Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Healthy Treats for Big and Little Yogis

As a yoga teacher, I get a lot of questions about healthy eating, particularly from parents who are trying to improve their own eating habits, and start their children out on the right track. In general I tell people:

A healthy diet for the yogi or yogini of any age should be moderate to help keep the body light and the mind calm; and full of vital nutrients to support and build Prana. A correct diet will strengthen the immune system, make meditation and yoga asana practice easier, and lead to a more equananimous approach to life.

I also tell people, "if it's green...eat it!" Basically, you can't go wrong if you make 70% or more of your diet living, whole food. Meaning something that grew in the ground, or on a tree and has had no processing other that you lightly cooking it. The salad pictured above is very typical of what we would have for dinner. My fiance Mike made this one. Isn't it gorgeous? How could you not want to eat that? It even had edible flowers on it.

This is doubly important for your littlest yoginis. I would highly encourage any parent to make their own baby food. I know you are extremely busy, but really it takes very little time, and the pay off is enourmous. Your child will grow up with "whole food tastebuds", instead of fat, salt, sugar, aka "Mickey D's", taste buds. This summer I spent an afternoon at each of my sis-in-law's homes making baby food for their little girls (see pic of eager eater Bella gazing at her stash of baby food). It took a few hours to make, literally, a couple months worth of food, and for a fraction of the cost of commercial baby food. Try it, and tune back into my blog, those baby food recipes will be coming soon.

Besides the baby food, over the next few months I’ll be sharing a lot of my day-to-day favorite recipes, but in the meanwhile these came to my email box and I thought I’d pass them along. If you’d like to see more recipes like these you can find them, here.

Namaste, and may your food nourish you-
Teal Marie

Peanut Butter and Granola Breakfast Wraps or Snack
This wrap recipe calls for bananas, but you could also use apple slices or another fruit instead. Omit the honey for a fully vegan version.

* 1 flour tortilla (use whole wheat if possible)
* 1-2 tbsp peanut butter
* 1 banana, sliced thin
* 1/3 cup granola
* honey (optional)

Preparation: Spread the peanut butter on the flour tortilla. Place bananas and granola on the peanut butter. Drizzle with honey, if desired and wrap.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries.
If you're craving a high-fat and salty treat like fast food French fries, try this recipe for healthier baked sweet potato fries. Baked sweet potato fries are much lower in fat than a deep-fried version and are very quick to prepare. Kids will love these baked fries as well.

* 3 large sweet potatoes, cut into wedges
* 1 tbsp olive oil
* 1 tsp cumin
* dash cayenne pepper
* 1/4 tsp paprika
* 1/2 tsp salt or seasoned salt

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a large bowl, toss together all ingredients until potatoes are evenally coated with oil and spices. Place potatoes on a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes, or until done.

Thai Peanut Sauce
A basic Thai peanut sauce can be used for dozens of things. I like to use it as a salad dressing, to dip spring rolls in or as a sauce for noodles. This basic recipe isn't too spicy, so kids will especially love the peanutbuttery taste. You might also want to try this spicier Thai peanut sauce recipe or a Thai peanut sauce with ginger.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes


* 1/4 cup peanut butter
* 1/4 cup water
* 1/4 cup soy sauce
* 2 tbsp lime juice
* 2 cloves garlic, minced and crushed
* 2 tbsp rice vinegar

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over low heat (mixture will become easy to combine as peanut butter melts). Continue stirring over low heat until ingredients are combined and mixture is smooth and creamy. This recipe is perfect as it is, but you may want to thin it out a bit with more water, depending on what you're using it for.

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