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Ayurveda and the Art of Eating Consciously ~ Healthy Eating Guideline #1: Eat in a Beautiful and Peaceful Environment

“To avoid the accumulation of ama (toxins) in the body, food must be digested well. There are ten general guidelines that, if followed, will help you to digest your food well. In doing so most of the symptoms of poor digestion such as gas, bloating, burning and heaviness after eating will disappear. So too will the coating on your tongue. The benefits extend to the mind as well and following these ten guidelines leads to greater feelings of calm and peace. And, if you are trying to lose weight, regardless of what you eat, if you follow these guidelines, you will be successful.”

Healthy Eating Guideline #1: Take Food in a Peaceful and Beautiful Environment. 

“Take a look at the environment that you eat your food in. Is it a calm and peaceful place? Often it is not. Many people eat on the run, sometimes not even taking the time to sit down, much less care about the environment. Oftentimes, people eat in cluttered dining areas, noisy cafeterias under bright fluorescent lights, in the car on the way to work, or while engaged in conflict or debate. These environments make it nearly impossible to focus on the foods we are eating and how our body feels as it receives the food. When the environment is cluttered or active, the mind becomes cluttered and active making it difficult to focus. Agitation and distraction make it very difficult to control your eating habits. 

If we consider that the environment where we are eating is Sacred, what can we do to sanctify it? Consider what type of music you are listening to while dining. Does it support a calm presence or is it distracting? What are you looking at while you eat? Are you watching television, reading or looking at a computer screen? Ask yourself, “is this supporting being calm and peaceful?” Try the exercise below and see if you can honor the sacred while eating? 

Exercise 

At home: Before eating, make sure that the eating area is clean and neat. Remove all papers and clutter. Consider the dining area to be sacred space. How is a church or temple taken care of? Keep it beautiful. Add flowers, plants and a candle to the space. Lighting a candle when you eat symbolizes the strength of your digestion. Turn off the television, it is too distracting. Would you have the television on in church? If you have music on, keep it beautiful and keep it in the background. If you live in nature, try keeping the music off and let nature be your personal orchestra. 

At work: If you can’t find a quiet, peaceful and beautiful place to eat at work, consider bringing your lunch with you to a nearby park. If you go out to eat, consider the environment of the restaurant and chose a peaceful, quiet place.”

Excerpt from “Healing Your Life, Lessons on the Path of Ayurveda,” by Dr. Marc Halpern, Founder of the California College of Ayurveda. Available at Amazon: http://amzn.to/1GP7m28 and Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1PsYDUA