Sunday, August 1, 2010

Eat Like a Yogi

I thoroughly enjoyed this piece from Yoga Journal on yogi eating habits .

My relationship with food is complicated to say the least. As an adolescent I suffered from anorexia. I recovered from it on my own, but my relationship to food still is not an easy one. I definitely go to food as an emotional crutch.

That's why I so appreciated the author's advice that food is perhaps the most important part of your practice. When you neglect what you're putting into your body, you won't be able to get much out of your practice. I work on mindful eating every day. Some days are better than others.

But one thing that is most helpful to me is how I shop. If it isn't in the house, I'm not likely to eat it. So I set myself up for success through these "rules":

1) If I couldn't fathom killing it myself, I don't buy it. I could easily catch, gut, and clean a fish. I could not slaughter a cow or chicken.

2) Buy local as much as possible. This is easy for me living in Kentucky where there is a long growing season and a great diversity of foods. I'm not dogmatic. I do get the occasional avocado. But when i do, I do it conscientiously, knowing that it was picked far away and took considerable resources to get to me.

3) Buy organic and in season. I love strawberries. They are my favorite fruit. But please don't give them to me in January. It's just not right.

4) If I consume meat, I only do it if I feel that it was prepared with love. I won't buy a burger at a fast food joint. But if my Turkish friend invites me over for Kebabs, he's trying to share his culture with me and I will accept.

5) Share. Eat communally. Sit together at a table with some friends. Our society is too interested in the pomp and circumstance of gatherings which crushes the spirit of them. If you are hungry, you can eat at my house. You don't need to bring anything. I don't care. And one day I'll show up at your house and eat too. We'll enjoy our food and a laugh.

The better I eat the lighter my practice and my conscience. I think it was Michael Pollan who suggested that every time we go to the grocery store we are voting with our dollar. I'd like to add that every time I go to the grocery store, I'm also practicing my yoga.

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