Conscious principles to give your stomach joy and happiness with organization and breathing.
Our yoga practice should go along with a conscious way of eating. Celebrating during these holidays is a good opportunity to experience this. To decide “Not to eat anything” is not an option. After 14 years of being vegetarian, I may say that conscious eating depends on our commitment and attitude to eat healthy in special occasions. Here I share some tips to eat with awareness along the holidays. They may sound very strict, but it is worth the effort to learn from them. This is one of my favorite ways of practicing yoga. Hope you can integrate them along the rest of the year.
Organize & Visualize your Meals
You will have so many invitations in December! Note them down in your calendar. Have an idea on how to behave during these meals. Will you eat patiently, consciously, gluten-free, dairy-free? Just visualize. Do not decide! Generate the will to eat with a healthy desire and not impulsively as a resolution. Have a projection on what your stomach will feel like along the month: “Light Stomach”, “Fast digestion”, “Glowing Face”, “Happy Heart”, etc. Eat healthy and less in between your meeting days, before and after them. Observe you eating habits and decide to change them if you can’t follow these principles.
Choose Healthy Places to Eat
Make a list of organic restaurants, bio-coffee shops, or places that sell conscious food. Hand it over to your family and friends. Ask them to choose from it where to go with you. They may get used to eat there as well. Your home is another place you should decide to eat at.
A yogic lifestyle integrates fresh, regional and organic products. These are not treated with chemicals and when consumed, they give you the sensation of lightness. They purify your blood and keep you calmed and neutral. When choosing a dish, avoid products that make you feel sleepy (Tamasic foods: dairy, carbohydrates & gluten), or that accelerate your nervous system (Rajasic foods: wine, coffee, salt, sugar).
Practice Yoga & Meditate
Your daily practice gives you strength to hold on to your nutritional resolutions. Build up clarity to confront a chocolate cake. The mind makes you believe that you “want” something you don’t “need”. Learn to weaken its voice. Practice daily at least 3 minutes of the breathing exercises I offer on my webpage to have more character and commitment.
Eat Homemade Food
In between your holiday’s invitations, cook at home. Have vegetables and fruits in your kitchen. Look for veg recipes online. Prepare soups. They are easy to digest and very nutritious. Steam vegetables. Eat hot or cold salads with clean protein. Prepare gluten-free or dairy-free desserts. Use your blender or juicer to make green vegetable juices to nourish yourself and boost your immune system. Your stomach will be so happy!
Take your Healthy Food with You
Make your home the best restaurant in the area. Do not buy ready made food. Take the time to cook and take your dishes to your parties. Do not expect others to prepare something healthy for you. Sometimes their recipes have ingredients that you do not consume. At the end, people end up always asking for the recipes!
Feel your Food with your Hands
Do not take what your body is telling you NOT to take. Breathe 3 times before choosing or grabbing your options. Impose your hands and verify if the vibration of what you have chosen suits your body. Choose what you need to eat. The bio-energy of fruits, vegetables and already made dishes can tell you if they are right for you.
Ask for Modifications or Say No with a Smile
Pizza with no cheese is a super healthy option. Replace cheese with onions (immune booster), green peppers (phytonutrients) or mushrooms (protein). Read about what ingredients are best for your health. If somebody tries to force you to eat something you know you don’t need, just say “No thanks” with a smile. Do not explain anything. People won’t mind if you smile with an open heart. It is very simple!
At the Coffee Shop
Don’t be tricked by “Seasonal Hot Chocolate” and “Spiced Capuccino”. Ask for the soymilk version with no cream or try any sort of tea. Do not add sugar (agave syrup or stevia are an option). Treat yourself with a glutten-free pastry. If there are no more options ask for “A LITLLE TINY COOKIE” or nothing.
No Blames: Detox!
Do not blame yourself if you were not able to act based on your resolutions. The day after big meals you may feel heavy and uneasy. There is a way to solve this. Drink a lot of water and prepare yourself several cups of herbal tea (chamomile, peppermint, verbena, ginger with cinnamon, green tea or roiboos). Have a very humble breakfast with fruits and rice milk. Live light during that day. This is why it is important to know when will you have an invitation and where. You must be prepared at home. This way you help your stomach digest with awareness and self-love.
Enjoy your Holidays!