Having a power meal with ... Tara Stiles
It's hard work being a "yoga rebel." And Tara Stiles, founder of Strala Yoga studio in New York City, should know all about it, since that's what she was recently dubbed by "The New York Times." It's even more work being a rebel with a long to-do list that includes creating a steady stream of Yoga Anywhere DVDs and providing personal yoga instruction to Deepak Chopra (yes, that Deepak Chopra). As part of her commitment to whole, healthy living, Stiles swears by feeding her body right, especially at midday when her vital energy stores can start dipping into the red. Here she shares her lasting lunch of choice when she knows she'll be working well into the evening.
What's the dish: Tomato soup and steamed spinach with salsa and crackers.
What's in it: Imagine brand Tomato Soup. "Imagine is made from organic ingredients and has no extra fillers. It's also smooth and creamy and leaves you feeling warm and satisfied," Stiles said. "I add a side of fresh steamed spinach, which is so versatile and quick to make. I sprinkle on a little sea salt to really make the natural flavor pop. Salsa is a nice touch, too. Finally, I top it off with Back to Nature Crispy Wheat crackers. I like them because there's nothing in the ingredients I can't pronounce, which is very important anytime you're eating food that comes from a box."
When it's on the table: Two to three afternoons a week when Stiles has a full day of teaching yoga and working on manuscripts for her books.
What it delivers: The soup is rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It also delivers protein and iron for extra energy. "Spinach has always been my power food that keeps my brain active. And fresh is best because it delivers all the vital nutrients and tastes so good," she said. As a bonus, when you combine iron-rich foods like spinach with vitamin C-rich foods like salsa, you absorb the iron even better.
Why she loves it: "This simple meal is an easy way to get all the nutrients I need to keep me going throughout the afternoon. It's very filling and satisfying, yet also very light, so I can practice yoga and teach and work on my current projects without feeling weighted down or sluggish," Stiles said. "All the components of this lunch are also made from whole, natural foods, which is the absolute best way to fuel your body."