When I started practicing yoga at CorePower Yoga several years ago to gain more flexibility, I had no idea what a journey I was setting out on. The word yoga means to yoke or unite, and often uses a physical practice to unite the body, mind and spirit. What began as a form of exercise and fitness has become to me an exercise in mindfulness and greater awareness of how I relate to myself and the greater community around me.
This year, like many of you perhaps, I have set an intention to do the things that will lead to living a healthier and happier life. According to Ayurveda, yoga’s sister science, in order to live a healthy life of ease, we must learn to practice mindfulness, listen to our bodies and align our actions with our deepest values, as well as the rhythms of nature.
One way to do this is to be mindful of the foods we eat. The best place to start is by eating fresh, whole foods, those that are in season in your local area bring with them the most benefits. Then, try to reduce eating processed foods as much as possible.
According to Ayurveda, during the cooler, winter months, there are many benefits to reducing the amount of raw food you eat, and instead lean towards warm meals. Does that mean salads are to be avoided in the winter? Absolutely not! One of my most favorite salads, after a long day of teaching/practicing yoga at CorePower Yoga is this Warm Winter Salad. Here are some of the benefits:
Kale: This leafy cabbage is a natural detoxifier that helps remove toxins and helps eliminate them from your body. Kale is one of the most nutrient dense foods, containing over 100% the RDA of vitamin A,K,C.
Brussel Sprouts: This miniature vegetable is an excellent source of protein, iron and potassium. With over 270% daily value in one cup, Brussel sprouts are also a great provider of Vitamin K.
Pomegranates: This powerful little seed is packed with antioxidants. Pomegranates have good source of vitamins, especially vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E, as well as folic acid.
With all these benefits, the fact that it tastes great is just a bonus! This dish is served warm, so it’s a cozy winter salad, but the pomegranate seeds and orange slices add a touch of freshness! To make it a complete meal, I sometimes add a poached egg, and dinner is served!
Warm Winter Salad
•8-10 Brussel Sprouts, thinly sliced
•2 cups Kale, thinly chopped
•¼ cup red onion, thinly sliced
•2 cloves garlic, smashed
•¼ cup pomegranate seeds
•½ orange segments
•2 tablespoons toasted walnuts, optional
•2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
•1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
•½ – 1 teaspoon maple syrup
•1 teaspoon olive oil
•Salt & pepper to taste
Lightly toast walnuts (if using) in a dry pan and set aside. Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil, add Brussel sprouts and kale, cook until soft and bright green. Divide between two plates and top with pomegranate seeds, orange segments and walnuts. Drizzle dressing on top.
Leigh Anne Strong is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Coach, E-RYT, Manages and teaches at CorePower Yoga studio in Los Angeles, CA. She is passionate about helping people live a mindful life, and discover the healthiest version of themselves. Follow her on Instagram: @leighannest8