Yoga + Doing (Fooding) Good

Sometimes I think about the amazing people who I’ve been lucky enough to meet, and work with, throughout my travels and I feel a little taken aback by how disproportionately amazing my friends and networks are.  I can never keep track of all of the inspiring projects, developing passions, and flat-out good that is happening around me, and never tire from getting excited by other people’s biggest goals.   There are so many amazing possibilities to create in this life, and so little time, so sometimes the only way to stay connected to all of the different tangents is to live vicariously through my friends (read: divide and conquer people, divide and conquer).

When it comes to inspiring a love of Yoga, healthy living, and giving back, there are two people who just fly off the charts in terms of their inspiration rankings.  These two people are Katie Levans and Adam Whiting.

Adam + Katie

I met both of these rock stars back in 2011, when I moved to Charlotte for the second time, and was working with lululemon.  Katie was working at lululemon (with me), going to grad school for her Masters degree in Nutrition (occasionally tossing around the idea of getting her PhD), religiously taking + talking about Tanner’s superflow class at Y2, and blogging on her always witty and entertaining blog: Sweet Tater Blog.  Impressive as that list is typed out, my first two thoughts about Katie were: 1) this girl has crazy (awesome) hair, and 2) she really loves cats. and yoga. and probably cats doing yoga (?). Yes, most definitely.

The more I got to know Katie the more I came to understand that she is passionate about honesty, about animals (on the whole), about nutrition and healthy living for happiness and balance in life. Most importantly she is incredibly real.  With Katie, what you see (or read) is what you get.  It’s the truth, no frills, no embellishments, and absolutely no fake self promotion – which is a very refreshing and rare quality among bloggers and reality stars (oh yeah, you might have seen her on TV before).  Cliffs notes: Katie is awesome.

I met Adam around the same time that I met Katie, centered partly around yoga since he was teaching at Y2 in Charlotte, but mostly because when I insisted on having our lemon team do two nights of consecutive midnight yoga to support and promote 24 Hours of Booty, a bike race to honor and support the cancer community Adam volunteered when none of our other ambassadors could do it (despite having to get up early for his own marathon training in the morning).

late night Yoga @ the Epicenter to promote midnight yoga at 24 Hours of Booty

When your first experience with someone is them selflessly giving their time, passion, and energy to benefit others, and something much larger than themselves, it makes a pretty big impact.  The almost unbelievable thing about Adam is that it wasn’t just a one-time thing.  Adam is constantly inspiring others, living his passion, and building a community of amazing yogis and people everywhere he goes.   This week he is in Whistler representing lululemon Southpark at the Ambassador Summit, and undoubtedly spreading his greatness.

So, what’s my point with all of this?  First to give some props to two of my favorite people.  And secondly to let you know that they’re hitting the road together to share their passions with you (hopefully).  On May 11th they’ll be coming up to Opal Yoga in Charlottesville to give us a visit, and workshop with us on inversions and backbends.

Against Gravity: Yoga Workshop
email OpalYoga@gmail.com to reserve a spot! cost: $30.

So, the yoga was just part 1.  Part 2 of this trip to inspiration station is Katie’s ‘dream it, do it’ approach to creating more significant global change when it comes to ending hunger.  Feeding the hungry, and equitable distribution of our available food resources (healthy food, at that) is a common thread through most of Katie’s soap box moments, and she just recently put into motion a brain child of her own to take the fight against hunger to a simple and social platform.  It’s called Plate Share.

plate share

Check out Katie talking about Plate Share with Southpark Magazine (via the Charlotte Observer).

plate share

plate share

I absolutely love everything about this.  Using social media for good, using change to create change, and supporting the notion that having (good) food should be a right of all human beings.

Cliffs notes: Check out Adam and Katie at any of their current places of business, on any of their social networks, and if you live in Charlottesville, come out and meet them when they’re here in May.  They’re awesome, and we will be peddling them around to all of our favorite locavore establishments, which is to say: everywhere.

Talking Leafy Greens on Earth Day

You didn’t see a ton of [green] salads from me through the winter (though there were several created), but now that spring is here I’m all up in the leafy greens.  In the warmer weather, having the lighter option for meals is so appealing, and still allows for great variations, all while still abiding by the protein, carb, fat rule for meal pairings.

Here are some of my favorite salads from the last few weeks:

salad
romaine, walnuts, apples, avocado, blueberries
fuel sweat grow: salad
add chicken for the protein
romaine, avocado, red peppers,
romaine, avocado, red + yellow peppers, carrots, steak. topped with sunflower seeds
chopped salad:
chopped salad: romaine, avocado, sugar snap peas, walnuts, tomato [flank steak on the side]

Before I get into the food prep portion of this post, I think it’s more important to say that these salads are all amazing and delicious in their own right.  As I posted the pictures I started to crave salad in a serious way, which serves me right for writing this while I’m hungry – and also really speaks to the power of these salad combos to create positive taste bud memory.  Truly anything can go into a salad if you balance it with the other ingredients so they compliment each other, and is a great option when you’ve got a ton of leftovers or random orphan ingredients around your kitchen and no real apparent ‘meal’ components.

The hardest part of  meals creation isn’t actually putting them together – that’s the fun part. The hardest part of staying on plan and eating healthy is being prepared for each meal before you’re hungry and ready to eat anything in front of you.  While I’ve talked a bunch about pre-chopping vegetables and grilling extra meat every time the grill is on, there is also a ton of opportunity and advantage to pre-planning, making and packing salads.

When I make salad for a meal I always over plan so that there are plenty of leftovers, but complimentary to my love for ball jar organization, I really love salad jars for quick and easy planning and packing.  Dressing & any wet or chopped items on the bottom, lettuce and dry greens on the top to protect them from getting soggy.

salad jar

(source)

So, in honor of earth day, have a salad.  Love the earth.  Love your body and eat the food that was grown for it.  It will thank you, more than you can imagine.