Let’s talk about food

Salad, superfood, healthy, plant based, vegan, vegetarian, yoga, health

It’s quite possibly my favourite subject after yoga!

I have always loved food, even in the days when I believed it to be the enemy (oh dance training how you scarred me!) but now more than ever I find I am super interested in what I use as fuel for my body, especially as I want this body to last a long time!

Maybe it comes with age, this desire to respect my body, or maybe it’s because I’m in the business of health and fitness? Whatever way you look at it, food is a necessity of life, and like in life itself we have choices….we can choose to celebrate life by giving our body the best nutrition we can, or we can abuse it by poisoning it with bad food choices.

I’d like to make a caveat here – I’m not trying to turn you all vegetarian, or make out like I don’t ever ‘poison’ my body, I’m just laying out what I find works for me to have a healthy body and leaves me feeling positive about my food choices. And if you’ve clicked to read this post I’m guessing that’s what you want too.

So – my top tips for staying healthy:

SUGAR IS THE DEVIL
No joke. That stuff literally breeds disease, it’s highly addictive and is responsible for most modern-day chronic illnesses. FACT.
Of course, sometimes it’s nice to have a dance with the devil, and I would do this with alcohol, it’s the only refined sugar I let into my body these days, unless someone has managed to talk me into a cruffin of course!
Don’t think of sugar as an ingredient that will make you ‘fat’ it’s way more serious than that…it can cause anxiety, depression, stress and of course can be linked with most chronic illnesses. Of course practice everything in moderation, it’s difficult to cut it out completely, but where possible stick to natural sources like fruit and the odd alcoholic beverage now and again!

CARBS ARE NOT THE DEVIL
And in fact we need them, especially if you are cutting out refined sugars, you will need to find an alternative carb (energy) source – from things like starchy and high fibre foods -whole grains, rice, potatoes, vegetables and pulses.
I was thinking about carbs the other day and how I have reintroduced pasta into my diet…and I’ve not suddenly bloated, or put on weight. When I was a student and I LIVED off tuna, tomato pasta and never a wheat or gluten bloat thought entered my head. So get back on the carb bus….it’s fine, you will be fine!

VEGETABLES ARE KING
Eat them in abundance – plant-based protein ROCKS. Colourful vegetable dishes look so.damn.pretty. (read instagrammable)
As previously stated, I’m not telling you to become veggie, but do EAT YOUR VEG, make it the star of your dish, get creative with how you eat them, blend, roast, griddle, saute them, there are countless ways, just EAT THEM!!!!

PREPARATION IS KEY
Organising a whole week of meals can be intimidating, and quite frankly, boring – who knows on a Monday what they want to eat on Friday? but bulk cooking is your friend…making larger quantities of meals and freezing or refrigerating will save you time and stop you falling into the takeaway rabbit hole…I’ve always got a couple of soups and curries/dhals in my freezer for those CBA moments. And humous. I seriously think my life could fall apart if i don’t have a tub of humous in the fridge – arguably the best healthy snack known to man!

Of course the main points to get across are to eat fresh, unprocessed food MOST of the time and don’t let food become an enemy, never label things ‘bad’ (except sugar, sugar is bad to the bone).
From time to time have a little of what you fancy – although be warned you might just start to ‘fancy’ kale!

To be happy and healthy, IT’s THAT SIMPLE ūüôā

I’m no chef but I reckon I’m a decent home cook/veg manipulator so from time to time I’ll be adding some recipe ideas to the blog….

Up in the Mountains – Akasha Wellness Retreat

Akasha Wellness Retreat, Transylvania, Romania, Yoga Retreat, Ashtanga, Mountains

So I’m here in the mountains and living and working at the ¬†wonderful Akasha Wellness Retreat, in the heart of Transylvania, deep in the Carpathian Mountains, Romania. It is a stunning venue for a ‘first of it’s kind’ yoga and mediation retreat in Romania.

