The ancient Sanskrit word for vegetarian food that has been blessed is “prasad”. As living beings, we are “nourished” at two distinct levels. First, we are nourished at the physical level. After preparing a vegetarian dish, what you can do is chant OM as you place your hands over the food, visualizing Divine Spirit blessing your food. In this way, all negative vibrations from the food are taken out and you can then consume truly protected and spiritualized food, now that it has the OM sound vibration all through it. Second, we are nourished at the spiritual level through the breath. This is why it is important to mentalize the “OOO” sound as you inhale and the “MMM” sound as you exhale, says Swami Sivananda in “Meditation on OM”. You are aligning an otherwise material and automatic action of the body with spiritual awareness and in this way, the air, oxygen and prana (life-force) energies that enter your body are blessed by the Sacred Syllable OM. Today’s world is tainted with ignorance and darkness, both consciously and unconsciously. So, one should protect one’s very being by offering one’s vegetarian food preparations to the Sacred Syllable OM before eating and aligning one’s breath with the two-step OM breathing mantra. This is true “prasad”, understanding that Divine Spirit is the empowering “nourishment” on both levels. Namaste.