Monday, July 19, 2010

Experimenting with food

The Hatha Yoga Pradipika (chapter 1 verse 64) says the following:

"Wheat, rice, barley, shastik (a kind of rice), good corns, milk, ghee, sugar, butter, sugarcandy, honey, dried ginger, Parwal (a vegetable), the five vegetables, moong, pure water, these are very beneficial to those who practice Yoga."

I'm not sure how well this verse applies to my life, but it is certainly true that my interest in food has increased along with my yoga practice. What is good food to eat? How will eating certain foods make me feel? Which foods support the intensity of the ashtanga yoga practice (as well as other physically and mentally demanding activities)?

A lot of times I turn to my yoga teachers with these questions, but something John Campbell said last weekend made me think differently. He said something like,

"People over-relied on Guruji for questions on how to live their lives (What should I wear? How fat or skinny should I be?) Don't ask your guru questions that you should figure out yourself."

Just as experimentation is important for the physical asana practice, we should be experimenting with food. How else do we figure out what we like? What works for one person may not work for someone else.

For me, my general food criteria include the following:
  • Simple and easy to prepare (does not require fancy kitchen equipment or ingredients I don't typically have)
  • Efficient use of time (can make large amounts to be eaten over several days)
  • Made from local and fresh foods (for the most part)
  • Energizing (does not cause post-consumption mind-fog)
  • Nutritious
  • Tasty
  • Portable (can easily pack in bag and bring to work) 
Most importantly, I like leaving lots of room for experimentation... which is how I discovered this:

***Kale Banana Smoothie***
Blend handful of kale, a banana, yogurt, water, ice (and whatever else you think might be good!)
Perfect post-practice. 
Make lots, keep in the fridge, and look out for kale stuck in teeth.


  1. I love this post!
    Do you eat fish? I can't remember. I heard about this book on NPR yesterday. Interesting!

  2. Hi Lizzie!

    After watching "End of the Line" ( I can't let myself eat fish anymore. There are barely any fish left in our oceans!!!!! It's really shocking.