I’m into my third retreat, this week a ‘Sacred Feminine Yoga Retreat’ which started yesterday on International Womens Day, which is also Mother’s Day in Romania. Each retreat takes on a different theme, but they all include twice a day yoga, meditation and wonderful vegan food.

 

Akasha Wellness Retreat, Transylvania, Romania, Yoga Retreat, Ashtanga, Mountains

 

The kind of yoga we are teaching is an Ashtanga Fundamentals, a modified Primary Series in the mornings and the evening classes are Restorative and Yin Styles. Supporting this are meditation sessions at the end of class and dedicated meditation workshops to explain in more detail some of the techniques we use to help people start or improve a mediation practice.

 

Akasha Wellness Retreat, Transylvania, Romania, Yoga Retreat, Ashtanga, Mountains
Mixed in with that are workshops & activities that are tailored to that week’s theme, for example we’ve had Gong Sound Baths, Tibetan Flag making, Chakra Balancing and Buddhist Meditation workshops and activities like 108 gratitude mandalas or guided walks through the beautiful village and hills that surround us 360 degrees.

 

Akasha Wellness Retreat, Transylvania, Romania, Yoga Retreat, Ashtanga, Mountains

 

The food is carefully curated to give you all the nutrients you need and for some, open their eyes (and mouths!) to a plant-based diet. It is delicious and healthy and will leave you feeling nourished and full. There are lots of organic teas to try plus plenty of lemon, ginger and apple cider to help aid digestion or simply to relax with a good book in the lounge or sit out on the balcony admiring the views.
You can also feel pampered and relaxed with the spa treatments, ranging from an outdoor hot tub and sauna with breathtaking views or choose from Swedish, Shaistu or Cranio Sacral therapy for your massages, or simply have a relaxing bath ritual with your own choice of salts and essential oils.

I can’t believe how lucky I am to have found this place and feel honoured to be teaching here and be part of the Akasha family, which includes the dogs, Tony, Bursuc, Luna and the little puppies we rescued, Phoenix, Shiva and Joy…and not forgetting crazy Beasley the dogcat!

 

Akasha Wellness Retreat, Transylvania, Romania, Yoga Retreat, Ashtanga, Mountains

Akasha Wellness Retreat, Transylvania, Romania, Yoga Retreat, Ashtanga, Mountains

Akasha Wellness Retreat, Transylvania, Romania, Yoga Retreat, Ashtanga, Mountains

For more information on our upcoming retreats check out the website, with flights from London starting as cheap as £20 РWHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? See you soon!

https://www.akasharetreat.com/

 

 

Why should I do yoga?

Yoga, Ashtanga, Yoga, Healthy Mind, Body and Lifestyle

Why should I do Yoga? you may ask yourself. What’s in it for me?

I try not to go on too much to people who I meet, friends and family, I do believe that it’s a personal choice. But ask anyone who already does it and they will probably tell you it’s one of the best decisions they made in regards to their health.

 

Claire yogagogo Camel pose in Mysore, India

 

Yoga works on the BODY and the MIND more than any other style of exercise. Arguably people find moments of meditation and or calmness of mind during running, cycling, many other sports, but yoga is as much about the mental as it is the physical and unlike other sports you should leave a class practice feeling calmer and more positive than when you entered.

‘I really regret going to that Yoga class’ – said NO ONE EVER!!!!!

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

As with most people I came to Yoga from a purely physical perspective, as a dancer it was a good way to keep flexible and what other class do you get to lie down and have a little rest in at the end?!! As I dived deeper into the yoga ocean I started to like how that ‘little rest’ left me feeling relaxed, positive and calm. During a time of emotional turmoil I started my teacher training and now can say, without any exaggeration that Yoga changed my life.

So, that’s me, and if you don’t like Yoga no worries, find something else that works for you, but as the one of the western world’s fastest growing ‘fitness’ style it is proven to work for many.

 

eight limb pose, ashtanga, mysore, India

 

So WHY should you do Yoga?

