Following asana practice, it is good to be aware of the body, and the changes undergone by movement, stillness, breathing, and balance. You have given yourself and your body a gift of time and respect. Nutrition is just as important to fully benefit from your efforts, which is why we have come up with a few pointers you may want to take into consideration for your post-yoga/workout refuel.
Our Top Tips
– Choose clean unprocessed foods, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, pulses, and unprocessed whole grains are also a good idea.
– High fibre content helps to give the feeling of satiation whilst also adding the benefit of aiding detoxification by literally pushing toxins out of your body. These foods are Sattvic (in Ayurveda, this denotes foods that give necessary energy to the body and help achieve balance), and you will find this is the approach all the wonderful AdventureYogi chefs take to their food on retreats.
– Take time to enjoy each mouthful, chewing slowly and completely. Digestion begins in the mouth, with the action of mastication. Combining the food with saliva that contains an enzyme called amylase breaks down sugars in food. Correctly breaking down food means that the next digestive action can happen effectively and avoid damage to the body. There are lots and lots of reading on this topic but interestingly eating slowly and mindfully is said to help with weight loss, uplifting one’s mood, and decreases instances of food intolerances associated with leaky gut.
– Don’t fill yourself too much; eat until you are satiated – not sleepy from a food coma – you want to keep all that energy flowing through your body from your practice.
– If your practice was demanding, be sure to choose a good protein and carbohydrate combination, perhaps a fruit and vegetable smoothie with nuts and/or seeds, or steamed greens with a boiled egg or poached fish. This doesn’t have to be boring and tasteless, jazz it up with herbs and spices, lemon juice and good quality oils/fats. It’s important to replenish the glycogen stores in the liver and muscles as this is the fuel we use for brain function.
– Avoid having a coffee with friends after your practice as tempting as it may be, go instead for a herbal tea or hot water with a slice of lemon as the latter options are alkalising, whereas coffee is highly acidic. Lactic acid build up in the body can be exacerbated by the consumption of acid-forming foods and drinks – of which coffee is a strong contender; lactic acid is what makes your muscles cramp and stiff.
For a post-yoga snack on the run to re-charge, why not try making up your very own raw power balls as home. They keep for up to a week in your fridge and are super delicious and nutritious.
Yogic Power balls
– 1 cup rolled oats
– 2-3 tbsp nut or seed butter, (we use almond & peanut)
– 1 tbsp coconut butter/avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil
– 1 generous pinch ground cinnamon
– 3 tsp raw agave or raw honey
– 1 small handful chopped Medjool dates
– 1 small handful of mixed seeds & chopped nuts
– A little lukewarm water
In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix by hand, adding a bit of water until even and of a sticky texture. Set aside to rest for 20 minutes then roll into small balls about the size of a golf ball. You can rest your power balls on baking parchment and they will keep nicely in the fridge or a cool pantry for up to a week.
Next time, you could experiment with Tahini, cacao powder, spirulina, spices, or coconut flakes. This is just a guide; you can always tailor-make your power balls to work for you and your tastes. Don’t be afraid to have a little fun experimenting with this recipe!
You can experience amazing foods courtesy of AdventureYogi chefs on all of our retreats. Take a look at our calendar here.