Many of you have a burning desire to achieve a deeper level of health the ayurvedic way. You want to feel more in tune with nature and be able to call on herbs and specific foods to nurture aches, pains and emotions - not pills and prescriptions.

But it can be tough to know where to begin or how to figure out what foods and routines are really best for YOU. That’s where my friend Nadya Andreeva comes in…

Nadya is a modern Ayurveda girl. If you've ever wondered how you can stay healthy, peaceful, and fit in a huge modern city, you'll love her blog, Spinach and Yoga. She covers important topics like creating a better relationship with self, eating for more energy and improving digestion. Plus there are plenty of yummy ayurvedic-inspired recipes!

Nadya and I met online in the comments section of her blog a few years ago while having a discussion about cleansing. Since we've become friends, have collaborated on several work projects (so you may have already met her on Vixi!) and we actually got to meet in person and adventure around NYC together last fall.

Get to know this beauty for yourself with this short Q&A below:

Q&A With Nadya

1. How'd you get involved in the Ayurveda & yoga world?

My dad taught me yoga when I was 12 and I maintained a daily practice since then. In the last 16 years I've done yoga in different parts of the world, in trains, hotel bathrooms, on the beach, and in tiny crowded apartments. Yoga is like brushing teeth for me, there is almost no excuse not to do it. It is a habit and a tool that keeps me balanced and healthy.

Ayurveda passion is more recent. I became seriously interested in Ayurveda about 3 years ago after being diagnosed with PCOS. My ob gyn offered to take birth control pills to regulate my cycle and to consider infertility treatments in case I decided to get pregnant. It didn't sound like a good option for me and instead I went to an ayurvedic doctor. After not having any periods for 2 years, my periods came back thanks to some herbs, changing my eating habits, and laying off the crazy workout schedule. Now my body works by the clock (most time) and it feels really cool to know that I was able to bring it back into balance!

2. You're teaching an ancient science and living in New York City! How do you make that work?

I think of yoga and ayurveda as effective tools that can be used anywhere and by everyone. You don't need to live in Himalayas to practice yoga. The same way, one doesn't have to live in an backwards village to practice ayurveda. As modern city dwellers we need yoga and ayurveda even more than our grandfathers. We need these tools to combat stress, excessive pollution, and unhealthy habits. I like to find ways to adapt ancient knowledge to fit modern lifestyle, modern kitchen, and modern tastes.

3. You're a t-shirt slogan. What do you say?

Be still. Listen to the Internal Voice. Learn from it.

It might be long but that would be the message I want to communicate to the world. All the answers are within, we just need to learn how to quiet the noise and be willing to listen.

4. The world ends tomorrow. What will you eat tonight?

I think I would be busy calling my friends and spending quality time with my boyfriend without even thinking about food. I treat food mostly as a practical way to sustain me, not an entertainment. I would also prepare some snack bars and a few Vega packets in case I do survive the end of the world and there was no normal food anymore:).

5. What's the last book you read?

The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite. It is a great book that explains how modern food industry figured out the proportions of sugar and fat that trigger addiction on a chemical level. It uncovers the shocking facts about how we lost control over our eating habits and how we can get it back.

6. Imagine you're on the cover of Yoga Journal. What pose would you strike?

Tree pose. Simple and graceful. It is not intimidating to newbies as some fancy poses can be. Tree pose can be a powerful tool for grounding and learning how not to let small hick ups create imbalance in the emotional state. Balancing poses in general teach us how to stay calm, how to use breath to hold still, and how to get back up, if we fall. No regrets, just get up and try again!

7. What did you eat for breakfast this morning?

Red Quinoa with Nutiva coconut manna, flax seeds, and hemp seeds with a soaked fig. Other days I can have a green smoothie or mung beans with greens but I love grains for breakfast. It helps me ground after 1.5 morning yoga practice and stay fueled for 4-5 hours. I try not to snack until lunch.

8. What inspires you to take care of yourself?

I like feeling great. I like feeling light and strong and inspired. It is an addictive natural high that can be created by certain foods, exercise, and spiritual practices. I like feeling each cell in my body buzzing with energy and lightness. After experiencing this, it is hard to go back to feeling bloated, tired, or constipated. I don't want to feel heavy and sleepy after a meal or drained after a workout so I take certain measures to prevent it from happening. It takes effort and daily commitment but it is well-worth it!

9.What inspires you to share the Ayurvedic & yogic message?

One of my teachers said that it is a sin not to share what you know. It feel amazing when people tell me how much their lives have changed since we started working together.

10. What life-changing projects are you working on right now?  

Right now I am working on a book, due to be published Jan 2013. It is about everything that I learn along my healing journey and things that I wish somebody told me when I was just starting out. It will talk about healing digestion, getting rid of bloating and having a regular and a happy belly as a basis for a healthy body. I am also collaborating with several functional doctors and nutritionists to make sure that the book has reliable and research-proven tips. For now, you can download a short guide to reducing bloating and gas here http://

Connect with Nadya on...

Her website:
Twitter: @realyoganyc

Nadya's Recipe on Vixi Meals

Nadya has contributed a Asparagus & Daikon Soup with Fluffy Curried Quinoa recipe to next weeks Vixi Meals meal plan.

These two dishes combine together perfectly and are a great balancing dinner for Spring. This dinner is easy to digest and light, yet nourishing. It's perfect for anyone who is doing a gentle Spring cleanse but still wants to feel satiated. It contains simple seasonal ingredients that are quick to cook and family friendly.

To get Nadya's recipe and four other plant-based dinner recipes join Vixi Meals today. It's a weekly plant-based meal planning service that delivers recipes right to your inbox every Friday. I take care of the planning, seasonal shifts and grocery list and you take credit for making healthy home-cooked meals. 

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