6/3/2021 0 Comments
By Stacie Dooreck, Author of Yoga for Everyone! books
It’s summer solstice time! After lock downs, more hours sitting at the computer at home, many not using gyms and eating more junk food for many led to weight gain, less energy and motivation and poor eating habits. There is no better time than now to start to cleanse the body with healthier plant-based eating.
“All tremble at violence; all fear death.
Putting oneself in the place of another,
one should not kill nor cause another to kill.” Dhammapada, verse 129
Shifting to, or maintaining, a vegetarian or vegan diet to create a healthier body and a more peaceful mind can be a very simple process. Just as you brush your teeth and shower to keep your outside body clean, you can also eat foods that keep your insides clean and well nourished. In the process, you can save harming the animals and the earth, for ethical and sustainability benefits. Even if you don’t become a vegan, you can try some additional healthy plant- tased meals as side dishes or for certain days of the week. The healthier you eat, over time, can shift cravings to healthier food as you feel more energy and vitality from fresh greens and vegetables.
As a lifelong vegetarian, raised by parents who shifted to a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet (no meat, fish or chicken) before I was born, I didn’t have to give this diet much thought. When others ask, “What do you eat?” My answer is simply, “Everything but the meat.” It is simply not in my consciousness that animals are food. For those of you who do see meat as food, if you increase your daily intake of vegetables, nuts, grains and fruits, you may decrease your desire to consume meat, as you feel better overall. I also shifted to vegan eating 7 years ago, which excludes dairy products and eggs as well. I not only do not miss it but feel better overall in mind and body from eating a diet that is optimal nutrition for my body.
Research shows that eliminating dairy and meat and all animals foods from your diet can improve health and prevent heart disease and other dis-eases. As a yoga teacher/Stress Management Specialist for the Ornish Heart Disease Reversal programs the last few years, I saw first hand how people’s health improved from a vegan or vegetarian diet (with exercise and yoga as well).
A plant-based vegan diet is typically one in which vegetables, fruits, nuts and whole grains are eaten in balance to create optimal health and vitality. With proper balance of the protein and nutrients your body needs, you can shift to or maintain a vegan or vegetarian diet with ease. Keep it simple, not eating too much or too little protein and balancing meals with vegetables and grains while making it appealing to your taste buds. Let your dietary habits support “an easeful body, peaceful mind and useful life,” as Swami Sachidananda taught as the goal of all yoga. Start by adding more vegetables to your meals, or as a side dish. There is also Meatless Mondays where you can choose one day of the week to try wholesome and nutritious vegan meals.
Enjoy these recipes:
Edamame and Pomegranate Seed Salad
Edamame, sliced almonds, pomegranate seeds, cucumbers, carrots, sprouted mung beans (soak and rinse daily until the mung beans sprout), black pepper, fresh organic lemon juice and olive oil
Benefits: Simple to make yet tasty and nutritious.
Also, mung beans are great protein, good for those transitioning to a vegetarian/vegan diet
Power Protein Sprouted Lentil Salad
Soak lentils over night (you can also sprout them for an extra day)
parsley flakes (or add fresh organic greens)
Add some oil and fresh squeezed lemon.
Simple and nutritious!
Bio: About Stacie Dooreck:
Stacie Dooreck is the author SunLight Chair Yoga: yoga for everyone !and Yoga for Everyone! books and ebook. Stacie is a Stress Management Specialist for the Ornish Heart Disease Reversal Program in N. CA and wellness instructor of companies. Stacie is a based in Marin/Bay Area CA and is a certified Sivanadna Yoga instructor since 1995, a Kundalini Yoga and Gentle Integral Yoga Certified instructor.