From Soil to City

Maintaining a regular yoga practice is a great way to stay flexible, strong and focused. Ever wonder if you could enhance or compliment your practice with the food you eat? You can!

While eating fresh, local fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, whole grain and lean protein will do any body good before or after any type of exercise, selecting specific foods pre and post yoga may enhance the effects and make your body and mind feel amazing! Here is a brief overview of what to eat for Restorative and Hatha Yoga which can be found on the schedule at many yoga studios such as Park Slope Yoga Center.

Restorative Yoga uses props like bolsters and blankets to support yogis in relaxing, passive poses. The body benefits from poses while exerting very little energy. Since this type of yoga can be more of a meditative or relaxation experience enjoy food and drink that will compliment your Zen-like state such as chamomile and green teas, oatmeal, ancient grains like bulgur, buckwheat and barely and bananas. These foods offer the effects of tryptophan, which is an amino acid precursor to serotonin and melatonin. Tryptophan has been shown to improve sleep, mood and the ability to deal with stress. Serotonin and melanin are hormones that also regulate mood, appetite and sleep. Preparing a meal with your Ancient Grains share would be a great compliment to a restorative yoga practice.

Overnight Slow Cooker Spiced Porridge
From The Kitchn

2 cups ancient grains (this recipe originally uses steel cut oats but just about any ancient grain can be substituted)
8 cups water
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped apricots
1/2 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup chopped figs or raisins
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, split, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
zest of 1 orange

chopped roasted nuts, jam, local fresh fruit share, milk, and yogurt.

1. Combine everything except the orange zest and toppings in the bowl of a 3-quart or larger slow cooker. Set the cooker on its lowest cook setting (“LOW” or 8-10 hours), and leave overnight.
2. In the morning, break up the thin film that forms over the top of the porridge and stir it in. Scrape the sides and bottom. Stir in the orange zest.
3. Serve with toppings. Leftover porridge will keep refrigerated for at least a week. Reheat with a little milk or water to make creamy again.

Additional Recipes
Green Tea Lime Pie Smoothie Bowl
From Oh She Glows

Overnight Oats
From Oh She Glows

Hatha Yoga is typically a gentle introduction to basic yoga postures. You might not sweat too much during a hatha yoga session but you’ll leave feeling stretched and loose. The focus of your pre and post yoga meals should be on nutrient density (foods with tons of nutrients per calorie rather than simply high energy or calorie foods). Choose foods rich in vitamins and minerals and make sure your meal contains lots of local vegetables and fruits along with some whole (ancient) grains and protein. Nutrient dense foods rich in vitamins A, C, K and B6, dietary fiber, folate, calcium, copper and manganese that you might see in your share this week include arugula rainbow chard, beets, summer squash and eggplant offer dietary fiber, vitamin C, potassium and folate), summer squash, eggplant and new potatoes.

Lean protein like our new pasture raised chicken CSA option offers vitamin B6, niacin, pantothenic acid, thiamin, selenium, zinc, phosphorous and iron and red fish and flounder are great sources of omega 3 fatty acids, B vitamins and vitamin D. Your Local Roots pasta has its place in a healthy diet too! Pasta offers selenium and manganese in addition to folate and carotenoids. Selenium plays a role in building healthy immune and reproductive systems and manganese is used to build healthy nervous systems. Pasta is also a good source of dietary fiber.

Pasta Primavera
Adapted from Food Network

3 carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips
2 medium zucchini, cut into thin strips
2 yellow squash, cut into thin strips
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
2 cups arugula
1/4 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs or herbes de Provence
1 pound Sfloglini pasta from your Local Roots CSA
15 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
2. On a large heavy baking sheet, toss all of the vegetables with the oil, salt, pepper, and dried herbs to coat. Transfer half of the vegetable mixture to another heavy large baking sheet and arrange evenly over the baking sheets. Bake until the carrots are tender and the vegetables begin to brown, stirring after the first 10 minutes, about 20 minutes total.
3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
4. Toss the pasta with the vegetable mixtures in a large bowl to combine. Toss with the cherry tomatoes, arugula and enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten. Season the pasta with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and serve immediately.

Additional Recipes
Veggie Bean Bowl
This would be another amazing recipe to substitute ancient grains for brown rice. Just cook the grain according to the instructions and then sauté with vegetable or olive oil, cumin and garlic.

Blog post written by Local Roots CSA Apprentice Jessica Dart.
Jessica Dart MS, CPT is an expert in finding efficient, effective strategies to improve health and self care. A certified personal trainer and nutritionist, Jess believes in quick, accessible ways to fit exercise, whole balanced nutrition and rest into a realistic work and life schedule. She can be reached at 814-758- 1577 or to answer questions or for consultation.