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Transformative Foods for Yoga Flexibility Stretching Exercises

by: Lucas Rockwood
Most yoga students want to eat “healthy foods,” but when it comes to actually going to the grocery store and stocking up the kitchen, confusion often sets in: What is healthy food anyway? High protein? Low fat? Sugar-free?THE BEST HEALTH ADVICE I’ve studied and experimented with nutrition extensively, and the more I learn, the more I’ve realized that healthy eating is often extremely simple.

Intrinsically, we usually know what’ll do us good and what’ll do us harm… if only we’ll take time to listen to our bodies and trust our instincts.

Here’s a simple guide to determining what you should and should not eat.

IMAGINE – close your eyes, imagine a certain food in question (even better… hold the food in your hand).

REMEMBER – remember how you felt the last time you ate that food, mentally and physically, immediately and a few hours after eating.

ANALYZE – based on what you know about the food (Is it natural or processed? Is it colorful and alive, or drab and dead? Is it something you would eat with your fingers, or is it something you’d only want to touch with a fork), decide for yourself whether or not to eat it.

Sound easy? Well, guess what… it is easy!

After doing steps 1-3 above, you can make accurate decision about healthy foods 90+% of the time.

EXAMPLES “A pizza makes me feel sluggish and tired. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth that’s still there the next morning. To touch, it’s very greasy and leaves a bad smell on my fingers. It’s not very colorful or alive.”

“Stir fried vegetables always make me feel light and satisfied. The stir fries I like best are colorful with the veggies only slightly cooked. I usually use a fork, but I wouldn’t mind eating with my fingers.”

DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE 90% of the information you’ll find about health and nutrition is absolute rubbish. There has never been so much “awareness” about health and nutrition, yet more people suffer from degenerative illnesses than ever before.

Obviously, this so-called “awareness” is just hype. Be your own nutritional counselor and investigator. No one knows you better than you.

HEALTH HYPE HALL OF FAME Dr. Robert Atkins (the man who started the high-protein craze) weighed 258 lbs, suffered from a heart attack, congestive heart failure, and hypertension before his death in 2004.

This year (2007), two of the best-selling health/diet books are written by authors who are not just overweight–they are obese!

Take a look at U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s Food Pyramid. Anyone can see that this plan supports American agricultural interests more than it does your health.

SO WHAT DO I EAT? This is a big subject, but let me give you some basics. Everyone I’ve ever worked with feels better when they eat a diet that’s rich in water-dense fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats (nuts, seeds, cold-pressed oils), and superfoods.

Minimize white rice, white bread, processed sugar, and sweeteners; but instead of “giving up” foods, “trade up” to better, more nutritious options.

It’s hard to get excited about diet restrictions, but it’s easy to get enthused about discovering newer, healthier options.

“Nothing tastes as good as being health feels!” – Tony Robbins

DO I HAVE TO BE A VEGETARIAN? There are lots of meat eating, milk drinking, beer guzzling people who are in perfect health–but these lucky fools are genetically blessed. For the rest of us, a vegetarian or vegan diet is usually a VERY healthful choice.

Dairy products (milk, cheese, butter) usually have more adverse effects on our health and the planet than meat, so if you’re just beginning down this path, start by cutting back on dairy and see how it goes.

The next logical step forward would be to cut back flesh foods, and maybe, some day, you’ll eat an almost entirely plant-based diet like me and my tree-hugging friends;)

Making dietary changes can be highly emotional, so just do your best. There is no such thing as a perfect diet (we’ve all got vices), and no reason to feel guilty about eating.

Even a small change goes a long way for your health and the health of our planet, and surely if you make a constant effort to improve your diet, you’ll surely achieve great results!

Please send any questions or comments to: questions@yogabodynuturals.com

About the Author
Lucas Rockwood is a yoga teacher, vegan chef, nutritional coach, and the founder of YOGABODY Naturals, an all-natural nutritional supplement company dedicated to education, outreach, and wellness.

For more information, visit: http://www.yogabodynaturals.com

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