zesty pesto quinoa salad

Recap: Try Something New Tuesday 144

Hey there friends!

How are you doing? I hope your week has been just splendid so far. Mine has been fairly busy work-wise, but also full of fun things here and there like friend dates, sweaty workouts and a little curl-up-on-the-couch-with-a-good-book time. I’ve also been doing some pretty great stuff in the kitchen, and I can’t wait to share this week’s featured recipe with you. Let’s hop to it!

1. Recipe of the Week: I’m all about Sunday afternoon meal prep, and in my journey to wellness over the years, this activity has become a must-do on my weekends. Not only is it relaxing (well, I think so anyway!), but how great is it to already have ready-made healthy meals sitting in the fridge to take to work every day?! I think it’s pretty awesome. I have my tried-and-tested usuals, but as I’m sure you would agree, it can be easy to get stuck in a rut. That’s why I’ve created a brand new one featuring one of my favourite ingredients:

compliments pesto

Pesto! Any other basil lovers out there? I adore pesto because a little goes a long way in punching up the flavour of salads, pasta, sauces – you name it, pesto makes it better. If you’ve got time, you can certainly make your own, or just opt for a store-bought version. After tossing a bit into a little quinoa, some chickpeas, and a few other simple ingredients….

zesty pesto quinoa salad ingredients

I had a super colourful, super delicious Zesty Pesto Quinoa Salad.

zesty pesto quinoa salad

If you’re vegan or vegetarian, or if you’re just trying to stick with going meatless a few times a week (as I am – Meatless Mondays are one of my February goals), I know you’ll enjoy this recipe. Not only does it pack a hefty amount of plant-based protein thanks to the quinoa and chickpeas, but basil (found in most traditional pestos) has powerful anti-bacterial properties and is full of flavonoids which protect our cells. Nutritionals aside, this salad is bright, beautiful, and perfect for work week lunches.

zesty pesto quinoa salad

As you may already be aware, I’m an ambassador for Greatist, the awesome health and wellness community often featured in my fitness news roundups on Fridays. Today, I’m thrilled to be guest posting for them, so head on over to get the full recipe!

2. A new-to-me hot yoga class. Over the past couple of weeks, work has been pretty nutty and my body seems to be craving hot yoga more than ever. Perhaps this also has something to do with the frigid winter temperatures and ridiculous amount of snow we got on the weekend? Anyways, I decided to indulge myself in a 1-hour hot yoga class before work yesterday to kick my morning off on a zen note. After a little HIIT session on the treadmill, I headed into my gym’s hot yoga studio and melted into a lovely little savasana until the teacher came.

(Source)

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Since Moksha was the first type of hot yoga I’ve ever tried and still reigns supreme as my favourite, I can’t help but do a comparison in every other type of hot yoga class. I’m always a little skeptical when it comes to trying new ones but I decided I was going to go into this one with an open mind.

(Source)

(Source)

We started off with some seated breathing exercises, then moved into a series of flows, runners lunges, and forward folds. The instructor incorporated quite a few hip openers, including my all-time favourite, pigeon pose, and very few back bends which I was also grateful for because I am NOT a fan of those! Maybe I just have a heavier head than most people but whenever I do a back bend I always feel like my throat is going to somehow pop open in the middle of my neck. Irrational? Totally. Enjoyable? No.

I can’t say the class was overly challenging, and the room didn’t feel as hot as usual. However, this class felt absolutely lovely after my HIIT run on the treadmill and gave me just the stretch I needed. It also gave me a huge mood boost, which is always welcome on a Monday morning! I’ll be back for sure.

Alright, that’s all I’ve got for you today. Before you go, tell me…

  • What’s one of your favourite take-to-work lunches? Feel free to link up to some recipes!
  • Do you crave yoga more in the winter than other months of the year?
  • What type of yoga class do you prefer? As I said, Moksha is my favourite but sometimes when my bod is feeling super sore from heavy weight training, I’m all for a nice restorative class!

Comments

  1. cath/waterloo,ON says

    angela, i enjoyed reading about your yoga experience!! have to tell you…i finished my moksha intro month on the weekend….and am now on monthly unlimited! did i get hooked, or what?! i am loving the heat, the breathing, the challenge of the poses….everything! glad you found a class at the gym that worked for you. i love pigeon pose and also find back bends challenging…although anything with a hamstring stretch is also quite hard!
    and yes, enough with the snow already – we got our share over the weekend!

  2. says

    I LOVE Moksha! I’ve tried Bikram in Kitchener as well as the Goodlife on Erb’s hot yoga.

    Bikram is way too military style for me and at some point, I just want to yell at the instructor to shut up! However, it is definitely a great one for people who want to push their own limits – I had significantly increased flexibility after three classes. :)

    For Goodlife’s hot yoga, I did not enjoy it at all… sadly. The instructor allowed way too many people to join the class and everyone was literally packed against each other, mat to mat. Also, people were chit-chatting in the hot studio, which is a totally different culture from that of the official hot yoga studios. Also, it felt more like a steam room than an actual hot yoga room!

    Aha, I sound so whiny! Was that how you felt at the gym’s hot yoga class too?

    By the way, I bought Dana’s butter olive oil after reading your post on it and I absolutely love it. Thanks for the recommendation!!

    • says

      Oh my goodness, it’s so funny that you used the words ‘military style’ because that’s exactly what I thought too! I only went to 1 Bikram class so maybe I didn’t give it enough of a chance, but I didn’t like all the talking/commanding that was going on, and it certainly wasn’t relaxing as Moksha tends to be (even though Moksha certainly isn’t without it’s challenges – those classes can be hard too!) I like Moksha because even though the poses are defined, you can choose to push yourself as hard as you want when you’re in them. My current gym’s hot yoga classes have been great so far. The studio actually feels like a yoga studio, the floors are nice, ceilings are high, there’s plenty of natural light, and I find the whole experience to be really pleasant.
      Oh, and SO glad you got the butter olive oil! I think you need to get the maple balsamic next…. it’s my all-time favourite (and it’s named after you!!!)

  3. says

    I really enjoy hot yoga, but I prefer for it to be no more than a week.

    I went a while back with an injury and the heat was really inflammatory for it and it was counter productive for me.

    I have to say: I love yoga if it works my arms like crazy and has a ton of hip openers because that is the tightest bit for me. Like you, I think a relaxing yoga class is for after a hard run.:)

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