Because of my affiliation with and love for Yoga, I see a lot of clients interested in transitioning to a Vegan diet. One of the eight limbs of Hatha Yoga is Ahimsa, which is non-harming. Ahimsa can be applied to our thoughts, words and actions, and for strict disciples of Yoga, it also means not harming animals for our benefit and adopting a vegetarian lifestyle.
For those of you that are not familiar with Vegetarianism and Veganism, the difference is that Vegans eat absolutely nothing that has come from an animal or has exploited an animal in any way, eliminating eggs, milk and all dairy products from their diet. Often times they will take it further and only use natural products such as deodorants and cosmetics that have not been tested on animals. It is an extreme lifestyle, but if taken on properly, can be very healthy and spiritually satisfying. Unlike Vegans, Vegetarians will include some dairy and eggs to round out their diet.
Recently, I began working with a woman who decided to go completely Vegan after completing her Yoga teacher training. Before coming to see me, she had radically changed things on her own and was feeling her way through the process, not sure how to eat exactly as she needed to meet her needs. Before long, she noticed that she had no energy or stamina. Her Yoga classes, once the high point of her day, started to feel like a chore she couldn’t muster up the energy for. She was sleeping more and feeling anxious and depressed.
After assessing her intake questionnaire, I quickly realized that her diet consisted primarily of refined carbohydrates such as cereal, bread, pasta and potatoes. Although she made an effort to eat more beans and whole grains, it was often a challenge to complete her proteins due to the hectic demands of her day. She is a high powered business woman who had little time for prep work or cooking, so she would often grab food on the run. This left her feeling weak and fatigued, further affecting her desire to cook or prepare meals.
Like I often do, I began by changing her breakfast. She clearly needed more protein and fiber than she was getting from her morning cereal. I recommended my raw granola recipe which is delicious and easy to assemble. In fact, once you have an idea of what a portion looks like, you can mix all the ingredients together in a big container and portion it out from there every morning. It is also easy to put in a plastic container and take it with you to eat at your desk if you need to.
By our next appointment she reported feeling more energy throughout the day, had better stamina and mental clarity and her stress levels were better managed. Just one small adjustment made that much of a difference.
So here is the recipe. Although I am not a Vegetarian, I am mindful of the amount of animal protein I eat and will often eat raw granola for breakfast or sometimes for lunch. It is delicious and packed with Omega 3 and Omega 6 essential fatty acids, fiber, protein and wholesome goodness!
Energizing Vegan Raw Granola!
- ¼ cup mixed nuts and seeds (Walnuts, pecans, almonds, pumpkin seeds, etc…raw, unsalted)
- 2 heaping tbsp raw rolled oats
- 1 heaping tbsp hemp seeds
- 1 heaping tbsp ground flax seeds (Fiproflax by Health from the Sun is a good brand)
- Fruit (raisins, dried cherries, blueberries, etc)
- Plain or Vanilla Rice or Almond milk
Simply combine in a bowl and enjoy!