"Food is a dynamic force which interacts with the human on the physical body level, the mind emotional level, and also the energetic and spiritual level. The study of nutrition is the study of the interaction with and assimilation of the dynamic forces of food by the dynamic forces of our total being."
~ Gabriel Cousens, M.D.
I recall reading a book at the age of 18 years called 'Fit For Life' which made complete sense to me. Over the years I have pretty much adhered to the guidelines within those pages. The book itself is not a diet, but more so based upon the principle that the body functions best when "natural cycles" are adhered to.
Our physical bodies are seventy percent liquid based, therefore it stands to good reason, that our intake of food should be seventy percent water based diet, ie fruits and vegetables. The other 30 percent is comprised of "concentrated foods" like nuts, grains, and lean protein.
One of the quotes I remember well from that book, was that it can take the digestive system 6-8 hours to process meat. Our bodies/organs shut down when we sleep, so eating meat proteins prior to rest can actually take even longer to process. If we eat meat proteins 2 or 3 times a day, the digestive system hasn't enough time to process the foods, which then turn into fat cells, and quite often rot in the gut.
Over the years I have read many books on alternative health and well being, and it would seem to keep the body in an alkaline state, reduces our chances of illness and diseases. Which again makes complete logical sense if one were to use a swimming pool or spa as a metaphor for the body. If the PH of the water becomes unbalanced, the water goes smelly and murky, yet if alkalinity is maintained, the water continues to be crystal clear. If our bodies are seventy percent liquid, it too would make sense, that we as humans also need to maintain a PH balance?
During my yoga teacher training, the students were introduced to the 'SATTVIC DIET' as our daily food intake for the duration of the course. Within that time, I witnessed amazing transformations within a few weeks with many of the students attending. The emphasize is on a Sattvic diet for healthy living, particularly for keeping our minds clear, happy and at peace. The original Sattvic diet was devised for the development of higher consciousness.
Sattvic foods are foods that are abundant in Prana- the universal life-force that gives life to all sentient beings in both plant and animal kingdoms. a Sattvic diet means not only vegetarian food, but food rich in Prana 'life-force like organic fresh fruits and vegetables. it requires avoiding canned and processed food, and foods prepared with chemical fertilizers or sprays. It also means properly prepared fresh foods. Foods prepared with lots of love will add to their Sattvic quality :)
Many of us throughout our lifetimes will embark on fad diets as we become depressed with our weight gain. Sadly the majority rarely ever stick to them and quite often go back to the pre diet weight or even heavier than before. In many cases these diets are a reduction in food intake, rather than eating a healthier alternative. A sattvic or yogic diet is more so a life style choice rather than categorized as a 'fad diet'. It is a diet that cleanses the body from inside out, one that gives us more energy and vitality like never before, bringing peace and clarity within our entire being.
It's ironic that our taste buds take up such a small percentage of our whole body mass, yet those taste buds tend to dictate what we feed the rest of our body! A healthy yogic diet need not be tasteless. In fact the majority of recipes I use are some of the most delicious foods I have ever eaten. Tasty, nutritional, easy to digest, and cleanse the body at the same time.
It takes time for the effects of dietary changes to manifest on the mind. Changing our diet may not impact our psychology overnight, but in a period of months can affect it significantly.
For further information on a Sattvic diet, please see the following - https://www.artofliving.org/yoga-and-three-gunas