Here are just some of the amazing benefits:

  • Stress relief, helps anxiety and depression
  • Helps breathing problem, respiratory related illness
  • Improves strength, balance, dexterity, and mental clarity
  • Helps physical ailments improve, particularly back pain
  • Improves your awareness of a healthy diet, and sustainable living and eating
  • Tones the body using own body weight
  • Helps the mind focus and stay positive
  • Brings loads of lovely, comfy yoga pants into your life ūüėČ

So, if that hasn’t convinced you to give it a try then I don’t know what will!!!

But seriously, I find it the best thing for me, and I would love to share that passion and enthusiasm with you – so if you live in Gloucestershire, UK, come and join me on the mat! Details of classes can be found on my Facebook page:

Claireyogagogo

bird of paradise, hotel metropole, Mysore, India

 

NAMASTE xxx

Where to eat in Canggu – my top choices to eat in Canggu

Ok, I’ll stop harping on about Canggu after this (did you book your flight yet?) but eating for me in Canggu was on a par with the surfing and yoga – in fact I could say it was the highlight to my stay!

As you may have realised I’m passionate about eating a healthy diet, and Canggu has plenty of inexpensive options of places to eat and nourish your body and mind. So here is a guide to my favourites:

Peleton

Entrance to Peleton Cafe 'Supershop' Canggu, Bali

 

I visited Peleton for my first lunch…and I thought wow! the rest of the places I’ve researched have a lot to live up to! I could have just eaten here for the whole week it was that good. They serve a mixture of healthy vegan food – breakfasts like the Biker Bowl, The Tandem Toast and Pedel Power Pancakes. They have a range of lighter dishes and amazing salads, hot drinks, juices and smoothies. A pretty impressive plethora of food and drink.

What I ate: The Fuel Good Salad, a mean mix of FUEL GOOD Kale, Spinach, Purple Cabbage, Capsicum, Broccoli, Mild Chillies, Carrot, Beetroot, Green Onion, Toasted Pumpkin & Sunflower Seeds, Sesame, Smashed Pumpkin and Hummus. Quite possibly the best salad I have eaten. EVER.

Fuel Good salad, Peleton Cafe, Canggu, Bali

close up of Fuel Good Salad, Peleton cafe, Canggu Bali

 

I also got food  envy of the table next to me who were eating the Burn Out Burger Рit looked so damn good. The decor in the place is as you would expect bike orientated. The staff were so lovely and friendly and the place had a more chilled vibe and was quieter than the places along Batu Bolong as it is a little more out of the main drag on Pantai Berewa. If you go to Canggu or even staying in nearby Seminyak, you MUST try Peleton. It rocks.

inside Peleton cafe, Canggu, Bali

 

wall monuted single gear 'fixies' at peleton cafe, Canggu, Bali

 

Crate Cafe

Crate Cafe, Canggu, Bali

 

Well, having to meet my expectations set at Peleton, Crate Cafe did not disappoint. Full to the brim with the post yoga and surf crowd I had to wait a while to get a table, but it was a great people watching place so a wait so I did not mind – This is the place where the cool kids like to hang out.

I had an ah-maze-ing flat white (again something I had been missing on Koh Phangan) and a breakfast bowl, a deliciously thick, creamy fruit smoothie with fruit, granola and coconut on top, (the name of which can’t remember) and then went back the next day to have the ‘Peas Please’ a huge chunk of sourdough bread with peas, spinach, feta, avocado and a perfectly poached egg balancing on top.

flat white - yeah life is crate at Crate Cafe, Bali

 

breakfast bowl, lifescrate, Crate Cafe, Canggu, Bali

 

Peas Please, brunch style at Crate Cafe, Canggu, Bali

 

The decor is industrial graffiti and there is a real buzz in the place. The friendly attitudes of the staff here is wonderful, something that unfortunately I had been lacking in Thailand of late. Crate I salute you. Life certainly is ‘crate’ here.

wall menu at Crate Cafe, Canggu, Bali

 

Betelnut Cafe

Betelnut Cafe at Sunset, Canggu

 

Betelnut is probably the most ‘famous’ of the cafes in Canggu, and is in the ‘centre’ of Batu Bolong, opposite Deus Ex Machina so easy to find. Having a small air-conditioned downstairs section the main seating area is upstairs where you can see across the rice fields to sunset in the early evening, when I visited for an early dinner.

