The other day I took my 3.5-year-old daughter on her first mommy- daughter trip to San Francisco. We arrived home on the Bart at 5:00pm and walked in our front door in Berkeley at 5:15pm.
I like to serve dinner by 5:30pm. And you know what happened? I didn’t panic. Why? Because I know how to get dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less. And not just any old dinner. No frozen entrée or pizza or fast food. I am talking about healthy whole foods. Meals that are nutritious and delicious.
And that is the biggest relief in my life.
Knowing how to cook was one of my biggest challenges to overcome when I started to take care of my health. There were many reasons for this challenge. Although, I often found myself spending hours in the kitchen, as an ex-food addict I had a love – hate relationship with food. I was either binging on junk food or preparing one of my crazy, boring, dry, un-inspiring diet foods.
The next challenge I had when it came to learning to cook was actually how to take the time away from my yoga practice. I felt great on the mat and horrible about myself in the kitchen. So you can imagine where I would rather be.
And then questions like, when should I eat? Before I practice? After I practice? And then the next question is WHAT should I eat?
As yogis and yoginis looking for optimal health, we need to answer all of these questions.
First the question of what to eat.
With so many diets out there it can get confusing. Then you add the eastern approaches like macrobiotics and ayurveda and it can really throw you off. Here’s my solution…. keep it simple.
Eat foods you find in nature. Eat as much as you can from the produce section and bulk section.
This way of eating aligns you with the yogic principle that we are all one. You and the food are not separate. Remember the phrase you are what you eat? Well its true. The more junk you eat the more you will feel empty. The more whole foods you eat the more whole you will feel. Don’t underestimate this principle.
Next question- when do I eat? This is a complex question. Learning how to eat the right food for your body and the right amount in relation to your practice takes some fine-tuning. I want to give you another way to look at this question. Instead of asking when should I eat, ask yourself how do I stabilize my blood sugar throughout the day. Perhaps you need smaller meals more often or you might want to change up your practice times.
When I practiced at 6:30am I would have some fruit to start, then practice and eat my breakfast at 9:00am. But when I practiced at 5:30pm by the time I got home and showered it was 8:00 at night. This really threw me because I didn’t want to start eating a big meal at 8:00pm. What did I do? I took the teaching of re-alignment off the mat and into my kitchen. I made a big change and started eating my main meal around 1:30pm and had a small sized meal or cup of soup after my evening practice. It helped so much to change my approach.
And the last the question, what do I eat?
When I interview my clients and they tell me they are in a rush I will ask them this question-what do you eat? The answer is usually raw foods. Carrots, salad, fruit. I am not against raw foods but the food freedom teachings are not married to one approach. Sometimes raw food is the right solution and sometimes cooked food is better.
Wouldn’t you like that flexibility? And I don’t mean being able to do splits. I mean true flexibility when it comes to your life. The limitation often comes when we don’t know how to cook or know how to cook quickly. Learning to cook is not a difficult thing. Believe me I used to think it was a huge mountain to climb, but with some practice you can learn this skill.
And the last question that could come up for people when it comes to cooking is how to get in and out of the kitchen fast? It takes too much time.
Well I am here to help quiet that voice. In the beginning you may need to allow some extra time to learning the new skill but after a few tries you will be whipping out meals in 30 minutes or less. I promise. Just stick to the practice.
Think about your first yoga class. Did you know all the asanas? Did you kick up into handstand on your first try? I assume not. But you kept coming back and your body adjusted and you can now express yourself in new ways on the mat.
That’s what cooking is all about.Keep trying, adjust as needed and express yourself.
Here is the 30 minute meal I made for my daughter the other night. Let me know how to turns out. And if you have questions let me know. A skilled teacher can take you farther then you ever imagined.
In health and service,
WHAT YOU NEED
- 1 cup lentils *
- 2 carrots- roll cut
- 1 sweet potato- diced
- ½ bunch dino kale- chopped
- 4-5 cups water
WHAT YOU DO
Bring water and lentils to boil and then simmer until lentils are almost soft. Add more water if needed.
While lentils are cooking prep the veggies.
When lentils are almost done add veggies and herbs.
Allow to cook until veggies are soft.
Add salt at the end to season.
(Red lentils cook in 20 minutes. If you want green or French it takes about 45 minutes, but you can cook them ahead of time and keep them for this recipe)
WHAT YOU NEED
- 1-cup polenta
- 4 cups water
- Butter, oil or earth balance
WHAT YOU DO
Bring polenta and water to boil.
Lower to simmer.
Add butter or oil.
At end add salt to taste.
Darshana Weill is a Food Freedom Coach and yoga teacher. She founded 21 days to Break the Binge Cycle Cleanse and the KISS COMPUSLIVE EATING GOODBYE-5 months to Food Freedom Program. Her coaching and programs teach women to use consciousness in their relationship to food. She works with individuals and groups. She also teaches a variety of health related workshops around the Bay Area, Santa Cruz and nationally.
WORKSHOPS DARSHANA TEACHES AT THE YOGA TREE
21 Days to Break the Binge Cycle Cleanse, The Yoga of Food: How is life feeding you?Nutrition 101, Sugar can be Medicine, Women’s Wellness: Treat PMS Naturally, To Be or Not To Be a Vegetarian and Yoga and Food For Emotional Eating.
To find out more about Darshana’s program
FINDING FOOD FREEDOM
Check out www.darshanaweill.com or
To contact Darshana directly call 510-423-0603 or email her at email@example.com
Want more recipes? Check out Darshana’s 50 quick and easy recipes Ecookbook: http://darshanaweill.com/page/cookbook-1