Meet Joshua. Josh is a very amazing human being. If you’ve ever met Josh you know what I mean. He absolutely radiates kindness, compassion and wisdom. Despite his hectic travel schedule, Josh manages to take good care of himself. And he also likes to have fun! He’s the embodiment of a healthy and delicious life.
If you like what you read about Josh and want more Josh, be sure to sign up for my Fall Cleanse because you’ll get a 20 minute restorative yoga routine plus a Yoga Nidra audio, all by Josh.
How do you define how you eat? (e.g. paleo, veg, vegan, omnivore, plant based, etc.)
I eat a whole foods diet reflective of the season we are in with a particularly strong emphasis on plant based foods. 90% of what I eat would fall into the vegetarian category and these are the types of meals that you would find me cooking at home. I don’t think that I will ever give up eating meat entirely, but I reserve those moments for when I am eating out or as a guest in someone’s home. There are definitely times when my body requires protein from an animal source and at those times, I am happy to spend more for a quality, organic, locally-sourced option. Most importantly, I eat foods that make me feel vibrant and alive, that are delicious and bursting with flavour. I love food. Seriously, I love food.
I grew up in a home where my Mom was always cooking and baking. Processed foods did not often make it into the grocery cart. As a child, I thought that I was missing out – I was stuck with fruits and veggies, while all my friends were eating uncooked raw ramen noodles and fruit roll ups. I am so grateful now that my Mom instilled in me a love for cooking and creating nourishing, healthy meals. It has taken many years to develop a consciously healthy lifestyle that works for me and has the ability to evolve and change as I do. It is not something that happened overnight! As a performer and a yoga teacher, my livelihood depends on the health of my body, so it is vitally important for me that I am feeling at home in my own skin and that I am taking care of myself on the inside and out.
What motivates you to be healthy/do this for yourself?
A deep respect for the fragility and vulnerability of the human organism. There are many things beyond my control that have a direct impact on my health and well-being, so if I can take charge of that which I do have an influence on (what I choose to take in and what I choose to let go of) than I am in a much better place to ride the waves of life.
How do you wake up in the morning? (rituals, music you listen to, etc.)
Before I get out of bed, I take a moment to simply feel my body in space and my breath moving in and out. I repeat the mantra: peace in my body; peace in my mind; peace in my heart – always. This connects me to a place of simple gratitude for the gift of another day to live, breathe and experience. I slowly rise and resist the urge to head straight to the coffee machine. The pull is great, but I always start the day with room temperature water and lemon. Then, it is time for coffee. I adore my time alone with this first cup of coffee of the day. I savour its dark richness and sweet, earthy aromas. There are many things that I am willing to give up or abstain from – but coffee is not one of them. I shower and brush my teeth and then I take some time in front of my altar which holds a candle and grounding objects that connect me to my own personal spiritual journey and then I head to my meditation bench for 20 minutes of practice. I’m not somebody who can eat much in the morning upon waking, so breakfast tends to be something very simple – my go to is granola or oatmeal with fresh fruit.
Describe a day in the life of you.
My work life is varied and each week tends to look a little bit different from the last. It is a continual effort to refine and seek balance in my schedule – one that provides structure but also the flexibility and ease to adapt and change depending on how I am feeling on a given day. The essential ingredients in my day include: movement (yoga, spinning, cardio dance classes, riding my bike as much as possible); rest (naps, restorative yoga, self-massage with therapy balls); cooking (I try to make something everyday – even if it is super simple – cooking is very meditative and relaxing for me); music permeates most of these activities.
How do you typically eat in a day?
Granola or oatmeal in the morning with fresh fruit. My most substantial meal usually comes mid-morning or early afternoon and consists of a savoury grain based meal with fresh veggies or a large salad loaded with veggies, nuts, seeds and superfoods. A green smoothie will get me through the afternoon. Dinner is usually pretty light – quite often a soup. And hummus. There is always hummus in my day. I pretty much live off the stuff.
What’s the HEALTHIEST thing you do each day?
I apply these three principles to everything in my life: repetition, concentration, surrender.
What’s your favourite ‘superfood,’ the food that gives you the biggest sense of well being and energy?
Hummus. Cucumber. Hummus and cucumber.
What’s the most DELICIOUS thing you do for yourself? For example, how do you treat yourself? How do you indulge?
I spend a lot of quiet time by myself. This is a really important element for my overall well-being and health. Much of my work involves holding space for others. In order to to do this, I require a substantial amount of time giving back to myself through self-care and personal work. Yoga. Meditation. Therapy. Connecting with nature. And travel. The last three years, I have spent a great deal of time travelling by myself. It has been an incredible source of healing for me. This last year, I have been fortunate to lead a yoga retreat in Guatemala; spend time soaking up the incredible beauty of Maui and have the opportunity to study with Ram Dass; galavant with my best friend through London, Paris and Barcelona; and the end of the year will see me travelling with some very special yoga practitioners to India for the first time. If you want to join me for some yoga and travel, my next international retreat offering is in June 2015 in Tuscany. I am partnering with the incredible Kim McBean – details can be found on my website or on my Facebook page. Yoga and wine, anyone?
What’s your chosen physical activity? Why do you do it?
Yoga. I practice a mix of both dynamic and more passive forms of yoga. Yoga is the thing that makes me feel most present and connected to myself and others.
Who inspires you?
Can you share one of your favourite (healthy) go-to recipes?
The Oh She Glows “Loaded Savoury Oatmeal and Lentil Bowl” is incredibly nourishing and great for this time of year. It is my go-to when I haven’t had a substantial breakfast and need something warm and tasty. There are so many ways to top this dish with what you have on hand – it’s a new meal every time.
1/3 c. oats
1/4 c. red lentils
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 c. vegetable broth
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 small shallot, or 2-3 tbs. onion, minced
s&p to taste
optional toppings: sliced avocado, salsa, scallion, hummus, crackers
1. In a medium saucepan, combine the oats, lentils, broth, garlic and shallot. Bring the mixture to a low boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, fo 8 to 12 minutes, or until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Spoon the oatmeal into a bowl, add your desired toppings, and enjoy!
3. Store any leftovers in an airtight container and use in 2 to 3 days. Heat with a splash more vegetable broth. (2 servings)
Fall is actually one of the best times to detox your body so you can give your immune system a little boost. Our bodies are constantly being burdened by environmental chemicals and foods and lifestyle habits that stress us out. Regular detoxification helps to flush toxins out of your body, give you new energy, better sleep, reset your metabolism, make your skin look better and maybe help you fit into your jeans a little better. Join me for a seasonal 10-day detoxification program that will help you push ‘reset’ on more than just a physical level. More details on the Fall Cleanse.