Week 4 of 10 Weeks of Wellness™ – Yoga & Nutrition on Maiden Lane

Week 4 of 10 Weeks of Wellness™ on Maiden Lane

Salamba Bhujangasana (Sphinx Pose) & The Everyday Ultimate One-Hit Wonder: The Salad

Salamba Bhujangasana (Sphinx Pose) helps stimulate the abdominal organs, stretches the front side of the torso, and lengthens the spine. Plus it’s a yoga pose that just feels good!

Sphinx Pose/ Salamba Bhujangasana

Benefits

  • Stimulates the abdominal organs
  • Stretches the front side of the torso
  • Lengthens the spine

How to get into the Pose

  1. Lay belly side down, and prop yourself onto your elbow, lifting the chest
  2. Align your elbows under your shoulders with palms flat on the floor
  3. If the sensation is too intense, move the elbows forward to lessen the bend
  4. Hold for 1 – 5 minutes

The Everyday Ultimate One-Hit Wonder: The Salad

I know people often cringe at the thought of eating a green salad. But I feel that salads overall have gotten a bad rap for being boring and unfulfilling. Not the way I make them. Today I am going to share with you my secrets to making easy, delicious, and filling salads.

A key to a great salad is combining flavors and textures. The breakdown of the green salad includes the greens, the garnishes, and the dressing.

The Greens: Though greens are not usually thought of as tasty or tantalizing, this is where I invite you to branch out a bit. There are so many baby greens that are mild and tender, and have very distinct flavors (compared to when they are full grown), such as baby kale, baby beet greens, and baby mustard greens. Subtle flavors can also be found in classic salad greens like spinach, romaine, and other green leaf lettuces. Then there are more obscure types like mâche, tatsoi, and mizuna, which can add even more variations on flavor and texture. These are just to name a few, but I could go on and on. Consider that greens will vary in tartness, meatiness, and subtly when adding them to your salad.

The Garnish: I don’t see anything wrong with being excited about the toppings of the salad. In my humble opinion, this is what makes a salad. I try to aim for hitting all of the different taste profiles: salty, sweet, sour, and savory. Here, almost anything goes, just as long as it does not completely wilt the greens. An easy way to start is to use ingredients left over from the night before. When I cook dinner, I will sometimes make more than I need just because I know I can throw it into my salad the next day. This applies to proteins such as grilled chicken or beef, but also to grains like quinoa, farro, and rice. Other proteins such as eggs, tofu, and beans are also delicious and help make the salad hearty, healthy, and filling.

An important aspect to a green salad – one that helps keep your mouth wanting more – is the crunch! Crunchy additions include nuts, seeds, and raw veggies like red bell peppers, grated beets, onions, and carrots. Fruits are also a fabulous salad addition – their sweetness and juiciness add wonderful texture and balancing components. Softer textures to add as garnish include cooked veggies or cheese. The idea is to mix and match, and to not be afraid of mixing foods that you wouldn’t normally combine. You might just surprise yourself, finding new combinations that you just love.

The Dressing: I think store bought salad dressing is a sin. Dressing is so easy to make, and with homemade dressings, you don’t have the extra preservatives that make store bought dressing shelf-stable. The basic ratio for dressings is 2 to 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar, plus salt and pepper to taste. Want to spice up your dressings? I say go for it! Try honey, mustard, or buttermilk. Blue cheese, fresh herbs, and ground herbs and spices like cayenne or garlic are nice additions too.

Here’s a tip for helping perfect your dressing’s consistency: Mix whatever your heart desires with the vinegar and spices first, and once you’ve gotten the proportions to your liking, then add the oil. I will also occasionally add a little bit of water to lighten the dressing. Dressing is something that you can whip up on the fly or make ahead of time and store in the fridge.