Food for Thought

RECIPE: Asian Rice and Veggie Barefoot Bowl

Asian Rice and Veggie Barefoot Bowl

Bowls are the new thing when it comes to healthy eating, largely thanks to the meal prep trend (thanks, Pinterest!). What better way is there to mix and match all your favorite healthy ingredients into one delicious meal? Making a bowl with leftovers is one way to do it, but today, we’re here to share a bowl inspired by Asian cuisine, created by our studio manager, Kristen (Beets and Barefeet)!

So without further ado, let’s get to the recipe.


Asian Rice and Veggie Barefoot Bowl

Sauce (Inspired by the Ginger Nama Shoyu Sauce from Life Alive):


  • 2 tablespoons chopped ginger chopped

  • 2-3 cloves garlic, to taste

  • 2 tablespoons nama shoyu sauce (or tamari or soy sauce or liquid aminos)

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (about half a large lemon)

  • 1 tablespoon oil (EVOO or flax work well)

  • 2-4 tablespoons water



  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth!

  2. Place in a covered container in the fridge and let the flavors meld. This tastes even better the longer it sits!


Veggies and Grains



  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice, and water according to package instructions

  • 1 cup cauliflower florets

  • 1.5 cups mushrooms, sliced

  • 1 tablespoon nama shoyu sauce (or tamari or soy sauce or liquid aminos)

  • 1/2 block firm tofu, cubed

  • 4-6 radishes, roughly chopped

  • Sliced scallions, to taste

  • 1 tablespoon oil (I use EVOO)

  • Optional: black sesame seeds, any other veggies, such as broccoli, carrots, etc.



  1. Cook the rice according to package instructions in a pot on the stove or in a rice cooker.

  2. While the rice is cooking, heat a medium skillet over medium high heat, add the oil and the tofu cubes and a little salt, and cook 10-15 minutes until browned on all sides. Add the black sesame seeds if using and stir to combine. Remove the tofu and set aside.

  3. Add the cauliflower to the same pan and cook until softened and browned on some sides, about 8-10 minutes. Remove and set aside.

  4. Add the mushrooms and let them release their moisture for 6-10 minutes. Once most of the moisture has cooked out, add the nama shoyu (or tamari or soy sauce or liquid aminos) and mix to combine getting any stuck bits of the bottom of the pan. Let cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove and set aside.

  5. At this point, the rice should be cooked so combine it with a few tablespoons of the ginger nama shoyu sauce and mix to combine. Place the rice and all the cooked veggies and tofu into a bowl, and add the scallions and raw radishes. Top with sliced scallions and more ginger nama shoyu sauce to taste!

  6. Devour!


For more delicious, nutritious recipes, visit Kristen’s blog at! Chasing Nirvana Yoga offers on-site yoga and wellness classes for corporate spaces, tenant buildings, community events, and more. To set up your free consultation, please visit

Healthy Spaghetti Recipe: Quick Fresh Tomato Sauce Over Spaghetti Squash

Healthy Tomato Sauce

It’s true – you won’t feel your very best unless you focus on full-body health, which includes both the physical and mental portions. Fitness is an important part of the physical aspect, but did you know good nutrition can help prevent a number of ailments? Studies say eating a healthy, balanced meal can reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, cancer, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, and more. It can also improve your ability to fight off illness and increase your energy levels.

At Chasing Nirvana Yoga, we LOVE good food, so we’re always looking for healthy meals that taste great! Our studio manager, Kristen Lamarre, is particularly good at cooking up delicious recipes. She is a certified yoga instructor and a vegetarian who mostly cooks vegan. Her blog, Beets and Bare Feet, is a great resource for recipes that taste and feel good! 

Here’s one recipe we absolutely love. If you try it, drop us a comment! We’d love to hear what you think!

Quick Fresh Tomato Sauce Over Spaghetti Sauce

This recipe serves 3-4 depending on the size of your spaghetti squash.


  • 1 medium spaghetti squash

  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 4 medium ripe tomatoes, chopped

  • 2 medium shallots, diced

  • 2-4 cloves of garlic (depending on your taste!), minced

  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

  • 1-2 teaspoons Italian seasoning (optional)

  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes (optional)

  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the spaghetti squash in half and scoop out the seeds. You can keep the seeds and roast them just like you would with pumpkin seeds!

  2. Rub the cut sides of the squash with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, and then place cut side up on a baking sheet. Once the oven is preheated, place the squash in the oven until fork tender, about 30-45 minutes.

