Yoga Journal’s Recipes: No Meat Allowed

So I was flipping through my February 2010 issue of Yoga Journal — why is it that magazines are always a month ahead of the calendar? — when it struck me that I have never seen a recipe with meat in Yoga Journal. No beef, no pork, no chicken, not even a shrimp.

Indeed, this month, the recipes were prefaced by a rambling essay in which the author chronicles her gradual adaption of “healthy” eating habits through the yogic idea of satya (the practice of honesty). Basically, she realized she had been lying to herself about her food choices and portion sizes. Then she discovered mitahara (moderate diet), which espouses the notion that “a balanced life is characterized by moderation in all things.” Except, of course, meat.

I ate lots of vegetables and fruits, made sweet and tangy pineapple my new favorite snack, and began cooking with beans and lentils. Who knew that nutty, aromatic brown rice could be so comforting and satisfying? Or that a rainbow of roasted or skewered vegetables could be as fun to make as it was to eat?

I read this with a shudder. As a vegetarian for over 12 years, and a semi-vegetarian for 4 years after that, this menu sounded very familiar. It was the diet on which I developed insulin resistance, probably as a result of the high amount of carbs (whole grains) and sucrose (fruit).

Don’t get me wrong, eating a diet filled with fresh vegetables are great, but only when balanced with a good amount of fat and protein, two things that I don’t see much of in Yoga Journal‘s recipes (with the noteworthy exception of the Chunky Guacamole, which I totally plan on making, as avocados are a gift from Earth.

Curiously, although Yoga Journal takes a blanket editorial stand against recipes containing meat, milk, or butter, they have no such qualms about excluding recipes with sugar, flour, or soy. Because those ingredients are so pure and unadulterated, right? (Click here for Yoga Journal’s online collection of recipes, all vegetarian — careful, it may crash your browser or your endocrine system.)