Monday, October 29, 2007

Day 103

Back to my regular practice this morning and it was a good one. I did nearly all the poses (skipping Janu Sirsasana C and Marichyasana D like I usually do). After I did my requisite three hand stands, I played around with Pinchamayurasana and surprised myself by coming up to balance and staying there for two breaths. I think I may deviate from 'tradition' and do this again tomorrow. It was fun!

A long time ago, one of my three readers asked me about food. Over the past few weeks, I've been compiling some food photos and thinking about my typical eating habits.

I'm a vegetarian, and a vegan at home. This means that at restaurants, at parties, at the soup kitchen (we volunteers are treated to cheese sandwiches and the odd dessert), I will eat dairy and eggs in moderation. I never eat dairy or eggs at home nor do I eat meat under any circumstances, haven't since I was in my early 20s.

At home, I don't eat sugar, processed food and white bread/pasta/etc (I simply don't buy these things at the market). I've also been cutting back on starchy foods (white pasta, white bread, white rice) and rajasic foods (onion, garlic, mushrooms). I occasionally eat sugar and rajasic foods when I'm out with friends, though. In the past month, I've had sugar 6-8 times.

I very rarely drink alcohol of any kind. Every few months, I enjoy a vodka and cranberry at the pub, usually with my gang from the ice hockey league.

At home, I eat 2-3 meals and 2-3 snacks each day. For snacks, I eat fruit, nuts and dried fruit (almonds and tropical trail mix are favourites of mine). I eat a small snack whenever I'm hungry. Breakfast is almost always a small bowl of Bran Buds with vanilla rice milk.

Lunch and supper are interchangeable depending on when I'm teaching yoga (usually in the evening, so on those days I eat my 'big meal' for lunch), but lunch is usually a fruit smoothie (banana-strawberries with soy protein powder, flax meal, wheat germ, a gob of peanut butter, rice milk) and an apple.

Supper is usually some kind of vegetable, some kind of grain or bean sprout salad, and tofu. Sometimes I buy Okara burgers as a special treat (Okara is a bi-product of soy milk production - high in fibre, protein, no cholesterol, low fat) and fry them in olive oil. I rarely use salt in my cooking or to season my food.

My favourite grains include oat groats and brown rice. I also love whole wheat roti. I eat a huge variety of veggies - some fresh, some frozen. I buy frozen vegetables in bulk, treat myself to fancy mixes and brussel sprouts every so often. I go on a cooked spinach kick once a month. In the summer, I eat more salads and fruit, in the winter I break out the slow cooker and make yummy vegetable soups.

I never drink cola and rarely drink juice. My beverage of choice is water - I try to drink 2 litres per day (realistically, it's probably more like 1-1.5 litres). I drink a cup of English Breakfast tea each morning with soy milk and splenda sweetener.

I enjoy food and have a great appreciation for it, but during the week when I'm busy, I eat for fuel and health. My diet doesn't vary a lot, though I certainly go through 'phases' in my eating and it changes seasonally.

The most frequent question I'm asked by non-vegetarians is whether I get enough protein and iron. The answer is 'yes' and 'yes'. The only vitamin I take is daily Vitamin C during the winter months. I haven't been sick since early 2005. I get the flu shot yearly and haven't had the flu since I was a teenager.

Since starting my daily walk routine and a six-day Ashtanga practice, I've noticed two interesting changes in my appetite: I've stopped craving sugar and I do crave protein (usually in the form of nuts and tofu).

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