The Yogi Plate
with Jess Francis
What should yogis eat anyways? Learn how to practice ahimsa (nonviolence) in your kitchen with our food guru Jess Francis! We will explore the different ways in which ahimsa can be interpreted when it comes to food. This does not mean that all yogis should become vegetarian or vegan. It is about finding a healthy eating pattern that works best for you and does you no harm. With the abundance of readily available food-related information, our plates can easily become a source of confusion and frustration.
Jess Francis put together this enlightening workshop, designed to help shed light on how to rediscover the joy of healthy eating in a way that honours your body.
Ahimsa is one of the five yamas (code of ethics) of Pantajali's Yoga Sutra. The yamas serve as a guide to ensure that yogis interact with others in a peaceful manner. Ahimsa means nonviolence. There are many ways in which ahimsa can be interpreted. When it comes to food, the first thoughts that come to mind are vegetarianism and veganism. Although plant-based eating patterns are one way of practicing food-related ahimsa, they are not the only way.
Ahimsa can be interpreted as nonviolence towards yourself. It is self-care, self-compassion. One can practice food-related ahimsa through eating mindfully. This means following an eating pattern that works for you, despite what other people might think and say about it. Maybe you skip breakfast or eat a midnight snack. That is okay as long as you are honouring your body. There is no need to judge your body's cues and needs.
Another aspect of mindful eating is cultivating an awareness and appreciation of your food environment. This doesn't apply solely at meal or snack time. It encompasses all the steps leading up to the act of eating, such as planning out your meals, grocery shopping and cooking. Taking the time to give some gratitude at each step of meal preparation is another way of practicing ahimsa. There can (and should) be joy and fun along your food journey.
One can practice eating mindfully by truly appreciating the taste, texture, aroma and feeling associated with certain foods. We should strive to savour our meals as much as we can. Otherwise we run the risk of being dissatisfied and yearning for more. Eating can be seen as a time to pause, a moment to cherish and enjoy.
Balancing out your plate is also important. It is often said that we eat with our eyes first. When we make an effort to ensure our meals look appetizing, we are also practicing ahmisa. A balanced plate is one which contains vegetables, healthy carbohydrates and fats, as well as a source of protein. Aiming for a variety of different coloured vegetables is a great way to make a dish inviting. Each section of your plate serves a unique role and helps you practice food-related ahimsa.
Jessica Francis is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist and graduated from McGill University. Jessica is also enrolled in the 200hr YTT (Yoga Teacher Training) at Energie EnCorps. She loves connecting with others through food (and eating, of course). She aims to help people rediscover the joy of eating in a way that honours their bodies as food is not just a source of physiological nourishment, but it is also a means of bonding, sharing and celebrating. In Jessica's eyes there are no restrictions, no good or bad foods. There is a space for all foods, some more than others. And by letting go of the all-or-nothing mentality, Jessica believes she can help you develop a healthy relationship with food.
Date: Tuesday, November 20th 2018
Time: 7:45 - 9:00 pm
Cost: 25$ + tax