A good menu of comforting burger and wraps, salads and juices, the standard for all these places in Canggu. I had a divine Turmeric Lemonade and the Falafel Wrap with Fries.

Turmeric Lemonade at Betelnut Cafe, Canggu, Bali

 

Falefel Wrap, Betelnut Cafe, Canggu

 

The upstairs view was pretty awesome

The Sunset View at Betelnut Cafe, Canggu, Bali

 

The Shady Shack

The Shady Shack, Canggu, Bali

 

wave after wave

 

I was recommended The Shady Shack by a Canggu local who came to eat at The Yoga Retreat in Koh Phangan, she told me it was her favourite place to eat, and I see why. A fabulous menu in a beautiful space. Again a vegan and vegetarian healthy choice paradise, Canggu you are really spoiling us with these places!

I ate the ‘Signature Shady’s’ from the All Day Breakfast menu – Onsen eggs with sprout, carrot, beetroot and fennel salad. The herby, lemony dressing was TO.DIE.FOR – the gluten-free bread and smashed new potatoes made it a meal I deserved after an Ashtanga Practice AND a surf.

signature dish at Shady Shak, Canggu, Bali

 

Onsen Eggs - poached to perfection, The Shady Shack, Canggu, Bali

 

The decor was so nice, and again, that Balinese welcome from friendly staff made you feel at home, and, I have to say, the best cafe toilets in Canggu! I love a good bathroom tile!

 

interior, The Shady Shack, Canggu, Bali

 

bathroom blues, The Shady Shack, Canggu, Bali

 

Little Flinders

Little Flinders, Canggu Bali

 

For my final choice I went to Little Flinders, a bit further south on Batu Bolong from Crate and Betelnut. It is more of a restaurant than the cafes, and also has meat and seafood on the menu.

I had a refreshing Ginger Ice Tea and the Rosti Burger (naughty but oh so nice) and as they didn’t have any wedges left I had mashed potato – delish!

 

veggie burger and mash, Little Flinders, Bali

 

ginger tea

 

It was beautifully decorated and I was lucky to hit it just before the evening rush and had the place almost to myself so I was able to take some nice interior shots

beautiful floor tiles, Little Flinders, Canggu, Bali

 

soft seating interiors at Little Flinders, Canggu, Bali

 

If this post hasn’t convinced you to go to Canggu then I don’t know what will. There were many other places to eat and of course drink, Old Mans, Deus, Avocado, Local Warungs, but these were my top choices, as I am always trying to look for the healthy options. Most of the dishes will set you back about 50/60k Indonesian Rupees, that’s about ¬£4 – so it’s still cheap in the grand scheme of things.

Canggu – it was a brief love affair, maybe someday we can have a longer term relationship??

Superfoods – what’s so great about them?

Whilst I am not fond of the word ‘Superfood’ itself, these foods are not going to don a cape and start saving the world, I do believe that they can play a major part in saving your health, and therefore probably do deserve a title as strong as this. They are super! and they are food! Ok, justification for the title over, let’s get on with the key foods.

Cacao

cacao spoon from google images

Apart from being a fun work to say (and yes for some reason I always want to shout it like a bird call…) this yumptious bean from South America or Mexico is arguably the king of all the ‘super’ foods.

This is the highest anti oxidant food ON THE PLANET!!!!  Antioxidants stabilize and ultimately destroy free radicals in your cells and tissues, meaning that they help fight diseases (mainly heart disease and cancer) and can help with longevity of life. Raw Cacao (nibs or powder) contain plenty of B vitamins, Magnesium, Iron and Chromium.

