I’ve written about this before: Low Carb eating has really made my health boost in a way I didn’t think possible. Since my reader base has now widened somewhat, I’m going to bore (some of) you again by referring to the people who made all this possible. Also included is a short account of the base in my diet.
First and foremost: Dr Andreas Eenfeldt. He runs one of Sweden’s most frequently visited web sites: The Diet Doctor (English version) and is one of the key persons on the LCHF (LowCarbHighFat) scene in Sweden – which, by the way, is blooming. There are loads of magazines, TV-programmes, lectures and study groups dedicated to this age-old, yet sometimes misguidingly labelled “new”, way of eating.
Eenfeldt has lots of colleagues around the world: one of the most notable being another medical man, Dr Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist based at the University of California. If you’re interested in how the human body works and why obesity is rapidly becoming our biggest health scare, google him. I swear you’ll never look at junk food again…
What then exactly is LCHF? Well, in short it means cutting down on carbs and substituting them with plenty of – preferably ecological -greens and natural fat. What it isn’t is a diet based solely on meat and dairy, which people sometimes think. Today, eating LCHF, I probably eat less meat than I ever did before.
The most dramatic difference in my diet nowadays, as compared to before, is that I’ve cut out all wheat, grains, sugar and starch. Instead, I’m eating a huge variety of greens and full-fat foods like cream, cheese and Turkish yoghurt. High-fat foods make you fuller fast, which means that, as a whole, I probably eat less than I used to. I certainly eat less often, because the food I choose is high in nutrients and fats, so I don’t need to be topping up constantly, which was the case when I still ate porridge, bread and cereal, which all are fairly low-nutrient foods.
How then does LCHF combine with traditional yogic eating? Well, not entirely seamlessly, since my diet still includes some food stuffs which are not strictly vegetarian. As you might now, yogic lifestyle strives for Ahimsa, which means not to harm any other living beings, and therefore being a vegetarian is a logical choice for many yogis. I admire and respect that choice, however, for me it wasn’t a possibility, since my digestive system just can’t handle grains, beans or any greens rich in starch, or sweet fruits (=foods traditionally seen as Sattvic). Therefore I’ve had to make some compromises; for instance, I eat ecological eggs, which are a good source of protein and healthy fats and nutrients, and which can be eaten without a guilty conscience. Occasionally I will also eat chicken, turkey and/or fish, but I’ve excluded other meats. Of course, some Sattvic foods are very much part of my diet: like yoghurt, butter, cream, greens, nuts and the occasional fruit (as a treat).
On our Yoga & Food course last week we had many interesting discussions about this and many of the participants contributed with their thoughts and tips. I for one feel very passionately about this particular topic, so I would really like to hear your thoughts on it. What do you eat to stay healthy and how does that combine with your yoga practice (or other favourite workout) if you have one?