Saturday, February 6, 2010

Shabbat, Shabbat, what shall I do???

It's Saturday night and as I sit here typing I am suffering with digestive woes. Shabbat, how I love you so! But what will I do? It's so hard to eat properly on the day of the week that is saved for festive meals, relaxation, family, and spiritual growth. Those Festive meals are packed full of many delicious dishes, and I am somewhat of a gourmet. We eat dishes from around the globe at every meal, whether it's Moroccan matbucha salad to Yemenite schug and hilbeh salads, Japanese cabbage or Babaganush, and for my husband I mad a Vietnamese Chicken dish! There is a lot of food at my table. Now I only eat the salads and sprouted bread (sometimes I eat a slice of challah). But it still upsets my tummy, it's so hard to stop.
I also find as I'm getting to know what my body can handle and cant and as I detox as well, I have a hard time making the choice of whether or not to eat something cooked at dinner. I keep it simple if I do, soup or baked sweet potato or quinoa and steamed veg. But I do find that it interrupts my digestive working order, and makes me feel bloated and gassy.

I'm reading a great book now by Dr.Gabriel Cousens and I think this version is out of print and has been reprinted but it's called "Conscious Eating and The Rainbow Diet". He get's into how eating and fasting are spiritual and can be used as tools to connect to The Creator. I am quite rooted in my own religious beliefs and feel like I can read such a book and channel it for use with The Torah's teachings.
Some may not and so I say with caution, there are many quotes from other sources and I dont "recommend" the book per se, but I am gaining a lot from it. One thing he said that I found very interesting is that foods have three different levels or states, coming from Ayurvedic sources;

One is "Sattvic Foods which keep the mind and body balanced, clear, harmonious and strong. Foods such as all fruits, veggies, edible greens, grasses, all grains and legumes, soaked nuts and seeds, raw unsoaked nuts and seeds, raw honey, small amounts of raw milk and yogurt. It is completely vegetarian. The Alkaline/ Acid Ratio is 80-20.

Rajasic Foods are more stimulating to the nervous system. One will often feel some immediate increased energy from eating them. Coffee, tea, tobacco, fresh meats, and large amounts of stimulating spices, garlic and onions are examples of Rajasic foods. These foods will energize us for our worldly activities, but this energy doesn't always happen in the clearest most balanced way. These foods stimulate us to be busy and active, but activity can turn into agitation and restlessness. They tend to push our mind and body beyond it's limits. If this is done long enough, the body eventually goes into imbalance, and disease begins to manifest. Examples of this are coffee addicts who need more and more coffee to keep pumping their bodies up to do their work. ... Rajasic foods tend to stimulate the body and mind toward more competitive, warlike, sensual, and pleasure seeking way of life. Historically Rajasic diet was considered the diet of kings and warriors. "
"Rajasic foods include some biogeneic and bioactive foods, but they also include flesh foods, and many gourmet spicy, cooked foods with rich oily sauces. This diet includes butter, cheese, oils, fried foods, cakes, sugar, and eggs. It is 50 to 60 percent alkaline. The taste stimulation of these foods tends to lead us away from our inner cues, moving us easily toward imbalances such as overeating or coffee addictions. This diet eventually leads to ill health and chronic degenerative disease. "

The third is Tamasic Foods. "Tamaic foods are stale, decayed, decomposed, spoiled, overcooked, recooked leftovers, and processed foods. These synthetic foods are chemicalized with preservatives, pesticides, fungicides, sweeteners, artificial colors, sulfites, and nitrtaes and other similar chemicals. All the fast foods that are so popular today fall into the tamasic catagory, as does alcohol, which is a fermented, decomposed food and all other drugs. Any flrsh foods that arent freshly killed are considered Tamasic; this includes most of the meat we find in the marketplace. Only freshly killed wild game and fish are Rajasic. Tamasic foods have no life force in them. It is a diet that is less than 50% alkaline. These foods have only minimal quality left on them and maximum waste. These foods do however, supply us with toxic chemical breakdown products that affect the functioning of our mind and irritate our nervous system. Because they steal energy from our subtle organizing energy fields (SOEF) to digest and assimilate, they diminish our life force. These foods lead more quickly thatn others to chronic, degenerative disease. They tend to bring out the worst psychological characteristics because of the irritable, lethargic, degenerate state they create in us. At some time most of us have eaten some Tamasic food and have felt raunchy and Toxic [cholent!] This is the Tamasic state, a state in which is extremelyy difficult to meditate [pray , daven, do hitbodedut] or to be in harmony with self or the environment. A quick assessment of our popular American [SAD] diet makes it obvious that it is a strong Tmasic diet, the results of which we rate 21st in life expectancy among the industrialized nations. The Tamasic diet may also be contributing to the degenerating moral fiber of our society."
I found this information to ring true with me just based on how I feel when I eat live foods vs. dead foods. Shabbos food always made me feel terrible, digestive wise. I was chronically gassy and bloated. Why? The food would be cooked for a long time on Friday or even Thursday and place on the platta (hot plate) just before Shabbos came in and it would sit there for hours at a pretty high heat. The Cholent (sabbath stew) sits on the platta overnight until it's basically cooked to death. It all tasted great but there was no life force. So in order to assimilate it it needs to take our own life force. The enzymes are destroyed completely.
Food for thought!

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