Yogi diet: One thing we learned while eating in India

We ate well in India.

Dosas and idli at breakfast. Paneer and other curries at lunch. Different rice dishes. Sweet lime sodas. There was a run of days where we at so much (and, due to the travel and the temple visits, so late) at lunch that we skipped dinner.

We didn’t shy away from things. Nothing was too spicy, too unfamiliar. Part of the diving into the experience, the culture, was about the food.

We relished it. Even the relish.

But we also learned this: We’ve turned the corner on raw food. If there was any doubt, three weeks of eating cooked food and only cooked food was the reminder.

Our diets at this point need to be mostly — like 85% or so — raw.

(The one exception? Bobbie said I was looking thin after our trip, so I jumped on a scale and … yep. I lost about 10 pounds in India, when I thought I might have gained a little. Bobbie got on it later. Same thing. We’re skinny. So we are going to probably indulge a little this weekend, while staying sane about it.)

We were careful while eating, after the first few days of buffets especially, to moderate our intake. We found a point where we didn’t feel too stuffed — a feeling we never get when eating raw. You might feel like you can’t stomach another bite of broccoli, but it isn’t the same, “I’m soooo full” feeling you have after a decadent cooked meal.

Neer dosa, via simplyspicy.blogspot.com

The raw diet, in other works, is working. We knew it, but India gave us a chance to test the theory.

It also confirmed that wheat, for us, is a culprit — although it’s not some gluten war we need to fight. (Bobbie does seem more sensitive to wheat than I am, though. We’ll see how that develops.) When we had naan or roti or puri (sweet, sweet puri) with our meals, we invariably felt worse when we finished. By mid-trip, the amount of bread we were eating plummeted, much to my dismay. (See “sweet, sweet puri” comment above.)

Which is why the discover of neer dosa was right up there with the greatest discoveries of the trip. Dosa, in rice form? Yes, please.

Since we’ve been back, we’ve been throwing every conceivable raw food in our mouths. Salads galore. Avocados. More salads. We wondered if we might need to readjust. Nope.

It is like it was: Immediate, consistent energy. No feeling too full. A lightness from what’s going in.

I do sense some neer dosa in my near future, though.

Posted by Steve


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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

2 thoughts on “Yogi diet: One thing we learned while eating in India”

  1. Hi,

    I’m interested in experiments in diet, and the raw thing is tempting…

    could you just post a sample of what’s your intake for a day?
    like just an approximate indication of what you’ve eaten yesterday will do 😉 (maybe it deserves a post on its own)
    you know, it would be just so much easy to follow a real example, moreover since you’ve made the change some time ago, your usual diet should be in steady state…

    Thanks already for all your posts

    1. Sure thing, Louis! Breakfast consists of our own “granola” concoction–we raid the bulk section of our Whole Foods for raw, sprouted seeds and nuts, as well as dried berries and other fruits, which we eat with sprouted nut milk we make ourselves. The VitaMix is a key component of our lives.

      There’s a smoothie mix we have during the day that consists of any combination of herbs and green leafies, but usually: parsley, cilantro, mint, dill, kale, cucumber, celery, and a fat like flax or coconut oil with about 20 ounces filtered water. (Steve goes heavy spinach and kale in his, I go heavy on the herbs).

      Lunch and dinner are fairly interchangeable. Lazy versions consist of a HUGE salad (this is our “fast food”) with everything we can think of in it, and often things you wouldn’t think of, like raw squash or asparagus, with a balsamic and olive oil dressing. (And I do mean huge–5-6 servings of green in a bowl.) More elaborate versions of come from the library of raw cookbooks we have.

      A favorite is Carol Alt’s “The Raw 50.” It’s a digest of raw chef’s favorites, and all are easy to prepare. I love the raw soups–a fennel bulb, a whole young coconut with water, an avocado, an apple, dates, and hot peppers. So good.

      Hope that helps!

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