On: The Yoga and Food Thing, Part 1
Logged in 2014
i´ve had many questions from people over the food thing, especially in relation to yoga. the assumption that vegan, vegetarian, juice cleanses, avoiding particular food groups and so on goes with the territory.
my truth is all i know.
i used to be vegetarian. then living in Norway during the epic winters changed that. the cold made me super sick. that and the challenge back in those days to find affordable vegetarian options. (it´s getting much better now though, if still super expensive!) over the years i adjusted what i ate and experimented with what worked, and also spoke with nutritionists and doctors about supplements, vitamins and minerals and how they work differently depending on how they are used.
now i avoid limiting myself to the label of vegetarian and will eat meat when i feel i want it, although i find being back in Brighton i have a mostly vegetarian lifestyle. i do my best to buy organic produce where possible, but also recognise that this means different things in different countries.
i look at where the products are coming from and where possible, try to buy seasonally and locally. but i also have an insatiable addiction to avocados so then, that goes right out the window.
i eat chocolate, raw and non raw and i take sugar and coffee together, as much as every day i say to myself that i want to wean myself off of both.
i drink almond milk but would never turn down custard made from cows milk on a pudding.
i also eat cheese and champion Pecorino on chips (thanks Becky for that one).
i eat kale, sprouts and rye bread as well as pizza, sweet potatoes and hot cross buns.
I drink juice (green and purple - beetroot is my friend) because i like the taste, not because i see them as meals in their own right.
Oh and i have the odd glass of red wine or port if i feel like it.
i eat when i´m hungry, which means some days i eat three dinners, others just one (although seconds are a celebrated feature in our household).
i love food, and yes, i am at times an insufferable food snob. i think a lot about it (like, a lot) and get really excited by new recipes and discussions about it. in fact, one of my favourite pastimes is indulging in food blogs or youtube clips of Gordon Ramsay (ok, perhaps Gordon is for other arousing reasons), and daydreaming of places i can go to taste food made by people who are really into it. but it took many years, plagued with an equally insufferable but also tiresome and dangerous eating disorder to get to this point. i´ve also moved through periods where my relationship with alcohol wasn´t so helpful, so i understand that food and drink can be a contentious and complicated topic in our world.
i´ve had raised eyebrows when eating a steak (and chips) once on a retreat. god it was good. it went as far as someone taking a picture to show their friends that their "yoga teacher is eating meat!". the scandal indeed. as far as something being "yogic" or not, well, i have a lot to say about that, but will try to be concise:
it´s your yoga. hell, back in the day only men were allowed to practice, and it usually meant an individual would have to renounce their live as they knew it, be ostracised and avoided as bogeymen characters to instead go to live with their teacher up in an isolated cave, sleep on an animal skin and probably eating what was around. i´m not saying that´s the pure and right way, but merely offering this scenario to illustrate an eyeroll in the face of something being labeled "non yogic".
i don´t preach about what i choose to do, because i´m just trying to do what feels right for me. i would never judge or tell anyone what to eat but i do encourage us all to learn and care about and to appreciate what we put in our mouths. darn, i celebrate food during most moments of the day! i will also say that it´s miserable to feel guilty about what we might eat, so don´t get hung up on eating something "naughty" or "bad", banish these words and instead do what makes you feel good! the most important thing i feel is to do what´s right for you and your body. and do your research (excruciatingly demonstrated by these volunteers)! just because someone declares something is "right" or "healthy" or "the only way" doesn´t mean that it is (remember in the 80s where low fat and fat free were all the rage? only years later did i bother to research and the consequence involved a chemical shit storm - pardon my language).
make your own path (on and off the mat and for every topic in between!)
you can Go Your Own Way!