Refrigerator Look Book: Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman Yee
Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman Yee are the First Couple of yoga. And in 2012, they’ll be doing what every yogi on the globe knows them for—teaching classes, training teachers, filming yoga DVDs, and working with Donna Karan’s Urban Zen Foundation.
“The New Year is a good time, just like every day, to mull over the events of the past year and look forward,” says Yee. “In the sense that, ‘How do your actions affect the present moment?”
Although we know what he means, for the sake of this Fridge Look Book we asked the couple to let us in on the actions that affect the contents of their SubZero. Yee filled us in.
So, who is eating from this fridge? I know you have kids, but are they away at school? Right now, all of my college kids are back, and we just had a staff party for 40 people! This is definitely a lot more full than normal.
Do you cook on a regular basis? We don’t, to be honest, and our food is usually very limited because of that. Mostly we just eat brown rice and steamed vegetables. Avocado is probably our favorite food. I still love mayonnaise, so you’ll see me making sandwiches as an excuse to eat it. Plus, I’m just a sandwich person, really—a peanut butter and jelly freak. We also make a lot of smoothies.
Are those big white jars on the middle shelf some sort of powder for the smoothies? Yes, that’s a protein super-meal powder. We keep on trying different ones, and basically we like the ones that taste the least like powder.
What’s in the wrapped white paper on the top shelf? A sandwich from Breadzilla. We visit two or three times a week. Our friend, the owner, will make a quinoa or vegetarian taco for Colleen since she’s gluten-free, and I usually get my “hippie dippie” sandwich, which is a bunch of vegetables and cheese or TMP—tomato, mozzarella, pesto. The black and white cookies are from there, too.
Okay, so what’s with all of the hot sauce? Do you really need that much?! I do love it, but more than that it has to do with our middle daughter, who’s at Parsons. She loves it, and she’s the cook of the house. So when she’s coming home, I go buy another bottle and sometimes I don’t realize there are still other ones in there. She’s also the expiration-date queen. We travel a lot, so sometimes our fridge is full of things that shouldn’t be in there anymore. She cleans it out!
Is there anything you love to eat that Colleen hates or vice versa? I like more salt and oil. I like fried foods a lot, and she doesn’t. There’s a big joke that every time I finish a retreat or big event, I have to find the area’s best french fries. I’ve classified cities based on the quality of their fries. She’s more drawn to sugar, but it’s not like I have an aversion to it.
A lot of people would say french fries are not the most yogic food. Does your yoga practice influence your food choices? It definitely does. I’ve been a vegetarian for 25 years and Colleen for 30. We talk about the physical and philosophical implications, and it just feels like the body is a much clearer channel when you’re not eating animal products.
But we don’t condemn anyone for what they eat. Our yoga is about an open-mindedness, about listening to what the body needs and to the different arguments going on, and making personal choices from a place of education.
Also, it’s hard not to condemn oneself constantly [about food choices], and that, in itself, is a ridiculous way to live, and it’s not a yogic way to live. It’s not about condemning oneself, but it’s about a deep sense of listening. It’s about being appropriate and skillful with your actions. We’re trying to hone in on that on a moment-to-moment basis. —Lisa Elaine Held