Healthy Pizza? Yep!

Mediterranean Quinoa Pizza

 

Yes fellow yogis, you heard right! Crust that is made of of Quinoa! This recipe is the answer to all of your gluten-free low carb potentially vegan dreams! No need for pizza night to be your cheat day, with this tasty dinner you are getting a protein packed meal that fills up up without feeling heavy! Nom nom nom indeed. 

 

Feel free to top this guy with anything you like! I choose a mediterranean vibe but it your pizza, you can do what you want too!

 

Ingredients

1 cup Quinoa 

2 cups water 

Pink himalayan salt (any salt is fine but Himalayan salt is the purest forms of salt containing of over 84 minerals!) 

Olive Oil

1 Egg white (Vegan Option: Chia Gel=1 Tbl. chia seeds + 4 Tbl water)   

Red pepper flakes 

4 large juicy tomatoes

A ton of Basil 

4 large garlic cloves 

Tomato paste (amount depends on how thick you want your sauce)

 

Toppings 

Broccoli 

Portobello mushrooms

Red Onions 

Kale 

Kalamata Olives 

Feta Cheese (Vegan Option: nutritional cheese or vegan cheese) 

Marinated Artichoke hearts 

Parsley  

 

To make crust: Pre-heat oven at 450 F

 

    •       Bring  2 cups of water + 1 cup of Quinoa + a pinch of salt to a boil on high heat. After its boiling cover and turn heat to low and cook about 15min. or until all the water is gone.    

    •       Put cooked quinoa + 3 Tbl. Olive Oil + 1 egg white (or chia gel) + 1 pinch of salt (or gel) + 1 pinch of red pepper flakes in a processor and blend until it becomes a batter (you can also just mix in a bowl until it comes together)

    •       Pour batter on oiled parchment in a pizza pan and spread it out to your desired thickness ( I like mine thin and it also cooks faster!) 

    •       Bake at 425 F for 35-40 min or until the bottom is brown and crispy 

    •       Take out of oven and flip it over and bake for another 10 min before adding sauce and toppings 

    •       Bake with sauce and toppings for another 15 min or until bottom is crispy

 

To make sauce 

    •       Coat the bottom of large sauce pan with Olive oil and heat on meduium- hi until oil oil thins (be careful we aren't frying the tomatoes so heat until right before it burns) 

    •       Add 4 large garlic cloves(minced) and sauté for a few minutes to infuse that easy garlic flavor in oil 

    •       Add 4 large juicy tomatoes + A ton of Basil (chopped) to the mix, toss then cover 

    •       Let the tomatoes simmer until they become soft, too frequently so they don't burn (make sure there is enough oil in the pan) 

    •       After they are soft, mash them with your wooden spoon (or whatever you are using) and simmer on high to thicken the sauce. 

    •       Add tomato paste + salt (to taste) and stir until sauce is smooth 

 

Put everything together and Enjoy!

 

Lauren A


What is Yoga?  

How does one accurately, ethically and sensitively capture a phenomenon that stretches tens of thousands of years into the past, a phenomenon that has engaged and been changed by people across cultures and continents, a phenomenon that is practiced in innumerable ways to this very day? 

Yoga can mean different things to everyone. It can be a place to heal. It can be a place to feel safe. It can be a place of strength.

Yoga is perhaps best understood as phenomenon – a concept, an idea, a practice, a way of being, the way there and the goal itself – all wrapped up in four tiny letters Y-O-G-A, or more accurately, the three phonemes from the Sanskrit language YA-O-GA. 

In ancient Sanskrit texts we find the first codified expressions of yoga (check the Bhagavad Gita, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjai, the Hatha Yoga Pradipika), and in the image of the Pashupati Seal (circa 2000BCE) from the Indus Valley we find the first record of a yogi (historians theorize this image depicts a proto-Shiva figure – Pashupati meaning ‘Lord of the Beasts’, a designation similarly given to Shiva, one of the many Hindu gods associated with the practice of yoga – seated in meditation). 

Yoga is most commonly associated with early Indian civilization and Hindu culture, but there is no way of knowing exactly when or where yoga came from – the best we can do is trace yoga’s evolution and roots via its appearance in ancient images and texts, conclusions that are at best a mixture of modern conjecture and interpretation. And while the wealth of imagery and text pertaining to yoga comes from Sanskrit scripture and art from the Indian region, one can also find references and records of yoga and yogis in the Pali Canon (texts of the Theravadan Buddhist tradition) and in Persian art and literature, it’s parallels in Chinese and Egyptian philosophy, medicine and pyschospiritual practice, it’s influence in the tradition of Thai massage and Thai yoga (a direct corollary of Indian yoga). 

