Cooking for the Sattvic Soul

November 03, 2011

Cooking with the Pros

Last weekend I had the honor of helping plan, organize and share recipes for a cooking workshop (Cooking for the Sattvic Soul) that my teachers Shri Anandi Ma and Dileepji were offering at their yoga and meditation center (Dhyanyoga Centers) in Antioch, CA. It was a lot of fun…and always full of so many things to learn about yogic cooking. The theme for the workshop was “Fasting Foods”.


They menu for the day was: Quinoa Spinach Scalloped Potatoes, Opo Squash Shak, Buckwheat Upma, Roasted /Seasoned Peanuts and Shrikand (an Indian yogurt dessert). I will post be posting all the recipes we did over the next week.

Dileepji told us that there are all different forms of “fasting” out there, but this particular path does not suggest depriving the body of food, but rather on chosen days, they feed the body foods that are light to digest, but still provide nourishment and fuel for the body to keep going. Yogic cooking/ food always comes back a few main core intentions, which are:

  1. Food should be easy for the body’s digestion to work smoothly – absorption, assimilation and elimination. Fresh foods and whole grains are much easier on the body then heavy and dulling (tamasic) foods like meat, poultry, fish, eggs and mushrooms.
  2. Ideally, our meals should consist of fresh foods and whole grains. Fresh vegetables, fruits and grains have a lot of energy (prana) stored in them, while leftovers, frozen foods, etc do not retain a sufficient level of prana that helps us maintain our healthy glow, therefore eating as much freshly cooked foods is best.
  3.  It’s important to be aware of the purity of the cook…and the energy that has gone into the food. The cook holds a lot of power. Their attitude and energies go into all that we consume. If we are angry when we cook, then that angry energy goes in the food…If we sing or chant while we’re cooking, then that uplifting energy is what will go into the food.
  4. It’s wise to learn the different qualities of food, as they vary on how they impact our bodies and our minds. The goal for all yogi’s is to still the mind, be focused and to come from a place of love as much as possible. Some foods do not support the mind and body in this way. 
    • TAMASIC FOODS: make us feel dull, lethargic, and depressed
    • RAJASIC FOODS: are at times can be over stimulating and sometimes even irritating
    • SATTVIC FOODS: are pure and light foods that give us clarity and a lot of prana (energy) 

Click here to for a complete list of Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic foods that has been compiled by the Ayurvedic Institute.

It was a great workshop…I definitely learned a lot on how our food choices have a big impact not only on our bodies, but on our minds. So keep the love flowing, while you’re cooking!

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