Friday, October 3, 2008

Weird diets: No onions and garlic

No meat. No onions. No garlic. That apparently is suppose to be my diet over the next two weeks. If you think it's strange, believe me. I do too.

Even more odd - this diet was not recommended by a nutritional counselor or holistic professional, but rather a priest from India. My parents, it seems, have arranged for a religious ceremony in India to bless my future marriage, and this diet was one of the conditions.

Why? You might ask. Good luck getting an answer out of my parents or even the priest. It seems I'll have to rely on Google for this one.

So I did some research and what I found surprised me. Apparently, there are lots of individuals who regularly take these foods out of their diets. The Buddhists and Hare Krishnas, in addition to being strict vegetarians, believe onions and garlic cloud one's mind with "passion," preventing transcendence. The Jains, also strict vegetarians, avoid these foods in addition to all root vegetables as they contain too many "life-forms," albeit microscopic.

What these cultures fail to recognize is garlic can also be extremely healing. It has documented anti-viral and antibiotic properties. And really what's so wrong with passion? It can lead to some great things too!

I am trying to see this as an opportunity to experiment with new foods. One positive change - I've been using asafoetida in my cooking, a pungent Indian spice that resembles the taste of onions and garlic. But the urge to rebel remains high...and they never said anything about leeks or shallots. :)

*Photo courtesy greenwood100 from flickr


Cindy Klein said...

Hi Ameet! I was just in San Fran visiting my best friend, and her boyfriend doesn't eat onion, garlic and mushrooms for exactly this reason. He's done it for more than 10 years! It's great in San Fran because there are restaurants - like Cafe Gratitude - that even list which menu items have no onions and garlic. I can't wait to hear how it goes for you!

Ameet Maturu said...

Hi Cindy, glad to know I am not alone. :) I miss Cafe Gratitude. What a great place. I was at Whole Foods the other day and noticed they have a cookbook. Have you seen it?

Sharon said...

How interesting that I should read this post today :). I just finished reading the Bhagavad Gita and have been thinking about Rajasic (garlic and onion!) and Sattvic foods. They say that in general rajasic foods can stimulate the mind too much but may also have healing properties as you described and thus may also be considered, at times, Sattvic. I honestly do not notice a difference when I eat a little garlic or onion, but always try to pair it with Sattvic foods. :) Good luck!!!

Claudia Davila (Fran) said...

Hi Ameet! Often when I post an Ayurvedic recipe that includes onions or garlic I get comments that these are not ayurvedic foods, but in my opinion, following a sattvic diet as a cleanse once in a while is completely do-able, and then the rest of the time it's good to have balance! Here's an article I wrote on it in case you're interested :-)

Anonymous said...

Hey Ameet,

Check out this site, it might help with your diet in trying to get products.

Good Luck.

veggal said...

Hi Ameet,

Check out this website for onion and garlic-free recipes.

Anonymous said...

The word is not 'passion', its 'lust' - very different meaning.
Our bodies need a little bit of Tamas to balance out the Rajas.

Tamas is a spectrum from sleep to lethargy to dullness to depression

Integrative Nutrition