Squeezing healthy habits into a busy schedule can be tough not to mention daunting but we promise you it can be done. To prove it, we enlisted the help of wellbeing journalist and author of The Balance Plan, Eminé Ali Rushton.
The world’s first book (and accompanying, just-launched website) that focuses on Ayurveda – a 5000-year-old Indian way of healing – it teaches you how to live in tune with the seasons, how food affects every aspect of health, and how you can reach a calm, balanced state even in the midst of a hectic, modern lifestyle. Read on for five insights into why the tome – which comes packed with inspiring recipes, mindfulness tips and yoga exercises – could help you kick start a healthier, more holistic lifestyle.
1. Ayurveda means the ‘science of life’ in Sanskrit. It is based on the Five Elements Theory – that all living and non-living matter is made up of earth, fire, water, air and ether. Once you learn which foods will energise, balance, aid weight-loss, irritate or aggravate, you can create a way of living and eating that makes you more resilient, both emotionally and physically.
2. Recent research has identified the link between our gut health and our mental health (95% of serotonin is made in our gastrointestinal tract). The Ayurvedic diet focuses on promoting optimal digestion and metabolism (called agni) but also on eating for your own unique body type. It is also high in sattvic foods, which naturally leave us feeling happier, calmer, peaceful and positive – after all, happiness is a happy stomach.
3. Start by adding smart spices to your food, and adapt the herbs and spices you use season by season (this spring, try adding more fresh mint, parsley, coriander, chervil, dill, turmeric and cumin to your food).
4. Adapt your daily meals to include more sattvic foods and dosha-supporting ingredients – sattvic foods that are ‘light’ on the stomach and easily digested: nuts and nut milk, seeds, organic seasonal fruits and vegetables, legumes (mung or yellow split lentils ideally) and herbal teas.
5. Eat a lighter breakfast in warmer weather (we can eat larger breakfasts in autumn and winter), make lunch your most substantial meal, and have a lighter dinner. By doing these simple things more often than not, and eating the foods that best support you seasonally and individually, you will be giving yourself a solid and strong foundation of good health that you can then build on.