Just the other day I saw a yoga Instagram challenge that in order to enter you had to post a picture and follow it up with your yoga story. Well it got me thinking and I realized that though I call this blog The Happy Hungry Yogi I have yet to tell you my own story of how the name came about…aside from the obvious that I like food and yoga. I really don’t have some fancy story about how yoga came into my life other than the typical I tried it out and it just sort of stuck with me over the years as I became more and more in love with it. Aside from loving it there’s a lot of reasons that I choose to focus my life around yoga (and cooking as well). Yoga is not just something that I do to stay fit just like cooking isn’t just something I do to stay healthy. For lack of a better way to explain, they truly both are a part of who I am. Back tracking a bit, as I’ve mentioned before, managing stress and medical issues has always been a struggle in my life. Juggling that along with anxiety and depression can wreak havoc on ones well being. I find I often hide behind my recipes and yoga poses since it’s a lot easier to take pretty pictures of food and headstands than it is to take a selfie. I usually don’t open up about this too much but I feel that in order for you to understand the importance these two things play in my life I have to. Having balance day to day has, and still is, a journey. Everyday I work to create a feeling of satisfaction and acceptance within myself. The thing about anxiety and depression is they’re like being on a roller coaster, one day all is great in the world and then, just like that, it’s not. Finding yoga and the art of mindfulness has become my medicine. Whether it’s in a class or at home the process is the same. It is my time to find my center, to be grounded and to simply breathe. Even though yoga and cooking don’t really remove me from reality they do allow me to temporarily set it aside and build confidence and strength both physically and emotionally all while doing something that gives me a sense of purpose. As I transition from pose to pose while doing yoga I’m the one in control. I can control the speed of my flow, my breath as it moves in and out and even what thoughts cross my mind, some days that’s easier said than done. This process works similar in the kitchen when creating new recipes. It’s not always successful but like yoga the challenge is what makes the success rewarding. I am learning that though I can’t always control what goes on in the world around me I can take that strength I have in my practice and in my cooking and use it to control my own happiness. It will always be a challenge for me but like everything you do in life it is a growing process. There will be times when I feel frustrated, sad or not enough but incorporating my passions with strength and continued practice both on and off the mat I can be the one in control of my true happiness. I guess you could say I’m just a yogi hungry for happiness (and maybe this Power Bowl, too).
I thought that this post deserved what I consider to be a truly beneficial, powerful and satisfying meal. What better way then by adding strength building protein, wholesome grains, vitamin rich greens and healthy fats. This Power Bowl is filled with all of that plus tons of flavor. It makes the perfect post yoga or workout session refuel. You really can’t beat this simple, healthy dish!
P.S. Happy National Yoga Month!
Serves: 2/Total Cook time: 35 minutes
- 1 c gluten-free quinoa pasta (I used Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Quinoa pasta)
- 1 c chickpeas
- 1 large sweet potato
- 2 c greens (any type or mix will work), roughly chopped
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- pinch of paprika
- sea salt to taste
- sliced avocado and dukkah to top
- Preheat oven to 425F. Wash and poke holes in sweet potato. Place in the oven on the middle rack (holes facing up) and roast for about 30-40 minutes.
- To prepare chickpeas, drain and rinse then remove outer shell by gently squeezing a chickpea between your fingers. The shell should easily separate from the chickpea. Repeat for all and discard shells.
- Place chickpeas on a roasting pan and toss with olive oil, cinnamon, cumin, paprika and salt. Place in the oven with potato and roast for 20 minutes, tossing halfway through.
- Cook pasta as directed in boiling water seasoned with salt. When done, drain and set aside.
- Remove potato and chickpeas when cooked (chickpeas should be crunchy and sweet potato fork tender) and allow to cool. When ready, slice sweet potato into discs.
- To assemble, combine the sweet potato, pasta, chickpeas and greens into a bowl. Top with sliced avocado and a little dukkah.