Originally from India, yoga is a traditional kind of exercise. For many years only highly advanced yogis practiced yoga. Today, yoga has become more mainstream, and anyone can save time. Yoga offers many benefits; Some of them include reducing stress levels and extending your life! This article will explore what a yoga diet looks like and what you need to know before starting it.
So, what is a yoga diet?
Integrating yoga practice with your diet is not as simple as you think. Especially since ancient yoga texts like Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra and Bhagavad Gita do not mention a specific yoga diet. However, a diet has been used for thousands of years in ancient India and is followed by many yogis. They are Ayurvedic foods. It is a method of eating based on the teachings of Ayurvedic medicine. This traditional medical system has been around for thousands of years. Let’s find out about the Ayurvedic diet.
How to follow a yogic diet?
Starting a yogi diet and sticking to it can undoubtedly be challenging. It’s wise to take things slowly and ease into them. Start with one or two adjustments and gauge your reaction. Explore and add more variations as slowly as you can. Most importantly, make sure these changes don’t cause stress or imbalance.
Eat seasonal, fresh meals.
A yoga diet includes organic, locally grown foods that are whole, seasonal, fresh, and as close to their natural state as possible. Try expanding your vegetables in a garden or containers, shop at farmers’ markets, or buy directly from local farmers. Avoid processed and packaged items, even if organic, and buy fresh produce that is in season.
A whole plant-based diet is essential for yogis. Fortunately, vegetarian and vegetarian diets have become quite popular, making it much easier to go meat-free when grocery shopping, cooking, and eating out. Nuts, dairy products, green leafy vegetables, and legumes are all excellent protein sources.
Avoid chemicals and stimulants.
We are exposed to chemicals almost everywhere. We take in through the water, food, and air. Cleansing of the physical and energetic bodies is one of the objectives of Hatha Yoga. Thus, it is recommended to cut back on or completely avoid drugs and stimulants. To live a healthy lifestyle and achieve purity of body and mind, stay away from processed foods, artificial sweeteners, caffeine, alcohol, and smoke wherever feasible.
Eat on time and leave space between meals.
It is essential to allow at least five hours between meals except for the day’s first meal. It will enable your system to digest your last meal fully. Regular meals will taste better and reduce your risk of overeating; it’s preferable to eat just when you’re starving and not out of stress or boredom.
Eat two hours before practicing asana or going to bed
It is essential to keep your meals small and light to avoid feeling full during asana practice. Eating at least two hours before your yoga session is also necessary.
The largest meal of the day should be lunch.
According to Ayurvedic theory, the digestive fire is vital at noon and encourages the most important meal at lunch. Raw vegetables and lean proteins are ideal for a yogi’s lunch. Small amounts of fat should come from nutritious sources such nuts, seeds, cold-pressed olive oil, or oleic safflower oil.
Eat mostly cooked food at dinner.
Yogic food recommendations encourage eating a cooked dinner because it is easier to digest than raw food. The body digests cooked food more efficiently, allowing it to be absorbed more quickly and allowing for more rest after eating. Try to eat some cooked vegetables for your dinner. Include soothing soups and root vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, yams, winter squash, and beets.
Put a focus on wholesome spices and herbs
The health advantages of foods like turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, fennel, mint, basil, cumin, parsley, cilantro, and black pepper are emphasized by a yoga diet. Your body can benefit from these spices in a variety of ways, including by improving digestion, balancing blood pH levels, enhancing mood, lowering anxiety, and promoting cleansing and healing.
Add more of these therapeutic herbs to your diet to make your diet more healing. Some of these can also be added to herbal teas.
Eat mindfully and with a positive attitude.
More important than the meal itself is how you approach it. It might be challenging to see food as a spiritual practice in today’s fast-paced society. Yoga advises that eating should be an expression of love and appreciation because of this. Must appreciate Motherland since it provides for you.
Prevent mindless complaining or raving by practicing mindful eating, which can help you focus on what you are thankful for and what you are not. You may learn to eat thoughtfully, manage how much you eat, and comprehend what your body requires to preserve balance and health as you gain peace of mind regarding food. Eating with awareness can promote weight loss, a healthy heart, a peaceful mind, and long life.
