweets can be generalised as Rajasik foods. It induces stress, anxiety, aggression eliminating clarity, focus, peace and well being.
•    Whole foods considered premium foods world over is nothing but Sattvik. Fresh, unprocessed, organic where you can taste every flavour of the vegetable and fruit where whole grains, good quality condiments, protein and fat are used combined with dry fruits and nuts. Truly rich is Sattvik Food. It induces serenity, equanimity, maturity and therefore produces superior personalities who reach great heights in there chosen fields peacefully

We have moved away from the old pattern of eating. Foils, plastics, microwave have replaced fresh. In the name of hygiene we pick up packaged foods filled with chemicals and preservatives that are bombing our bodies and destroying our brains! Lets not forget the gigantic helpings making
us habituated to eating more. Today people consume not the orange on the tree but from the tetra pack. In trying to be practical we have ditched fresh foods for highly processed foods.
 
Our eyes are greedy, not our stomach. We are ditching intelligence to greed loosing mind control. All this gives us a visual treat, who cares if it is yesterday’s left overs loaded with extra fat and spices micro waved to make it more edible.
 
No wonder aggression, self centeredness depression, children with multiple mental disorders and hormonal problems has accelerated. Life style diseases like obesity, diabetes, cardio vascular, hypertension and cancer are on the rise.

‘Good thoughts’ ‘Good words’ ‘Good Deeds’ echoes ….. Jaisa aahar, vaisa vichar, finally back to where we began. We really need to prod on these words. Our progressive lifestyles have made us drift away from this thereby losing a sense of balance in our life. Perhaps sticking rigidly may seem unreal to you all, and there may be occasional crossovers. However, what counts is staying predominantly with brilliant foods and effectively managing your lifestyle.

Read the Maslow’s hierarchy of Needs, the basic fact of human behaviour, where self actualisation is what everyone aims for. For a self actualized personality is a calm focused achiever who has reached great heights and thinks of doing good not only for himself but all around. I am convinced that the tool can be traditional Indian way of eating Sattvik food.

Sattvik, tamasic, rajasic, all three personalities are present in us. But to aspire to be higher we need to increase the Sattvik quotient in our food which is the one of the sure and simplest key to success. Try brilliant eating it simply consists of plenty of vegetables whole grains, pulses, good quality fat from cows ghee, coconuts, nuts and seeds natural sugar found in fruits dry fruits honey and Jaggery Cows milk and occasional use of fish. All this made tastier with Healing Indian herbs and spices plus organic produce will add to its health quotient. This has worked for me positively and many others. It’s nothing new, century’s old Indian understanding of food! Don’t believe me blindly, just try it. You have nothing to loose and lots to gain.

Naini Setalvad
Obesity and Lifestyle Disease Consultant
After journeying from 160 kilos to 60 kilos, Naini steers people to love good food that’s good for us at Mumbai and Rajkot center and across   the country via articles and talks on health.

www.nainisetalvad.com