What's up in our series on Conscious Eating: simplicity!
As a yogi who teaches all eight limbs of yoga, again and again I encourage folks to take your yoga practice ("yoking the powers of body mind and spirit") off the mat and into your life in deliberate and meaningful ways. Conscious Eating is a perfect avenue for the embodiment of all those intentions you have to nourish yourself, engage with the world, and appreciate the simple pleasures of all that is good about food!
The natural grace and nourishing attitude of the yogi is a therapy for everyday living. To get more insight into the message why yoga is therapy, take a look at this short video posted by IAYT, one of the teaching and research organizations I belong to. You'll get a better understanding of how the whole picture pulls together to give you the best preventive health care available.
How we relate to food is a big part of any yogi's practice. "You are what you eat" said the sage to the student. So why do any of us think that a diet that is devalued in nutrition doesn't matter? Time to help ourselves and the others in our lives to be more vibrant.
So with that, on to our conscious eating tips for the day!
My subject today is the humble side dish, and as always my style is to give you fabulous ideas to run with rather than recipes you must learn.
So why are sides humble? Do you hear mothers all over America calling their kids home for dinner with the lure of applesauce? Not really - but put enough interest and diversity out there and the shift from main meat to diverse sides is hidden a treasure. Like time honored "tapas" or any multiple appetizer main meal, you can create more interest for yourself and your family by getting creative.
Some humble choices to remember! Mix, match and highlight the simple things...
Try using a large round tray with multiple small dishes filled with several of the following:
- applesauce (yup) with cinnamon and toasted almonds
- crunchy pickles
- beans of all sorts, baked or crockpot
- hard boiled eggs (deviled are delish)
- sliced tomato, mozzarella and basil
- chick peas and scallions vinaigrette
- sliced cucumber with cracked black pepper
- rice crackers or whole grain crackers or flatbread
- fennel with EVOO + vinegar dipping sauce
- stuffed baked potato
- celery with yogurt dip
- mixed nuts
- salad greens topped with whole grains, nuts, dried or fresh fruit, or cheeses
- peanut butter or almond butter as a dip
- cherries dipped in yogurt then in toasted coconut
- skillet yam slices
- avocados with salsa
- tuna/tofu/egg/your favorite - salad
- pears with goat cheese
- cut fruit
Easy access foods that are interesting in combination can make a meal out of "nothing."
I purposely kept it simple here to celebrate the idea that cooking and eating at home doesn't have to look like "three squares a day."
Use your own creativity, and most important, use what's in the fridge!
Most everything looks better, tastes better and is better with fresh herbs. Use liberally and creatively.
The addition of toasted nuts, raisins, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries and the like can make any salad more interesting to even the most jaded anti-salad eater. Healthier too.
Fruit - cut up - will be polished off with more gusto than a bowl of apples any day. Why is that??
Serve drizzled with honey or a lemon squeeze for special goodness.
My list here is just the tip of the humble iceberg. What would you add?
Let us know!