5 Minutes with Author and Journalist Eminé
IF ANYONE KNOWS HOW TO KEEP YOUR MIND AND BODY IN A STATE OF EQUILIBRIUM AS WE SWITCH SEASONS IT’S EMINÉ ALI RUSHTON, FOUNDER AND EDITOR OF THE BALANCE PLAN AND THE BODY BALANCE DIET PLAN. AN AYURVEDA DEVOTEE – THE WELLBEING PRACTISE THAT HEROES FOOD AS MEDICINE, SHE PROVES ITS ANCIENT CONCEPTS ARE AS RELEVANT NOW AS THEY WERE 5000 YEARS AGO. IF IT’S NOT BROKEN, DON’T FIX IT!
Nicki Wedgwood: Long dark nights can be draining, what are your top tips for maintaining balance as the season changes?
We have a tendency to stay in more when the sun goes away… If you can build a stroll into your day you’ll feel so much happier for it.
Eminé Ali Rushton :
The main thing that causes imbalance is the change to your inherent dosha (your body’s individual make-up), as the season’s change. In early autumn, you go from a time when your Pitta (your fire and heat element) is raised to a time when your Vata (your dry, airy element) is raised. Autumn, with its brisk, bright, clear weather causes this dry and airy quality in us to heighten.
Sebastian Pole, an amazing authority on Ayurveda, says it’s a good idea to begin eating according to the season at least seven days before each seasonal equinox (21st of March, June, September and December). You can do this by undertaking a cleanse to rid the body’s ‘ama’ (a build up of toxins from metabolic waste). There is a great 3-day Immersion guide in my Body Balance Diet Plan that details how you can do this and it’s not a fast so you don’t have to worry about going hungry.
Incorporating energetic massage or body brushing and taking nightly Triphala tablets (try Pukka’s) that use natural herbs to help cleanse the body naturally and without shock will also help.
NW: Is it important to readapt our exercise regimes to reflect the new season?
ER : The only real exercise that Ayurveda recognises is yoga. Brisk autumn walks outside and focusing on proper yogic breathing (pranayama) are two of the simplest things you can do, but also the most effective.
NW: What three foods would you recommend adding to your diet during autumn?
ER : The amazing squashes you get in England are dream foods in autumn – sweet, grounding and nourishing. Roast them and add to a warm salad, blend them it into soups, curries and hearty stews or use them to bake with – they make a really healthy bread base. Beetroot, with their earthy qualities are also fantastic and you even get a hint of soil in the flavour while carrots are great for bringing a sweetness to your food at a time when you need it most (sweet flavours reduce Vata).
NW: Do you have an autumn recipe you love to shout about?
ER : It has to be our Lentil Tagine! We adapt the veg in it for whatever season it is, but if you make it according to the recipe and just swap out the courgettes and young leeks, for seasonal squash and onions instead, it will be just as delicious.
NW: Are there any seasonal spices you would suggest people invest in?
ER : Cinnamon is perfect for sprinkling into porridge and warm nut milk or pop a stick of it into some herbal tea. Turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory and mixes well with other herbs and spices - black pepper boosts how well our body absorbs it while paprika really brings out the flavour – combine the two to create spicy sweet potato wedges. Black nigella seeds are another fantastic immunity booster – we sprinkle them into our bread dough, crackers and even savoury pancakes.
NW: With less sunlight, do you have any tips for staying positive and upbeat during the winter?
ER : We have a tendency to stay in more when the sun goes away but autumn is the ideal month to be out and about. It’s often dry (unlike winter), and parks, woodlands, nature trails and forests are all breathtakingly beautiful as the leaves change colour. If you can build a stroll into your day or factor in a family walk at the weekends you’ll feel so much happier for it.
NW: Do you have a favourite book on balance and why?
ER : I just love Sebastian Pole’s A Pukka Life. He wrote the beautiful foreword for my book, and has such a fantastic outlook on life…moderate, healthy, sensible. It’s based on Ayurveda but has great daily advice in it and some wonderful sections on healing herbs.
NW: What’s your favourite Neom product?
ER : Without doubt, anything from the Real Luxury™ Range. The first time I inhaled that scent (in a one-on-one meeting with founder, Nicola when she was pregnant with her second child – I always remember it!), I fell head over heels. It’s just so perfectly formulated – sweet without being cloying, relaxing without any astringency, welcoming without being suffocating.
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