For those of you who haven't heard yet, Buddha Bowls are basically well-balanced, one-bowl meals that are easy to make and healthy for you. In fact, they are something I've been making for quite a while before I recently discovered they had a special name (what's the deal with the new bowl trend, anyway)?

While some may eat them for weight loss purposes, Buddha Bowls—also known as "hippie bowls"—are essentially a hodgepodge of vegetables, healthy grains, and protein that is just plain good for you. Additionally, these bowls can be prepared on a low budget if you get creative with your ingredients. Here's a breakdown of the the different parts that make up a Buddha bowl as well as some ideas on how to mix-and-match your own. 

1. Choose your grains

The great thing about Buddha Bowls is that they have no strict rules as to how they're constructed, but a base of healthy grains is a must. Common grains consist of complex carbs such as brown rice, purple rice, and quinoa. Starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes, corn, or yams work well too. The key to choosing a healthy carb is to stay away from simple, processed ones like most breads or white rice. 

2. Choose your protein

Even if you're a vegetarian, protein is a must for building muscle and supporting the calories gained from carbohydrates to give your body optimum energy. Clean, lean sources of protein that are free of heavy sauces and sodium are the way to go. Opt for choices such as lightly seasoned grilled chicken, falafel, chickpeas, black or red beans, tofu, ground beef, eggs, fish (raw or cooked), or turkey. 

3. Go all out on the veggies

While Buddha Bowls have no strict formula, they typically consist of one-third vegetables. This means that a typical Buddha Bowl is a great source of daily antioxidants and nutrients you can only get from vegetables. This component may be the easiest to brainstorm ideas for, since there are so many veggies options out there. To cut costs but still reap the benefits, consider a balance between raw options such as baby spring mix, kale, spinach, carrots, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers tossed in light dressing, or cooked options like steamed broccoli, asparagus, zucchini, squash, or Brussels sprouts. The possibilities are truly endless.

4. Find a little extra something that speaks to you

You've got the grains, protein, and veggies — now it's time to add in extra sources of nutrition that will make your bowl more of a treat. The extra add-ins could be anything from a handful of mixed nuts and dried berries, half an avocado, olives, mushrooms, coleslaw, mixed fruit, edamame, yogurt dressing, dried seaweed, blocks of cheese, or hummus. 

5. BYOB (Build Your Own Bowl)

The final step to the incredibly straight-forward process of creating you own Buddha Bowl is to put everything together. Whether that means making a quick run to the grocery store to see whatever ingredients you can afford, or raiding your fridge and getting creative with the components of a Buddha Bowl, there truly are no rules to the process, so just let yourself go.

Remember, you're eating like this because you have a choice in what you eat, and your body is absolutely worth being taken care of. So go ahead, throw a bit of last night's leftover chicken, the last egg in the carton, and all the broccoli and spinach you know you'll never eat on their own into one satisfying bowl and call it a day —eating healthy really doesn't have to get any more complicated than that.