Posted on May 24 2020
Time to Read: 5 Minutes
Time and again we tend to go back to our pure selves, either due to pain caused by progression of disease or through an awakening to do good cause least harm to the Mother Earth. Sattvic food abstains from bringing in us the qualities of selfishness, passion, impulsiveness. It also treats food just for what it is- fuel. Not associating emotions of raag (love) or dhvesh (hatred) while we are consuming it. The food consumed purely for the sake of body to function. According to our ancient scriptures, the sattvic diet could increase your life expectancy anywhere between 100- 150 years.
Therefore, when a human body finds itself in extreme pain, like when you are sick, or when the human heart diverges to neutral emotion, like an evolved soul, one starts to find satisfaction in sattvic food.
Yet c’mon its only human that when the pain starts to shrink one tends to fall off track and live a little. A vegan diet on the other hand can be indulgent. People can choose to go vegan for multiple reason, environment, health or ethics. A vegan diet is more lenient than a sattvic diet. You can have food that heals you, and cheat a little too.
A vegan diet can be sattvic, but not every vegan diet is sattvic!
Basic comparison: Ghee, milk curd, milk, paneer are couple of components in a sattvic diet.
Alternatively, a vegan diet is void of animal produces, including dairy and dairy alternatives. But vegan food comprises of oil’s. Anything fried in plant based oils is a tastier vegan platter and naturally more likeable. It sure is not the healthiest, but as long as it does not come from animals, anything from the plant- kingdom is fair game on a vegan platter. Satvic food is deprived of oil. Think of a sattvic diet as a doctor’s prescription to you to get well soon. Vegan diet in that comparison would be the cheat meal you have as soon as you leave the hospital. You could choose to have a ‘healthy’ cheat, but might also not.
Sattvic bhojan is extra health which might take a toll on the taste end, but it is all about working on the love that one puts in the food and finding satisfaction. Keeping in mind also that a sattvic diet was born in Ancient India where each house had cows and buffalo’s as pets like we have dogs now. The milk collected from the animals then was not pasteurised, adulterated, hormonated, emulsified and loaded with chemicals. Ask yourself, does the same hold true now? Time and again we question our traditions and break them if necessary. Why does the same not apply to the food we eat?
Honey is considered as a herbal remedy in sattvic diet, ginger & honey for cold and cough, honey to cleanse, etc. Honey is against the principles of veganism as honey- bees are harmed or even killed in the process.
Onions, garlic and some other root vegetables are often avoided in a sattvic diet because it is believed that they inflates passion. Even fermented foods like kimchi, kombucha, and our very own aachar are sources probocitics for vegans, while sattvic food does not prompt them much.
Most importantly, sattvic food needs to be consumed according to your Dosha i.e. Vatta, Pitta and Kapha. Some individuals may benefit from sweet and cooling foods while some need heating and sour, pungent for their body dosha type. For a lay man just wanting a meal plan, the later might be too much of a work doing the research.
So what works?
At the root of it, a sattvic diet has all its principals right. Eat organic, local and fresh. But ask yourself, is the Rs. 300/- kg imported broccoli you found at your local vendor really organic? Unless you are growing your own vegetables, you really will never know, will you? Dairy cows are given oxytocin and growth hormone injections through their lives to increase the production of milk. Every time these injections are given, it induces labor like pain in the animal. Imagine going through labor twice a day, every single day of your adult life. How could anything coming out of so much cruelty be good for you? As per the sattvic principals, even eating food cooked by someone who is angry or carries negative emotions could changes the chemical balance of food. What about food that is produced as a result of torture then?
No doubt that a sattvic diet is highly underrated, whereas, vegan diet is popular, thanks to so many celebrities promoting the same. For someone living on three cheeseburgers and fries a day, switching to a sattvic diet even with adultrated milk may prove to be extremely effective. We all know that by switching to a vegetarian diet alone has a massive effect in terms of reversing heart diseases, lowering cholesterol and even weight loss. The same person switching to a vegan junk food diet might not see any miraculous benefits on overall health.
On the other hand, for someone following a strict sattvic diet, switching to a balanced vegan diet might have all the benefits that come from dropping dairy and make it easier to live in the current times. Read this blog for more information on how and why dairy is harmful to your health.
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So why not we take a little bit of both world and become our own nutritionists. How about we take the core principals of a sattvic diet of purity and life- giving and inculcate the same into a vegan diet of abstinence from animal products.
While one diet gives you the freedom to live and eat keeping in mind your current generation, the other wants you to run back to Grandma’s recipe book and Vedas. Either ways, both diet’s support the fundamental that ‘All Nature is Alive’, all have eternal soul or Jeeva which need to be respected and cared for. The more I read about them, the stronger that thought gets that maybe Vegan is a revolution, a bridge to divert us to Sattvic with a new approach for this world of limitless choices and heartless actions.
I would love to hear your thoughts on the same. Do leave a comment below and share this with a friend or family member that might benefit from reading the same.
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