Yoga has the ability to be both a physically and mentally transformative. As a yoga teacher and nutrition student, I believe that we can only maximize the benefits of our practice if we fuel our bodies in a way that is balanced, mindful, and nourishing. Just as yoga is a life-long process, I believe that healthy eating is a lifestyle NOT a diet. I don’t believe in deprivation or restriction; I do believe in mindful choices. Choosing “real” food that is minimally processed, balancing your macronutrient intake, and preparing your food mindfully are all ways to support a healthy lifestyle. With that in mind, I’ve put together a sample of things that I would eat after my yoga practice depending on the time of day. You can find recipes for many of the items I suggest on my blog (http://www.fitfoodie.net). Please reach out with any questions or comments! Namaste! <3
Following an early AM practice
- Cliché but true – breakfast really is the most important meal of the day.
- Strive for a balance of protein, healthy fats, and carbs.
- A source of fiber will help keep your blood sugar steady throughout the morning.
- Protein smoothies and chia pudding are awesome portable options. If I have the luxury of being able to go home and cook afterwards, a tofu/egg veggie scramble with avocado is great! * Recipes on my blog
- After a midmorning practice, it’s not quite lunch time yet but it is a good idea to eat a snack so that a) you’re not hungry before lunch rolls around and b) your body replenishes your energy stores to help muscle recovery.
- On the go snacks like a fruit with some kind of nut butter or protein bars are good options. Not all bars are created equal though, so label reading is key! Many bars are packed with sugar, fillers, and ingredients you can’t pronounce (usually a bad sign). Two brands I like are Rx bars and Primal Kitchen.
- Fresh fruits and veggies are good for helping your body rehydrate. Part of the reason that people may start feeling sluggish midday is dehydration.
- I don’t believe in “wimpy” salads though – to make a salad a meal, you need a protein source (grilled chicken, tuna, hardboiled egg, etc.) and some kind of healthy fat (avocado, olive oil, nuts and seed).
- One of my favorite gluten free subs for a sandwich is to make sweet potato “toast” – topping suggestions include hummus or avocado and hardboiled egg. * Recipes on blog
- Although it is tempting to grab a coffee to get through the rest of the day, a Kombucha could be a wise alternative! It will give you a small amount of caffeine but also provides probiotics for gut health (bonus!).
Early Evening practice
- At this point you’re probably ready for dinner, but if dinner is still a while off a small snack is a good idea
- Strive for a colorful plate and definitely something green (ex. salmon, roasted squash, steamed broccoli)
- Protein is what fills you up while you’re eating, fat is what keeps you full after your meal, and carbs are important to replenish the glycogen (energy store) you just used up during your practice – balance is key!
- If I know that I’m going to have a long day and will be tired after my practice, I like to prep something in the slow cooker to make dinner quick and easy
Late Night practice
- One of my favorite evening snacks is a turmeric latte (the name is deceptive; there’s no caffeine in it) made with coconut milk, collagen powder, and anti-inflammatory spices like ginger, cinnamon, and turmeric. It promotes gut and connective tissue health and is a lovely, soothing nighttime ritual. * Recipe on blog
Recipe & Post by: Becky Schneider
Photos By: Naomi Huober