First of all, definitely say no to overly processed empty-calorie snacks such as chips, cupcakes, cheesy crackers, and pizza. Besides not being very kind to your waist, most processed foods are very difficult to digest so your body will need to direct a major portion of your blood to your stomach, therefore decreasing blood circulation everywhere else. This will result in lack of balance, focus, and strength during class. To make things worse, inversions and twists will probably be uncomfortable and hard to do if you're stomach is full.
Secondly, plan ahead. It is difficult to be mindful with snacks when you are starving and rushing (pretty bad combo in general) so always carry a snack in your bag. I usually have enough for myself and for a hungry friend in need.
Finally, keep it light and healthy. Below are some of my favorite pre- and post-yoga snacks. They're great not only because they're natural and healthy but because they're in line with the major Ayurvedic principles. Your diet should promote Ojas, which creates a calm, peaceful mind and nourishes the body. The best way to build Ojas is to have a Sattvic diet. The Bhagavad Gita describes the sattvic diet as “promoting life, virtue, strength, health, happiness and satisfaction.” Sattvic foods are “savory, smooth, firm and pleasant to the stomach.”
Matt's Munchies (pictured right) This is an all vegan, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free, egg-free, gluten-free, kosher, and tasty super-food snack! Ginger Spice is my favorite and Chilly Chocolate is a close runner up.
Chocolate Mesquite Biscotti - This gluten-free biscotti takes it to another level! Their Chocolate Mesquite Biscotti has protein, vitamin E, and zinc-rich almonds, raw cacao, and cinnamon which is an anti-inflammatory spice that stimulates digestion and stabilizes blood sugar. Mesquite is rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium, and protein.
I Love Vegan Cheezy - These raw food almonds and pumpkin seeds are not roasted or baked! They are germinated (sprouted), then marinated and dehydrated slowly at low temps for up to 5 days to maintain optimal nutrition, digestion, and flavor! Vegan Cheezy has the great taste of cheese, but it's completely vegan!
The Indigo Nights Fudge Bar by Everything Raw - Everything Raw's award winning Yoga Bar is the Queen of Chocolates! This luscious raw vegan white chocolate bar is certified organic and delivers a satisfying and chewy cookie dough taste. I also love their I Am Strong Living Roots Daily Nutrition Bar and their Herbal Roots Elixir.
If you're feeling adventurous and want to experiment in the kitchen, try making these Almond Date Balls.
If you have a yoga friend, share these snack ideas over Facebook or email. Spread the love and don’t let other yogis starve!