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Food for the Body That's Good for the Soul
A real yogi eats to live, rather than living to eat. This doesn't mean your food has to be tasteless, though. In fact, cooking has always been one of my favorite hobbies. Over the years, my family and friends have patiently tested my kitchen creations (which, I must admit, sometimes flopped). But after trying out hundreds of dishes, I now have quite a few tried and true recipes to share with you that are healthful, tasty, and easy to prepare. I'll post a new favorite here each week, so check back often for delicious new additions to your diet.
So what do yogis eat? A vegetarian yoga diet, of course, consisting of fresh fruits and vegetables, beans and grains, nuts and seeds, and a moderate amount of dairy products. You can prepare countless dishes using various combinations of these nutritious foods. Fry up some spices and turn a plain vegetable dish into a savory Indian curry. Add herbs for a Mediterranean flavor or ginger and coconut milk for a delightful Thai entree. With scrumptious and satisfying dishes, even the die-hard meat-eaters in your family won't miss the meat. And if they think "vegetarian" means bland and boring, they're in for a pleasant surprise.
A Spiritual Diet
You don't have to be a vegetarian to do yoga, but as you become more aware of your body, you'll find that eating meat makes you feel heavy. A vegetarian diet, on the other hand, helps you maintain the light and energized feeling you get from practicing yoga. Just go easy on the fried spring rolls and cheese dishes—they can put on the pounds.
The yoga diet is especially important if we want to elevate our consciousness to the stage where we're feeling love and compassion for all living beings—including animals. Eating them, rather than respecting and caring about them, simply hardens our hearts, moving this goal beyond our reach.
Making the Switch
Switching to a vegetarian diet isn't hard as long as you have tasty alternatives. And you don't have to do it overnight. First cut down on red meat, then gradually eliminate it from your diet. As you find other vegetarian foods you enjoy, you can gradually give up poultry, fish, and eggs. You'll join the ranks of thousands of new vegetarians, many of whom have changed their diets for health reasons now that flesh foods have been linked to cardiovascular disease, colon cancer, and so on. Even cutting back on meat a little will benefit you—and I'm hoping my recipes make this transition easy and enjoyable.
Don't worry about getting enough protein. Vegetarians get lots of protein in legumes, grains, and the like. Even the U.S. Department of Agriculture places meat second to last in importance, behind grains, fruits, and vegetables. There's now a vegetarian food pyramid and a wealth of scientific evidence proving the health benefits of the yoga diet. I have my own living proof: My three healthy and athletic kids—vegetarians since conception!
So try out this week's recipe or browse the site for something that catches your fancy. And be sure to visit us again for more tasty and healthful "eat to live" recipes. Bon appetit!