Q: What should I eat to boost my energy before my yoga practice?
A: Carbs are a great way to boost energy, but don’t reach for that bagel or those snack crackers that are full of empty calories. Go for a much healthier whole food, like a sweet potato, that has real nutrition. I whip up a batch of fast, tasty sweet potato cakes that keep in the fridge for up to five days. They are great warm, cold, or even room temperature, and travel well in a gym bag (packed in air-tight sandwich bags). Eat a light portion (about 1/2 cup – 1 cup) before your practice for easier digestion.
Q: Do sweet potatoes have any special Ayurvedic properties?
A: From an Ayurvedic perspective, sweet potatoes, like other root veggies, are very warming and grounding—the ideal way to nourish yourself during the cooler months. They are bursting with beta-carotene, which your body turns into Vitamin A, a must-have nutrient for fall and winter, since it’s paramount for skin protection.
Q: What if I’m on a gluten-free diet?
A: When you’re on a gluten-free diet, rely on whole foods and healthy gluten-free snacks. Nuts are a dream for gluten-free dieters, since they contain hunger-busting fats and are naturally gluten-free. Avocado, a naturally gluten-free fruit, is not only delicious and super-filling but rich in good quality fats plus fiber. Nosh on 1/2 avocado topped with your favorite salsa or a spritz of fresh lime.
Jennifer Iserloh, aka the “Skinny Chef,” is a leader in promoting healthy, vibrant lifestyles though a diet of delicious and nutritious easy-to-prepare meals. A classically trained chef, certified yoga teacher, and a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Iserloh is the best-selling author of 50 Shades of Kale and Healthy Cheats, among other books.