This article was originally written and featured by yours truly in Feb 06 edition of Yoga Magazine (international edition)
Good simple advice to start your day
Yoga Gourmet blends the time-tested advice of numerous yoga gurus with a new source of tasty, nutritional recipes designed to enhance your yoga practice. According to Alternative Medicine News, yoga is define as “a philosophical as well as physical way of life emphasizing the harmony of body and mind”. When preparing meals, I take into consideration this important mind-body connection and how the integrity of what I am making will affect that harmony. Breakfast, one of the most important meals of the day, is vastly under appreciated and its necessity is [socially] minimized.
The word breakfast is a compound word with purpose: break fast. You’re waking up from a nighttime fast (That is, unless you were bingeing on crisps at midnight). Sleeping usually consists of fasting — refraining from eating for 3-8 hours. To awaken the body, it needs to fueled with supreme, unleaded food to get its engines going again. By skipping this refueling, you force the use of low reserves. By 11am, you’re looking at your stomach as if it committed a felony.
The Breakfast Routine of Yoga Champions: “Rise and Shine”
The phrase is not only an ironic idiom adopted from British soldiers who were expected to get up and shine their boots every morning, but also a great form of encourage for you too as a morning mart with a salutation to the rising sun. By creating a morning ritual of Detox, Breathe, Cleanse, Feed – detoxification, healthy breathing, body cleanings, an ingestion of whole foods for energy – you revitalize and active your inner organs. As the temple of your body becomes clearer, more limber and better energized through healthy eating, the positive impacts on your body will prove beneficial to your yoga practice.
Step One: “Detox”
Start your day by drinking a 2-3 glasses of room-temperature filtered water, one glass with the juice of half a lemon. This simple tonic cleanses your digestive system of toxins, flushes your kidneys, stimulates elimination and is a great source of vitamin C.
Step Two: “Breathe”
If weather and space permit, take time to go outside in the early morning hours (between 4 and 6 am) before the rest of the world disrupts your opportunity for serenity with noise and compounded pollution. Take a moment to close your eyes and appreciate the simplicity of nature. Breathe in the air, allowing fresh oxygen to enter your blood stream. Allow a few moment to meditate or do a few sun salutations. OK, granted, you may be thinking, “I’ll be in bed while you’re up at that hour”. It doesn’t matter what time or when you do it, just as long as you take a few minutes to yourself to just be and breathe.
Step Three: “Cleanse”
The skin is the biggest organ of the body, so it is imperative that is cared for suitably. The quality of your internal body is reflected from the inside out. A lot of toxins our bodies release are often expelled through the skin, particularly when we utilize the first step. So it is important to make sure we clean thoroughly to enhance the process of detox and elimination.
[in future blogs, I will have some reviews and recommendation on products that are healthy for your skin]
Step Four: “Feed Your Body”
Now for the fun part, FOOD! Many people have a bad habit of skipping breakfast because of their hectic schedule. I too have been guilty of this. Excuses sc. as “I’ll make it until lunch”, “It’s too difficult”, or “i’m cutting out breakfast to save calories” just don’t make the cut anymore. A nutritious breakfast will provide you with enough energy to last for hours, or at least until lunch. When you eat a starch-filled breakfast, your body focuses more on processing your intake and instantly zaps the quality energy that could have propelled you through the rest of the day. Skipping breakfast does lower your metabolism as well.
These are all reasons why eating a breakfast that is energizing will make it much easier to bend into a downward dog posture without any hardships or unexpected accidents; and what better way to get that energy than by eating fruit? Providing necessary nutrients from fibre, vitamins, and minerals, a healthy breakfast is essential for a well-balanced diet.
Let’s all chant….”Whoooollleeee foooooodss.”
Green Powerhouse Smoothie
1 ripe banana
1 1/2 cups apple juice or non-dairy milk
2 TB hemp seeds or protein
1/2 cup organic berries of your choice
1 TB spirulina
1 TB liquid chlorophyll
10 drops of liquid Siberian ginseng (optional; if you have high blood pressure, consult your physician before taking the herb)
Put all ingredients in a blender. Blend until puree 1-2 minutes.