Some say that what we eat after we work out is the most important food we’ll eat in a day. Our body is highly receptive to what we put into it in the 30 to 45 minutes after exercise when our muscles require protein and carbohydrates to repair. When it comes to eating after yoga practice, there’s even more reason to be discerning. The practice doesn’t only affect us on a physical level, but it shifts us in many subtle ways as well. Eating foods that are wholesome and Ayurvedically appropriate is important to our overall sense of balance, which is why for many practitioners, what they eat in summer is different than in winter, just as it’s different in morning as at night. We polled a few New York-based yoga practitioners to hear what foods they incorporate into their days to stay balanced and nourished.
Allie Mazur, director of growth operations at Exubrancy, an office wellness company based in New York City
For a perfect breakfast after a morning yoga session, I toast two Ezekiel Buckwheat waffles, drizzle them with a bit of olive oil (for healthy fats!), then smash fresh raspberries on top of them—a much healthier sweetener than syrup.
Maria Macsay, yoga and fitness instructor
It really depends on how my body is feeling that day and what it’s asking for. Many times it’s a delicious vegan smoothie and other days it’s an egg sandwich or a leafy green salad.
Sara Miller, yoga teacher and associate director, partnerships and brand development at Jet.com
After morning practice I’ll eat overnight oats with chia seeds and peanut butter. After evening class I’ll have red wine and Brussels sprouts. Trust me.
Ingrid Karin Neiters, avid yoga practitioner and financial analyst
If I’m not going straight home I’ll pick up something from Juice Press, or if it’s a dessert day, a goat’s milk ice cream from Victory Garden. My typical post-yoga meal is something with chickpeas—a big bowl of greens, quinoa, avocado, and lemon, or a chickpea soup with chard. After that I’ll eat a ton of seasonal fruit from the co-op. If I’m tired and out of leftovers I’ll make four scrambled eggs with spinach.
Ali Cramer, co-creative director at Laughing Lotus in New York City and traveling yoga teacher
My favorite post yoga snack depends on the season. In the summer, I like fresh coconut. I buy them at Whole Foods or Stiles Market. I used to take them out to the courtyard next to my building and smash them on the concrete bench to open them, which was very entertaining for the people who were sitting there, and super fun for me! I would bring a bottle to catch the coconut water. Then I got a hammer and now I crack them in my apartment. It makes a total mess, but then I pick out all the coconut and have enough for a few days—totally worth it! There is a device called a Cocojack that makes opening coconuts a snap, apparently, but where is the fun in that? I use it in smoothies, pack some to take with me, and share with friends. It’s cooling, sweet, and full of electrolytes. Here’s a recipe for my favorite summer smoothie:
Ali Cramer’s Post-Yoga Smoothie
1 big chunk fresh coconut
small piece of banana
1/2 tsp cinnamon
very small piece fresh ginger
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. raw cacao powder or nibs
a few fresh mint leaves (can use dried if necessary)
Place all ingredients in a high powered blender with a few ice cubes and around a cup of water and blend it up and enjoy!
Jessica Caplan, yoga teacher and sound therapist
Smoothies are my go-to for a post-practice blast of energy and yumminess. My homemade blend of choice: banana, blueberries, chia seeds, raw cacao, almond butter, Maca powder, and a dash of cinnamon (in winter). If I’m out and about in the city, Heaven on Earth from Juice Press is just that.