Ashtanga Discussion Room: David, what’s in your diet?

For years I have been asked what do I eat? Two weeks ago I posted a Ghetto Kitchen on how to make brown rice and gomasio and it occurred to me after the posting that there wasn’t enough context for where the rice fits in a Yogic diet and specifically how it can help your daily asana practice. So I created a 3 part video series on Yogic diet and how food can positively and negative effect the Ashtanga practice.

So here is part one. Part one is a discussion room between Joy and I on the Yogic diet. Part 2 and Part 3 take you into a local Philly farmer’s market and into a huge corporate supermarket.

I have also included in this post a rudimentary listing and circle diagram attempting to set forth the Yogic Principles and the specific foods that the practitioner should both adhere to and avoid.

Whole Grains

up to 50% of the diet
(if desired take with gomasio sesame seed condiment)
brown rice
fresh ground wheat for chapati’s
Whole grain noodles
whole grain, hearty real bread
hot cereals, cream of wheat, sweet brown rice cream, steel cut oats, and occasionally oat bran, instant natural oat meal

(based on what’s in season)

1st Tier
Burdock root
daikon radish
Greens (swiss chard, spinach, kale etc)
cabbage (all variety)
winter squash (kabocha, delicata, butternut, pumpkin, red kiri etc)

2nd Tier for use more sparingly for variety, freshness, flavor, texture, color etc
peppers (bell, chili, etc)
summer squash

Vegetarian Protein Sources
beans (adzuki, pinto, chick peas, black etc)
legumes (red lentils, small french lentils, toor dal, split peas etc)
occasional use vegan chorizo, vegan sausage, vegan hot dogs, ready made tofu or tempeh

high quality sesame oil
extra virgin olive oil organic, first cold pressed
canola oil

whole grain crackers
apples or other select in season fruits
rice or corn cakes

spring water
eden soy milk, or rice etc
teas (bancha,herbal, green, black etc)

organic cane sugar
barley malt
rice syrup
fresh apple cider
fresh seasonal juice

dark low sugar chocolate 60% or more of caoco
heathy whole grain, less sweet cookies,
soy pudding, yogurt

Occasional use foods
romano or parmesan

Off limit or rare use foods
Animal Protein Sources
if you must then choicely wisely
organic, cage free eggs
fresh fish
organic free range chicken

Intoxicating substances
pain relievers

Dairy products
ice cream

Dairy Substitutes
soy and other grain milks

Processed Foods
white flour pastries
fried foods
restaurant food
bad oil chips

Sweet drinks
ice tea
vitamin water
Tropical fruits or out of season fruits.

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15 Responses to Ashtanga Discussion Room: David, what’s in your diet?

  1. Esther says:

    Nice one. I live in Japan and so enjoy my rice, vegetable, soy based diet. Feel great, and really notice the difference when I visit the UK and go back to bread for a few weeks. It’s funny though as japanese are moving away from their traditional diet yogis are adopting it. Well parts anyway. Japanese temple cuisine is delicious and vegan, and not to mention beautiful. Thank you, I always enjoy your posts very much. Esther x

  2. Teresa says:

    so no nuts?

  3. L says:

    Thanks for providing this detailed information, David. I’ve got two questions, though. Soy and other non-dairy milks are listed both as beverages and off-limit/ rare use foods. What would be your reasons for limiting the amount of non-dairy milk one uses? And why do you think it’s reasonable to consume only a small amount of fruit? Thanks, again!

  4. admin says:

    HI L,
    I explain your question in parts 2 and 3. I’ll be posting this in a couple days!! hari om, David

  5. admin says:

    Oh, I forgot about nuts! thank you. Nuts are high in fat and generally speaking they are in the occasional use category.
    Pumpkin seeds are a little better but they still don’t come before whole grains, vegetables and veggie protein sources and other lower fat healthy snacks.
    Thanks for watching,

  6. L says:

    I’m looking forward to the two upcoming videos. Another relevant issue might be supplements. Are you concerned about vitamin B 12, vitamin D, and/or iron? Thanks!

  7. admin says:

    We take a general multivitamin to cover the supplement. According to macro if you eat a centered diet with foods in season and fresh then you will get all the vitamins and minerals that you need. But it has also been proven that the quality of food, even organic food, has dropped dramatically over the past decades, and it is questionable whether you can get everything you need out of the food now. And so taking some kind of supplement seems wise and if your a vegetarian would want to be specific towards what a vegetarian might be deficient in, (such as B vitamins).

  8. L says:

    As far as I understand, a traditional macrobiotic diet would still include fish, so this could function as a source for — among other things — B 12. I try to consume as little animal products as possible and I’ve also recently taken up a low-dosed vitamin B complex supplement. Even though a part of me doesn’t like taking artificial supplements, another part of me says “rather safe than sorry”. Anyway, it was interesting to read how you guys solve this problem :)

  9. jgs says:

    L, I would recommend looking into eating raw aloe vera as a possible source for B-12. It’s also fantastic for your digestion.

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