Much of the foods cleverly packaged, branded, advertised and widely distributed in supermarkets can actually cause us tremendous harm. Even though we might see many people around us purchasing and consuming these everyday we should not assume that it is alright for us to follow suit. Most importantly, even though they may not always pose an immediate risk, over a period of time human society has, due to consumption of packaged products, been affected by ills of cancer, heart disease, high blood sugar, obesity, autism, mental and emotional illnesses, violence, dullness and stress. We have also brought a severe strain on our eco-system and threatened the life and wellbeing of other species with all the excess packaging and plastics that these foods lead to. Here are positive or ‘sattvic’ alternatives that are healthier for everyone including earth, to replace the common negative or ‘tamasic’ diet options that have been popular all around.
- Canned foods and Ready Meals: Tinned beans, canned tomatoes, spinach, and all kinds of pre-cut, pre-cooked and packed meals that you can open and eat right out of the box or cans are regarded as ‘Tamasic’ or low-vibrational, toxic meals that can bring our spiritual energy and wellbeing down. Storing pre-cooked meals in the refrigerator overnight and for long hours, or on supermarkets shelves is also a cause for loss of ‘sattvic’ qualities in our foods. A much more ‘sattvic’ or positive vibrational alternative is to consume only fresh and whole foods that are cooked at home and eaten immediately after cooking.
- Bottled Juices and Smoothies: Although they are widely marketed as healthy and ethical foods, juicing of fruits and bottling them for distribution and sale can cause a loss of positive vibrations making these products ‘tamasic’ and stale. The energetic value of fruits is best when eaten whole and especially when they are organically farmed without pesticides and chemical products. Fresh fruits are also readily available and require no processing making them ideal for busy people who do not wish to spend time cooking and juicing.
- Fizzy Drinks and Diet Colas: Although we might reach out for fizzy drinks for quenching our thirst on a hot day, the truth is they have absolutely no nutritional benefits and provide an artificial feeling of cooling while artificial sweeteners such as saccharine and aspartame in diet colas are linked with cancer. The best alternative to thirst quenchers is a glass of clean water that you can easily have at home or work, and carry your own bottle while on the go.
- White Breads and Refined Flour Pastas: Having a crisp toast or sandwich made with fluffy bread for breakfast, packaged biscuits or cakes for tea and shapely white pastas for dinner may not be as healthy for us as we thought. Due to refined flour, preservatives and additives used for most of these products, they are likely to impair our digestive systems if we consume them regularly. A much healthier alternative is to use traditionally milled whole-grain flour that contains the husk and fibres within and to prepare oven-fresh brown breads, biscuits, home-cut and dried pastas, home baked pizzas and easy to cook brown ‘rotis’ (flatbreads) within minutes at home without any unhealthy additives that packaged breads would normally contain.
- Crisps and Cheesy Snacks: Reaching out for the easily available bag of crisps or nibbles is so very convenient when we feel a sudden hunger pang, even though we know it is not actually healthy for us. The artificial processing in factories, added salt, cheese powder and MSGs make these products ‘tamasic’ for us. Children fed on such foods on a regular basis are normally found to face more illnesses and developmental delays too. Instead of substituting these with alternative packaged foods, try wholesome and nutritive vegetables and fruits such as cucumber and banana which require no preparation and can be consumed on the go by children and adults alike.
- Snack bars and Granola: Nutty and cereal bars packed with sugars, sweeteners and chocolate as well as preservatives might be marketed as great health-foods but they are obviously not so. When we need to carry a nutty snack to work or play, we can easily pack some whole organic nuts in a bag and carry them with us to supply all the protein and fibre that we need, minus added sugar, sweeteners or preservatives.
- Packaged Cereals and Cornflakes: A box of cornflakes or muesli or some of the colourful or sugary cereals that we quickly pour out for our children and for ourselves each morning may not be the brightest way to begin our day. Due to the packaged nature of these products we end up eating sulphites and preservatives as well as excess sugar that can be easily avoided by consuming homemade cereal such as boiled oats, broken wheat with whole fruits and nuts, or toast some oats and nuts in our own oven and prepare our own crunchy muesli within minutes.
- Ice-creams, Sweets and packed Desserts: Cool softies and tubs of ice-creams, colourful sweets and lollies have been heavily marketed to children all over the media and through the tempting sounds of ‘ice-cream vans’ that haunt every school building each day of summer. We all know that these sweets and frozen desserts are completely devoid of any nutritional value and contain mostly fluff, artificial colours and sugar. Avoid all the sweet junk by focusing on fresh, whole, organic fruits such as creamy avocados and juicy oranges that can be easily carried over to every playground whether school and home and give yourself and your children a healthier life.
- Frozen Vegetables: Some people think that frozen vegetables contribute to the ‘pre-day’ requirements for a healthy vegan life. However frozen goods are just as ‘tamasic’ or negative in energy as canned or processed foods. Instead, purchase organic fresh vegetables from your local organic farmers who can either home-deliver or sell fresh seasonal produce at the farmers markets regularly, or reach out for the ‘organic fresh vegetable’ shelf when you go shopping everyday.
- Meats and Poultry: Chicken, beef, mutton, fish, ham, eggs and virtually all dead meats are ‘tamasic’ in nature as their spiritual energy is dark as well as painful due to the way all animals are treated and killed for the purpose of consumption. Consuming fresh vegetables and fruits that do not kill the plant is much more natural and ethical, while being full of health benefits of ‘sattvic’ nature.
- Dairy and Cheese: Just as meats and eggs can distress and kill animals, so does the dairy industry too. Instead of substituting your diet with vegan cheeses and packaged vegan milks which have been processed in factories and thereby ‘tamasic’, we can ideally eliminate our dependence on dairy and cheese altogether by training our mind to enjoy whole fruits and vegetables with water as the best ‘sattvic’ choice.
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