Less Is More

Studying satya and trying to be honest about what I was eating and why led me to a related yogic ideal— brahmacharya (moderation). According to Patanjali's Yoga Sutra II.38, a balanced life is characterized by moderation in all things. The first time I came across this concept as it applied to eating habits was in Ram Dass's 1970s handbook for a spiritual life, Remember, Be Here Now. He discussed mitahara (moderate diet), advising readers to eat light, healthy, unadulterated foods. He said that after a meal your stomach should be 50 percent full with food, 25 percent full with water, and 25 percent empty with room for air. What a revelation! As a child, I'd been taught to clean my plate whether I was hungry or not.

With Ram Dass's advice, I began to consistently eat less of everything—not by starving myselfbut by becoming aware of that moment in a meal when I've had just enough, but not too much.

Practicing mitahara and satya kept me honest about how much food I needed in order to feel satisfied, and also about what I was putting on my plate. I listened to nutritionists' recommendations and gave up packaged foods. Instead, I ate lots of vegetables and fruits, made sweet and tangy pineapple my new favorite snack, and began cooking with beans and lentils. Who knew that nutty, aromatic brown rice could be so comforting and satisfying? Or that a rainbow of roasted or skewered and grilled vegetables could be as fun to make as it was to eat? Out went simple carbs and in came new-to-me whole grain dishes like quinoa salads and spelt tortillas stuffed with beans and whatever vegetables I had on hand. I also added daily one-hour walks and twice-weekly visits to the gym.

One of my biggest revelations came when I found a simple recipe for vegetarian chili in an old cookbook (seepage 44). The chili, made with salsa, tomatoes, and black beans and spiced with cumin and coriander, taught me a lesson about how changing eating habits and losing weight start in the mind. For months, my boyfriend (now husband), Neil, and I ate the chili all the time, as often as three or four times a week. When we first started eating it, Neil would dish up the bowls and serve them with toasted whole wheat bread and tj^ÉÉM» iMÉu

Lose Weight Today With Yoga

Lose Weight Today With Yoga

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