Adding it to your diet can improve your cardio health, bones, cell repair, decrease inflammation and increase your mood and energy levels.

Add powder to breakfast bowls, energy balls, make chocolate desserts, chia puddings, smoothies, chillies, chuck that stuff in everything!

Spirulina

spirulina powder images from well being secrets.com

 

I first came across this wonderful ‘weed’ in New Zealand, and I am amazed just how unused it still is in my home country. It’s a type of algae and it’s normal found in powder form. Grown in both fresh and salt water. A little goes a long way, and gram for gram it is the highest source of complete protein on the planet –¬†and also contains B vitamins, copper, iron, omega 3’s and¬†magnesium, potassium and manganese – wow!

Adding this bad boy to your diet can help with muscle repair and growth, again fight those pesky free radicals, reduce inflammations, help against heart disease and reduce cholesterol.

Easiest way to eat it if you don’t want to make ALL your food green is to add it to a smoothie or just blend it in with some coconut water and neck it back!

Goji Berries

goji-berries photo from bestherbalhealth.com

 

Used in Chinese medicine for over 6,000 years, these little shrivelled up red berries are from China and Tibet. They contain 18 amino acids and 21 minerals, Iron, Beta-Carotene and Vitamin C.

So, again these berries, like the humble blueberry (which by the way are a cheaper alternative), also come up high on the anti oxidant charts, with all the benefits formerly mentioned plus also help with healthy skin and building your immune system to help fight the common cold.

Kale, the lead singer of the Cruiciferous Vegetables Band Рand the rest of the band  РBroccoli, Sprouts, Cabbage and Cauliflower.

image of cruicerfous veg from pblifestyles.com.au

 

So, at last, a super hero food that we can all get at regular cost from our local supermarket or green grocer. Hurrah!¬†Rich in nutrients, including several carotenoids (beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin); vitamins C, E, and K; folate; and minerals. They also are a good fibre source. ¬†Currently in research with National Cancer Institute these dark green vegetables should be included in everyone’s diet to help prevent cancer. They also contain the anti-oxidants so helping with chronic illnesses such as auto immune disease and Lupus. Not just that – they are yummy and cheap, and super easy to cook and add to all your meals. Stir fries, soups, curries, salads and so on.

Chia Seeds

benefits-of-eating-chia-seeds photo from authority nutrition

 

Chia seeds are normally from South or Central America, and are related to the mint family! Who knew!

These mighty seeds contain protein, fibre, Magnesium, Manganese and Omega’s. They¬†were used by the Aztec and Mayans (Chia means ‘energy’ in ancient Mayan) to build pyramids and really really large steps…

As well as this they provide all the anti oxidant benefits mentioned previously and help muscle repair. As they are high in protein and low in calories so they can help with weight loss. Because they are filling, and expand in liquid or if used whole expand when inside your stomach, making you feel fuller for longer.

My favourite is chia pudding made with coconut milk, but you can add them to pretty much anything and they work well in smoothies and breakfast bowls.

With all this information now in your brain, you can see why these foods have been given the accolade of ‘SUPER’ – and rightly so. Yes, apart from the green veg, they are a little pricey, but to help you justify the expense, what price do you put on your health and welfare? I wanted this blog to help ¬†people become the ‘best versions of themselves’ so surely the benefits out-weigh the costs? Also a little goes a long way.

You deserve it.

 

Plant Based? Raw? Detox? Juicing?

