Sri Ramana says that of all the restrictions we can do to help with self-inquiry the most important is sattvic food in moderate quantities. There is a lot to this, but the principle is relative simple: eat wholesome food and not too much.
There are many theories about health out there and it is hard to find the right way. But one thing that most people agree on: eat a lot of vegetables, especially leafy green ones.
Many western diet books emphasize raw food, but according to Ayurveda raw food is good for detoxing but it is not sustainable for everyone. The western approach is rather objective and ideological, the eastern approach is subjective and considers the patient and the elements of the food. Raw food has a lot of air element and can be difficult for some people to digest. (See Yoga and Ayurveda by Dr. David Frawley)
Here is my solution for getting a lot of vegetables into your system that are detoxing, easy to digest and delicious. Vegetable juice and raw soup. Raw soup is not as bad as it sounds – it is ok to warm it up slightly, but not so much that it kills the enzymes. This method is quick and easy. Also, raw food is surprisingly satisfying – ie you don’t get hungry afterwards.
The key to a good raw soup is avocado for texture and carrot juice as a base. Then I add whatever vegetables I have on hand: cauliflower, courgettes, beetroot, silverbeet, ginger, garlic, basil, coriander, cumin. Chop it up, put it in the blender, blend until smooth, heat gently in a pot to take off the chill, serve.
No salt. No oil. No processed food. No animals. All raw, fresh, easily digestible. Low calories, high nutritional density.
Update: While this raw food thing was good at the time, it is best to do during warm weather and in accordance with the particular needs of your physical constitution. Raw food is not good for everyone. I have switched to kitchari – rice and mung bean gruel – a time-tested staple food in India. This has been much more beneficial for my health.