MadisonYBC

Community Summer Series - Question One

10 posts in this topic

Hey everyone! This is Madison, YBC's intern. Here at the office Candace and I have been thinking up some ways to start a conversation and really engage with the YBC community. So, we are kicking off a series of discussions for the next few months right here on the forum. Each month, we will post a question and after you all have had the opportunity to chat about it, we will pick some highlights and share the results on the YBC blog and our social media accounts. Candace and I talked a lot about the perfect question to start this discussion series and *inhales* well, we've decided to start off with a bang:

"If you practice yoga, should you adopt a particular diet?"

Yep, the ever controversial question about what foods a good yogi should and shouldn't eat. We've experienced first hand how controversial this topic can get, so when discussing it on this forum, remember to take an approach of tolerance and understanding. So, tell us about your experiences or share some recipes, just get involved with the convo

We can't wait to hear your thoughts!

yogafire and YogaByCandace like this

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I think the answer should be yes

Simply put, yoga is a part of human optimization. In order to reap the most amount of benefit, you need all of the right pieces.  

 

YogaByCandace likes this

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No, I don't believe in the "should" part.  But I do I think there are great options for people to pursue a specific diet that complements with their yoga practice, such as Ayurveda or practicing vegetarianism or veganism as part of ahimsa. Disclosure: I did not change my diet, but I enjoyed learning about these concepts for a more holistic view of yoga.

YogaByCandace likes this

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Hi, 

First thing: great idea to start this kind of discussions with the YBC community. 

I personally think that one should not adopt a particular diet, at least not because of feeling pressure from all the posts/comments/content portraying "true yogis" in a certain way.  However, I think that as you embark in your yoga journey, this will bring a lot of changes to your life and how you view the world.

As you become more connected, more grounded, you will start prioritising health, harmony and well being (for you and everyone/everything else around you) and this will probably lead to a diet change too. 

In the beginning, when I started yoga, I immediately thought "ok, I probably should also become a vegetarian, start drinking juices , etc". I tried doing that but the sudden change and this feeling that I am doing it just to "fit in" made me a bit uncomfortable. Now, after over one year, of yoga, I can see true changes starting to happen. I learned what is best for my body, what I really like and to accept that my diet might not be everyone else's diet; and that's ok! 

That's just my experience with it. I am in no way an expert, in either yoga or nutrition (I suppose just loving food doesn't count, right? :D ) 

YogaByCandace likes this

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I am loving reading everyone's thoughts. Like @IriDoesYoga, I also felt like I was doing it (veganism) to fit in. I was vegan/vegetarian on and off for about thirteen years and just didn't feel great overall. In hindsight, I realize I had developed a lot of gut issues, made even worse by the longterm antibiotic use for Lyme disease. In teacher training, I was happy to have a discussion in which our teachers presented the idea that ahimsa (non-harm) can go both ways - that while on one hand choosing to be vegetarian is a wonderful way to honor ahimsa in regards to animals, yet on the other hand, if your body isn't responding well to the diet, that choosing to consume meat is a wonderful way to honor ahimsa for yourself. It was something I'd never even considered, and it was helpful in making the transition back to eating meat/dairy and I finally feel so much better. 

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As I recent vegan, I feel that it aligns with the philosophy of yoga in many ways (ahimsa and all that). So for me it works, especially because it's cleaner and healthier. I just feel much better doing less harm to animals and the environment. But I don't think it's good to force it upon everyone or force it upon yourself. I don't think that's sustainable or healthy. 

So basically I think any diet can work for a yogi, as long as it is healthy. In yoga we are taught to take care of ourselves. And what we put in our bodies is no exception. :)

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I think that's an interesting question. For me, the answer is more complicated than a yes or a no; it goes back to what you set as your intention when you practice yoga. If your intention is to lose weight and become overall a healthier person, then the answer is yes, you should have a particular diet - one that focuses on having a healthy, balanced diet. If your intention is something like mine which is "I will accept and love myself for who I am, for all my flaws and all of my strengths, for that is what makes me human," then you don't necessarily need to follow a specific diet. My finicky diet isn't due to yoga but to my illnesses and I wish more people knew that. "Yes, I'm into yoga. My super organic and hormone-free diet isn't!" I should get that on a shirt.

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Chicken is a huge love of mine. I love it mixed with lemon. I'm still finding new iterations for it (I just pinned a new one to try out.) Here's an all-time favorite of mine that I tweaked to Katie perfection:

Chicken Breasts with Herbs

3 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (Note: I'm known to add more. I love oregano.)

1 tablespoon (about 3 cloves) finely chopped garlic (Note: that's for the garlic wimps. I use about 4-6. We love garlic!)

1 tablespoon finely shredded lemon peel

2 tablespoons butter

4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves (I actually use a package of chicken breast tenderloins. I CHEAT! You may have to double recipe if you get tenderloins)

1/4 cup chicken broth (if you like it extra chicken-y. I use less.)

salt,

pepper

 

1. In a small bowl, stir parsley, oregano, garlic, lemon peel. Set aside. Season chicken with salt and pepper.

2. In a 10-inch skillet (I use a sautee pan), cook chicken in butter over medium high heat for 6 minutes (less for tenderloins), turn once, until browned. Transfer to plate.

3. Remove skillet from heat and add half of herb concoction and add broth. Return to heat and bring to boil, stirring to scrape up brown bits.

4. Return chicken to skillet; reduce heat. Simmer, covered for 8 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink (tenderloins will cook much faster.) (Optional: cut the peeled lemon in half and use the juice from it and pour it over the chicken here. Extra kick of lemon.)

3. Serve hot with pan sauce and remaining herbs.

Makes 4 servings.

This is great for hot, muggy, summer days and you don't want to use the oven. I like making spaghetti (in a pan) with this and buying some nice bread. You could also do salad and rice. Lots of options. It's chicken!

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I like this discussion! I'm trying to go vegan, but I think I'm okay with being a flexi-vegan or something like that. It feels good to me to practice non-harm to animals and being critical about what I eat as part of mindfulness. I consider the yoga philosophy as a mindset in which one strives to become a more mindful person and not close your eyes to the things you don't wish to see. So knowing where your food comes from and what it's made of is part of that.

Besides, I feel more energized eating lots of fruits and vegetables and not eating a lot of meat and dairy, which contributes to my yoga asana practice, but that's different for everyone.

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