I know it sounds like a new diet trend but let me assure you it’s nothing like that. The next blog post is about what I ate while I was in India doing a yoga teacher course and how this experience changed my eating habits.
Although, Hindus usually follow a vegetarian diet as the Indian economic gets stronger meat is becoming more and more accessible. Despite meat’s rising popularity you won’t find any restaurants in Rishikesh that sell steaks. In the yoga capital vegetarian dishes are still the only option. And while vegetarians are safe from unpleasant surprises (like meat wrapped in tofu) if you are a vegan you have to watch out for dairy. There’s a reason why cows are considered holy in India and that’s their milk. I always wondered why cows played such an important role in Indian culture but then a wise man explained the connection between milk, motherhood and the ability to create life and now it makes complete sense.
Despite the fact that I was following a traditional, ayurvedic diet and didn’t consume any meat or eggs I was able to exercise at least 3 hours a day and sit with a straight back for hours. For breakfast, we had fruits with porridge/oatmeal, toast or chickpea “omelette” with different sauces. Lunch was something light. Usually soup and curry with rice and of course a huge portion of fresh vegetables. For dinner, we got soup, fresh vegetables and curry with rice and some kind of bread, which was more filling and a better option before bed. All dishes were designed by an ayurveda expert and we had to chant a mantra before every meal to clean the food from negative energies.
As my metabolism is at least twice as fast as an average person’s I had to supplement my diet with food from outside the school but almost everyone else was OK with what we got.
I know that practicing yoga, pranayama and meditation played a huge part in me getting healthier but I’m sure that my diet also helped a lot. I wasn’t ill or anything but I had some minor health issues that all went away while I was in India so I decided to keep some of the habits I picked up in the school. Since I left, I try to eat even more fresh, raw vegetables and I always start my morning with a big bowl of fruits. I never have any problems with my digestion and I haven’t had any respiratory illnesses. Another thing that I don’t even want to believe is how my cellulite disappeared. I’m quite skinny but because I lose weight easily it caused some problems.
I know that not everyone wants to be vegetarian and we can’t live like we were in an ashram but a small change can make a huge difference. I wasn’t able to eat as healthily as I did in India, nor did I have the time to exercise for 3 hours a day but by rising my fruit and vegetable portions I noticed a significant difference. If I had to give one piece of advice it would be to add more greens to every meal. It’s not that difficult.
And to inspire you a bit more here are some pictures of the food from India: