Good morning. Happy New Year and here it is Vegan (Feast) Thursday again.
I am in the middle of a good read in this month’s Yoga Magazine….about a 21 day vegan challenge. Yoga and a plant-based diet go together like…peanut butter and jelly—or lettuce and tomatoes. “Ahimsa,” meaning non-harming, is the first of the five yamas (guides to enlightenment). While not all yogis and yoga enthusiasts refrain from eating animals and their by-products, a plant-based diet IS a great way of practicing ahimsa or “do no harm.” Doing no harm to ourselves, others and our universe certainly includes animals!
One of the things I have been making lately is what I like to call my chakra salad. We know that their are foods that help balance our 7 chakras and when we put them together in a bowl, we get one very, very colorful and inviting salad. Each chakra has it’s own color and to keep it easy, the foods associated with balancing that chakra are the same colors.
Our root chakra is red so think of foods like radishes, beets and red onions. The sacral chakra is orange so consider orange peppers, or shredded carrots. For the solar plexus we want to add something yellow; corn or some yellow squash works. Moving up to the heart chakra we can opt for any of the leafy greens, lettuce being the most obvious, but kale and spinach are also great. For the throat chakra, which is blue, I like to throw in a handful of blueberries. Blue is a tough color–if you can think of anything else, please let me know! Those blueberries have to cover the third eye chakra which is also blue. Finally, for the radiant crown chakra think shredded purple cabbage. This covers all the chakras, but I also like to add calamata olives and avocado when available as these add great taste, texture and some much needed healthy fat to the mix. Finally, if I am looking for a little protein I will add rinsed and drained chick peas. I always dress my salad with fresh squeezed lemon, a small amount of balsamic vinegar and just enough olive oil. Turns out, what’s great for balancing our chakras, (and we can all use some balance in our lives!) is also great for everything that ails us without doing any harm. The big bonus is the rainbow of colors make it so pretty! Play around with the ingredients. Be creative and let me know what you come up with!
Whether you are a yoga guru or have never done a single yoga posture in your life, consider a meal or two today that are void of any animals. As Sharon Gannon, co-founder of the Jivamukti Yoga school and the Jivamuki vegan cafe in NYC, as well as the author of the cookbook Simple Recipes for Joy says “Veganism is NOT about restriction–it’s a way of eating and living that can create more happiness and joy.”
Wishing you more happiness and joy and a wonderful a day! Namaste