Life Force Food: How Eating is Personal
Being healthy should be simple, but because we’re bombarded with so many solutions to our declining health – diets, meal replacements, exercise fads – it's complicated. We don’t know what’s right anymore. On top of this, we’re time poor. So even if we decide on the meals we think are good for us, we don’t have time to prepare them.
Enter Home Food Deliveries
Gone were the days when the local Maccas drive-thru was the only solution to a quick dinner. Food delivery services are a way for busy people to eat healthy. They’ve taken the load off planning, shopping and cooking, and have made making healthy life choices easier. But when there are so many on the market, how do you know which one is right for you?
Food is Personal
Food is personal. There’s not a one-size-fits-all approach to diet. What works for one person, may be detrimental to another. It’s what feels right for you. But what food should do is make you feel good. It should make you feel alive.
What’s Life Force Food?
What attracted our founder Renee to Ayurveda, and later inspired Wholistically Healthy, was the philosophy that diet is a way of cultivating “Prana,” the Sanskrit word for life force or energy.
Ayurveda believes we should eat for the mind, body and spirit. Ayurveda “examines the whole human body as the product of food,” and “illustrates how an individual can recuperate by establishing the connection between elements of life, food, and body.”
In other words, food should give, not take. It should provide you with the sustenance your body needs to get through the day. It should also provide you with a positive state of mind. The best example of this is when you eat a big pub meal on your lunch break at work. Your afternoon isn’t the most productive is it? Not only does your body feel tired, but your mind is restless and unfocused. The food has taken from you.
So what are life force foods? Ayurveda classifies food into three main categories:
Sattvik – foods that give you vital, sustainable energy, and keep you focused and balanced, like fresh fruit and vegetables.
Rajasic – foods that give you a surplus of energy (they keep you going when you’re working hard), like condiments, salt, sugar, tinned fruit and vegetables.
Tamasic – foods that tip you off balance, and are best to keep to minimum, like meats, some dairy, alcohol, and frozen foods.
You can see a more comprehensive list of these foods here. But put simply, life force foods are foods that are alive. They’re closer to their natural state. Yes, fruit and vegetables but fresh fruit and vegetables. Not ones that have been frozen, packaged, processed or canned. So the foods you ate at the pub were mainly tamasic foods – deep-fried, perhaps even from being previously frozen, and highly processed.
When preparing a meal it’s best to aim for 70-75% sattvik foods, 20-25% rajasic foods, and less that 5% tamasic foods. We adhere to this balance in our Wholistically Healthy recipes.
"We start to awaken to become more open to other more spiritual and altruistic levels, because our bodies, and in turn minds are not bogged down trying to digest food that doesn’t suit us. In turn we have more energy, which makes us feel lighter, more happy and positive about life.” – Renee, Wholistically Healthy founder.
You can read the rest of the interview here.
Eating For Your Body
The principles of Ayurveda believe that we all have three different energies “doshas” running through us – Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Each individual is dominant in at least one or two, and we can eat according to our dosha in order to keep our minds, bodies and spirits in balance.
“Ayurveda treats people individually according to their constitution and personality which can’t be the same for any two persons.”– Ayurvedadosha.org
But if you’re not sure you want to follow the Ayurveda path right now (we know, more information) you can get a sense of whether the food you’re eating is good for your energy type by becoming aware of its effect on you.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself:
Is this food relaxing me or stimulating me?
Am I left feeling lethargic?
Am I ready for my next activity?
Am I getting a surge of adrenaline, but then I feel like I’m coming down afterwards?
Do I feel light or heavy after my meal?
Keep in mind that life force food makes you feel:
Energetic (but a sustained energy, not manic)
Becoming attune to your body and noticing how it feels after your meal helps you become aware of what foods may or may not be the best idea for you to eat. No one knows your body as well as you do, so instead of following prescriptive diets, listen to your inner cues. When we eat well, we live well.
We love creating high-energy life force food for the people of Perth. What food gives you life?