The health food business is booming, and with so many options what one is right for you? I have a small but growing¬†obsession with watching food documentaries on YouTube, as interesting as they are some of them seem downright unattainable or non sustaining (yep I’m talking about you HCLF-ers)

So, what should you choose? I’m going to just put it out there and say, how about ALL of them? All of the options in the title,¬†Plant Based, Raw, Detox, Juicing….they can all make up a balanced, healthy, diet – and remember whenever I use the word DIET in this blog it will be referring to the food you habitually eat, rather than the food you eat to lose weight. If however, you are over-weight or obese, then changing your current diet to an all natural, vegetarian and more plant-based diet is going to help you lose weight. But maintaining this FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE is what is going to keep you healthy, forever.

 

Beet Treat, Raw Juice
Beetroot and Ginger Juice

 

Now, I am certainly not demanding you all become vegetarians or vegans, but maybe think about the amount of meat you consume and where it comes from. For example, I would only now eat meat if I knew its provenance (most good supermarkets and butcher’s should be able to tell you where the meat has come from) and I will only eat seafood, especially shellfish if I can see the sea (ok, within reason, but you get my drift? I once got food poisoning from Ceviche in a five-star restaurant in Marrakech, go figure). So that aside, do eat meat if you desire just be mindful of what you eat.

 

Beetroot and Quinoa Burger
Beetroot and Quinoa Burger, Orange and Carrot Salad

 

Next, bring more fruit and vegetables onto your plate. No question, no explanation, just DO IT. It will change your skin, hair, energy levels, internal organs – really! Try to eat at least 8 portions of fruit and veg per day – and if you think that’s a lot, the simplest way to do this is in a juice or smoothie. You can even put all 8 in one glass. Done.

 

floras and smoothie
Green Juice and Fruit Salad

 

I get inspiration from all over the internet, pinterest, and the following blogs which make eating vegetables a work of art…..My New Roots is¬†my favourite veggie inspiration site¬†Another resource for plant-based and vegetarian recipes¬†Oh She Glows

Also this documentary changed my (eating) life –¬†Forks over Knives

Raw food is another easy addition. When I mentioned to an old colleague I was eating more raw food these days he thought I meant raw meats and sushi etc…..but this simply means food you do not heat. Salads, juices, smoothies, energy balls, the list goes on and on check out ¬†the wonderful Kriss Carr¬†for some ideas, but I must stress here that my personal opinion is not to eat purely a raw food diet, just mix it up with the other things I am suggesting.

 

veg wrap
Raw Vegetable Wraps

 

Detoxing – I’m not a massive fan of detoxing but I do see it’s worth and especially think it is a fabulous way of resetting your body if you have a ‘bad’ diet. Once you have done a detox you will be more mindful of what you pollute your body with (toxins) and it can help you kick-start your new healthy life.

I hope to bring many recipes to this blog in time and some guides to eating healthily whilst travelling.

 

noodle soup, thailand, south east asia
vegetable noodle soup with tofu (South East Asia)

 

My golden rules (I will keep coming back to these):

No processed foods – EVER

Natural sugars only 

Eat seasonal, fresh produce where possible

Limit you alcohol (I’m still working on this!!)¬†

Limit your caffeine (again, work in progress for me) 

A LITTLE of everything in moderation, but try to be strict with this one, a piece of chocolate (milk) or cookie or a plate of fries once in a while, but not a whole day of ‘sod it all’ !

 

Mysore – the yogi’s guide

Flashback to the start of this yogi’s adventure, at the end of February this year I flew into Bangalore and began the adventure, a life changing trip to Mysore City.¬†I have already briefly discussed Mysore in this post:¬†Mysore, why I went there, to study Ashtanga Yoga at it’s source.

Well, let me start by saying that after a hiatus of 12 years my first impressions of India and Bangalore was wow! this place is so modern! We took a 4 hour taxi (2 of those hours stuck in Bangalore traffic) to Mysore and it started to feel more like the India I remembered (hot, dry, scorching sun, poverty and dirt) but when I arrived in Mysore what couldn’t I see? The rubbish! The roads are so clean here! (Mysore has been voted the cleanest city in India)

The suburb that most of the yogi’s stay is Gokulum, this is where the KPAJYI shala is and it is an affluent suburb. I honestly believe that even the ubiquitous cow pats get cleaned up in this suburb!

