Why our yoga retreats are plant-based: is vegan ahimsa?

vegan mexican food on yoga retreat

Why our yoga retreats are plant-based: is vegan ahimsa?

All of our yoga retreats are plant-based. We do this because we believe it is more in line with the traditions of yoga, and our own personal values. Plant-based, or vegan food (I use the terms interchangeably) are ways of eating and cooking that are without the use of animal products. That means no milk, meat, fish, ect… If you come from a family that eats a lot of these items, I as did, the label “vegetarian” where I grew up was synonymous with “hippie”. However, recent studies have shown that eating plant-based, or specifically eating less meat, has a range of health benefits from lowering blood pressure to even making you less likely to get sick from COVID-19.. Click the link, it’s a cool scientific study.

Here are a few of the reasons why all of our yoga retreats are plant-based:


This means non-violence. It is more than not killing, we see it as choosing the path that will cause the least amount of pain in the world. Suffering is inevitable for us all, but we should strive to minimize it. However, telling a yak herder in Mongolia that they have to be vegan would not be a good implementation of Ahimsa. That yak herder has no way to eat only vegetables, especially in the winter when they might not have any veggies at all. Here in lays the difference with yogic philosophies; Right and wrong are often dependent on the time, place, and people that are present. It isn’t a black and white world.

So we like to meat (lol) people where they are, encouraging less meat consumption, looking for plant-based alternatives.

vegan potato hash on yoga retreat

Factory Farming

We don’t think growing animals in small boxes is any way to live, for any creature. Yoga teaches us that the practice of Ahimsa travels beyond how we treat humans. Do what, in your experience, creates the least amount of harm in the world. In the United States, where most of our meat is produced in an inhumane way, we believe it is least harmful to be plant-based.

Believe it or not, we don’t think that everyone in the world can or should be plant-based. This is dependent on your location, socioeconomic standing, race, genetics, and so much more. What we are really striving for is eating with intention, educating on the true impact of our preferences, and feeling ok with not always being perfect.

yoga retreat vegan salad

The Environmental Impact:

We don’t pretend like everything is perfect. However, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where cutting back your meat intake wouldn’t be good for the environment. Beef production produces more carbon emissions that any other food. It’s also at the top when it comes to water consumption, and other resources allocation.

The meat industry is a major player fighting against climate action. They are using the same methods as big oil to combat change.

plant based lentil loaf yoga retreat food

The Economic Impact of our Food Choices:
Let’s get real, the way we spend out money is one of the best tools we have to demand change in the world. We lose money on our retreats from people who think that they cannot survive a period of time without meat.

yoga retreat smoothie bowl vegan

For health of course!

We believe eating plant-based is just plane healthier. Studies show that cutting back on meat consumption is straight forward way to heal from a variety of different aliments.

What do WE eat on plant-based yoga retreats?

Lot’s of variety! All of my meals must have a starch, a vegetable, a protein, and a sauce. I try to not use the same protein source throughout the event, and do my best to incorporate unique items in each and every meals

I create eat meal with as many colors as possible. We eat with out eyes for a reason. For example, orange foods are usually high in vitamin A. Having a variety of colors in our diet is another way to bring in variety of nutrients.

Click here for a more in depth post which includes the menu on our Mexico retreat this spring.

vegan tacos

No fake meats: (unless homemade from real ingredients)
There’s a lot of plant-based junk food out there, along with unhealthy, annoying vegans. People who only eat potato chips and claim that they are more healthy than the meat eating savage. What is the point of trading one bad thing for another? Not when you eat on our vegan yoga retreats!

plant-based food retreat

Zach’s falafel!

Lots of nuts and seeds:

I only cook with whole foods, starting from a plant or fungi that I can identify as such. This is how food is supposed to be. Simple, delicious. But for this reason it is very important to have really nice ingredients. We try to be all organic, sometimes this is not possible. This goes along with the idea of trying our best, and not getting hung up if what is possible is different than our expectations.

Cooking with soy doesn’t bother me, but I use the whole bean form. Tempeh and tofu are also made with very simple processes, and the cultures who eat them generally have long lifespans. I just tend to stay away from things like Tofurkey, fake meat soy pattys, ect…

Vegan doesn’t mean flavorless or boring!

I believe that people who don’t like plant-based food simply haven’t tried the good stuff!

If you want more plant-based food ideas, please consider pre-ordering my upcoming cookbook.