Alanna Kaivalya is the yoga teacher’s teacher. The Jivamukti-trained instructor is known for designing and leading teacher training programs at Pure Yoga and Yoga Vida, and she recently launched her own called the Kaivalya Yoga Method.
She’s also known for her yoga class podcasts, some of which benefit adorable puppies.
For Kaivalya, her food choices, like her professional yoga pursuits, are just one more opportunity for her to experience life with joy. Here’s her very own version of a yogi diet:
Let’s start with the most obvious question: What’s in the pot? It’s buffalo chili! I order free-range buffalo from a farm in Minnesota. They send it frozen, and I love it because it’s leaner. The farm is totally free-range, and they have a really great reputation for the way they raise their animals. I don’t do it often, but I do eat meat, and I like to make sure it’s responsibly sourced.
Did you make the pot for a crowd or do you just eat it throughout the week? I made it and ate it throughout the week. The weather had started to turn cold, and I love any kind of soup. It’s something my mother in Colorado would do.
I see, but it still looks like you had a party. There’s a crudite platter in there, and a lot of champagne. That’s actually Martinelli’s Apple Cider! But on the door, that’s champagne. There’s a little something for everybody. This picture was taken just before Thanksgiving. I had a big party, and this was in preparation. One of the rules my grandmother taught me was that no one should leave your house hungry.
What are some go-to foods that you eat all of the time? You can’t really see them because they’re in the drawer, but artichokes are my go-to food! I love them. The butter on the top right is just for the artichokes. I even have a special pot for artichokes, where I can steam them—they made that pot just for me. And almond butter with Macoun apples. I grew up in Colorado where our only apples were Red Delicious and Granny Smith. Thankfully, I had a boyfriend from New York who educated me on apples, and now I love Macouns. They’re the perfect snack.
The light is making it hard for me to see what you have on the top shelf. Illuminate please! In the little black pot, there’s a face mask from Lush. Underneath the butter is more butter [laughs]. Next to it is Parmesan cheese, then half an avocado, and mushrooms. The clear things are leftovers for my dog—she gets some food, too. Then strawberries and sprouted gluten-free bread.
There’s a lot of disagreement in the yoga community about what counts as the yoga diet. For you, is there a connection between yoga and what you eat? Absolutely. Everything I do is informed by yoga. It requires me to make very conscious choices. I spent many years as a vegetarian and vegan, and the reality was that it made me really ill. It caused me to address a bigger question, which was, “Am I important?” If I was getting sick, I couldn’t teach my classes properly or practice properly. As a human, it’s impossible to do no harm, so you focus on doing as little as possible. —Lisa Elaine Held