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Learning About Yogic Nutrition & Examining Disordered Eating Habits

Updated: Jun 30

This past semester, we've had an increased focus on yogic nutrition. This is partly because the students have expressed an interest in learning this topics, and to be frank I was ecstatic to learn this facet of yoga.

Nutrition has been a topic that I've grown increasingly interested in as I grow and mature into my mid-twenties. I have put more a focus on nourishing my body so it can feel it's best.

In yogic nutrition, there are three divisions of food

  • Tamasic: make the body feel down or less energized, dull the mind & zap mental clarity

Foods that are frozen and reheated are tamasic. 🧊

  • Sattvic: provide neutral energy

An example of sattvic food is fruits like apples. Apples have fiber which allow for a slower and more even digestion and absorption of food-energy. 🍏 🫛

  • Rajasic: bring elevated energy or passion to the body

Foods like spices; turmeric, peppers, & ginger root etc energize the body and elevate you. 🌶️ 🫚

From a young age, I've experienced disordered eating. I would venture to say 100% of this experience this at one point or another, but obviously at varying levels of intensity/disorder.

Early on in life, I grew a habit of binge eating after school. I would come home from school, and whether it was from boredom, hunger, or trying to give my body some loving energy through food, I would sit and eat and eat for hours.

I would eat pop tarts and microwave popcorn daily, habitually. I used food as a way of numbing myself, and would nibble incessantly, deep down subconsciously aware of the hundreds of empty calories that were streaming into my body.

It didn't take long before my weight fluctuated as a result of these patterns. Guilt & fear of being an outcast (a chubby little girl) led me into a stress spiral, and I coped the best way I knew how, junk food eaten in secrecy.

My mom and I can laugh about it now, her hearing the creak of the pantry opening, just wide enough for me to grab a bag of chips or whatever else piqued my interest, and then the quick patter of feet fleeing the scene, to the quiet cover of my bedroom, my shelter. Sneaking snacks (excitement, but lingered with a hint of shame).

Its interesting how these experiences from early life color my view today, as a young woman in her mid-twenties.

Of course, I'm not perfect, and when stress hits, it's unfortunate to say, but usually my food habits/nutrition are the first to falter.

As a student, I spend a large portion of the day in class. Since I've pivoted to athletic classes, I can't have a snack during lectures or in between classes. (This is because I don't want to be digesting food when I should be working out in class. When you work out, digestion stops.)

Accommodating this schedule, I have to eat my meals early morning, and then have a late lunch in the afternoon.

Sometimes I'm so tired by the time night hits, I just call it a day, too exhausted to find a true meal for dinner. (Protein shakes do not count as a balanced meal, even if we'd all prefer it that way.)

Since the semester is over now, I have more freedom to eat on a better schedule.

One way that I've been able to stay healthy during this time is taking vitamins and supplements. I eat oranges nearly every day, and focus on getting a variety of vegetables and herbs. I also have a balanced diet with my smoothies, I use protein powder or protein drinks (sometimes both), and I add bcaas (for brain health, as recommended by a neurological specialist) & collagen protein powder; I also add fruits, acai packs, nut butters, sometimes avocado or spinach.

My journey with food will continue lifelong, and I am grateful to have more self-love in this area of my life, as well as the knowledge from school.

What's been your relationship with food?

I'm curious to know, leave me a comment if you feel called, let's chat (:

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