What are you eating Dear Yogi(ni)?

Three or more times a day, our bodies present to us the opportunity to become healthier, happier and a step closer to realizing the true potential of a yogic being, in this limited, rented time on earth. Yet, the fuss around food today revolves around a narrow path of calories, proteins, carbs, fats, diets- words, that we, as a nation were alien to once upon a peaceful time. Worse still, it’s just another chore. With the advent of technology and an ever-online population, we gained newer knowledge of the wide variety of flora and fauna that could be on our plates, closing the door on the age-old food wisdom, we had passed on for generations without so much of a murmur.

And today, when the western world is instagramming Tuh-muh-ric lattes, 101 uses for Coconut oil, Millet cupcakes, moringa body butters in impeccable backgrounds and filters, our own daadi’s, bammas and ammamas, grin bright from above, with their all-knowing toothless smiles, at the fate of us, progidal children! Ghar aa ja paradesi, with pride, now that we have the nods through hashtags and viral videos, before it’s lost forever?

Get stronger and healthier the easy way! For all of you who have already begun your all-round fitness through Yoga, reviving food habits and culture that was native to our land, is but a natural choice.

We all know food is an essential change area to make in our journey to fitness, yet we are a flustered lot because we don’t know what (all) to change or even where to begin. Fret not, a good place to start would be some basic steps to build into your yogic lifestyle. 5 to be precise!

1. Eat local.
2. Eat seasonal.
3. Eat on time.
4. Eat unprocessed.
5. Eat only when hungry.

Simple, right? Not quite, I guess because – Ok Google (Alexa, whatever..) tell me what’s local, is NOT going to work since Google’s answers have not been through the lie detector! Let’s do something more effective. For each point above, you can try to incorporate 1 habit that you can adopt and sustain. 1. Eat local: This means you will buy at least 1 item from your local sabziwala on foot, on cycles, push carts, or sitting on roads with baskets of just 1 or few varieties of fruit or vegetables. Weekly santhas (markets) on roads, raithu bazaars close to you, are also good options.

2. Eat seasonal: If you really manage to find a local grocery vendor, in all probability the produce is
seasonal too (because they do not have the means to get avocadoes for you!). Read up on
what’s seasonal or dial up an organic food vendor to find out seasonal veggies and fruits and
add them to your meals, one at a time.

3. Eat on time: As we all have diverse jobs and shifts, this is a very critical factor to health that is
ignored by all and sundry. On time simply means, eating ‘On time’ and ‘In pace’ with our
biological clock and nature.

a. Breakfast- Ideal time: 7:00 am to 9 am. Maximum before 9:30 am
b. Lunch- Ideal time: 12 noon to 1:30 pm. Maximum before 2:00 pm
c. Evening- Ideal time: 4 pm to 5 pm. Maximum before 6:00 pm
d. Dinner- Ideal time: 7 pm to 8:30 pm. Maximum before 9:00 pm

Note: If your work, does not permit the above, then there are a few tips to ensure you still stay in rhythm with your biological clock! Stay tuned to know more.

4. Eat unprocessed: This is a highly challenging one and can work with just a bit planning. Most unprocessed items we eat, fall into the category of snacks or beverages. The trick lies in replacing your biscuit, chips, maida based samosa with fresh fruits, peanut/till chikki, teplas, puffed rice snacks, home-made moong, ragi ladoos, barley, sabudaana kheer etc.

5. Eat ONLY when hungry: Silly? It’s a fact that many of us today, simply do not know whether we are hungry or thirsty and solve it by EATING anyway! If you don’t believe me on this one, try this. Drink water instead of eating, the next time you feel you are hungry. If you don’t feel hungry again in a few minutes, then you are wiser, knowing how the mind has tricked you. Done with complete sincerity, with just these 5 changes, you are bound to notice benefits you long craved for- increased energy levels, better temperament, lesser acidity and digestive issues amongst
many others. As with any journey, you only know the thorns in the path, once you take it! So go on take it, celebrate your little milestones, jot down your challenges, until we connect back to doing a fun 2 part exercise that will help you nail this lifestyle !

– Reena George, Certified Yoga Trainer from Bodhi Yoga Academy, Hyderabad