I am a yogi and I love food. I also have a predominantly Kapha constitution, which means that it a bit easier for me to put on weight, something I didn’t really think about until after I had children. Click here for a constitution quiz.
Some yogis choose to be vegetarian for a variety of reasons. I have been one for a very long time. My mother says that I came out that way. She actually says that I ate pasta and green beans, Guess what I still love? You got it! You don’t have to be a vegetarian, though, just because you’re a yogi.
Throughout my years of trying various diets (not diets to lose weight) and cleanses, I’ve noticed some things. I’ve also spent a lot of time reading about what yogi masters and teachers as well as lots of other professional say about food.
What did I learn? I feel light, my emotions are level, I sleep well and I feel energetic when I am eating organic fruits and vegetables and not much else. Other people do not have that same experience. Some feel drained, some get light-headed and some are down right miserable when they don’t have animal protein.
Bottom line is that some people make better vegetarians than others. Some need animal protein more than others. Some people do well with dairy; I’m not one of them. We are different and we have different needs.
My suggestions for a healthy, healing yogic diet:
1. Eat organic, local and humanely-treated food sources
2. Mostly veggies and some fruits, fresh, raw or cooked
3. Find the protein sources that suit your body type and lifestyle (beans, meat, fish, dairy, eggs)
4. Whole grains again that work for you
5. Lots of warm water and hot tea
6. Very little sweeteners—honey or maple syrup if needed
7. Spices of all sorts remembering that spices have long been used as medicine
8. Homemade foods whenever possible, made with love, chanting and in a peaceful environment
9. Eat the right amount for your body, 2/3 full
10. Any food that makes you feel truly alive
The things we want to stay away from:
1. Genetically modified foods
2. Anything with a label with words you don’t know
3. Processed, packaged, re-formed foods
4. Fried foods
5. Eating while you are doing something else, angry or rushed
6. White flour
8. Alcohol, tobacco and other substances
9. Overly salted food
10. Any food that doesn’t make you feel more alive
If you’re interested in learning more about a healthy diet, join me for a group cleanse starting on September 2nd. Click here for more information.
For another perspective, you might read, The Yogic Diet: 10Foods to Enjoy & Avoid, by Lisa Mitchell.
As always, I would love to hear your thoughts about food and yoga and how they work together.