Principles of yogic diet
If you are interested in following a yoga diet, it is recommended to follow these Ayurvedic principles when eating:
- Six rasas or rasas should be consumed per day. Combine sweet, salty, sour, bitter, spicy, and astringent tastes in every meal.
- Sweet foods (like fruit) should be the first thing you eat in your meal.
- Continue with salty and sour foods (like fish).
- Finish with ingredients that are sharp (as in onions or peppers), astringent (like green apples or tea), and bitter (like celery, cabbage, or green vegetables).
- Take time to enjoy your meal. Avoid talking, laughing, and other distractions to fully enjoy your food and its health benefits.
- Take your time and eat slowly enough to enjoy the food (but not so slowly that your food is cold).
- Make sure you are eating enough calories. Appreciate the importance of hunger and fullness cues to prevent overeating.
- Consume only when your last meal is fully digested. After your last meal or snack, you should wait at least three hours before eating anything else. Do not go more than six hours without food.
- Focus on breakfast and lunch. Many Ayurvedic doctors and yogis recommend a moderate breakfast and a substantial, satisfying lunch. Depending on your hunger level, dinner may or may not be consumed.
Sample Yoga Diet Meal Plan
Below is an example of an Ayurvedic diet day. Keep in mind that this varies from person to person.
- Breakfast: Morning smoothie with kale, banana, and almond milk.
- Lunch: Vegetable soup (you can make it vegetarian or vegan) served over brown rice.
- Dinner: Lentil curry with cauliflower and broccoli, with some avocado on the side. Add extra virgin olive oil to your meal if you need more fat to digest your dinner.
Yoga Meal Plan: Breakfast Options
You can’t go wrong with fresh fruit for a quick and easy breakfast. Even on a busy morning, it’s simple to stick to a yoga meal plan by making a fresh salad with your favorite fruits like mango, watermelon, pineapple, blueberries, and grapes.
Smoothies are a great way to start the day i
f you have additional time to make breakfast.
- A cup of blueberries
- ½ banana
- An avocado
- In the forest
- Fresh ginger
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon of maca powder
- ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
- A little salt
Yoga Meal Plan: Lunch Options
For many, following the yoga lifestyle is most challenging during the day. Being outdoors makes finding yoga food even more complicated, and preparing fresh food can be pretty tricky for anyone who works full-time. A good salad is a perfect way to have a new lunch that won’t leave you feeling lethargic in the afternoon.
If you’re starving during the day and think a salad is light until teatime, making a superfood salad bowl is a great way to make a more satisfying meal. Add diced sweet potato wedges, edamame beans, sliced avocado, kale, grated carrots, and whatever else you like to a salad. Need more carbs in your yoga diet? Adding a cup of brown rice to your salad makes for a filling yet fresh and yogic lunch!
Yoga Food Meal Plan: Dinner Options
Regarding your dinner, there are tons of exciting options to choose from.
Spices are prevalent in a yogi diet. Hence dishes like this excellent Masala Baat, which tastes divine, are trendy.
When you don’t have much time to prepare dinner, this coconut team rice is a perfect yoga food recipe to make a quick sattvic meal.
According to this recipe from sattvicerecipe.com, you will need the following:
A cup of grated coconut
Chilli powder 1 tsp
¼ cup tamarind pulp
1 tbsp mustard seeds
One portion of cooked rice
The jaggery must be ground and added to the tamarind pulp and turmeric powder after you have all the components. Then mix with rice and season with mustard seeds, and finish!
Yoga Diet FAQs
- What do yogis eat in a day?
Yogis typically follow a plant-based, whole-food diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Fresh juices, smoothies, salads, beans/legumes (including whole grains), and various cultures are staples in most yogis’ daily diets.
- How much food do yogis eat in a day?
As for maintaining a yoga diet, you should eat at regular intervals throughout the day. Three meals a day with morning and evening snacks is an excellent place to start. Always consume food two hours prior to asana (or any other yoga practice) and two hours prior to bedtime.
- Do yogis need food?
In general, no. The number of calories your body needs depends on several factors, including weight and activity.
However, yogis who follow a vegetarian (meatless) diet can eat less because they don’t consume fatty foods like cheese or steak, making it easier to avoid excess calories. They also try to avoid processed carbohydrates like white pasta and bread.
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