Ayurveda , the Hindu science of life, posits three food categories. Tamasic foods are leftover, stale, overripe or spoiled. They’re also heavy, animal based—the sort of food whose digestion slows you down and makes you sleepy. Red meat, cheese, alcohol, fried foods, white sugar should be avoided, for they require too much energy to be digested, and that leaves the spirit dull or confused. Rajasic foods are hot, spicy, sweet and salty. They unleash energy that can stimulate but also irritate. So moderation is crucial. Also if taken at noon and not at night, rajasic caffeine, chocolate, corn, potatoes, tomatoes, broccoli, pickles, fish and chicken can be useful. Bland Sattvic foods such as juicy fruits, watery vegetables and whole grains are so easily digested by the stomach, they don’t use up energy, giving you strength and focus to conquer your mind. They’re ideal for spiritual quest. In fact the word sattvic is the same as in bodhisattva. A sattvic diet prescribes mangos, peaches, figs, pears, rice, tapioca, honey, sweet potatoes, sprouts, summer squash, cucumbers, lettuce, mung/kidney and lima beans, yellow split peas, ground almonds and homemade yogurt.