I believe that such packaging information is really a bit of a farce. Initially such labelling information was put there to protect consumers from bogus claims of healthy attributes of a product when in fact it contained little or no goodness at all. Nutritionists lobbied for greater labelling "to protect the customer" against false advertising and so that their pronouncements about "cutting down on fats, carbohydrates, salt and sugars" could be heeded by the masses. But we see that hasn't worked! As well, it was to help protect a minority of consumers who have specific reactions to particular ingredients, flavourings colourings,
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preservatives etc But nowadays it is used mainly for manufacturers to "out-health" each other and to advertise the "extra" additives which make their product "better for you" than the competition's (….. long yawn ……..).
All the information provided in this chapter about food types, food groups, food substances and dietary guidelines is mainly for the health food beginner. Initially you may need to use other people's recipes, advice, or logical science, but eventually, your own 5 senses plus your intuition (the 6th sense) will guide you to cook the right things at right times.
In outlining a few basic guidelines about "good eating" in the yogic way, you'll see they don't relate to details about micro-biological substances such as vitamins, minerals, enzymes, electrolytes, fats, sugars, carbohydrates or proteins. That's all just information which you may or may not remember, and can be used for nutritional reference when necessary. The yogic principles of good eating relate to far simpler concepts which we, the eaters (those who are truly in control of our diet), can become much more aware of and in control of. The following 3 headings are probably what could be called the "golden rules" of yogic eating.
Fancy food may take lots of time, it may look fantastic, but is it really any better for you? Simple and tasty, is the catch phrase of yogic cooking. To effortlessly learn a new thing like vegetarian wholefood cooking, always come back to that one motto - simplicity. Why keep 6 different types of jam in the fridge door simultaneously? Why spend all day in the kitchen preparing a dinner party menu for only 4 - 6 people when it will probably be eaten in about 60 minutes and you'll all feel stuffed for hours afterwards? Why eat a whole range of expensive imported products that come from cultures and climates very different to our own? For variation, mental entertainment - that's why. To satisfy the hungry, wandering mind, certainly not the simple needs of a hungry body. All that variation, over time, confuses the digestive system. Our bodies were really
designed for a range of foods which were part of our local environment and climate.
People are scared stiff of food boredom. This is what the food manufacturers prey on to sell their "new" lines. But simplicity need not (necessarily) equate with sameness or lack of creativity. Simplicity actually allows for more freedom and variation. Complexity in cooking is unproductive, both in terms of time, energy and nutrition. When re-learning a skill as important as cooking, keep it simple and you will enjoy both the doing and the outcome much more.
Don't confuse hunger with appetite.
Appetite is the stomach's true message of being ready to eat. It is an arousal stimulus to begin the digestive processes. It often comes with an anticipational gurgling and grumbling of the digestive juices which are ready to pounce on the incoming food! This occurs when hunger causes the peristaltic action to begin, even before any sensory inputs such as the smell or the sight of food. Appetite does not cause anxiety nor suffering as it can be easily transcended by waiting. People with good appetites, rarely have digestive problems.
Hunger is more of an instinctive feeling. It is the body's metabolic need to eat. But there are 2 types of hunger. One is the true and unmistak-able message of that instinct to eat. It is not a mood, it is not a thought, it is just a knowing according to nature. The other type of hunger is the more subtle, self-induced psychological type of hunger which is emotionally based. The first type of hunger is a life-saver. The second type of hunger is a killer and stems from feelings such as