Traditional Dining Practices Leads To Weight Loss 0
ONCE UPON A TIME I was invited to a naming ceremony for my grandmother’s friend’s daughter. I was very young at that time and excited to wear a beautiful dress and adorn myself with flowers and jewellery. I was even more excited at the prospect of a wide spread of sweets, snacks, varieties of rice preparations etc served over a banana leaf.
The only thing I dreaded was sitting down on the floor cross legged!
It's been just a couple of minutes of sitting cross legged that i felt that there was no feeling in my right leg at all. I just wanted to stretch my leg when I saw a glimpse of my granny giving me a stern eye. This made me fold my legs again and sit straight :)
All that practice paid off and even now I sit on the floor cross legged to have my meals although we do have a dining table and chairs (I can manage to sit like that for an hour now).
But why punish myself this way?
Well, there is a scientific basis to sitting cross legged on the floor. Did you know, this traditional way of dining can teach you to eat mindfully and help you to lose weight.
In an age when there were no dining tables, everyone sat on floor while having food and very few suffered from lifestyle diseases that have become so rampant in our times
According to the experts, sitting on the ﬂoor strengthens the lumbar region of the body. Digestive juices are secreted in the stomach, which gets ready for processing the food.
It is more of a blessing than a punishment…
Science supports tradition
Many research articles have been published in international journals about the benefits of our traditional dining practices.
Sitting on the floor and eating also makes you mindful of the amount of food that you are eating. Sitting cross legged stimulates the vagus nerve to send signals to the brain about the feeling of fullness which prevents you from overeating. This in turn can help in weight loss.
The digestion process is also better at preventing gastric issues or bloating.
So it is ok to chuck the dining set and use the floor (saves money too!)
To eat is a necessity but to eat intelligently is an art - La Rochefoucauld
Once Upon A Time 0
India is a land of diverse cultures and traditions. Right from conception to old age, various rituals and beliefs were defined by our ancestors. Many of these traditional beliefs do seem to have a scientific backing and hence it makes sense to follow them even now!
There are a few forgotten costumes followed by our ancestors Once Upon A Time. Let us go through that memory lane and have a look at one such important custom…
The term Annaprashan is a Sanskrit word, which literally translates to "grain initiation."
In simple language, it means your baby’s first feeding or first rice-eating ceremony.
A custom where the infant is given its first solid food, is celebrated with fervour and joy in many parts of India, more common during our grandmother’s era and slowly losing shine in our present generation.
A ceremony where the families and friends get together. The child is made to dress in bright-colored traditional dress with jewellery. A pujari/priest is invited to perform the ritual. Loads of offerings like fruits, snacks are given to the God. The whole atmosphere is filled with excitement, laughter and blessings are bestowed to the child.
Ayurveda supports Anna Prashan
As per Ayurveda, Fruit juices should be given to the child from sixth month onwards, which are a source of vitamins especially vitamin C (phal-prashan). 8 months onwards, he should be given light and wholesome food (anna-prashan). By offering phalprashan and annaprashan ceremony at this time with breast milk, we can reduce the deficiency of related essential vitamins and prevent any growth deficit.
And so does Modern Nutrition
Similar to phal/annaprashan introduction in Ayurveda, the same principle is followed in Paediatric Nutrition today called Weaning. Breast milk is deficient in iron, vitamin A, D, K and calcium, thus it makes sense to start with solid foods after 6 months of breastfeeding. Starting Weaning does not imply discontinuation of breastfeeding, in fact; weaning compliments mother’s milk.
Does your grandmother preach the same?
Grandmothers are the encyclopaedia of food consumed during pregnancy to the kinds of nutrition an infant requires. They never consulted any expert on this, her own experience of raising not less than a dozen kids have resulted in a plethora of knowledge which the current generation can make use of.
The whole idea about Annaprasan is to expose the child to a wide variety of foods which will help him in proper growth and development. Secondly it also helps to make a child grow up to be non-fussy and open to try different flavours and varieties.
If we ignore their advice, we are staring at a future of a fussy child behind whom a mom is running around with a bowl of food or showing videos on the mobile to distract the kid.This paves the way for an adult who works while eating or eats while working making him an ideal person inviting various diseases!
So what's your story?
Marrying Ayurveda to Modern day Diets 0
Marrying Ayurveda to Modern day Diets
There is no denying that currently we are on a roller coster ride full of new diets and fads. These include diets of cleanse, superfoods, clean eating, detox and the list can go on. What we forget is that Indian Ayurveda had known and practised this science generations ago and there is a vast treasure of knowledge what we have had all along. Ayurveda, an age-old Indian science, has secrets to clean, healthy lives that don't need you to spend excessively on every new health fad, and can be accessed through one's everyday kitchen.
Ayurveda talks about elements our body is build of air, water, fire, ether and earth and the misbalances these elements get into - the doshas - Vata, Pitha and Kapha! The key is to eliminate or reduce the dosha and achieve a state of harmony. All foods many not suit us despite being inherently healthy and safe to consume. So how to do we really figure whats good for us.
There are two simple choices in front of us. We go to a Ayurvedic practitioner and get our dosa checked and go as per recommended diets for the same. Or better still start listening to our bodies. Is the red rice we just had, actually made us feel lighter or heavier. How did we emotionally feel after consuming a particular food group at the time of the day. If we felt lighter, energetic, happy. We can listen to our internal gut system.
Going on a diet should not be a mind game but mindful eating would actually lead us to the bliss we are looking from a healthier body…..