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Eating for balance

Next to breathing, eating is our most vital bodily function. We nourish ourselves by converting the energy and information of our environment into the biological intelligence of our body. To create and maintain a healthy physiology our food must be nourishing, our digestive power strong, and our elimination efficient.
Ideal nutrition results from consuming a variety of foods that are appropriately prepared and eaten with awareness. A balanced diet containing a medley of tastes provides nourishment for our body and mind.
Guidelines for a strong digestive fire  
The strength of our appetite reflects the underlying state of our digestive fire. A strong appetite is necessary to help us digest and absorb the food we eat. The following suggestions will help you cultivate a healthy appetite, improve digestive efficiency and reduce the amount of toxicity in your system:  
  • Don’t eat unless you’re hungry. Think of your capacity for food as an “appetite gauge” -- where 1 on the dial means you are famished and 10 means you are completely full -- eat when your appetite drops to 2 - 3.
  • Stop eating when you’re satisfied, or when your “appetite gauge” is at 7.
  • Remember that food is for nutrition. Continuing to eat after the point of satiety overloads the digestive system resulting in a build-up of toxicity in your physiology.  
The 6 Tastes  
In her infinite wisdom, Nature packaged all possible food sources into six tastes – sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent - as a way to inform us about each food’s influence on our mind body physiology. All six tastes should be eaten at every meal for us to feel satisfied and to insure that all major food groups and nutrients are represented.
Eat for balance in mind and body
In addition to serving as a source of nutrition, food can help balance mind and body. If Vata is out of balance in your physiology, eating warm and soothing foods like soups and whole grains may relieve these symptoms. If Pitta is elevated, you may feel hot and irritable, conditions that are further aggravated by hot and spicy foods. An excess of Kapha may create feelings of sluggishness, heaviness and congestion, and eating heavy foods and dairy products will exaggerate the problem.
In order to ensure that you receive all six tastes at every meal in the proportions that balance mind and body, The Chopra Center created the Surya Spice Blends. Enjoy these superior quality spice mixes while cooking or eating.