Yoga has been proven to have a number of benefits as well.

Our friend, Emma, broke down the benefits of yoga on her website Health Grinder.

We’ve learned that yoga can be stress reliever, a reducer of anxiety. Generally, practicing yoga can be a mood booster. I’m sure we have all experienced this at some point in our practice. More important, it can reduce the symptoms of depressing in adults.

Now let’s talk about the brain! Yoga can increase the brain’s gray matter volume. Gray matter is the part of the brain that controls our senses. It has been studied that people who practice yoga tend to have more gray matter volume than those who don’t. It may also improve your concentration and attentions span. Leaving you sharp!

Yoga, with specifically your asana practice, can have many benefits to the physical body as well. It can be know that certain poses can improve your blood circulation. Guided breath in a flow class can improve your respiratory intake. It can also regulate metabolism, lower blood pressure, and increase your red blood cells.

So, the question remains, what exactly is yoga? 

For most of us in the West today yoga is a physical practice we do with our bodies that brings about some kind of awareness. Some of us come to the practice of yoga to sweat and release, some of us come to strengthen and stretch, some of us come to find stillness of body, of mind or both, some of us come to heal, some of us come to get closer to truth, some of us come to get closer to God, some of us come to find freedom, some of us come to yoga come closer together. 

Srivatsa Ramaswami once said, yoga is any practice that gets you to yoga. 

Find what truly benefits you, continue to regularly practice, and feel the difference you see in your life and your outlook on life.

 

Yoga Book List

 

   •     Yoga: Immortality and Freedom (Mircae Eliade)

   •     The Yoga Tradition: Its History, Literature, Philosophy and Practice (Georg Feuerstein)

   •     Yoga: The Art of Transformation (Debra Diamond)

   •     Roots of Yoga (James Mallinson)

   •     Yoga in Practice (David Gordon White)

   •     Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice (Mark Singleton)

   •     The Subtle Body: The Story of Yoga in America (Stefanie Syman)

   •     Selling Yoga: From Counterculture to Pop Culture (Andrea Jain) 


Living Intentionally

In a world that becomes continuously dominated by technology, it is crucial that we avoid competing with machines on a knowledge basis, but rather focus on soft skills that computers can never catch up to. These include values, self-efficacy, independent thinking, teamwork, and care for others. In addition to sports and music, art is a powerful way to express our unique consciousness.

In my opinion, life is art (messy, beautiful, evolving), and when we focus on bringing mindfulness, intention, love, and authenticity to all facets (especially our relationships), every experience becomes a part of our masterpiece.

As a massage therapist and yoga/fitness instructor, I regularly receive the benefits of oxytocin, commonly known as the “love hormone.” It underlies trust, and is an antidote to depressive feelings. In addition to physical touch and exercise, the act of GIVING charges up our brains with feel-good chemicals.

Here are some simple ideas for increasing oxytocin, and experimenting with your ability to bring more art and healing into your life.

Words of encouragement - Words have a powerful frequency. Both giver and receiver will feel the benefits of this exchange. For me, giving out compliments feels like throwing out candy at a parade.

Listen - Put the phone down. Close the computer. Be fully present. Listening actively to another person is a gift that goes both ways. Alone, you can listen to music that feels good or the sounds of nature.

Smile and laugh - It’s contagious! I like to think of it like a game. How many smiles can I catch by using my own as bait? Each moment of genuine connection puts love-coins in the bank.

Cry - The release of tears allows the body to return to a state of relaxation rather than holding on to anger or frustration. “Expect sadness like you expect rain. Both cleanse you.” - Nayirrah Waheed

Meditate and pray - Life is over-stimulating, which causes us to operate in fight-or-flight mode. The more time you spend in this mode, the higher your baseline level of stress climbs. For a long and healthy life, take regular time-outs to ground yourself and bring that baseline down.

Rituals - Do small things with great love and presence. You might call them a symbolic gestures of your devotion to Self, God, nature, your ancestors…whatever feels appropriate to you. Your rituals should inspire feelings of gratitude, humility, compassion, and service. My favorite ritual is preparing and eating whole fresh foods. It is an act of conscious reverence for my body, as well as for the Earth.

Get a massage - At the very least, I recommend getting a massage once a month. On February 10, join me for Partner Yoga at Hot 8 Santa Monica. Bring a loved one, or come solo and we will pair you up. Basic supported postures and guided Thai massage will have you feeling the love-buzz!