  • The cows are worthy of a quick mention here – most cows in India you see are just roaming around to their own volition, however the ones that roam in Gokulum have a smart system of getting fed. They simple have designated streets (who decided which cow goes where, and is there a territory battle if one cow decided to roam of plan?) they then ‘moo’ at each gate (yes this is an affluent area and most of the houses are gated) and wait for the ladies who work for that house to bring them the days scraps of vegetable skins or any other unwanted food stuff. The most fantastic¬†recycling¬†of food waste I have ever seen.

Woops, I have digressed from the main point of the post which is to provide you with a potted guide to the city, specifically aimed at the yogi. What to do when you are not sweating it out on the mat in the shala, chanting or attending lectures.

EAT: yep, as my number two activity in Mysore – eating! refuel, and rehydrate.

First stop, the coconut stand – ok so there are many coconuts stands in Gokulum and each shala has their own coconut wallah outside, ¬†but the main one which is used as a landmark in Gokulum is ‘THE’ Coconut Stand, on the corner of Contour Road and 9th Main. Coconuts are one of the worlds most nourishing foods and a post practice coconut is an absolute must. But ‘THE’ coconut stand does not just provide coconuts, you can also get a mean chai here for 10p and it’s an awesome place to hang out and people watch.

Eating, well there are many types of food on offer, from the traditional to the healthier ‘yoga’ inspired cafes. Full details can be found in my previous blog¬†here.¬†A few of my favourite places are:

Anokhi Garden¬†(on Contour Road, 5 mins from the coconut stand) – beautiful front and back gardens and some indoor seating at this geared for the yogi cafe. Must try’s are the Flora Fruit Salad and Fancy Porridge, but I loved everything on the menu and never had a bad dish here. Plus the waiting staff are all Ashtangi’s and super friendly and the owner, Marie Lovato, is a wonderful woman.

Santosha (on 2nd Main, 5 mins walk from the main shala towards Lions School) Рsimilar cafe geared towards the post practice crowd, good shakes and omelette here and again a nice garden to sit in and people watch!

Anu’s (on 2nd Main, 5 ¬†mins walk from the main shala towards the park) – on the roof of Anu and Ganesh’s house they serve up an incredible buffet style thali most days and are open at sunset for the coolest, thickest smoothie bowls. Seriously good food and fabulous hosts. Also, Ganesh is THE person to know in Gokulum for taxis or renting mopeds etc.

Depth and Green (on 9th Cross, walking away from the shala and coconut stand) Рopen all day they do a mean buddha plate and again good shakes and scrummy vegan chocolate cakes.

Chakra House (walking away from coconut stand and shala, turn left after the temple) – Manjula cooks the Thali here but they offer again yogi inspired menu. A really good place to chill out with fast wifi and Rajesh is a cool host. Open all day.

Sri Durga (on the road before Gokulum Main Road, turn left at the Honda garage) – BEST dosas in Gokulum! no other explanation needed. The best 25p you will ever spend on food! This place may look a bit intimidating for the solo female traveller but they do great chai and are really friendly.

Green Hotel (Hunsur Road, off Mangalore Highway, best get a rickshaw to this one if you haven’t got the nerves of steel for riding on the highway) – to be honest not the best food or service but a really beautiful little colonial hotel worth a visit. The dhal is pretty good and they have a bakery inside the hotel with nice bread and cakes.

Shree Guru Residency (behind the Regaalis Hotel/Pool) really good South and North Indian food, all vegetarian and so cheap! (Thalis start at 60p) don’t bother eating at the pool, the food is average and overpriced, just pop out the front, turn left and left again at the luggage shop and you will end up at this local’s favourite.

Home cooks – you will find out about the ladies Manjula, Sanjit and Shalia, and many others, who cook amazing thali style buffets that they host in their own homes. This is some of the best an authentic South Indian cooking you will eat. Again, just ask around as many people practicing at the shala who have been before will know when these are happening and how to get to them.

