How diet may contribute to feelings of lethargy or restlessness?


As you know I am always looking into ways food can positively affect my energy levels. I've spent the past decade studying food energetics and fine-tuning my diet to support my busy lifestyle.
Here are some foods that have traditionally been associated with creating heaviness in the body, and can make you feel lethargic and needy of a nap: Over-processed foods, foods lacking freshness (stale), salt, eggs, miso and soy products, red meat, cheese and poultry. These foods can cloud the mind, create a sense of inertia and fill the mind with negative mood, dark emotions like anger, jealousy and greed. These foods also destroy the body's resistance to disease. We call these foods tamasic in Ayurveda.

Pause for a second, do you usually experience these emotions? yet, would you consider yourself a greedy, jealous and angry person by nature? Certainly not. What if it was your food, rather than the circumstances at work and home that made you feel these emotions? This is the challenge I propose you embark on. By changing your food, see whether you'd respond to stress with other, more leveled emotions, and even kindness. This is my discovery and personal experience.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are foods that if eaten in excess, can over excite the body, provoke strong emotions and passions, contribute to feelings of restlessness, and make the mind uncontrollable and the body turned on all the time, running on stress hormones. Example of such foods include sugar, chemicals, alcohol, coffee, hot spices, eggs (again), oily foods, excess nuts and seeds and too many tropical fruit and honey (super sweet). So eat these foods in moderation and listen to their effect on your body. The issue with eating too many of them is the backlash when their effect wears out. Think about the after effect of coffee and sugar. You typically need to go back for more... These foods are called rajasic.

My secret is to make balancing foods the star of my meals. Foods that Ayurveda calls sattvic. A sattvic diet as I have personally experienced and academically been taught, nourishes the body and maintains it in a peaceful state. According to Ayurveda, this is the best diet for physical strength, a good mind, good health, and longevity. No matter what goes on in the office or at home, you feel centered and able to cope. Physically, it supports high intensity cardio training, weight lifting, recovery as well as promote flexibility in the joints and bones (so bones don't break) supporting my yoga and stretching.

sweet chana dahl 2
Here's a yummy sattvic recipe to try: Sweet Ghana Dal.