Nutrition plays an important role when it comes to nurturing and sustaining a yogic lifestyle, it simply cannot be excluded from your approach to your practice.
Take a read of the blog post A Quick Note About These Vegetarian Recipes for more information on my simple food philosophy, and also take a look at my workshop Yoga Nutrition: Tools For Adapting Holistically if you’re curious or interested in delving deeper.
Food For Travel
Over the years, I’ve lived in six quite different countries and have learnt a lot about the local ingredients in these parts of the world. Sometimes I wish I could pull all of my healthy favourites into the one place I am currently living. You can’t quite do that so easily if you want to eat fresh, local produce but what you can do is adapt your favourite healthy dishes by using the local food sources (for example, the plant-based proteins) available to you. So I’ve learnt to love creating new recipes with the local and unique produce available to me.
This time, (mostly) East-Asian local produce deserves some attention, since some the most medicinal and health-giving roots, herbs, vegetables and spices come from this part of the world. These East-Asian ingredients are also traditionally cooked using cooking processes that maximise the ingredients natural properties, like steaming and stir-frying. Learn more by exploring Integral Yoga World’s Vegetarian Recipes.
The Best Of ‘The West’ & The Best Of ‘The East’
These recipes especially focus on fusing the best ingredients from the West (like extra-virgin olive oil and avocados) with those from the far East (like fresh ginger and ginseng). They are intended to offer some tasty suggestions and inspirations on what to do with a foreign palate whilst living abroad (especially in the far East), but also appreciate and incorporate the little healthy and delicious gems that are available in abundance in the East.
No ‘One Size Fits All’ Advice
I’ve briefly mentioned already in my blog post A Quick Note About These Vegetarian Recipes the problem with Nutritional teachings. Everyone’s biochemistry is very different, so I am always reluctant to share what suits my body when it comes to food. I have spent years dabbling, reading up on Ayurveda (Sattvic diets in particular) and especially Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) healing foods (including the Five Elements Diet). I’ve taken a few nutrition courses, whatever that even means, but there really is no one rule for everyone and Yoga Nutrition cannot simply be approached as a science. In general, eating fresh seasonal produce, eating intuitively according to the signals your body gives you and taking pleasure in the feelings that fresh, plant-based foods gives you is the best place to start. Everything else is highly personal, the subject is you, so experiment and reflect when dabbling with a yogic (and vegetarian or vegan) diet.
Opt for Mindfulness in the Kitchen
Another way to embed Yoga Nutrition in Practice into your daily life is to cook with consciousness. Applying all of the technical skills to the art of healthy eating works, but what about being mindful when we prepare food? Source ingredients as ethically as possible, but extend this wisdom and practice to the cooking process. Cook alone, in silence, in a mediative state, whilst appreciating the ingredients and the moment. There are plenty of books available on mindful eating and mindful cooking, I particularly enjoy Dr.Andrew Weil and Dr.Caroline Ross’ teachings, as well as Dr.Dharma Singh Kalsa’s Food As Medicine. But we can even move beyond this to turn recipe creations into a meditative activity. My mantra is always why limit yourself? There is every opportunity every minute of the day to live like a yogi(ni), extend it to your daily non-mental activities too.
Please Note: All recipes are tagged (refer to the footer on this site) to make finding say, ‘gluten-free’ recipes a little quicker. And please keep an eye out the recipes will keep coming as long as I enjoy creating eating delicious vegetarian dishes!
Remember: Everyone’s biochemistry is different, so there simply aren’t any ‘one size fits all’ recipes or blanket advice to suit everyone’s nutritional needs. These recipes are merely here for you to be inspired and to provide you with a little information on the ingredients. They’re also memories for me of the places I’ve lived in and travelled to over the years.
I urge you to change, tweak, trial and test to suit your tastes, nutritional needs, appetite and resources available to you.
One last thing, please drop me a line, if you’re:
- living abroad and struggling to work with the local produce; and/or
- struggling to adapt your nutrition to your new yoga practice; and/or
- in need of more vegan- or vegetarian-inspired dishes.
I’ll be happy to design some vegan or vegetarian recipes for you based on the ingredients you wish you work with. It would be my pleasure, contact me anytime.
I will send you the recipe creation you’ve requested via email and also host it on this website so you forever have an online version to view.