My now adult children and I often look back on the foods we ate when they were growing up and have a laugh! I thought I was doing the right thing but given the move in our family’s eating habits towards whole foods, it seems virtually inconceivable to us that they were often eating fish fingers and sausages (at least it was always with vegetables) for dinner and muesli bars and chips in their lunch boxes at school!
Whole foods are now very much what we eat. The influence started for us with our interest in Indian Ayurvedic medicine, a practice that dates back thousands of years and embraces so many of the holistic principles of living that have become so important to how many people now aspire to eat and live their lives.
The new interest in the Western world towards eating ayurvedically is a part of the swing to mindful living where we pay careful attention to what we eat, where it comes from and how it is prepared. Just like shopping at the farmer's market where you become conscious of the ingredients going into your food and get to know the growers who produce it, cooking ayurvedically and noticing the effects of different foods on your mind, body and spirit is an important step on the journey to mindful living, just being conscious of everything going on around you and within your body is to be mindful.
With ayurvedic food, everything is made from scratch (though it's not too time consuming I promise!) and different types of foods in the ayurvedic diet have positive or negative effects on the mind, body and spirit depending on your individual constitution or dosha as it is called in ayurveda. So eating ayurvedically encourages to be mindful not only during the cooking process but also during and after eating meals, to be mindful of which foods affect us in different ways so we can work towards our optimal health.
If Ayurveda interests you I can recommend two wonderful books that will open your eyes to another way of looking at both health and living life in general; Perfect Health by Deepak Chopra and Ancient Wisdom for Modern Health by Mark Bunn are both life-changing reads and ones I hope to write about more fully here at Making Mindful Children in time.
Happy reading and eating!