I've talked a lot about some of the tasty recipes that satisfy my palette and my belly before and after hot yoga class, but not quite about what does NOT work for me. As a novice hot yogi but experienced cook, these foods actually weren't "no brainers" for me to exclude from my diet. I feel sorry for the person who actually had test out why we shouldn't eat 2-3 hours before class.
This is what I've figured out so far. I'm very sure there will be more to come along the way. These may seem obvious, but they weren't to me at the time.
- No Dairy. Dairy is okay in the morning for breakfast for me, but eating any cottage cheese, yogurt or string cheese in the afternoons for a snack or for part of my lunch just doesn't agree with me. Let's just say you feel soured, curdled and strained during 6pm class and well after you get home. I also had a glass of milk the other night during dinner. Nope. Can't do that again. Blech. Stick to soy, grain or hemp milk if you have to have some form of dairy. So far, I've found that a dollop of Greek yogurt on my foods is acceptable, but just a dollop, that is all.
- No Mexican food. Amazing revelation, I know. The other day when Dave and I went to eat Mexican food for lunch, I ordered 2 fish tacos with a side of whole black beans. We also ate chips and guacamole - eesh! It was noon - 6 hours before class, come on! I surely thought I was in the safe zone. Not the case. I ended up having the most nauseating class since my very first one about a year ago! (Everyone is nauseous during their 1st class, right?!) My body was very angry with me during class that day. VERY. I felt like a creature from the La Brea Tar Pits. I love me some Mexican food, but it'll have to wait for the weekends or my days off.
- No Grease. See # 3 above. Before or after class. Don't do it. Save it for a non-yoga day. Trust me.
- No Carbs. If you must put something on your stomach during the afternoon before yoga, try your best to fill it with somethings that digests easily and won't leave your stomach with a heavy feeling. I love eating raw almonds, fruit or vegetable juice as afternoon snack options. (a snack post is coming soon) After class, I've begun to use any carbohydrate as an accent to my meals rather than it being it being included in them. That means no pastas, no pizza, nothing good, I know. But, if I make a delicious soup, I allow myself to dip into it with a whole wheat flour tortilla from Trader Joe's or a few Kashi crackers.