Guest post by Kate Van Horn
As a wellness blogger, newly certified yoga instructor, and foodie, I’m passionate about sharing my lifestyle as well as my beliefs in intuitive eating, mindful living, and incorporating self-care in order to achieve a healthy life!
One of the ways I work towards achieving a healthy life is following a plant-based diet, and Zoës Kitchen has been one of my go-to restaurants for years now (their hummus and Greek salads are KILLER). In this blog post, I’ll walk you through my amazing experiences at Zoës, my food philosophy, and five daily choices I consistently make to live well and feel my best.
I’ve been eating at Zoës for several years now and every time I arrive I’m even more excited than the last time. My most recent visit was after my early yoga class, and I was so ready for lunch! Every Zoës I’ve ever been to has had a wonderful, fresh aroma from herbs and ingredients that make me dream of Greece. The staff is always so helpful and accommodating in directing me to the vegetarian options on the menu, and there are so many to choose from, which is a welcome relief for a plant-based foodie. I’m very impressed that Zoës is able to cater to just about any diet, whether vegetarian, gluten-free, paleo, ketogenic, or vegan! The restaurant makes it so easy to enjoy meals from specific diets, with the staff being so knowledgeable and the menus being clearly marked.
My early morning yoga session had my body feeling great and I wanted to keep that great feeling going. I was so hungry when I arrived and had been craving hummus (what else is new?). As you all know, I love my hummus, so I opted for the trio which included the roasted red pepper and the basil pesto flavors. One of the things I love is that Zoës includes pita, baked pita chips (they’re full of garlic flavor) as well as fresh crunchy cucumbers and bell peppers with the hummus trio plate. It’s all so flavorful and entertaining to eat!
My other go-to menu items include the Live Med Salad with vegan baked falafel on top. It’s so delicious! Zucchini ribbons, farro, spinach and grape tomatoes fill the plate with a rainbow of color and tons of fresh flavor.
My Food Philosophy:
While I don’t identify as strictly vegan or vegetarian, I am always trying to make conscious decisions, especially with meat. I feel my best when I watch how much meat and dairy I include in my diet, so I aim to have two vegetarian meals a day (at least) and that almost always includes lunch. Salads and fresh veggies are the best mid-day; they fill you up from all of the fiber and nutrients without weighing you down or causing that sluggish, full feeling that a more heavy meal might. I make sure to add a healthy fat, like a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil or avocado to my salads to keep me satiated for longer.
Wondering what my favorite meat-free protein sources are?
- Black beans, chickpeas, lentils, and all legumes are delicious substitutes!
- Whole grains like quinoa, farro, barley and brown rice
- Superfood seeds like chia, flax and hemp seeds (also great sources of Omega)
Luckily Zoës does an amazing job incorporating a lot of these meat-free protein sources on the vegetarian menu — so you’ll be getting a lot of great nutrients in while staying full and satisfied.
I always tell my readers and followers to honor what their body asks for — eating intuitively sometimes means enjoying a cookie or treat. Savor these things, eat them mindfully, and look at all food as nourishment is exactly what I believe!
5 Ways I Live Well:
Every day, I make time for these small actions and it’s made a world of difference in my physical and mental health!
- Every morning: water with lemon and chlorophyll drops. I love adding this superfood to my water, and yes, it turns it green! It’s a conversation starter as well as a powerful antioxidant source.
- Start the day with at least 5-10 minutes of meditation. This is a morning MUST for me.
- Learn what it means to eat mindfully. I feel much better when I slow down, listen for hunger cues, and enjoy my meals technology-free whenever possible.
- Brain (and movement) breaks throughout the work day. Most of my day can be spent on my laptop, so I’m always careful to pause every now and then.
- Some form of self-care, every day. Self-care does not always have to be a trip to the salon or a bubble bath. Sometimes a walk in the sunshine, calling an old friend, reading a few pages of a fun magazine, or enjoying a fresh, veggie-packed salad from Zoës Kitchen to-go are all you need to lift your mood and care for yourself!
I love that restaurants like Zoës support my lifestyle and make my commitment to wellness and health simpler and tastier! I hope you all have a chance to check out their menu and find your favorite dish that helps you live well.