  3. While the squash bakes, prepare the sauce. Chop, dice, and mince the tomatoes, shallots, and garlic. In a skillet over medium heat, drizzle about a tablespoon of oil and sauté the shallots until they become translucent. This should take about 3-5 minutes.

  4. Add the garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes and Italian seasoning if you would like. Sauté for 1-2 minutes.

  5. Add the chopped tomatoes and mix well. Let this come to a simmer on medium heat and then turn the heat down to medium low. Allow to cook until most of the juices from the tomatoes have cooked down. This usually takes around 15-20 minutes.

  6. Clean up any mess left around your kitchen while you wait, because I make huge messes! Or prepare other sides to eat with this. Garlic bread? Salad? Those are my favorites!

  7. At this point your squash should be done. Remove from the oven and let cool until you can safely handle it.

  8. While the squash cools, chop some basil and stir into your sauce. Turn heat to low and cover the skillet.

  9. Using a fork, scrape out the inside of the spaghetti squash, making noodles. Cover the noodles in your fresh sauce. You’re ready to eat!

How to Practice Being Present When Your Stress Levels Seem Impossible to Manage

Being Present

There is a quote that says, “Worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles. It takes away today’s peace.” This mantra is the perfect reflection of mindfulness, the psychological process of bringing one's attention to the present moment. Mindfulness and being present have many benefits, including stress reduction, positivity, increased focus, and improved memory.

Being present isn’t always easy, but it’s always worth it. The ability to completely be yourself and to be fully here without distraction is a powerful way to reshape your mind in a more positive direction. If you’ve ever felt stressed at work or about your future, read on! 

Once you become aware of the thoughts, feelings, or moods you are having, or where your attention is, and the content of those thoughts or feelings or moods or where your attention is fixated, you will notice which level of existence, state, condition or mood you are in at any given time. You will begin to also notice how often you are in the past, present or future.
— Knowledgism

Here's a situation we can all relate to. Say you work in an office and you know there is a job opening in the pipeline, one that would be your dream to land. You would have more creative freedom, more managerial responsibilities, and more money in your paycheck, which you may desperately need. You know that you’ll need to put in the work to stand out, and the uncertainty causes you great stress. You may ask yourself, “What if I don’t get the job?” or “If I don’t get the job, how will I manage my current financial situation?” Perhaps you even begin comparing yourself to other candidates, thinking, “Susan has worked hard this year and our manager seems to like her better. How do I stand a chance?”

“Worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles. It takes away today’s peace.” Reflect on this quote again for a moment. If you spend your day worrying about this potential promotion, you may not be spending as much time getting your work done to the best of your ability. You may bring your stress home to your family. You may even take on a palpable negative attitude in the office. However, if you bring yourself back to the present, you can learn to focus on exactly what is in your control at any given moment. You can observe yourself and improve yourself in tangible ways. You can clear your mind, reduce your stress, and adopt a more positive energy to carry you through. Ever heard of the Law of Attraction? This is the belief that positive or negative thoughts bring positive or negative experiences into a person's life. Always be sure you’re putting out positive vibes, and good things will come!

Here are three ways to stay present:

1. Breathe.

Try the 5x5 Breathing Exercise. Sit with your back straight and your hands in your lap. Breathe in for five seconds, hold for five seconds, and breathe out for five seconds. Repeat this flow until you feel more calm, clear-headed, and aware. This will steady your heart rate and give you something else to focus on other than your stressors.

2.  Focus on your surroundings.

Here’s another counting exercise that many people suffering from anxiety disorders use to bring themselves back to the present. If you feel your stress mounting, take a deep breath and look around at your surroundings. Find five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste. This works in a similar way to the 5x5 Breathing Exercise but also brings you back in touch with the body’s senses, allowing you to appreciate your being and how it supports you every day. 

3. Let go.

Stay in the present moment by letting go of tomorrow’s worries. There is another saying I like to abide by: “If it won’t matter in five years, don’t spend more than five minutes dwelling on it.” Similarly, if your problem isn’t something that can be fixed in five minutes, don’t allow it to cause you prolonged stress. Search for the steps you can take right now and check off those boxes. This will help you feel accomplished and will keep you moving in the right direction in a way you can manage. If your stress is caused by a person, practice forgiveness (this includes forgiving yourself!). And above all, if you’re trying your best, cut yourself some slack. Be kind to yourself and that energy will flow through to all aspects of your life.

Chasing Nirvana Yoga offers on-site yoga and wellness classes to decrease stress in community spaces and bring individuals back to the present moment. If you’re interested in learning more, or if you would like to speak with one of our experts for a personalized consultation, please visit us online at