What do I eat before meditation?

Q:

What do I eat before meditation?

A:

If you’re wondering what foods and drinks are best before meditation, you’re not alone. Varying ideas and opinions exist when we’re talking food, drink, and sitting in stillness. Because I like to dutifully sit to meditate first thing in the morning, my answer to this question is quite simple. I say, it’s best to eat nothing before you sit to practice your daily meditation. This is my preferred method. And I believe many others share this preference.

Meditating on an empty stomach allows for less distraction. Foods affect our moods. Foods affect our minds. When you’re empty in the mind (and tummy) as you naturally are first thing in the morning, I believe meditation comes more naturally. You’re not distracted by your body’s digestive juices working their magic. If you’ve just eaten one of your three main meals for the day, you’re more likely to be distracted by a gurgling stomach.

(Learn more in You Are What You Eat.)

Your mind might start thinking thoughts like, “why did I eat this or that?” Most of us yogis are conscientious about the foods we eat, and thoughts like this happen from time to time, especially if we’re sitting down to meditate after a meal of some sort. If, for whatever reason, you simply must eat before meditation, I would say, keep things light. Enjoy an apple with almond or cashew butter—perhaps a green smoothie or berry protein shake.

Avoid eating and drinking highly caffeinated foods that make the body and mind jittery. You’ll also want to avoid eating heavy animal products. Steak and meditation intuitively don’t make sense together, do they? And don’t eat pastries or other sweets before meditation. These can fog the brain and induce cravings for more, making it more difficult to focus on your practice.

(Learn more in 3 Reasons Why Yogis Love Plant-Based Diets.)

My best advice is to wake up, drink some water, then go meditate!

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Written by Aimee Hughes
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Aimee is a yogi and writer who's been practicing yoga daily for more than 21 years. Since a journey to India when she was 20, the practice has been her constant companion. She loves exploring the vast and seemingly endless worlds of yoga. Aimee has also written a book titled, "The Sexy Vegan Kitchen: Culinary Adventures in Love & Sex."

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