When we say Yogic diet, our minds automatically correlate this to a plant based diet. But not all Yogis are vegans and yogic diet certainly doesn’t have to be bland and boring. There are many healthy food options out there that will compliment your yoga practice. So here are my top picks from my favourite food hacks for yogis:
1. Learn to make Hummus
Chickpeas are a great source of iron, folate, phosphorus, and vitamin B. Hummus is also high in protein to help strengthen your muscles. The high fiber content ensures you have a healthy internal system to supplement your healthy exterior. It’s an added plus that it is so easy to make and store!
2. Replace fried pakoras or aloo tikkas with roasted Cauliflower tikkas
Not your usual fried tikkas, these are a great healthy alternative for those rainy days with chai! Mash some boiled cauliflower with onions, spices, herbs like parsley or coriander and little bit of wet bread for binding; roll them into little balls and they are ready to be roasted with some Olive oil! Not only is this a healthier option, but they taste just like aloo tikkas and don’t make you think about how many Surya Namaskars you’ll have to do tomorrow to make up for this indulgence!
3. Replace butter, cheese and other bread spreads with a healthy garlic-curd dip.
This is so easy and tasty! Simply mix curd with crushed garlic, pepper and salt and you are ready to use this as a spread with your morning toast. I would recommend making a cucumber sandwich and a nice cup of lemon tea. Works every single time!
4. Replace packaged, processed food
This was by far the hardest change for me. Gradually start decreasing your intake of packaged food like chips, ready-to-make curries and maggi (yes that’s right!). You can replace chips with some roasted crispy potato, cauliflower or okra. Remember, there’s nothing healthier than what you make at home.
5. Replace white, processed sugar with honey or jaggery
This is not just for yogis but a life hack for EVERYONE! Throw out all that white sugar and start using honey or jaggery. Your 45+ year old self will thank you.
All these changes may seem big now but take it in small doses. Yoga is all about moderation and listening to your body. So pay attention to your body (and sometimes your impulses, it’s ok to indulge every once in a while!) and do what’s best for you. It is equally important to be mindful about eating on time and having a consistent eating schedule. Letting go isn’t easy, so start small. Slowly but steadily you will be able to inculcate a healthy diet without compromising on that appetite! Make sure you try out these food hacks for yogis to be well on your way to living healthy!
Priyanjali is a psychologist and yoga teacher. She specializes in Hatha and Vinyasa flow yoga for healthy lifestyle, athletic enhancement and psycho-somatic ailments.
Get in touch with her on [email protected]