Malari Hotel Dosa (in the city) – people rave about this one but I found them a bit too dough like and more like an american pancake, but they are a firm favourite with the ashtangi old timers.

Secret Dosa! This is a tiny little hole in the wall dosa vendor hidden in the depths of Laksmipurum, if you find the rickshaw driver Raju he can take you there! I have no idea where it is but if you ask people I’m sure they all have their favourite dosa place!

Again, I would suggest you try many more places, and go into the city and try some local food. India has some of the best food in the world, and, predominantly healthy and vegetarian too – perfect for a practicing ashtangi/yogi.

WHEN YOU ARE NOT PRACTICING OR EATING:

There are many things to do in Mysore that don’t involve food or yoga! There are so many temples to visit I can’t list them all, just walk into one as you walk past it, they are all beautiful.

Mysore Palace – has to be at the top of the recommendations, it is a stunning piece of architecture and you can go inside but I recommend you arrive at sunset on a Sunday (before 7pm) and at watch as they turn on the 100,000 lights simultaneously.

Chamundi Hill Рagain another sunset or sunrise visit is the thing to do here. The temple at the top of the hill is full of monkeys and the views are breathtaking across the city. Your choice but the hike up the steps is rumoured to be fabulous, or you can take a rickshaw/drive to the top for the temple and views!

Devajara Market – I love a local market, this one is so colourful and natural, not like some developed for the tourist but a real, where people get their ‘stuff’ market. Do not buy oils or sandalwood here though, the quality is not great.

Regaalis Hotel РI could not not mention this hotel, another favourite with the yogi crowd, you can pay to spend the day lounging around and cooling off. In March it was essential to go there just to keep cool!

So, I have tried to keep the post practice part concise as really if you are in the city to practice at KPJAYI or any other shala you will need to try to chill in your time off. Read a book, meditate, watch some movies, write, cook or simply just be.

I had googled ‘what to do in Mysore’, or ‘Mysore guide’ before I left for the city and you can find some good guides on other Yoga¬†blogs – I can point you to a few in particular that I found very informative:

My own detailed diary of one month in Mysore is  here!

FIRST VISIT TO MYSORE 15 TOP TIPS AND MAPS

Claudia’s Guide to Mysore, India

 

 

 

Diet – habitual nourishment?

I’m using the word diet here in its noun form, as the Oxford Dictionary describes it ‘The kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats’

NOT the verb ‘dieting’ so don’t panic I’m not about to either go on a diet myself or convince you to.

I just am so passionate these days about healthy eating. I have been a 5:2 vegetarian for 18 months, and I now only eat fish and seafood. I’m not saying this is the way you should eat, but this particular way of eating works for me, giving me the essential calories I need to create enough energy to be able to go about my daily business with some vigour!

I made this decision to become healthier and also hopefully keep my weight at a stable, healthy weight. For many years after retiring from performing dance I tried many different ‘diets’ and through this I think I became a little obsessed with body image and what I should or shouldn’t look like, rather than whether I felt good, had energy and built up a strong immune system so I don’t get ill in the future.

Maybe it was coming from the competitive world of dance, or using mirrors in the dance studio every day, or maybe I would like to blame the media, and the worlds current obsession with what is or isn’t ‘beautiful’

 

photo from quickmeme.com
photo from quickmeme.com

 

I know, easy for you to say Sophia Loren, but I truly do believe this sentiment. I wish that the media could send this message to every young girl out there, but alas it is not so and we are feeling the pressure younger and more and more to be ‘perfect’

Anyway, I am digressing slightly, I would like to be able to share with you some of the health and nutrition tips I have been following over the last two or three years, just in case people out there are still uneducated about how to look after yourself and become beautiful from the inside.

So, please subscribe or keep checking the blog as I try to update with my health tips as often as possible.

 

healthy lifestyle meme