Food Experiments

Being at Kripalu is an ideal time to experiment with your diet, and experimentation is one of the best ways to figure out how foods affect you and how to maximize the benefits of what you eat. Many health-related symptoms disappear with a simple, whole-foods diet.

Gentle Cleansing 

Have you ever wanted to try a cleanse, but weren’t sure how to do it safely? Here are several simple choices you can try during your stay:

  • Eat just from the Basics Bar.
  • Eat only vegetables.
  • Eat half of what you normally eat, using a Buddha bowl instead of a plate.

These simplified diets take stress off of your body, allowing your gastrointestinal tract to rest and your liver to gently detoxify your body. You can follow one of these diets for any length of time—a day or for your entire stay.

Find the culprits. Do you have a sneaking suspicion that something you eat doesn’t agree with you? Perhaps you feel tired after meals or you have excess mucus, especially in the morning. Perhaps you’re having trouble sleeping. Likely culprits are dairy, wheat, caffeine, sweeteners, or too many grains. Consider using your visit to Kripalu as a chance to find some answers. All the food served in the Dining Hall is clearly marked with the ingredients. Try eliminating one or more of these items for your stay. You may notice a difference in even a few days.

Face your cravings. Do you know that you’ve got a sugar or caffeine addiction? Many of us unknowingly self-medicate with sugar and caffeine to cover up fatigue. Going off of them will allow you to see just how tired you really are so you can follow your body’s cues for more rest—and the cravings usually go away in a couple of days. If you decide to get off caffeine, do it slowly over 2–3 days, to avoid a headache. Many people find it easier to let go of these foods at Kripalu than at home. The good food, yoga, and health-conscious lifestyle will support any change you want to make.

Listen to your body. How good are you at bringing awareness to what—and how—you eat? We encourage you to be mindful—paying attention to your physical sensations, thoughts, and feelings—throughout your stay at Kripalu, especially when it comes to eating. Eating slowly, chewing well, paying attention to your level of hunger, and being aware of what it feels like to gradually fill your stomach will help you notice when you are full and when you are overfull. Becoming aware of your body’s signals as well as the thoughts and feelings you have about food will help you develop a healthy relationship with food. The Dining Hall is silent for breakfast to facilitate this experience for you. You may also choose to eat other meals in the silent dining room across the hall.

Most of all, taste and enjoy every bite, knowing that you are nurturing yourself on every level.

© Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health. All rights reserved. To request permission to reprint, please e-mail