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So let's cut to the chase: What kind of food is sattvic food? Sattvic foods are pure foods. Most foods that are fresh, organically grown, additive- and preservative-free, unprocessed, and alkaline are considered sattvic. These include the following:

> Fresh fruits and juices

> Most fresh vegetables

> Whole-grain cereals

> Nuts and seeds, especially almonds and sesame seeds

> Pulses (dried peas, beans, and lentils)

> Milk and milk products (unfermented), including butter

> Honey

A Yoga Minute

Traditionally, milk has been an important part of the yogi's diet and has always been considered sattvic. However, milk today is not what it used to be. Factory farms with their hormone- and antibiotic-laden cows packed in tiny stalls in sunless enclosures, pasteurization, and shipment to supermarkets in plastic packaging have all compromised milk's sattvic nature. In addition, many people are lactose intolerant, meaning that they lack the enzyme necessary for the body to digest milk.

Sattvic foods help you think more clearly, because your body is unclouded and unhindered by impurities, chemicals, and stimulants. Sattvic foods promote contemplative thought, vitality, energy, tranquillity, happiness, and overall health. Most serious yoga practitioners exist primarily on sattvic foods, although because food in and of itself is not an obsession for the healthy yogi, occasional tastes of other foods when these are offered aren't a problem. The wise yogi eats moderately, and moderation means not being obsessive about anything, even moderation!

If you're unable to drink milk or choose to avoid all dairy products (a truly nonviolent approach to eating), simply update our list of sattvic foods by eliminating milk. Stick with organic produce and whole grains, the foods that remain sattvic even in our complicated world.

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