Ahimsa would suggest that the foods that you ingest should cause no harm to you are anyone else. Questions that surface when contemplating Ahimsa and diet:
- Is the food I am eating causing damage to my body?
- Was anyone or anything harmed unnecessarily in the creation or processing of this food?
Aparigraha deals with taking only what is necessary and letting go of attachments. Questions that surface when contemplating Aparigraha and diet:
- Is there more food on my plate that what my body needs to be healthy?
- Am I wasteful with food?
- Are my eating habits taking food away from others?
- Am I attached to certain foods in a way that is harmful to me, the environment or to others?
Sauca deals with purity and cleanliness. Questions that surface when contemplating Sauca and diet:
- Is my food clean and free of all impurities?
- Does this food contain toxins?
- Is this food toxic to me, other living beings or the environment?
- Does this food disrupt the purity of my mind and emotions?(Maybe think about alcohol,sugar, caffeine and its effects on mood and behavior)
Santosha deals with being satisfied and content. Questions to contemplate:
- Do I feel satiated when I am done eating or am I too full or underfed?
- Does this food turn off my hunger signals or make me crave more? (sugar, high fructose corn syrup)
- Are my cravings disruptive to my feeling of satisfaction?
- Am I making a decision to be happy about the food that I have to eat?
Tapas/Disciplined Use of Energy
Tapas deals with the heated energy it takes to stay disciplined. Questions for diet and Tapas:
- Am I eating more calories then I can burn off?
- Am I disciplined about my food intake?
- Am I disciplined about my yoga practices and exercise that helps my body stay balanced?
- Are my thoughts on food steady and balanced?
Svadhyaya deals with self inquiry and studying things that will promote self improvement. Questions for diet and Svadhyaya:
- How do I feel when I eat this food?
- How do I feel when I eat at this time?
- Have I done research on the proper diet for my body?
- Do I understand the long term effects of this diet?