The Yoga Journey, Part Three: The Yoga Diet, by Tessa Miller

Yesterday was the International Day of Yoga, and also the Summer Solstice.  It was also Father’s Day.  And a Sunday, which is my day off from the studio.  I happened to be kid free for the day, and took advantage of that to not do anything. 

I sat on the couch from 7:00 in the morning until 7:00 at night, which would have been kind of okay if I wouldn’t have eaten like I was hoarding food.  I started the day by eating a box of macaroni and cheese.  After devouring the entire box, I moved on to a bag of Cheetos.  Once the Cheetos were officially eaten, I started to munch on some cookies, which were delicious so I decided to eat the entire bag.  After dusting the crumbs off my shirt (which wasn’t a shirt, it was a holey pajama shirt because I didn’t want to get dressed), I took a two hour nap. 

When I woke up from the nap that was probably too short, I decided to eat two vegetarian corn dogs because I needed protein.  The box said they had like 10 grams of protein per corn dog, which sounded like a lot more protein than the Cheetos had, so figured it would be a good idea to eat both corn dogs.  Plus, they have corn in the name, so I assumed there had to be a vegetable somewhere in there.  After that my face felt greasy, so I downed a liter of water.  That made my stomach feel too full, so I laid down and started to fall asleep again.

Around five o’clock I decided that I would go to the outdoor Yoga class the studio was holding that night, but knew it would be a good idea to eat a light snack before going to class, so I ate a pint of Strawberry Cheesecake ice cream.  It’s okay, the ice cream was healthy because it had real frozen strawberries in it. I didn’t eat the strawberries because they had a gross texture, so I just pushed them to the side, but at least having them in the ice cream made it healthier.  If fruit touches your food, it has to be a little healthier than if it doesn’t.  Then I drank another liter of water because the ice cream had too much dairy and my mouth felt weird.

I finally hauled my ass off the couch long enough to put some clothes on and pull my hair back, making me look only kind of decent, but at least I didn’t look homeless.  I ended up making it to the Yoga class in the park, but once I got there I kind of just wanted to lay down and go back to sleep.  My stomach was falling over my waistline, and my face felt like I had chipmunk cheeks.  Plus I was really thirsty during class, and every time I drank water, my food baby grew bigger.

I hyperventilated my way through class, even though standing up was proving impossible due to all the ice cream I had consumed before I went, but I still made it all the way through.  It was hard to breathe, though, because my stomach was so big it was pushing into my lungs.  I felt weird after class, which I deduced was extreme hunger, so I ate another small bag of Cheetos, ate another vegetarian Corn dog, and drank a Coke, before I rolled on to my back like a rolie polie and fell asleep.

This morning, when I woke up, my eyes were literally swollen.  My face was greasy, and my fingers were fat from eating all that sodium in the corn dogs that were supposed to be healthy.  Plus I have been so thirsty all day long, and every time I drink water I feel like my stomach is going to explode.  I’m also pretty sure I have a cavity from all those cookies, and I think I smell like macaroni and cheese still, even though I’ve showered.

I know I didn’t eat well yesterday.  I don’t feel well today because of it.  I can’t say I eat healthy every day, because I don’t.  I also don’t believe in following a strict diet.  I haven’t eaten meat in 12 years, but that doesn’t mean I only eat vegetables (which I don’t, because the green ones freak me out).  I’m not perfect, and I really like ice cream.  But I don’t usually eat that kind of junk all in one day, because I don’t like the way it makes me feel.  And I think that’s the most important thing about the Yoga diet.  I’ve read a lot that says yogi’s/yogini’s only eat clean, pure foods.  Or that yogi’s never eat meat.  Or Yogini’s never drink alcohol.  But, I believe in eating what makes you feel good physically and mentally.

I believe in eating so you wake up the next day and feel clean, not greasy and dehydrated.  I believe in eating so you feel decent, not so full your stomach hurts.  I believe in eating food that makes you feel like you look good, because you feel so good.  I believe in drinking water.  TONS of water, because water makes everything feel better.

Taking care of yourself doesn’t always mean following these crazy diets.  Sometimes it just means listening to your body and giving it what it needs.  And sometimes what you need is a box of macaroni and cheese, a bag of cookies, two bags of Cheetos, three liters of water, Coke, three veggie corn dogs, a pint of ice cream, and a two hour nap.