Kathryn Budig is a superstar yogi – you may have seen her on the cover of Yoga Journal, her super sexy Toe Sox ads, or in one of the many workshops she teaches around the globe – but more than that, she’s a superstar person: a champion of body love, animal love, self love, tribe love, food love … the list goes on. Her “Aim True” philosophy preaches finding your passion, letting go of fear, and shooting whole-heartedly to be the person you want to be, living the life you want to live, and she embodies it fully, with her bad-ass, playful attitude on the yoga mat and in life. I was thrilled to interview her as the kick-off for my Share Your Routes series, where I’ll be talking to some of my favorite yogis, chefs, food gurus, Instagrammers, bloggers and more about their best travel tips, behind-the-scenes life, and their ever-evolving paths to a happy, healthy life. For more Kathryn, be sure to check out her awesome Instagram account and blog. She’s also shared an awesome Vegan Hot Dog recipe with a genius secret ingredient – perfect for summer BBQ! – at the end of the interview.
What do you typically eat for breakfast?
Kathryn Budig: I normally make a smoothie and/or some kind of egg dish. I’m a big fan of the breakfast burrito—I use Udi’s gluten-free tortillas, eggs, ample hot sauce, fresh herbs, whatever I have lying around and nutritional yeast.
Are there any ingredients you think everyone should always have on hand?
KB: That list is massive for me, but when in a pinch—awesome olive oil, Maldon sea salt, some kind of fresh vegetables, protein powder, hot sauce, fresh herbs (grow them on your porch), coconut milk and quinoa.
I know that you’re a huge foodie, in addition to being a yogi (Kathryn’s second book, Aim True, that features yoga, life philosophies and 50+ recipes is coming out later this year). Can you tell us a bit about how you got into yoga, and to food? Did they contribute to each other?
KB: I’ve been hungry since the day I was born! I cook everyday if I’m home. It’s cathartic for me, and keeps my creative juices flowing.
Yoga opened my eyes to a healthier way of eating – being aware of where your food comes from and using organic, whole foods to cook with.
I love making healthy food taste not so healthy 🙂 (Note from Liz: like this gorgeous Coconut Almond Protein Fudge!)
How do you think the worlds of yoga and food are similar, and how are they different?
KB: I think both are meant to be enjoyed, and they also can be incredibly nourishing to our spirits and bodies.
The yoga world can be quite opinionated when it comes to different diets and I’d like to see more flexibility come off the mat and into people’s minds when it comes to food. Everyone is different with unique nutritional needs, and I’d like to see the yoga community support that.
Do you have a favorite/least favorite yoga pose? Could you share why?
KB: Malasana is probably my favorite these days. It’s awesome post travel, or just when I need to release and relax. I’ve never liked Shoulderstand. I’m not entirely sure why … we just don’t see eye-to-eye.
What type of food rules do you follow? Are you paleo, gluten free, organic, vegan, vegetarian? Why?
KB: I don’t fall into a category—I eat according to what my body craves. I avoid wheat and dairy in general as my body doesn’t react well to them, but if I’m out at a restaurant with gorgeous pasta covered in parmesan you better believe I’ll dig in! I feel better with protein in my diet, but am deeply conscious of where my meat comes from and what to help build awareness on the evils of factory farming, and what people can do to make a difference in the humane treatment of farm animals. I always buy organic when given the option.
What’s your favorite thing to cook? What’s your favorite thing to eat?
KB: I love making quinoa based dishes with different sauces, dressings and veggies/proteins. Pasta is my absolute favorite meal! I cook with brown rice pasta at home, but enjoy the real thing when I visit a fantastic restaurant.
What’s your favorite beauty product?
You travel a ton, teaching workshops all over the world (I was lucky enough to attend one in London and it was absolutely life changing!) Are there any tips you have to help others stay healthy, physically and mentally, on the road? Is there anything you always bring with you?
KB: Staying healthy on the road is HARD.
I try to pack my own meals for the plane, always travel with probiotics, digestive enzymes, a water canteen to stay hydrated, protein or electrolyte powders, essential oils, ear plugs for better sleep, Epsom Salts, and the list goes on!
What do you think is the best healthy travel destination?
KB: Anywhere that makes you happy!
Happiness is healthy.
What’s your process when you’re creating a new recipe? Where do you get inspiration from?
KB: I get so much inspiration from my travels or eating out. If I love a dish, I’ll break it down in my head and do my best to recreate it with my own spin at home. I read plenty of food publications and follow accounts online that keep me inspired. One of my closest friends is a food stylist and chef, and I’m always learning from her.
What’s the one thing you think most people could do to be a little bit healthier in their daily lives?
Drink more water! Most of us live in a constant state of dehydration. It is so simple and makes a huge difference.
I’m a big believer in the #lazylunch, the kind of meal that comes together in 10 minutes with very few ingredients. Do you have a go-to #lazylunch?
KB: I always have homemade salad dressings made, so a beautiful salad with grilled protein, or I’ll make a wrap with my gluten-free tortillas.
What’s the best thing you ever ate?
KB: I had this ridiculous pasta in a cafeteria setting in Pompeii, Italy when I was a young girl. So random, but it’s stuck with me all these years.
And finally, because we’re obviously huge fans of Instagram over here, what are your favorite accounts to follow?
I hope you enjoyed the Kathryn Budig interview – she was also wonderful enough to share this recipe for awesome vegetarian hot dogs, with a secret ingredient for the “meaty” filling (don’t worry, it’s not one of those weird meat replacements – we don’t do that around here!). These hot dogs use a grilled carrot as the star ingredient, topping it with all the typical hot dog goodness for a veg-packed, BBQ-worthy meal. While I sometimes eat meat, I made these a few weeks ago to bring to a beachside BBQ, and they were a huge hit with meat eaters and non meat eaters alike. They’re also gorgeous, and super easy to make. Check out the recipe below, and for amazing recipes from Kathryn, be sure to check out her blog and Instagram.
Grilled Carrot “Hot Dogs” with Purple Slaw
CARROT HOT DOGS
6 carrots, peeled
2 sprigs fresh rosemarry
1 head garlic, crushed
sea salt to taste
2-3 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil
6 gluten-free hot dog buns
6 tablespoons horseradish mustard
1/4 head of purple cabbage, slivered
4 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup cilantro, rough chopped
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/2 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon Vegenaise
1 tablespoon maple syrup
pinch red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Whisk together Vegenaise, maple syrup, rice vinegar, lime juice, sea salt and pepper flakes. Pour over a bowl of combined cabbage, green onions and cilantro. Mix well and set aside.
Place peeled carrots into a shallow frying pan with high edges. Cover with water and toss in rosemary, crushed garlic and salt. Bring to a simmer and cover for 10 minutes. Remove the carrots and pat dry.
Warm a grill pan on high heat with 1 tablespoon of olive or coconut oil. Brush each carrot evenly with oil. Once the grill pan is very hot, toss on your carrots evenly. DON’T MOVE THEM. Seriously. You want the sweet grill marks, so let the grill for about 2-3 minutes per side.
Brush remaining oil onto your buns and grill for 1 minute per side. Layer each bun with ample horseradish mustard, a grilled carrot and a heap of slaw. Season with salt and pepper if desired, and enjoy! Makes 6 carrot dogs.
All photos from Kathryn’s awesome Instagram.