The Body Balance Diet Plan

So, here is how I’ve been feeling about my diet and exercise lately:

FRUSTRATED!

Why? Well – my diet has felt pretty spot on. Homemade buckwheat granola for brekkie, homemade dips and crudites for lunch and a huge bowl of raw salad for dinner. Booze I might have once a week, and no more than two glasses when I do (I’m not a huge booze fan, tbh, which pisses my bf off no end).

Exercise-wise, I’ve been jogging, yoga-ing, keeping up my Barre and Reformer Pilates and who could forget those killer Skinny Bitch Collective classes?!

It’s been feeling like, the odd ‘cheat’ weekend with my boyfriend aside, I have been in a pretty great, healthy zone. So why oh why did my waistline appear to be expanding?!

The frustration was growing, so when I saw Eminé Ali Rushton speak about discovering the balance in mind, body and energy she found when following a diet instructed by Ayurveda, I was drawn in. Especially when she said that without trying she lost 8 pounds!

Eminé is the Beauty & Wellbeing Director at Pyschologies, facialist and Mum of two, so she’s incredibly busy yet always exudes an aura of calmness and contentedness. I want a piece of that!

Let’s get one thing straight: I hate diets, and so does Eminé – all they do is make you miserable for a week or so, then put on all the weight you lost and more a month later, when you (inevitably) fall off the wagon.

This is no fad diet – Ayurveda is 5000 years old and still going strong!

The book outlines the foundations in detail that is thorough but entertaining and easy to take in. I read it in 2 days. Here are the (extremely pared down) basics:

We are all one of 3 Doshas: Vata, Pitta or Kapha. Ayurveda seeks to calm down these dominant Doshas by balancing them out with diet, exercise and meditation. The Balance Plan has a short questionnaire to help you figure out which is your dominant Dosha.

Vata is thin, tall and flighty. We’re fidgety and love an adventure, though we can lose our concentration half way through a task (I’m totally Vata. Right now I’m biting a nail, my knees are jogging differing rhythms and my head’s swiveling around in case I miss something).

The diet seeks to calm and ground with cooked, oily, warm foods.

Pitta is ‘fire’ – so they can be warm, intelligent and assertive. On the flipside, Pitta can also be aggressive, irritable and judgemental, and can get acne and heartburn. (I had a lot of Pitta characteristics, too)

The diet focuses on cooling foods such as salads.

Kapha is stocky, calm and laid-back. If out of balance, however, Kapha can stagnate and gain weight.

The diet focuses on light, spicy foods that pep a Kapha up.

The book has are comprehensive lists of ingredients that you should favour or avoid, according to what Dosha you are. There’s a lot of elements to this diet that I found fascinating, but we’d be here all day if I listed them all!

For me, it was a real game-changer and I’m so happy to have discovered a book that chimes so well with my own attitude to food. I won’t need to make any great upheavals to my diet: I already drink warm water in the morning and avoid processed foods.

However, learning that I should be swapping my raw salads for warm stews made a lot of sense.  I always prefer a plate of roasted veg or homemade sweet potato curry to a pile of raw veggies – I get more from the taste, the warmth and the filling-ness. It made me realise how we can get so confused by all the nutritional information we’re bombarded with all the time (I thought raw was best). I’d lost touch with my body’s intuition.

Buckwheat is also a no-go for Vata, and my lunches weren’t helping either. I’ll be trying oats for breakfast, a veggie stew for lunch and a soup for dinner (lighter in the evening, they say).

Best of all, it’s not some awfully rigid, set plan that I’ll be failing drastically should a Buckwheat groat, tomato or chocolate bar pass my lips. I had characteristics of Pitta and Kapha too, so I’ll be focusing on the fruit, veggies and grains I’m recommended for Vata, but if I stray it’s not the end of the world!

Finally – the book focuses on organic seasonality. This really struck a chord. Lots of diets at the mo are telling me to only eat berries and salmon, but I’m worried about depleting fish stocks and I’m not sure that buying a plastic punnet of blueberries, freighted from Poland, is the best choice for the environment. I don’t want to get abs if I’m taxing my planet. There are loads of recipes in here that take in to account Doshas and seasonality – best of all – many of the ingredients are really cheap and available in many countries.

Models and non-models: this is a great guide to creating harmony in your body through your diet. There’s a lot to take in, but it’s the sort of thing that you can learn and adapt to over time, rather than drastically overhauling your life (and stock cupboard).

I’m starting tomorrow and I’ll keep you updated.

 Rebecca x

You can find the book and it’s corresponding site here:
balanceplan.co.uk

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