Leftover and Frozen Foods

I saw a bunch of articles and infographics showing how frozen foods are just as nutritious as fresh, and also very convenient. Personally, I have never been into frozen food.  I will keep a few things in the freezer for emergencies, like say a snowstorm when even food delivery is not possible.

Back when my son started purees, it was such a tedious process every single day. ¬†Even a few spoonfuls in his mouth felt like a victory, until the next meal. During this time, I came across silicone cube trays for infants. These are perfectly portioned and after freezing the purees they easily pop off. Many mom blogs share their favorite blends, organized by colors in ziplock bags. On the surface level, it sounds healthy and convenient- which is literally every mother’s dream. The problem is frozen is not healthy, in fact, it causes disease.

Ayurvedic Perspective

In ayurveda, frozen food whether it is a day, month or more, loses its prana- life force energy. In simpler terms, it is not fresh, vibrant and alive compared to food consumed on the day it is made.

The entire chemistry and molecules change when food is defrosted and eaten, or even worse microwaved. Frozen food is dead food, prana-less, given the denatured state of the molecules.

Without prana we would be dead. Prana is not oxygen but a form of energy that we breathe in and that circulates in our body, giving us our vibrancy, spirit for life and energy. In chinese medicine, it is known as chi. We can all agree there is nothing like fresh vegetables and fruits. The color, texture, smell and touch- even our senses love fresh. But, eating fresh food gives us the prana we need to do the things we do in life, or rather full of life.

Effect in our Body

Frozen and leftover foods are dulling for the mind and body.  As with each passing day food is left in the fridge, it transforms and loses its prana. Many people like to meal prep or cook their meals for the entire week.

What we eat becomes us.

In our modern day lives and our roles, it is nearly impossible for us to make 2-3 fresh meals a day. We are all trying- myself included. Personally, I feel a day old leftover food is okay, if there happens to be leftovers. I aim to cook in smaller quantities and gauge the just about right quantity. The hope is that there are no leftovers and if I have not made enough then there always room for a cup of herbal tea or ojas milk an hour after dinner.

During my son’s puree phase, I made it a point to make them fresh every day. I knew there was a 50/50 chance of him eating it. It was tempting to save the leftovers, but I found a way to use them in my food. ¬†Sometimes, if he completely refused, I garnished my meal with the puree to make it look gourmet and beautiful! Quite tasty, too.

Nowadays, we mainly eat home cooked meals. The amazing thing is that my husband and I can actually feel a difference! During those once in a blue moon times when we go out or order in, we often notice it does not digest well. It feels much heavier, as though it is just sitting in our gut for the next 24 hours.

Even if you do not understand what prana is, at the very least you can definitely identify how your digestion is affected. My husband is certainly one of those.

Ama (toxins) causing disease

My biggest concern is when I see children eat frozen purees, foods and a week long or more leftovers. It is no coincidence that children these days have so many sensitivities like eczema, gluten intolerance, allergies etc. The list just goes on and on. We as parents are enabling their bodies to create ama (toxins, sludge). It sits in their stomach, fermenting, not knowing how to process and push these prana-less foods out of their system. As a result, it  surfaces in other ways.  Our bodies are made to thrive on fresh fruits, vegetables and cooked foods. When we do the opposite, it is no surprise to have all these side effects. We are creating these imbalances at such a young age.

Two week Trial

I would suggest to go for two weeks without frozen or leftover foods. For myself, the change came naturally with my son as I only wanted him to eat as much fresh food as possible. As he started eating pretty much everything, the shift was easy. Perhaps, initially you can set a goal for the weekdays, as weekends are more social and difficult to maintain. Once you are aware, the shift has already started.

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