Photo courtesy of Kami Stafford

Energy Balance Through Foods

Welcome to GunaFood, a way to improving your own mind and body through what you eat.

There is a great deal to balancing foods for your own enegy type, and body type, as well as to provide balanced nutrition. It can be both fun and exciting, and so deceptively simple that it's shocking. You can do this and probably not give up any of the foods or drinks you enjoy - just counterbalance them with another food or beverage of a different energy type. As in all things, moderation in everything is the key to success.

This site is going to talk about how to create meals for yourself and for your loved ones using those energy types from the ancient texts of Samkhya, as well as to combine those with modern understanding of general nutrition. I will also combine rudimentary herbalism, with general cooking instructions. I hope to allow you to create meals which are delicious, nutritious, and meet your own needs.

Unlike most sites which discuss dieting, weight loss is not a specific goal of any of my methods, However, these ideas may be combined with weight loss dieting, as they can with almost any other dietary needs which anyone may have. Weight loss, or weight regulation may be an effect of these conscious methods of balancing what you're eating.

Note This page is currently in progress and under development, and as such is changing very frequently at the moment, with new information added at least daily. Please check back.

Energy Types

Everyone, and everything, has their own energy type. By mixing your own energy with energies of the same or of different types, you can change the energy type, balance, and direction in the manner you wish or need. Everyone is doing this all the time anyway, and doing it unknowingly, and with thus, unpredictable and often unwanted results. By doing this knowingly and consciously, one can create the desired outcome.

As examples regarding food, if one were going to run a marathon race, that person would be foolish to have a full, 7-course meal, such as one might have for an American Thanksgiving dinner! That would make the person tired and sluggish, although perhaps quite happy. Likewise, if you were going to sit quietly and meditate, one would not first eat and drink a lot of sugars, spices, and caffeine! These are obvious examples, but there are similar notions which are more subtle. Those more subtle types are ones I will go into on this page.


Gunas - What They Are and Why We're Using Them

Gunas are the ennumeration and classification of energy types and vibrational levels under which everything is classified.

They are ennumerated as three: Light, Middling, and Heavy, or Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas.

Popularly, Sattva is viewed as "Good", and Tamas as "Bad". That is not the case though. These each have their function and their ways of being used.

Sattvic things are "light" or "airy". A person with a Sattvic physiology would be thin and light-boned. Sattvic foods are fresh, raw foods which generally have a sweet taste. Fresh fruits, vegetables, milk, and ginger are examples of Sattvic foods. A person with a Sattvic disposition is content, smiling, and generally easy-going and centered. Meditation, as typically understood and practiced, is a very Sattvic activity.

Rajavic things are in the middle, and are energetic. A person with a Rajavic physiology is neither fat nor thin, but is likely to have an athletic build and a predisposition for sports. The nature is very energetic, and there would be a tendency to be drawn to things which are quite exciting, although possibly risky. These people are the adrenaline junkies of the world. There is a lot of activity, but the movement is willy-nilly. Rajavic foods tend to be things which are spicy, or contain things to give more energy, such as refined sugar and caffeine.

Tamasic things are heavy. The movement is slow, or not at all. They may be viewed as thoughtful or lazy. However, once a decision is reached to move some particular direction, through the addition of Sattva, there is no stopping it! It would be as futile for an outside force to try to stop a mighty river. The river too moves slowly in general, but may speed up or slow down at times. Due to the quantity and weight, the inertia is enormous! Tamasic foods tend to be heavy foods - heavy starches such as potatoes, fats, meats, spoiled or fermenting foods.

To further complicate this, by combining any two of these gunas, you produce the third. Tamas given energy becomes Sattva. Rajas with Satva added becomes Tamas. This is one explanation why for a very energetic person to learn meditation, there are seldom any results - Tamas alone is stagnation.

All of these gunas, or vibrational levels are useful. In my opinion, it is better and easier to try to make the best use of the energy you have than it is to make an attempt to fundamentally change it. It is similar to a vocal ensemble. There are bass, tenor, alto, and soprano parts. For the music group to sound good, all of those parts have to be there, and have to sing their own parts. It is futile to try to change an excellent bass into a soprano! It would be foolish to remove everyone from the music group except the sopranos! Like the music group, all of life needs all of the parts to operate in harmony.

Most of the above theory behind this sounds quite complicated. Do not let that throw you off! It is merely a statement of things we've always known: To offset something heavy, put in something light for energy. For something that is not moving, add energy to move it. This idea is used throughout our lives, in everything from foods, to exercise, to music.


Gunas and Food

Every type of food has its own place in the scheme of gunas. In general, one prefers a satvic energy type - one that is calm, steady, content, and moving forward toward some predetermined goal. However, one may wish a different type of energy for some particular purpose. For instance, if one is about to engage in some difficult physical or mental activity, such a person may wish to evoke rajavic energy to give energy to such undertaking. However, there are risks involved with doing that, in as much as rajas by itself tends to move erratically, and without purpose. It will need to be given purpose and direction. Tamas may seem stagnant and not moving, but added to rajas can steady it and give it direction.



I claim no particular training or knowlege in any medical field, including nutrition, medicine, or so forth. While I believe that many or most of these ideas can be used in conjunction with almost any special diet which you need for medical needs, the author of this site is not qualified to make such recommendations. If you have any special dietary needs, you are encouraged to discuss them with licensed medical practitioners, which may include your doctor, your nutritionist, your dietician, your pharmacist, and so forth.

Nothing in this site is designed to give medical, legal, or psychological advice.


Copyright 2006 by Elizabeth Harper
All Rights Reserved
No part of this page may be copied as a whole or in part, except in brief citations under the "Fair Use" provision of US and International Copyright Law without written permission of the author.