the llama blog
practicing yoga off the mat.
With as many different yoga classes, there are just as many diets. Maybe you’ve heard of these: Mediterranean, Paleo, Ornish, Weight Watchers, Atkins, Dukan, and DASH to name a few. Or perhaps you’ve decided to go vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian.
I’ve never been committed to a “diet,” but I’ve picked up useful tips from some of them. I’d like to introduce you to my diet. It doesn’t have a fancy name or clear-cut rules. It doesn’t come with a fancy t-shirt or millions of followers. It evolves as I evolve.
Most meals do not include enough fruits and vegetables. When I look at my plate, I aim to fill 2/3 of the plate with fruits and vegetables. In almost every recipe, you can add a vegetable even if it is just carrots. The more veggies you add to the mix, the more likely you are to eat them. Pick up a vegetarian cookbook to learn how to make vegetables taste more delicious or simply cook with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Second, restaurant portion sizes used to be enormous. I’ve noticed especially with local restaurants that the portion sizes are more realistic these days. But have you noticed the smaller the portion size, the more bread that appears on the table? Restaurants do not want you to leave hungry, and you want to feel as though you got your money’s worth. So what’s the balance? Ayurveda taught me that your belly is broken into thirds. You should fill 1/3 with food, 1/3 with water and leave 1/3 empty to aid in digestion. You should feel full, but not on the verge of a food coma.
Now, how about those mid-day snacks? First, I urge you to ask yourself ‘are you really hungry or just dehydrated?’. Drink an 8oz glass of water. Wait a few minutes and if your belly is still talking, eat. We often confuse dehydration with hunger. When choosing a snack, motherhood has really helped me become a healthier snacker. My favorite snacks are veggies with dip, nuts, and yogurt. Plan ahead. If you know you will be working late, pack a snack you can nibble on before you commute home. This will prevent from raiding the pantry and eating everything in sight.
Last, enjoy and experience your food. Too much of a good thing can turn bad. I’m not a personal fan of low-fat, sugar-free options for my treats as they tend to contain more preservatives, lack in taste and cause me to overeat. If I am going to treat myself, I grab the most indulgent ice cream, but I limit my portion to a realistic size. I tell my daughter treats are just that, treats. We enjoy them occasionally so they stay special and delicious each time.
Bon appetite! Please share your favorite healthy eating tips with me.