Only in the past couple of years do I feel I've really learned how to take care of myself. Usually the hard way, I've learned how many hours of sleep I need, how to get enough protein, and eat in a way that is going to leave me energized and healthy. I've learned that if I don't practice yoga for weeks straight I will be grumpy and achy and my mood will suffer. I've learned that without question 98% of my overall well-being in determined by what I eat, how much I sleep, and how recently I've been on my yoga mat. That's it. But despite the power of knowing this, putting it into practice is a whole different beast.
I've received lots of help with this through the practice of Ayurveda, the sister science to yoga, and without going into too much detail, it's an ancient practice that aims to bring our bodies into balance through our daily lifestyle choices. It supports the idea that all bodies are different, and what is good for one could be detrimental to another. But my favorite part about the science is that it embraces the ability each individual has to be present enough to adapt and change at any moment to bring the body closer to balance. And it believes that intuitively we have these tools within all of us.
I find this incredibly empowering. Almost as empowering as these quinoa bowls, which have become one of my favorite meals for taking care of me, and bringing my body back into balance. These bowls are loaded with protein which gives me energy for hours. They are my go-to for the days I teach back to back to back classes. They are nourishing, filling, delicious and provide me with a kind of satisfaction only felt when I know that what I'm eating is doing my body good.
Bruschetta Avocado Feta Quinoa Protein Bowls
Makes one generous serving
1/3 cup uncooked quinoa
2/3 cup water
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp sea salt (+ pepper to taste)
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
6-10 large basil leaves, thinly sliced
1/4 cup crumbled feta (optional)
1/3 cup cooked lentils (I buy them pre-cooked from Trader Joe's)
1/2 large avocado, cubed
Bring water to a boil is a small saucepan. Rinse your quinoa in a fine mesh strainer then add it to the boiling water. Cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes until all the water has been absorbed. Remove from heat and keep covered for 5 minutes then fluff with a fork and set aside.
Meanwhile whisk garlic, the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Top with tomatoes and basil and toss. Stir in cooled quinoa, lentils and feta until everything is nicely coated in dressing. Lastly, carefully fold in avocado cubes.