How to Fuel Your Fire: 3 Recipes for a Powerful Yoga Practice

By: Amanda Schultz

Whether you are new to Yoga or have been practicing for years, at some point in time you have probably heard these dreaded words,

"You should never eat before yoga."

Um, come again?

If you are someone who can power through your practice without a pre-mat snack, then perhaps being told not to eat was no big deal. But maybe you are like me, and your day consists of small moments of time in between glorious snacks and meals. Over all most of us can agree that it is so much easier to float into Crow without our stomachs growling so loud your neighbor hears.

There are two main things to keep in mind before reaching for that pre yoga snack.

1) Timing

Timing my wonderful fellow yogis, is everything. Eat too early, you risk hunger pains. Eating too close to mat time, and you risk feeling nauseous or unsettled. Aim for roughly an hour to an hour and a half before your practice starts.

2) Food (obviously)

Just because you can eat an hour before yoga does not mean you should eat whatever is around. Avoid foods that are high in fiber, fried, or too high in fat. These foods can create gas, bloating and other digestive issues as your bend your way through poses.

Ultimately you know your body better than anyone else. So, avoid any foods that you do not digest well or create discomfort. The best reason to be grabbing a bite to eat before yoga (or any workout) is to give you the energy you need to be your strongest self, along with the nutrients your body needs to recover and build muscle.

Listed below are some bang up recipes that will pair nicely with a sweaty Vinyasa flow.

First up, for those of you who happen to be at home before you head to the studio check this out,

#1 Sweet Potato Toast

Yes, yes. You read that right. Sweet potato toast. And no that is not bread made from sweet potatoes. I'm talking about sliced sweet potato (about a 1/4th inch) that you pop in your toaster to create the perfect gluten free base for all sorts of toppings. Try almond butter and sliced banana, or avocado sprinkled with red pepper flakes. Not seeing the big picture?

Click the link to watch Buzzfeed's "how to" on sweet potato toast.

https://www.buzzfeed.com/crystalhatch/these-nine-sweet-potato-toasts-will-make-you-feel-healthy

For those of us who aren't always home right before we head to yoga, pre-made smoothies can be a great option. This recipe is simple with only 4 ingredients, easy enough for just about anyone to throw together.  

#2 Vegan Banana Berry Smoothie

Smoothies are suggested to be had closer to an hour and half before yoga to give your body time to digest the liquid. But don't let that discourage you. This blend is packed with potassium (what's up banana) and antioxidants (thanks berries).

To make ahead, simply freeze and then keep in a cooler or refrigerator to thaw so you can feel free to sip away once the clock strikes 5.

Vegan Banana Berry Smoothie

  1. 1 medium frozen banana
  2. 1 scoop vanilla vegan protein powder
  3. 1/4 cup frozen blueberries
  4. 8 oz plant based milk (almond, coconut, soy etc...)

Place all ingredients in a blender, blend until smooth, and enjoy! To make ahead, you can either pour into an air tight container and place in the fridge for up to 24 hours, or freeze until ready to drink then take out to thaw under refrigeration at least 12 hours before you want to get your smoothie on. 

#3 Protein Power Bites

These little balls pack a powerful punch. Filled with wholesome ingredients like oatmeal and peanut butter they are sure to give you all the energy you need before working up a sweat. This snack is incredibly versatile, with a ton of variations. Follow the links below for some delicious recipe ideas. Pro Tip: Always look at the ingredients list when buying nut butters. Look for three or less ingredients to ensure the healthiest option.

No Bake Oatmeal Raisin Bites

http://beamingbaker.com/no-bake-oatmeal-raisin-bites-vegan-gluten-free/

No Bake Protein Balls

http://www.wellplated.com/no-bake-protein-balls/

Dark Chocolate Hemp Energy Bites

https://minimalistbaker.com/dark-chocolate-hemp-energy-bites/

There you have it! Three super simple recipes to help you power through your practice.

But you know what really goes well with Yoga?  An ice cold brew from Old Mecklenburg brewery which just so happens to come free with your purchase of a Yoga On Tap class. So make a snack, grab your mat, and we will see you Tuesday's at 6:30, Cheers! 

- Amanda Schultz