Food is fuel. Sometimes our relationships with that fuel can take the gas right out of our tanks. There’s talk about “conscious craving” and sometimes all that means to me is that I frequently crave a cheeseburger, consciously of course. But jokes aside, let’s get down to business. What the heck does a YOGI eat?
Yoga was developed in India where Hinduism and other religions that practice vegetarianism are prevalent. As yoga developed, respect and honor for all living beings played a huge part of what it means to practice yoga. Yoga isn’t just an exercise on a yoga mat, it’s a way of life with a goal of Samadhi (ending fluctuations of the mind). There are clearly defined steps towards Samadhi and one those steps is practice of ahimsa (non-violence).
Ahimsa is often linked to a vegetarian diet. Centuries ago – before cattle farms and over population, a vegetarian diet allowed one to lead a non-harmful diet. However, in today’s world where consuming dairy products from a cow is a harmful approach, veganism might be considered to be more along the course of ahimsa. But then, you may even discover research on plants’ abilities to learn and remember people’s energies. Look it up. And if this is true, where do we draw the line? How do we live a life of ahimsa towards other living beings, without harming ourselves?
Now bring biology and evolution into play. While some may not accept the fact, we are designed to consume animal protein. Our bodies and brains need animal protein to survive. If I may quote the Hatha Yoga Pradipika by Swami Muktibodhananda, “animal hormones help maintain normal conscious functioning.” (page 178)
However, this is in reference to dairy and Muktibodhananda later states that dairy eventually becomes obsolete for the yogi. Science has shown that most people lose the enzyme to digest dairy once they become adults, so dairy is obsolete for all of us.
To wrap it all up, we must realize that everything we eat was once alive. That means we have to end the life of a plant or animal to survive. While this may be a sad fact, let’s try to be as conscious and compassionate as possible when making dietary choices! You don’t necessarily have to eat vegan or vegetarian. The important take away is that you should be aware of what you’re eating and thinking critically about it.
Ask yourself how can you can make your diet healthier for yourself, your community, and this planet. How can you utilize your consciousness to lessen violence in this world through means of careful dietary choices? There are so many ways!
Shop for vegetables that haven’t been treated with pesticides that harm the planet. Buy protein that was raised humanely in a large area with freedom to roam and grass to eat! Get as many local foods as you can!
What other ideas do you have to create true “conscious cravings?” Share them with us! Let’s make this world a better place through collaboration and teamwork!
Now back to my original question, “What does a yogi eat?” Below is the depiction of a day in the diet of a modern day yogi.
8:30am Energy Smoothie
-8 oz. coconut water (Harmless Harvest brand is my favorite)
-1 cup of raw, organic spinach
-1/2 cup of frozen, organic blueberries
-1 scoop of Earth Grown Nutrients (superfoods and probiotics)
-1 scoop of ChocoMaca Hemp Force (protein and omegas)
-1 capsule of Alpha Brain (brain food)
12pm Lunch Time
-¼ cup of boiled, chopped chicken thigh meat tossed in Chinese chili & peanut oil
-½ cup of boiled broccoli
-½ cup of steamed white rice
3pm Snack Time
Annie Chun’s Roasted Seaweed
-½ cup of sliced, steamed eggplant tossed in garlic and balsamic
-½ cup of steamed okra
-¼ cup of steamed zucchini
-6oz of braised pork
-½ cup of rice mix (white and quinoa)
After Dinner Treat
Iced Jasmine Tea
Bedtime Brain Food
1 capsule of New Mood (Vitamins D-3, B-3, B-6, Magnesium, 5-HTP, and L-Tryptophan)
This helps me sleep deeper and wake up with a smile on my face ready for a new day.
At the beginning of your week, shop and print out a calendar of each meal time with the meal you’ll be enjoying! Preparing ahead of time helps you stay on track when you are starving and would eat anything!
Drink a lot of water
What if water was the only thing you drank all day? Try it! Water is life!
Food Tracking App
Download MyPlate…an app by LiveStrong that helps you keep track of food/water consumed and exercise. This a great app for anyone wanting to improve their nutrition and health. Keeping track of what you eat, how much you eat, and the proportions of protein/carbs/fats can give you great insight into how you can live a healthier lifestyle. Often, we don’t even remember that we ate those cookies after lunch! 😉
Choose to give thanks and enjoy every item you are lucky enough to consume. Rather than dreading a vegetable or being sad that you can’t eat Chocolate Cake for breakfast, celebrate the good things! Remember how maintaining a healthy diet is impacting your body, your brain, your community, and your planet! Now go forth and crave consciously!