Elena Brower, founder of Virayoga and one of the country’s most celebrated yoga teachers, keeps an incredibly well-stocked refrigerator for “all the friends and family and people I work on things with who stop by and need to be fed,” jokes the 40-year old.
“I’ve turned into an Earth Mother, and want to feed everyone. Are you hungry?”
Brower is actually a creature of habit when it comes to her own healthy meals, stashes her natural beauty products in the fridge, and commits a lot of kitchen counter space to nutritional supplements. Read on to see what her staples are…
This is a giant fridge.
It has to be. It feeds a lot of people. Me and my son, his caregiver, my son’s father, my assistant, my boyfriend Bentley—we’re a big family. But it’s really full right now. This is maximum capacity.
So is the amount of greens pretty typical? And where do you get them?
Yes, everyone here loves kale. Pretty much everything’s from Whole Foods in Tribeca. It’s the easiest for me. I know I can get everything there in one stop, though the Union Square Green Market is the best. I love to shop there when I can.
Oh, that’s right, I remember during your pregnancy you said you felt your body wanted meat. Did you get flack for it?
No, I didn’t.
Do you have time to cook much? What’s your average meal?
A Buddha Bowl. It’s a meal that I probably eat a couple times a day, inspired by my favorite restaurants, Souen, Candle Café, and Real Food Daily in LA. It always has kale or a heap of greens and whatever veggies I have, plus tofu or tempeh, quinoa or grains, maybe some avocado. The ever evolving recipe is on my website. I make a dressing for it out of lemon, cold-pressed olive oil, and organic white miso and keep it in my fridge. I really look forward to eating it.
Your son Jonah eats it as well or something else?
Jonah likes lots of things, and lots of little bites of things, like chicken and arugula, haricot verts—he loves those, fruit, English muffin pizza… He does like to eat my Buddha Bowl, but prefers his kale chopped to oblivion.
What do you eat away from home, when you’re running around the city?
I bring my Buddha Bowl with me in To-Go Ware a lot. But I also plan my day around my where I’ll eat. I know when and where I can get healthy things for myself. I can always get through with an apple and some nuts until I’m near an Organic Avenue or something.
You have a shelf dedicated to nutritional supplements! You seem to eat really healthy. Why do you need them all?
I just like to cover all my bases. I love New Chapter plant-based ones. YogaEarth Balance and Vitality, of course. And I mix Isotonix Probiotics, Calcium, Activated Vitamin B, C, D, and Maximum Orac. They’re such a clean, high quality source. When I travel I prepare the powdered mixes ahead of time.
There are beauty products in your fridge!
If I’m not using something for my skin every day, like sunscreen, I’ll put it in the fridge. Because pretty much everything I use is natural and organic, it’s the best way to preserve it.
Agreed. There are fancy kale chips and bags of raw cookies galore next to the fridge. Are you a snacker?
Those are for everyone else. I really don’t find myself snacking on anything except a square of raw chocolate from Gnosis—the Fleur de Sel is off the charts. It’s my vice, if you were to call it that. —Melisse Gelula