Healing Yourself, Clearing Your Mind & Eating Clean: The Insight of Cari Merriam
Cari Merriam, instructor for Core Power and prAna Yoga, shares her experiences and philosophy of Physis Yoga with Amazing Grass. Learn how a plant-based diet has affected and greatly impacted her career and life.
Cari, what motivated you to start eating a whole food, plant dominant diet?
It all began with my “roaring” twenties. It was a pretty rocky time for me. I was living a hard partying lifestyle and making choices that really hurt me both mentally and physically. It was a dark period in my life, yet when I discovered yoga… the blinders were taken off. I quickly learned to love myself and took steps to heal. Once that happened I realized how important it is to make nourishing choices for both my body and mind. I eliminated the processed foods that seem to be forced upon us… and chose a whole food, plant dominant diet. The impact was huge; each day I feel fully charged to take on the day because my body is running on awesome nutrients. This has both allowed me to heal and to take on my life passions with meaning and purpose. It’s amazing the switch that can happen, and how your life changes for the better when you feed yourself the nutrients Mother-Nature intended for us.
That’s amazing. What was the hardest part about switching to this new diet?
The hardest part sometimes, is when I don’t have options. Restaurants are extremely tricky to eat in. I am blessed to have a love for cooking. I cook a ton at home because I would get so sick when we ate out. The most common question I receive is why? “Don’t you miss this amazing cheeseburger drizzled in cheddar cheese?” Well of course I do… however, I bet I can create a dish in less than 19 minutes that will satisfy that craving.
Great attitude! 19 minute dishes? Which is your favorite?
Ok. For real, I don’t have a favorite dish per se. I love to EAT, I love FOOD, and I LOVE to cook. Hands down my two favorite ethnic flavor pairings are Italian and Asian.
We love hearing about your passion for cooking and food, I bet a lot of people can relate! What about when you want something sweet?
I love making gluten free, vegan pies and peanut butter choc vegan ice cream…it is so easy…just frozen bananas, peanuts, organic cacao, and a drizzle of maple syrup. Amazing!
That does sound easy, and delicous! I imagine your schedule is tough to organize your meals, how do you stick to clean eating on-the-go?
When I’m out and about I often make my own food and bring it with me in my travel cooler. Yes, I really have one of those. But, this is because I am very intolerant to gluten and cow dairy…and butter is in everything. Traveling can be super fun though too. I get to research the local vegan restaurants and gain tons of inspiration to incorporate when I get back home.
Very true, it is always great to get inspiration from one’s travels. What would you say is your favorite Amazing Grass product?
Each Amazing Grass product I have had is pretty baller. If I had to pick it would be the Chocolate Green SuperFood first, and the Energy Watermelon Green SuperFood second.
We love the compliment! Lastly, what tips would you give people who want to eat plant-based or 100% vegan?
Start to truly recognize how food makes you feel. If you are eating processed junk all the time, it is going to stop you from being your best. Become aware of your choices. The more you love yourself, the more you will want to take care of your body, mind and heart. The best way to do that is simple: eat a clean, non-GMO, non-processed, whole food, plant-dominant diet.
Thanks Cari! We can all learn from your experiences and I know the AG team is ready to give your vegan ice cream recipe a try. For those of you in the Denver area, check out a yoga class with Cari.