Food & Yoga

FOOD & YOGA 1+1=2

FOOD AND YOGA TO ME REALLY IS ONE. One does not work without the other. I am extremely dedicated to my yoga practice and also to cooking good food. So I take FOOD & YOGA very seriously, especially in a retreat context or in the context of bringing the two together in a sacred place. To me plant- based  cooking is LOVE and inspired by the Ayurvedic Philosophy, I believe that cooking is a spiritual experience, as a cook I am bringing a gift to the people I am cooking for. I always feel the cook’s spiritual consciousness, the awareness that the food is being cooked as an offering (Prasad) to God or Krishna. I cook with love for what i do, for who i am cooking for and love for all animals worldwide, because plant-based cooking means good food and no one got hurt. 

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For me personally it works in two ways, I  “offer” to the people I am cooking for and at the same time I am  “offering” to all animals I love and respect so dearly, conscious cooking with LOVE FOR ALL BEINGS. The Vedic Shastras explain that the thoughts and the consciousness of the cook enter into the food and subtly affect whoever eats it. Plus there is this love I have for food and for bringing food to people, to connect and bring people together through the food and most of all to really think about the body and the mind, it’s all connected. Especially in a yoga and meditation practice, meditating in silence, the food should be “silent” too, so light but solid meals & lots of fruit & healthy grains to keep the energy flowing but nothing too heavy and or complicated, like with anything else in life, we don’t want heavy, we want: love, light, peace. This is what I bring to all the retreats, yoga/meditation or other similar events I cook for & something I teach in all my FOOD & YOGA classes.

ESSENTIAL FOODS FOR A VEGAN FOOD & YOGA MENU:

When creating a menu for food & yoga practice I always try to avoid making very heavy food, cooked in lots of oil, using lots of onion, garlic, etc for a spiritual and practical reason I don’t really believe catering food with the five pungent herbs (from the Mahayana teaching in Buddhism derived from the eighth fascicle of the Laṇkāvatāra Sūtra.) not just because they are natural aphrodisiacs but mostly because they make food heavy, toxic, hard to digest and especially in a spiritual practice I think it would be good to avoid them or use as little of them as possible.

Oil:

I have been researching, learning, experimenting, cooking & educating others on this subject and it’s a big thing what kind of oil to use?  I personally stay away from vegetable oil, canola oil and use a lot more coconut oil or if I do have to use oil I only use olive oil, preferably organic, I stay away from vegan margarine, or any kind of butter replacement products for vegans. I want the good fats not the bad fats, especially in a yogi diet.

Smoothies/juices:

Green, fruit, super food, you name it any kind of smoothies of juices are a MUST for yogi’s and any spiritual practice, I practically live on smoothies and strongly believe on the nutritious value of them plus how GOOD it makes people feel, usually combined with fresh greens (kales) goji berries and chia seeds it’s just such a health kick, this is something I always offer as part of my catering in any yoga/meditation program.

LICENSE TO KALE:

Kale in smoothies, kale in juices, kale for breakfast, kale for lunch, kale for dinner, kale for snacks (dehydrated kale chips, OMG) So I think you get the idea, I love KALE and it has so much goodness to offer, if I was ever to marry again my dress would be made out of kale and the bouquet would be broccoli instead of flowers, I know I would totally rock that look 😉

Kale, also known as borecole, is one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet.One cup of chopped kale contains 33 calories and 9% of the daily value of calcium, 206% of vitamin A, 134% of vitamin C, and a whopping 684% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.

Breakfast/fruit:

LIGHT is the way and fresh, lots of fruit and fresh granola (cooked in coconut oil or very light neutral oil) A variety of fruit and fruit salads is always a must and what I love about fruit especially in Australia that it’s very seasonal based, so you can get creative with all kinds of deliciousness depending on what season you’re in.

Salads & dressing:

I am a salad kind of girl, you can put ANYTHING in a salad, fruit, nuts, legumes, and you can make salad out of ANYTHING, silverbeet, kale, spinach, carrot, zucchini, lettuce, I love natural dressings, a lot of the dressings these days are always soyonaisse based, or tahini, I like making dressings that are chia seeds based for example a lot more nutritious and a lot more beneficial. My menu always contains daily salads.

When you think of FOOD & YOGA you want to think of food that helps both the body and the mind, food that stimulates both the body and the mind in a way that is elevating, uplifting, ecstatic. Especially at retreats and longer teacher trainings or similar yoga intensive programs the food is an essential part of the program, crucial really, to honor and bless the food, to honor and bless where the food came from and to honor and to bless the Holy Being who has prepared the food is a very essential and important yoga practice.

brahmārpaṇaḿ brahma havir

brahmāgnau brahmaṇā hutam

brahmaiva tena gantavyaḿbrahmakarmasamādhinā

Perceive Brahman everywhere and in all things. Brahman is the ladle, Brahman is the food, Brahman is the fire, Brahman has prepared the food and Brahman will be the eater of the food. Finally, Brahman is the goal to be reached.

Brahman: from the Sanskrit root bri, which means to expand; the eternal, changeless reality, that which transcends all forms

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Not everyone can stand on their heads everyday, but everybody eats. You can practice and vote for a more peaceful, prosperous and happy world three times a day when you sit down to eat. Sharon Gannon, Co Founder Jivamukti Yoga

PLEASE CHECK SHARON’S VIDEO HERE WHY A YOGI SHOULD BE VEGAN.