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Namaskar radiant beings!
I have a few questions about the yogic diet, and certain foods that my body just can't seem to function without. I have been practicing yoga on and off since adolescence and have in the past few years gotten much more into my practice and have been wanting to adopt the Sattvic diet. However my body seems to have issues when it comes to protein and caffeine.
1. I have been trying to go full vegetarian (ovo-lacto) for three years now, however I find that when I don't eat at least some animal protein my body feels sick and weak. When I first began "vegetarianism" I allowed myself to eat seafood about 2-3 times a week, I realize that fish are of course animals too and took them out of my diet. However during the times that my diet has been completely meat free (which have lasted anywhere from 3 weeks to 6 months) I find that I feel weak/get sick more easily.
I try to get protein from other sources, I have a fruit protein - yogurt - fruit - flax shake every morning, and then lunch and dinner generally consist of rice and vegetables, a pasta, or a tofu/bean dish. I try to eat nuts but I have a slight allergy to many tree nuts so don't consume them often.
As much as I'd like to cut out meat completely, it seems that my body just needs some meat in the diet. Has anyone else had a similar issue with protein deficiency in the yogic diet? What foods do you suggest as a solid substitute for meat? I feel like I have tried everything!
2. I love caffeine, I work with kids at my day job and need to be very active during my work hours. But I know that caffeine is a) not good for the body in general, b) not good for mindfulness. There must be a way for me to find this vibrant energy source naturally within my body through yoga, meditation, chakra opening - but I haven't found it yet.
Yoga makes me feel great, it helps me relax and find peace and happiness - but it does not give me energy. Does anyone have suggestions of specific asanas or sequences or meditations that energize you? Maybe an energizing morning sequence? I don't expect to be wired from yoga but I always hear people commenting that yoga has increased their energy level so much, and for me I find it relaxing.
Thanks in advance for all your advice!
About energy in the morning: Sun Salutations seem to be a logical choice. About eating meat: people tend to eat what their parents fed them. Beans have protein, but if you want to eat meat, it's up to you.
Is the Yogic Diet Balanced?
Yoga and meditation are great for the body and mind, and they should be complemented by an appropriate and balanced diet. The yogic diet is not only beneficial for achieving and maintaining an individual ideal weight, but it also promotes healthy organ functioning and increased mental processes. The focus of a yogic diet is balance, allowing for the occasional slip of the diet for a treat, however, many followers of the yogic diet find that they lose any interest they had in eating unhealthy foods after following this diet.
When considering whether or not a diet is balanced, there are a number of things that must be thought of. The levels of all nutrients--fats, carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, and minerals--must be balanced for the health of the individual. Followers of a yogic diet tend to be more aware of what they are consuming than followers of the average omnivore diet, and often they have a greater subconscious desire to eat healthy foods than the average person does due to the high number of processed and fried products consumed in the average diet.
While many people may believe that it is impossible to eat a balanced yogic diet, primarily because of protein concerns, this is untrue. Many vegetables and legumes can provide as much, if not more, protein than many meat products can. Many yogic diets include no meat products, and those that do include them only use lean products, primarily fish. Legumes, seeds, and nuts are also used as additional sources of protein. Keeping the diet low in fats and fatty meat products promotes healthy heart and blood vessel functioning.
Another concern with regard to yogic diets are vitamins and minerals. Calcium, phosphorous, and some essential amino acids are nutrients regularly obtained from meat products. Balancing this portion of the diet with more raw vegetables and fruits can be simple. The cooking process of vegetables often degrades the nutrients provided, making raw vegetables ideal. Fiber is also necessary in the daily diet, and it is provided by fruits and raw vegetables as well.
The primary concepts involved with a yogic diet involve eating healthy foods, avoiding processed foods, and eating a balanced diet. This promotes physical and mental functioning, and provides the energy that food is meant to do in a healthy manner. A level of balance in the diet will lead to a more balanced body and mind, and certain foods can provide health benefits in a variety of ways.
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